Bandit (1944)
    by Robert Piguet

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    tourmaline's avatar
    United States United States

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    Guys, I have the pure parfum with the box with BANDIT in capital letters that was produced in the 90s by Alfin. The one that the review below me claims does not smell good...

    What on earth? I think it's gorgeous! Although it is the pure parfum, it actually smells exactly like vintage Bandit EDT. They smell just the same to me. Both of them - vintage Bandit EDT & my Bandit pure parfum produced by Alfin - are lacking in the bitter green, high pitched feminine topnotes of the vintage, original pure parfum concentration. But it's lovely just the same, and 100% identifiably Bandit.

    If you love those bitter green notes, seek out the old, vintage pure parfum. But if you are not as crazy about those feminine, high-pitched green notes, then you should seek out the vintage EDT or the pure parfum produced by Alfin (which has BANDIT in all capital letters) as those are lacking in the bracing, screeching green notes.

    27 December, 2013 (Last Edited: 29 March, 2014)

    AJLo's avatar

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    A masterpiece

    ...In the USA, this fragrance has always been associated with Parisian chic and exquisite taste. Not surprisingly, Piguet's Bandit appeared during the world premiere of an American romantic comedy called "Made in Paris" ( at The Chicago Theatre on January 28, 1966: a vial of Bandit was handed out to the ladies for the first three days of the movies run in Chicago...

    ...Currently, there is a big confusion about this fragrance.

    EDT and Parfum versions of Bandit had been made in France, 2, Avenue Jeanne 92600 Asnieres.
    They are the Vintage versions of Bandit.
    Their bottles are made of transparent glass.

    The EDT and Parfum concentrations are really different!

    EDT is more aggressive, masculine, definitely a unisex fragrance.
    I've read here: that Robert Piguet

    had allegedly asked Germaine Cellier (the first woman in the history of perfumery [Bandit was her first creation]) to create a scent for his lover, a wild young man known as "Le Bandit", very soon after killed in a car accident.


    It does smell like engine oil a little bit, but at the same time, unlike contemporary versions of Bandit (see below), it has a prominent rose note that smooths the aggressive accords.
    Interestingly enough, right before Bandit had been officially released (1944), Piguet collaborated with a French photographer Raymond Voinquel on a creative project dedicated to the launching of Piguet's first perfume line "Bandit". Well, the result wasn't really haute couture: the photographs (see one of those attached here)

    depicted a handsome young man, a prisoner with handcuffs, who had a rose flower tattoo on his chest! The original name of that project was "Le prisonnier à la rose, projet pour le parfum de Piguet, "Bandit", 1943". It wasn't publicly advertised, it was more for Piguet's close friends, like Jean Marais, Jean Cocteau, and Pablo Picasso.


    ...I'd totally choose "Bandit" by Cat's Eyes as a soundtrack for Bandit advertisement:


    Please note that the oldest versions of Bandit EDT have a high concentration of perfume oils; this is why the content of alcohol in them measures as 80°.

    As for the Parfum concentration, it is a very beautiful, dark, three-dimensional, feminine scent.

    In 1945-1947 Bandit had been marketed in the U.S.A. as BRIGAND.

    "BRIGAND in U.S. is in every respect identical with that known as BANDIT in the rest of the world."

    For those of you, who have no access to a vintage version of Bandit/Brigand Parfum, please try Salvador Dali, a classic eastern chyprée fragrance created in 1983 by Alberto Morillas for the perfume house of Salvador Dali?; this scent has a very similar aura.


    Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf were long-time clients of the house of Robert Piguet (in fact, it was Piguet who made for Piaf her trademark little black dress) and wore Bandit.

    Remember about roses and Bandit? ...Here's Edith Piaf with her signature song "Life in Rosy Hues" (La Vie en rose, 1947):

    A long-time muse of Pierre Cardin and a world-acclaimed ballet's monstre sacre Maya Plisetskaya:, dispite her friendship and numerous collaborations with Pierre Cardin and Yves Saint Laurent (whose houses have created enough iconic perfumes), her whole life was and still is wearing one!!! fragrance - Bandit de Robert Piguet. In honor of her recent anniversary, current owners of the Robert Piguet Parfums have issued exclusively for Maya Plisetskaya a bottle of Bandit parfum with Plisetskaya's initials on it.

    Interestingly, a close friend of Robert Piguet and Germaine Cellier, Jean Cocteau, was also a good friend of a notable French poet Louis Aragon and his wife, a Russian-born French writer Elsa Triolet. And it was Elsa who introduced Maya Plisetskaya to Bandit in the 50s. Elsa Triolet was the sister of Lilya Brik, a mistress and common-law wife of a prominent Russian poet-futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky. "The muse of Russian avant-garde", Lilya Brik, was known for her salon in Moscow, where the creative elite from all over the world would meet to discuss art, literature, politics and themselves. Maya Plisetskaya was a frequent guest in the Brik's house. In her book I, Maya Plisetskay (Yale University Press) she describes her first introduction to Bandit: "December 31... Evening... The Aragons are already there (at the Brik's house)... The holiday table, crowded with an overabundance of delicacies. ...There was a gift near each place setting. A bottle of Robert Piguet's Bandit perfume near mine. Next to Shchedrin's (Rodion Shchedrin is a famous Russian composer and the husband of Plisetskaya) - Dior cologne and Stravinsky's latest French recording. Elsa Yuryevna (Triolet), Santa Claus, has brought it all from Paris. Ever since, I have preferred the scent of Bandit to all other French perfumes. The fragrance is marvelous, and the memory is dear."


    At the very end of the 80s-beginning of the 90s an American company called Alfin Inc. bought the brand Robert Piguet. They cheapen the formula of Bandit and changed some notes in the fragrance (their bottles are of black color with a golden cap and labeled "BANDIT" [all capital letters]). I'm not commenting on that stuff, ok (it's just not good).

    Then, at the end of the 90s, yet another American company called Fashion Fragrances and Cosmetics, LTD bought the perfume house of Robert Piguet. They knew that lots of people were really disappointed by the reformulated version of Bandit, so the new owners went to Paris and found the original formula of Bandit. Since then, they started Bandit production using the original formula and high-quality materials (their bottles are of black color with a black cap and labeled "bandit" [all small letters, like on vintage bottles, please see the pic below for comparison]). Their products are super-close to the original (their Bandit Parfum is almost the same!), but because of current IFRA restrictions on the use of oakmoss (it is a potential allergen) and animal materials, they substituted these ingredients by synthetic chemical analogs (they smell really really similar, but a good nose can still feel some difference). Moreover EDT is not produced anymore. Now you can buy EDP and Parfum concentrations.

    They keep the same rule though: the lower concentration is unisex, while the higher one is feminine.

    For Bandit's fans, I'd recommend to have current and vintage versions of the fragrance. I have vintage EDT and vintage Parfum as well as current EDP and current Parfum versions of Bandit; all 4 are different from each other to some degree and evoke distinct olfactory feelings.

    It's the perfect Autumn fragrance!:

    Pros: Unique
    Cons: Average people will not understand this fragrance and even might have a negative reaction, but I guess it's a problem of the people :-)"

    10th October, 2013

    Francolino's avatar
    Italy Italy

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    Flower Power Leather

    Great take on dry leather, floral and green ...a very unisex scent much more than the feeble Chanel Cuir de Russie, no barnyard note here, for leather freaks a must!

    Pros: huge sillage and duration
    Cons: none"

    18 September, 2013

    rbaker's avatar

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    A floral fougére

    The original vintage version:

    Amongst the classic chypres this is a more floral one, with touches of citrus, rose and jasmine in the top notes. Woody and leather becomes more obvious in the drydown, but overall this is a restrained and not at all heavy scent on my skin. Longevity is about three hours.

    25 May, 2013

    bluemlein's avatar

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    i can't even give this a rating, i am SO divided on it. it's horrible, all manner of stench, rough, choking, lodging in the back of the throat -

    then it's interesting in a tromping-thru-a-swamp sort of way, near the skunk cabbages - and the occasional bright, ephemeral glimpse of a tiny flower.

    the question is: is the possibility of glimpsing the flower enough to make one overlook the rest of it?

    sadly, i am still sitting on the fence!

    21st March, 2013

    Kymtje's avatar

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    Initial leather and woodsyness is quite lovely but the carnation dry down is oddly rubbery on me. Disappointing.

    28 July, 2012

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