The Off-Center Perfection of Bandit
Bandit by Robert Piguet
For someone who has an asthma attack if I even think I'm around cigarette smoke, Bandit by Robert Piguet is a perverse pleasure.
Its initial ashtray ambience -- not kidding: for me, there is an initial blast of "this must smell like a well-used cocktail lounge in the '50s" -- ripens into a leather and flowers scent that continues to evoke the '50s, if there were biker chicks in the '50s.
This sounds like I'm dissing the frag; I'm not. I LOVE Bandit, it's so bad. And I mean that in a good way.
It's a fragrance that thumbs its nose at conventionality. As if to say, "Don't get too comfortable."
I read in Jan Moran's review that Piguet introduced Bandit in 1944, as the war was ending, by having the models go down the runway in masks and carrying toy guns. (A bit reminiscent of Viktor and Rolf's Flowerbomb intro, with its grenade-shaped bottle.)
The original Bandit fragrance was reintroduced in 1999. And while we, in our too-used-to-violence mindsets might find toy guns laughable, the point is well taken. Keep your hands up ... and your wrists coated in the stuff.
Notes are neroli, orange, ylang-ylang, galbanum, jasmine, rose, tuberose, leather, patchouli, mousse de chene ("oakfoam" or oakmoss, a fungus), vetiver, musk.
Bandit is unsettling, a bit off center, not what one expects of a perfume. It's its own kind of perfection.