The current version of Bandit by Piguet smells something *like* its vintage version, which means a classic aldehydated-leathery chypre, with “humid” and heavy floral notes on a gloomy base of leather, woods, civet, galbanum, patchouli, benzoin, and the usual green-floral breeze: shortly, a feminine "femme fatale" scent like Habanita or Cabochard (which means men can easily wear them as well, as such scents now became more masculine than the masculine ones). But as for (new) Habanita and (new) Cabochard, this current reissue has not the slightest resemblance in terms of quality with its predecessor. It is plain, artificial, inoffensive to all extents: the notes are apparently more or less the same, but their texture, their substance is remarkably different. The new Bandit completely lacks in all the smoky, dark, raw animalicness of the vintage versions, its organic dark shadiness, and the thick richness of each note. And obviously, civet and oak moss are just pale echoes in today's version. The smell “seems” somehow similar, so in a way it may be considered kind of decent as they did not apparently reformulate it that much; they just tamed down what had to be tamed down due to regulations and changes in customers' taste. Comparing Bandit today to its vintage ancestors feels like watching a mediocre photograph of a scene, and be where it has been shot – you miss all the palpable “living” feel. Plain and weak, simply put. No evolution of the notes also, they all just become drier and more rubbery. It’s not a disaster, but as much costly as it may appear, if you truly *like* perfumes go for the vintage.
24th December, 2014 (last edited: 25th December, 2014)
I realize that this is a classic scent, that its tar note was revolutionary for chypres up to that time (1944), that it was Marlene Dietrich's scent, that its revolutionary mix of ingredients (including one percent of Isobutyl Quinoline, the bitter tar note, which changed the entire molecular structure) places it in a perfume hall of fame niche…..
However, it is vile to my nose. The rich, ripe fruit opening is quickly followed by the oak moss, IQ combo, and makes it to my nose repulsive. I love chypres. I hear that this inspired my favorite scent, Cabochard, and also Aramis, which I also loathe. So, I am attracted to the recipe, but Cabochard refines it, Aramis trashes it, and Bandit just sits there, smugly laughing at me.
Turin gave it 5 stars, deemed it a "bitter chypre," dark with no softness. Barbara Herman called it a "bitter, smoky leather chypre," noting that the IQ note was rubbery and bitter. Roja Dove calls it "brutish."
Top notes: Artemisia, Bergamot, Galbanum, Neroli, Orange, Ylang, Gardenia
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Tuberose, Orris, Carnation
Base notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Musk, Mousse de Chine, Castoreum, Myrrh, Amber, Civet, Isobutyl Quinoline.
Excessively masculine, not at all feminine, tres dominaitrix - perhaps Dietrich used it to repel suitors.
Do experience it, but at your own risk.
Take Miss Dior (Originale), add a dash of Kouros, a twist of lemon... and voila, you have Bandit (current version EDP), well just about.
BUT, as Bandit is the predecessor of these modern classics, all credit must be given to Bandit as the true masterpiece.
I eagerly smelt Bandit for the first time recently after reading many reviews... I was expecting something very strong, smoky, leathery, a touch abrasive and very polarising. I found none of these traits. instead, I found a very subtle fragrance that stays close to the skin. To start, there is a blast of lemon shadowed by the earthy muskiness / green cleanness blend reminiscent of Kouros before it dries down to something very very similar to the dry down of Miss Dior Originale (the thieves!), but a bit less musky and a bit less sweet. I get no leather, no animalic tones, no engine oil, no femme-fatale in kick ass boots.
Instead, Bandit is the skin of a woman with quiet confidence, chic sophistication, but strong independence and originality and a penchant for all things new and unexplored. This lady refuses to be type-cast, cannot be stereotyped, she is simultaneously classic, current and avant-guarde.
This fragrance is stellar and such a perfect blend of its components, that the components cease to exist, instead melding into one single note, that of the skin of the woman every woman want to be. Divine!
Critics lament the decline of masculine fragrances, but ah, how women’s scents have fallen! From the heights of Piguet’s Bandit to the depths of Herrera’s atrocious Chic. Would anyone make a scent like Bandit today? Certainly no mainstream perfumer, and most assuredly not for women.
Bandit is a bold, confrontational leather scent on a scale that rivals Knize Ten. It’s magnificent birch tar opening takes on a salty animalic pungency that few modern scents can match. It smells like and amplified version of a man’s skin after some light exertion in the sun, but before the reek of testosterone-fueled sweat sets in. Spice and wood notes temper the mammalian flesh accord, but never go so far as to prettify it. If anything, Bandit breaks the butch leather scent mode by becoming more animalic and not less as the accessory notes pile on. Eventually Bandit dries down to reveal plenty of vetiver, moss, musk, and briny labdanum, the last of which maintains the scent’s animalic leather aspect to the very end.
All I can say is thank goodness it’s been reinstated!
I wish this smelled right on me. My skin just does NOT do it justice. On others, it smells the way it should - like an amazing awesome woman wrapped in a leather jacket on a motorcycle. I wish I could pull this off, it exudes confidence. I tried the vintage edt.