Saturday, September 4, 2010

Robert Piguet - Bandit

Seductive, headstrong  and dangerous

From the Robert Piguet website:
Provocative and sultry, this chypre fragrance is an intense combination of exotic leather, wood, spice and floral notes including neroli, orange, ylang ylang, jasmine, tuberose, vetiver, oakmoss, patchouli and musk. Bandit is the perfect fragrance for creating an aura of mischief.

I adore Bandit. To get Bandit visualize one of my favourite movies, To Have and Have Not (1944). Lauren Bacall's character, Slim, would be the perfect face for Bandit. Beautiful, seductive and headstrong, with sharp shoulders and a bitter attitude, she can handle with the toughest man but she's all woman.

Germaine Cellier
Bandit was created in the same year, 1944, by legendary perfumer Germaine Cellier. Slim and blond, with a penchant for suits and an attitude of her own, Cellier was like Slim herself. The first major female perfumer, Cellier created famous perfumes such as Fracas, Vent Vert and Jolie Madame. For more information of the formidable Cellier, read the biography at Fragratica written by Ellena Vosnaki from Perfume Shrine.

Bandit starts with a vintage vibe, powdery and a big hit of what we perfumistas like to call "skank." (Read more about skank on Perfume Posse.) It can be indolic, animalic or sweaty, but skank for me is a little bit of a personal smell, or sexy skin and "lady business." In fact, the story goes that Germaine Cellier sniffed models panties to get a better handle on the smell of a woman for her perfumes. In these first moments it reminds me of Bal a Versailles. (My EdT is also a little sharp in the opening, which may not happen in EdP, or it may be because it's vintage.)

Then Bandit turns beautifully bitter and green. Galbanum and oakmoss, how I love them. This fantastic greeness is joined by a heart of leather. The dry down is earthy, woody moss.

Slim and Steve are back from a walk in the mossy, green woods. She's wearing her man's leather jacket and has leaves in her hair; what have they been doing?

House: Robert Piguet
Nose: Germaine Cellier
Notes: Top: galbanum, ylang Mid: leather, jasmine Base: patchoulie, oakmoss, vetiver

Photo: Lauren Bacall, To Have and Have Not (1944)
Photo of Germaine Cellier borrowed from Basenotes
Photo of bottle of Bandit: mine

P.S. Bandit is a perfume for a strong woman but would work just as well on a man. My bottle is an Eau de Toilette that may have been aimed at a male market. I have no idea what year it is, it may be from before the reformulation in 1999. It certainly smells like a lot of oakmoss! If you recognize it and know what year it might be, please let me know.

I bought it at Fritsch Pharmacy in Kitchener. If you live near Kitchener, and you like perfume, visit him. I almost don't want to tell anybody, but Micheal Fritsch has a lot of vintage stock and he was very kind to spend a couple of hours showing me his treasures.


  1. Fantastic review! I could spray this on, and become a strong woman, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

    Bandit sounds so, well,... I was going to say "sexy" but it's something more than that. What is it?

  2. JoanElaine: Bandit is sexy-cool. She's the girl I wanted to be, or be best friends with, but who kind of intimidated me a little.


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