Perfume Directory

Futur (1967)
by Robert Piguet


Futur information

Year of Launch1967
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 62 votes)

People and companies

HouseRobert Piguet
Parent CompanyFashion Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd
Parent Company at launchAlfin Inc

About Futur

Reintroduced in 2009

Reviews of Futur

Robert Piguet was a fashion designer whose perfumes eventually overshadowed his couture work, even if he is best known in that field for training Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior. Piguet as a perfume brand is legendary for bringing to prominence the butch leather-like isobutyl quinoline note in Bandit (1944) to women's perfume, which eventually saw its way through cross-gender use of Bandit and into masculine perfumery. Later on Fracas (1948) and Baghari (1950) would further cement Piguet as a prominent and inspirational perfume house to the point of the nameplate continuing on upon Robert's death in 1953. It's unkown if perfumer Germaine Cellier continued to compose for the Piguet brand after this period, but the house would see brief revival in the 60's with Cravache (1963) and this scent, Futur (1967). There's something to be said about the compositional style of Robert Piguet Futur, as it combines elements of what was then considered forward-thinking perfume notes in the women's market (namely green floral tones), with the smoker's lounge retro-chic of Bandit's leather core. The result of this mixture feels more like Futur really has one leg in the past, as if to say "don't forget where you came from" to the rest of the perfume world at the time, and was only on the market for seven years before being axed after Piguet fell further into obscurity, trading hands a few more times before re-emerging as a niche perfume brand. So what does this "days of future passed" chypre really represent in the 21st century? Well, the olfactive equivalent of the Seattle Monorail, or Disney's Epcot Center, an idealized future proved imperfect like so many obsolete concepts of anticipated progress.

The opening of Futur is where many people will scratch their heads, as out comes a very citric chypre opening, not totally unlike the concurrently-released Capucci pour Homme (1967) or the later Homme de Grès (1996). Notice how these are both masculine market releases, and so too the style of Futur would seem better-suited to the masculine palette these days for fans of the traditional chypre. Unlike classic examples such as Guerlain Mitsouko (1919), or even later ones like Chanel No. 19 (1971), there is no fruity introduction nor noticeably-floral heart to make this declare "for women" per the tastes of the day. Instead, the galbanum blends down with a melange of fleshy floral notes which do not present themselves openly. Daffodil and narcissus being oddly paired with violet and ylang-ylang in the heart, and the unconventional note of tamarix (a flowering dedacious bush used in desert reclaimation) drying out whatever bounce these flower choices may have had. The futurism of such a near-androdgynous mix is brought roughly a decade or so back in time once the base appears, lifted seemingly right from Bandit but made greener and more airy with prominent vetiver and cedar notes replacing the birch tar or animalics of castoreum and civet. However, this isn't to say that there is no animalic component, as the ISBQ leather, oakmoss, and earthy patchouli are still very much there. In some ways Futur is more complex and sophisticated than Bandit despite having less notes, but in other ways is also more elegant and to-the-point, being an easier wear in either case. Futur is very green and very much a chypre, making it a wear for spring through fall, but can be worn in milder winters too, proving very unisex despite the marketing. This scent has moderate sillage, mild projection, and lasts 8 hours on my skin.

Where to use Futur might be a bit trickier than when, since this is still very much a leathery fragrance but spared some of the black shiny BDSM appeal of Bandit by focusing more on the chypre accord than the leather accord, which again makes it feel more like something a mid-century man would match with a tweed jacket than a woman with a black dress. Still, chypre fans of all walks should be delighted that Futur was resurrected in 2009 by a renewed house of Robert Piguet, and is in fine enough form to recommend, even if vintage purists may want to automatically assume it as inferior drivel and blow fat stacks of cash on securing a quite-rare original-run bottle made between 1967-1974. Whatever helps you sleep at night is what I always say about people who obstinantly chase unicorns over the rainbow bridge, but I admit that at least knowing the vintage if not owning it is the best way to get a fun snapshot into the late space-race futurism of the mid 20th century as it trickled down into household technologies, media, fashion, and art like this perfume. I also recommend this to people who find the animalic or leathery aspects of Bandit to be a bit much and want something more versatile while not sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of a leather perfume. Whatever version you happen to find, expect a very green and aromatic woody/leather experience that sits right up there with the butch femme greats like Cabochard de Grès (1959) and Miss Dior [Originale] (1947). Robert Piguet Futur is not exactly the house of the future we were all promised in the old film reel cartoons of the 1950's, but I'll take it. Thumbs up.
29th January, 2020
Top notes remind me of aldehydes. Perfection, in the blend of galbanum, hyacinth, and narcissus. The opening of future reminds me of a Chanel, I enjoy.

Violet and jasmine arrive. Ylang ylang is very bright and floral-y. Later, I smell vetiver, then patchouli. Violet sticks around.

I love that this began rather intense then settled into a gentle calm. Very nice!
11th December, 2018
Futur is a Green Beauty that stands out high in my collection.

I would describe it as a dreamy green perfume with a flawless retro perfumey dry down.

Longevity is average although wonderfully constructed.

Futur is a perfume to enjoy with yourself and close encounters...

Thumbs up!
04th September, 2017
Bitter (and twisted) greens are completely my thing – so there was a degree of excitement in my approach to Futur. Much to my surprise, after about 30 seconds of some juicy citrus, Futur was a huge violet on my skin – the dark medicinal green of the leaves and the somewhat poisonous sweetness of the blooms, all with a dirty musk-and-jasmine undertow. It reminded me of Grey Flannel (which I love) and I felt spring walks in forested areas would be the ideal setting for it. Any fragrance that puts me in such a frame of mind gets my vote.
The late stages are mainly marked by the quite sultry musk-jasmine combo bringing Futur into an attractive circle of sin. The volume decreases, but this evolved Futur is definitely still there urging the wearer to go on and be naughty.
06th May, 2016
(This for the edp)
There is such a strong evocative feeling in Futur of an echo from the past that it makes its name a conundrum. This one speaks from the dimness of a different time, surrounded by the trappings of a different type of space than many of us inhabit. There is no electronic buzz in this one, no urban-ness, no city; no synthetic recreation (though in actuality there must be). It resonates from a space that is less plastic, less electrical, less neon. It belongs on someone who still reads books.
There is a lot of dark, rich, green soapiness and aldehydes in the start-up, a vegetal slightly frumpy cleanness, very comfortable, very unpretentious, but not without a sense of its own self. This is not a striving fragrance by any means, in spite of the aldehydes, which I wish were less. I know they give it part of its old soul character, but there is a touch of radiant sneeziness in them also.
Is this really a chypre? It has a darkness to it, many chypre notes, and is built like one, but for me chypre will always be about oakmoss, and Futur strikes me as having every element but oakmoss. It's been compared to Bandit a lot, which I love, and they share a certain dark air, but Bandit is drier, friskier and has such a different personality than Futur. Bandit is for adventure, while Futur is for staying home in one's library.
I really like Futur. It is fairly unique, is its own person, and has a character I like to sit down and visit with, a fragrance that's comfortable with its place in the world and has much comfortable conversation to share, and also a cup of tea.

(The edt is brighter, lighter, with more floral presence; and is less long-lasting)
16th April, 2015 (last edited: 12th April, 2019)
This review pertains to the 2009 reissue, which goes on as a bracing blend of bitter green notes and aldehydes that briefly reminds me of its sister Bandit, though without the birch tar. The scent settles down into a green floral chypre with a crisp, dry, woody bent. Besides galbanum, I detect cedar, green jasmine, vetiver, and perhaps even some black pepper. The resulting accord smells serious, stark, and extremely “modern.” So much so that Futur would seem at home next to some of Marc Buxton’s or Bertrand Duchaufour’s scents for Comme des Garçons. Futur is particularly striking in its seemingly incongruous combination of transparency and darkness. The black glass Piguet bottle couldn’t be more apropos. Dry as it is, Futur also seems like an easy scent for men to wear, more so even than Chanel No. 19, Yendi, or Bel Respiro. The biggest liability is longevity, which seems limited to three or four hours, though the brisk, woody drydown is a pleasure. Whether it smells at all like the 1974 original hardly seems relevant: the new Futur stands tall on its own virtues.
14th June, 2014

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