Habanita Eau de Toilette (Molinard)

In my recent review of Thierry Mugler's terrific A*Men, I talk about the feminine aspect to every man's Ego, the feather boa draped across his Id. In direct proportion to that reality, an inverse truth applies to women. Within every girl is a silent man, a neglected fellow very often drowned in the bottomless pools of her soul. Women are deeper than men, much, much deeper. They're sensitive in ways that guys can only imagine; a woman can glance up at her husband as he walks through the door after a hard day's work, and see in a millisecond the kind of evening she's in for. A little over a year ago, I lived with a woman who possessed that very talent, and in retrospect I think my facial expressions when entering her house dictated more outcomes than all of our arguments combined. But I digress. Every woman feels the occasional testosterone-laden need to dominate, control, penetrate, sit at the head of the table and slash into a rare cut of beef without uttering a single word to anyone else. At least once or twice in her lifetime, her inner invisible man makes himself known.

Habanita is a fragrance for the man inside a woman. For the men reading this article, I can contextualize the scent by mentioning that it smells amusingly close to good old Royal Copenhagen, although Molinard's creation was released in 1921, forty-nine years prior to the arrival of Swank's barbershop oriental, so I should really say that RC smells very close to Habanita. Indeed, both orientals are snappy, with brusque herbal top notes evolving into dry, powdery, talc-like ambers. Where RC diverges from its inspiration is in the use of lavender as a top note, with a heavier (and simpler) orris powder base. Habanita's intro is more citric and fruity, with bergamot and peach adding sweetness, and the slightest hint of raspberry coloring the base. Everything in-between smells very clean, dry, and I dare say again: powdery. If I didn't know better and sniffed this blindly, I'd think it's a masculine cologne from the sixties. Yet there's a faint floral accord woven into the orris and talc, a blush of heliotrope and rose, suggesting that this composition is at home on a lady. I gave this scent to my mother for Christmas, and she loves it, which further suggests that Habanita is best suited for a classy lady.


  1. Hi Bryan,

    Nice to see Habanita here. I really love this one. For me, there is nothing more erotic than smelling this on a woman - if only i could once in a while. I don't like it on men personally - still I do keep a bottle to sniff for my own pleasure. Also, as you might already have read it was originally designed to scent cigarettes before it became used on skin. In the evening when I smoke a cigar I'll spray a touch on my skin and the combination is truly magnificent. I find it the best scent to accompany a good smoke. I also prefer the old EDT to the new EDP. It's rougher and more wild - less refined - which I like for this style. The new EDP I find much too elegant.

    - thomas.

    1. hi Thomas, yeah this is a classic. I am aware of the cigarette/tobacco connection, although I'm a bit skeptical as to whether or not the EDT really resembles something for a cig tin - I tend to wonder why the natural beauty of cigarette tobacco would need embellishment. Haven't tried the new EDP yet, but will if I see it around.


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