WHAT I SMELL: Bandit opens up with rush of galbanum; it’s green and almost sparkling in its intensity, but at the same time rather animalic and dirty which seems like a contradiction. But soon, Bandit starts to elicit its floral side with a some gorgeous ylang ylang and jasmine sitting on what seems to be a layer of cigarette smoke that is layered on top of the green notes. After around the five-minute mark a light spice combines with the floral and hints of leather start to peak through. Soon enough the oakmoss starts to make itself known as the dryness sits at the base while the other notes morph above it. However, after some more development the oakmoss reveals an extra sharpness that when smelled it wants to collapse the inside of your nostrils, but that sharpness soon moves to a more dusty and powdery essence; all awhile still sitting on top are the lightly leathered florals that are rather pretty in more of a masculine way. In the end you’re left with a dusty and dreamy lightly leathered floral.
I find that Bandit seems to transform itself at different times when I wear it. Sometimes it’s more floral and pretty, other times it morphs quickly into the dryer chypre and light leather. Either way I like it because it’s unique and different and I believe, pretty unmistakable as a perfume.
From the Robert Piguet website:
Provocative and sultry, this chypre fragrance is an intense blend of exotic leather, wood, spice and floral notes including neroli, orange, ylang ylang, jasmine, tuberose, vetiver, oakmoss, patchouli and musk.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Bandit’s not quite the tough and wild gal that I had heard about and was expecting. Instead, I think she’s much more of a “Pussycat Bandit!”
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BANDIT: dry, semi-tough, dusty
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BANDIT: Olfactoria’s Travels, Perfume Shrine, Perfume-Smellin’ Things
BOTTOM LINE: My review is based on the Parfum Extrait version and on my box is a sticker that states:
This is the original formula for Bandit created by this company with Robert Piguet for the introduction of the perfume in 1944
Errol G.W.Stafford, President, Givaudan Fragrances Corporation”
So I guess this version is about as good as you can ever get to the real thing. But I have to admit that if I want a real dirty girl, I’ll stick with my Gres Cabochard. However, don’t get me wrong, I love this pussycat of a rebel.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Chypre Floral
- Nose: Germaine Cellier
- Classification: Feminine, but can easily be worn by a man
- Expense: Varies depending on the concentration. Review based on the parfum extrait.
May 21, 2014 at 6:49 am
I know tons of people love this but it just leaves me cold. I keep trying but I just can’t muster up any love for it. I’ve liked it on other people but on me, not so much. Must be my skin.
May 21, 2014 at 7:22 am
What concentration did you test? I have the feeling the the EdT is just too harsh and I probably wouldn’t like that as well. But the parfum is pretty tame, but you’re right, sometimes certain perfumes don’t work on all skins. Have you ever tried Cabochard? Did I send you a sample? Wondering if that had the same effect?
May 21, 2014 at 8:18 am
Dear Mr hound,
I love the sound of this and trusty Ms Cellier always comes up with the goods. I would love to try bandit- you had me at oakmoss…
PS lucky you to have the original parfum extratit! Wow!
May 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm
I’m surprised you haven’t my dear as you have been so prolific in your sniffing. This has been on my “to do” list for a long long time. Give it a sniff next time you’re at the perfume counter!
May 23, 2014 at 7:44 am
I certainly will Mr Hound! Have a great weekend.
May 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm
I can’t bear this thing. It nearly bit my freakin’ head off. (Yes, it was EdT.)
I adore galbanum in general, and there is a ton of it in here. But certain grades of galbanum can have that ashtray aspect that you mention, and I don’t much care for that. Anytime “dusty” shows up, I tend to have trouble. I don’t pick up a lot of florals in Bandit, either… though I admit that as a floral lover, it might simply take more of a focus on the florals for them to register. The galbanummy (mmm) leather-floral I really love is Jolie Madame, in extrait. Off to see what you have to say about that one. 🙂
May 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm
Now you’ve just tempted me with another look up Jolie Madame… going to Fragrantic now!!! And I can see how Bandit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…it really is “I have to be in the right frame of mind” kind of fragrance to wear.
May 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm
I love perfumes which show different faces. Sounds like Bandit is one of those. Long long time ago, I had an opportunity to have a sniff of the original but unfortunately I don’t remember what it was like…
May 21, 2014 at 6:19 pm
Half the perfumes I sniff I forget what they’re like. But obviously it didn’t leave a lasting impression on you so hmmmmm, probably not your cuppa tea!
May 22, 2014 at 3:58 am
Ah.. I wish I could learn to love these famous leathers. I adore tough girls like Patti Smith, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry and I think this is how they would smell. I just can’t though. Bandit and Cabochard reveal none of there other lovely facets on my skin, they are just dust, smoke and dry dry leather on me.
I do love a soft ‘suedy-ness’ though. Piguet’s Calypso works very well indeed.
May 22, 2014 at 3:59 am
My apologies for the terrible ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, poor literacy is such a crime. If Vanessa sees this I’m done for!
May 23, 2014 at 5:24 am
No worries…this site is a judgement free grammar zone 🙂
May 23, 2014 at 5:24 am
LOL…actually that’s what they are on me as well…ok, maybe not quite that dry, but I guess since I’m a guy, they might feel like they fit a bit better than something that doesn’t have a bit of GRRRR in it. But don’t get me wrong, I like my big florals ala Ysatis as well…I just wouldn’t wear them to the office. Bandit and Cabochard I would!
May 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm
Run away!!!! I’m on the “I cant stand this” side of the fence too. I do have a bottle of the vintage parfum/extrait in my collection, because – well – it’s a collection 😉 but it still sends me shrieking for the soap and water. The current EDT is a horrible screechy thing, but more power to you if you can wear either of them well.
May 23, 2014 at 5:25 am
Trust me, I have some of those in my collection too… they shall remain nameless. I haven’t tried the EdT, but I can imagine just how sharp it is.
May 22, 2014 at 11:07 pm
I really want to try this. It sounds great. Bandito cats are my thang! I’ll order a sample and take my chances.
May 23, 2014 at 5:22 am
I hope if works for you Katherine. Bandit sounds pretty polarizing thus far from the comments coming through! Let me know what you think.
May 23, 2014 at 8:03 am
I definitely think Bandit is polarizing, and I am firmly in the “no thanks, get that away from me” camp. 🙂
May 23, 2014 at 8:13 am
LOL… more for me!!!
June 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm
I ADORE Bandit (as you probably might have guessed). I was lucky enough to smell a vintage version with Barbara Hermann and it was GLORIOUS. My bottle is the recent formulation. It’s a little strangled in the top notes, but still recognizably Bandit. I spray with abandon and don’t think it’s a tough or as terrifying as some people make it out to be either. Weirdly, it has been turning into one of my most complimented fragrances after Songes — which I see that you just recently reviewed as well! Great minds smell alike 🙂
June 10, 2014 at 5:27 am
I wish I could get a sniff of the vintage version. But I do also adore the current. In fact, I wore it today! I find that it does need to be applied every few hours though to keep it kicking. By the end of the work day yesterday I was feeling a bit thin and slightly soapy. I haven’t received any compliments with it though.
September 19, 2016 at 2:54 am
I have the 80s version of Bandit EDT as well as the briefly available Bandit Light pour Homme. Someone didn’t look up the definition of light.
I cannot live without it. I love the in your face scent and the siliage of a mile.
People love me for wearing it or get irked by the scent
I love that I can enjoy my fragrance and know that I am punishing some folk unintentionally.
Next baghari homme. Found 2 bottles.
September 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm
Wow Benjamin…I don’t know anyone who owns Bandit Light Pour Homme… I had heard it’s a powerhouse. Congrats. I love the Bandit parfum, it’s not sharp and not too in your face…but sometimes it’s fun wearing a perfume that’s as big as a house though I’ll admit as well 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!