Friday, October 30, 2009

SOTD: Robert Piguet Bandit

The classics continue.

When I read that Robert Piguet was very kind about sending out free samples, I left a blatantly-begging message on their website, and quite promptly received vials of Bandit, Cravache, Fracas, Baghari, and Visa. Woohoo!

So, Bandit. Bandit was created in 1944 by Germaine Cellier, the creator of Vent Vert. It was re-introduced in 1999 after a long absence, reformulated by Delphine Lebeau. If I understand my perfume history correctly, it's the leather perfume of leather perfumes, the originator of a leather dynasty just as Vent Vert is the originator of a green floral dynasty. This is a, the, big classic leather.

While is why, when I first dabbed this on from a sample vial I was startled with how very mild it was. This is what all the fuss is about? Maybe the excitement is in the development.

Three and a half hours of development later and, no, it's even milder. So I came to my senses and decanted the vial into a sprayer, spritzed it on, and, yowza! There's Bandit.

Leather, indeed. Serious, intense, no-fooling-around leather. And while I can't tease out the galbanum, I was enjoying something bitter and sharp in the opening, and few things make bitter and sharp that I enjoy more than galbanum.

That faded, and we're back to just leather - no doubt with other things to wrap and direct it, but all I get is leather. And that is certainly not a complaint.

I mentioned before that someone, somewhere said that leather fragrances smell more like the substances used to treat leather, than like leather - because those substances are what we think that leather smells like.

There's certainly a lot of that in Bandit, but there's also a very strong undercurrent of animal here. There's contented cow, clean stable, clean-cat-sleeping-in-the-sun. I've always thought of the circus-horses smell of Dzing! as some avant-garde innovation, but here's that same idea, from way back in 1944.

Freakishly, that warm-cat vibe means that after it dries and settles for a while, this isn't the shocker fragrance that it's reputed to be, at least for me. It's almost a comfort scent. An adult's scent, without a doubt, but there's something comfortable about that big cat.

Review Roundup: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume-Smellin' Things and Perfume-Smellin' Things again and Now Smell This and The Non-Blonde and PeredePierre and Perfume Posse and Aromascope and Yesterday's Perfume and Nathan Branch (on the parfum) and Polish, Platforms, Perfume and Left Coast Nose and Perfume Nerd and Perfume Patter and Perfume-Smellin' Things yet again.

Edited to add to the Review Roundup.

Photo: Art G. Wikimedia Commons, click for details

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