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Bandit – Bad-ass and awesome leather


Bandit, the WORD

Oxford dictionary – A robber or outlaw belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area; from the Italian, bandire = to ban

Urban dictionary - Solid, bad ass, above greatness, bandit > awesome

Bandit, the PERFUME - See Urban Dictionary definition

Bandit is a leather, a trail-blazing green smoky in-your-face leather perfume that smells like no other. Created in 1944 by Germaine Cellier for designer Robert Piguet, it was re-introduced in 2005 using Cellier’s original formula, adjusted for new IFRA regulations.

Described as “beautiful but brutal” by perfumer Guy Robert. Bandit sits in the galaxy of great leather chypre fragrances such as Chanel Cuir de Russie, Knize Ten, Caron Tabac Blond, and according to Luca Turin even the new version is still the brightest star of them all: “The magic is all there: bitter, dark yet fresh, beguiling without any softness, and still several unlit streets ahead of every other chypre around”.  Perfume the A-Z Guide, p 124

The opening is a wall of green, galbanum and bergamot and artemisia, wet dense sharp bitter bitter bitter, a relentless shimmering wall of green. Absinthe (artemisia) adds a sharp dank edge, like sweat in jungle heat, then faint white florals take the edge off, giving some relief from green. But wait, there’s smoke, cigarette smoke in the background, the scent of jasmine and tuberose in a vase by last night’s ashtray. The smokiness segues into leather, leather and green, leather and florals, leather and vetiver and earthy oakmoss, leather and musk, it’s a sensual feast. The dry-down becomes softer, with barely-there florals, musky and personal. Bandit has made its move, and stolen my heart.

Like the monumental tuberose, Fracas, Robert Piguet’s other benchmark fragrance, Bandit is for confident perfume lovers, not for the faint of heart. Piguet’s design aesthetic at the time evoked “the bad boy, the outlaw”  - his models wore masks etc. on the runway – the “bad boy” who secretly resides inside a “good girl”. For women, Fracas celebrated the feminine, Bandit the masculine. In an era when different sexual expressions were not acceptable or even spoken about, Bandit was the perfect androgynous fragrance.

And after all these years, it still is, so for female or  male, straight or gay, femme or butch, Bandit is most definitely “beautiful but brutal”, and absolutely “bad-ass and awesome”.

Bandit is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.