Bandit fragrance notes

  • Head

    • armoise, gardenia, galbanum, artemisia, bergamot, aldehydes, marigold, Neroli, Ylang Ylang
  • Heart

    • rose, iris, wild carnation, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose, spices
  • Base

    • leather, sandalwood, vetiver, ambergris, patchouli, myrrh, castoreum, oakmoss, musk, civet

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Latest Reviews of Bandit

BANDIT is a real knockout, not for the namby-pamby type. It is beautifully vulgar, unrelenting, a tale of grief, passion, and wonder, a historical parable of a fragrance with its gussied-up florals dirtied up and manhandled, with some animal husbandry thrown in for good measure. It's fierce and ferocious, daring and cruel, bleak and just GORGEOUS.

The opening may be the most intimidating, but to me, its a sensory thrill, with all its soapy aldehydes, bitter galbanum, and sharp artemisia. To my nose, there is nothing characteristically feminine about this phase whatsoever, and its clear, where Aramis and all sorts of subsequent 70s and 80s men's leather stalwart fragrances took their cues.

The mids are more floral, but more of the florals with all the leaves and thorns and dirt. I sense wet vegetation, walks in meadows on late summer days after a long, tempestuous rain. Metallic gardenias and tuberoses dancing around all cabalistic, no proclamation of fecund beauty, but rather violating all the rules and conventions of what is feminine, delicate, and good-natured.

The beast is not tamed in the base, but it growls rather than roars, ashy with desiccated oakmoss, lingering cured leather, and a civet curled up on your lap after a long day of emissions.

(Oh, by the way, this is for the golden capped older formulation EDT with BANDIT in caps on the bottle).

8th March 2022
My review is for a sample of Bandit EDP that I received two days ago from on online site called I'm not sure what vintage it is, but it appears to be a 1ml decant.

My first impression is-- wow. I can't say anything about it that hasn't been said.

This is Chanel No. 19's much older sister. She sits in a dark corner of the bar, drinks absinthe, and tells stories about the war. She wears a black leather jacket given to her by Ernest Hemingway (that jacket is where the smell of smoke comes from btw. She kicked the habit ages ago).

If you are a man, can you wear this? If you have to ask, the answer is no.
8th March 2021

This is my second review of feminine scent. I'm not one to go on about chypres and fougeres...particular notes. I don't think I can pull off wearing this but I agree with another reviewer that this is a alpha female scent.

This is one of about three scents that I smell on a woman and she has my undivided attention. (I love perfumed women and there are probably many more I would love, but this one really grabs me).

I'm sure the vintage versions are best, but the EdT sample I have of fairly current issue is plenty dangerous. I love the kind of dirty floral aspect of this stuff: "Sure I'm girly but watch it buddy."

A dark haired women, late 30s to 60s, really dressed up and wearing this...that's a BAD girl. If she's wearing this and wearing ClaireV said- naked aggression. YIKES!

18th August 2020
I give Bandit by Robert Piguet a "Neutral" rating because there are two different Bandit fragrances that I will review.

* The vintage eau de toilette concentration of Bandit was the absolute BEST! It contained all the chypre notes and smoky tar characteristics that made it a true classic, unlike any other. This eau de toilette concentration actually wore like an eau de parfum or pure parfum. It was absolutely heavenly.

* The current eau de parfum concentration of Bandit is less than desirable when compared to the original eau de toilette version. Although it claims to be an eau de parfum, it lasts only about 1/10th of what the eau de toilette did. This is a shame. It is also missing that one characteristic smoky note that made the original eau de toilette so unique. It is totally gone and I cannot smell it at all when comparing the vintage to the new. Without that smoky trademark note, it is NOT Bandit. They removed the very thing that made Bandit what it was.

For those who are unfamiliar with the vintage Bandit eau de toilette, I suppose they will not know the difference, but for those of us who were lucky enough to experience the original vintage eau de toilette, only we know what a gem the original was.

So, to sum it up, I will no longer be purchasing Bandit eau de parfum in the future, and I will be cherishing the last two vintage bottles of Bandit eau de toilette that I have still remaining in my stock, and use it very sparingly and only on special occasions. (I used to wear it by the gallon when going out on the town, and used to get many, many compliments.) Had I known the formulation was going to be changed, I would have stocked up on 50 bottles of the eau de toilette and sold it on e-Bay for $300 a bottle, lol! Nonetheless, I fell very lucky to have two bottles of the vintage eau de toilette in my possession, to cherish and protect! Just another true classic whose reformulation ruined it!
11th June 2019
Robert Piguet Bandit (1944) is nothing short of a masterpiece in the realm of dark and imposing leather chypres. It surfaced in the wake of things like Caron Tabac Blonde (1919), Molinard Habanita (1921), Chanel Cuir de Russie (1927), and would inspire perfumes like Miss Dior (1947) or Cabochard de Grés (1959), but Bandit always struck a chord as a perfume for a woman "not to be trifled with" as intended upon release. Inspired itself by the pirate's life and other romantic malfeasance, Bandit was Robert Piguet's ode to the "can-do" women of the WWII and immediate postwar period, filling in for men off fighting tyranny in roles traditionally deemed "masculine" domestically. Bandit was also originally seen as a smoker's perfume, like so many focusing on leather, tobacco, and animalics made in the early to mid 20th century, so it has a deliberate level of opacity crafted from a wall of "kitchen sink" notes. Love it or hate it, you will remember this perfume. Period.

Bandit opens with lots of green and aldehydes, which is no surprise given the era. An early use of galbanum which would inform later green chypres of the mid 60's through early 80's can be seen among the many florals and bergamot of the opening, leading into a typical rose/jasmine/iris group that seeks to balance clean with indole in the heart. Carnation, neroli, and tuberose fatten up the waistline of the heart then smooth it out for the approach of the leathery oakmoss base loaded with animalics and a warm ambergris note, but there isn't much note separation after the first 30 minutes, so these are all impressions. Castoreum, civet, and musk are balanced by sandalwood and vetiver in a dry leathery finish full of green warmth and surprisingly masculine allure for a scent marketed to women. Wear time is all day and sillage is more than enough, but where to use this is your call.

Worshipers of oakmoss at the altar of Kerleo won't find Bandit to be their vintage olfactive narcotic of choice, but lovers of the sharp and stiff stink of an adequately mossed-up animalic base will be all over Bandit if they already aren't before reading this review. Modern noses trained on coumarin and woody amber overloads soaked in Iso E Super or rootie tootie fresh and fruitchouli galoxide-dipped shower gel perfumes will not understand the appeal of Bandit, which is why it (along with house Piguet) now exist in the niche/luxury realm rather than at the mall, but open minds may want to try this renegade in perfume form, if only to satisfy morbid curiosity. Vintage is excruciatingly expensive when found but current production gets the point across just fine. Fans of literally any of the photorealistic shoe leathers littering high-end department store counters absolutely must sample Piguet Bandit, as it is the progenitor of those accords. Thumbs up!
3rd May 2019
Bandit is my favorite fragrance. I first purchased it in Seattle, Washington and thought it smelled like insect spray! Later I found the eau de perfume and the pure perfume at The Perfume House in Portland, Oregon, what a difference! Layering the two latter is intoxicating. I am not a fan of florals. They are too sweet without a warm base to ground them. This chypre concoction leans toward the masculine (maybe that is why I love it. Men are yummy). All the same, on my skin Bandit smells sweet and warm, earthy and green. It is certainly not for the youth market nor can I imagine it on an ultra feminine woman wearing a sweet pink sundress. It's not for the beach or the bedroom or a walk in the park. I think maybe a sophisticated suit, a silk blouse, a leather bag and some spendy heels would describe this fragrance.
20th July 2018
The Murderess by Edvard Munch 1906
11th April 2018
Bandit is majestic, great but also a tad unapproachable (perhaps because of my gender). Great leather-chypre with tremendous presence and tenacity. Leather is balanced by galbanum, bitterness of oakmoss, and embellished with bone dry herbs. It is similar to Azuree in some respects, but I find Azuree less dry, friendlier and more unisex.

Bandit is definitely not a conventional women's perfume, but I'm having a hard time imagining any guy who could pull this off. Forget all other 'butch' feminines, this one here is indeed THE alpha female perfume, the sort of thing a true dominatrix would wear. Leather preferred, high heels mandatory. Having said all that, let's forget the stereotypes (however blatant those may be), and wear it if you love it. Contradictions are always interesting.

Surely not everyone's cup of tea, but it is terrific.

13th October 2017
I love chypres, but I now realize that leather chypres are simply too much for me to handle. Azuree and Cabochard and Aramis and Bandit all make me want to run for the hills. Each one is too bitter and too loud and too harsh, while mixed unconvincingly with powdery florals that do nothing but jar and point out the dissonance between the two divisive camps. There's a war going on here, and I don't want the battle to take place so near my clavicle. Eeek.

I have nothing but admiration for those who wear and love this perfume because it is such a ballsy interpretation of a feminine fragrance. I just can't join these militaristic ranks myself.
5th October 2017
I was expecting an earth shattering monster, given it's reputation. It smells, to me, like Azuree. Lovely, but a let-down.
26th July 2017
A classic. Reminds me of 1970s musk perfumes. Not so much leather as musk, white floral, and a sharp astringent maybe amber. Smells like a bit of cumin in the top note, but it disappears quickly. Definately a vintage style musk. First made in 1944, It is of the same genera as Jicky. Definately a feminine fragrance.
12th June 2017
I wanted to love this, because it's such a classic. However, I can't bring myself to like it. All I get from this is leather, civet and oakmoss. It's so bitter, so harsh. There is no relief of sweetness or light. I suppose that's why many people love it, but I'm weak. I want to smell pretty.
27th January 2017