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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Old & New: Robert Piguet Bandit

By Tom

Well, wandering around Beverly Hills during the three minutes it wasn't raining this weekend I wanted to stop and smell Cravache, the mens Piguet that I'd never tried. I think I might need one. I also wanted to smell Bandit and see if it's been reformulated from the small bottle I have. It has been, but it's not as dire as some of the other reformulations I've run across. The bottle I have is the one that Marina wrote of as having a "viciously green galbanum" opening and a drydown that's "moss-green and animalic and très sensuel" I can see her point that this is a scent that Marlene Dietrich would wear and did.

The newer version reins in some of that brutality. It's still galbanum and green, it's just not a shiv to the ribs. The drydown is still animalic and sensual and even edgy, just not as forbidding as the original can be. It's 95% of what was there, and while I love my bottle of the older formula, I have admit that I'd wear the new one a lot more often. It's one time that sanding the rough edge down has actually improved things. The original was like a corset and six-inch heels: sexy, but not something you'd exactly wear to church. The newer one still suggests that bondage aspect, but you won't be assigned twenty Hail Marys if your Priest smells it on you..

Bandit is available at Neiman-Marcus $85 for 1.7 oz and $120 for 3.4 oz.

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Blogger Ines said...

Now you make me wonder what Bandit used to smell like pre-reformulation, I only tried the new one and like you said, I didn't find it appropriate only for "specific" situations. ;)

7:09 AM EST  
Anonymous Koki2 said...

Funny you should post about Bandit today, I got my first EDP decant yesterday in the mail. It smelled *nothing* like what I got out of the tester at my local perfume boutique a few weeks ago, and not in a good way!

Don't know what the store had out but it had a peppery, sharp aspect that my decant is sadly missing. I suspect two different formulations somehow - .

8:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

When green leathery chypre is not a shiv to the ribs, it's just not worth it! :)

8:51 AM EST  
OpenID said...

Your review comes at the perfect time for me, I was unsure whether I should get a sample of the new version. I just added it to my order, so thank you, Tom! ;)

10:23 AM EST  
Blogger brian said...

Okay, so maybe you can address this. I have an older bottle of Bandit and love it. I was sent a decant of the newer version and it smelled fairly similar to me. However, one time, at Perfume House in Portland, I smelled their tester of Bandit--she said it was new--and it was an entirely different fragrance. I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't what I remembered. I guess the other question I keep wanting to ask someone who might know is why was Bandit apparently respected and preserved in the reformulation, while the others from Piguet have not been? It seems strange. Hmmmm...

10:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marko said...

I'm confused too, I guess. Is the formula of Bandit EdT vastly different then the EdP? and have reformulations of BOTH occurred? so are there 4 versions of Bandit roaming the streets?

Do you remember if you smelled the EdT or the EdP, because it sounds like something I would love.....

11:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Marina on this-- I adore the original Bandit, and wear it because it's so...unwearable! It's the most awesome green leather "shiv in the ribs" perfume ever. I'm glad the reformulation didn't gut it completely, but I'll still covet the original!

11:53 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I like the older one better but the new one was very nice.

2:32 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That could be the case. Or it might be an edy versus edp?

2:33 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thank goodness we can still get the shiv!

2:34 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I hope you like it!

2:35 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


was the tester rectangular? I think those are the newest. At least that's what Neiman Marcus has.

The only reason I can think of that this one was more easily reformulated is that perhaps it contained fewer ingredients that were prohibited. (I think I read in Turins book that it was almost all composed of a combo of pre-made "bases")

2:38 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I don't know. Neimans has the edp. My bottle isn't marked (it's the square one) and I assume it's edp as well.

2:43 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I agree. But we're dealt the hand we get and when I can't get the old stuff anymore at least I know the new one is worth it.

2:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Joan said...

I've only smelled the new one, and it's bitter and brutal! I love it! I'd probably be bold enough to wear it on most occasions, but I always find myself wearing warm, grand dame perfumes like Carnal Flower and Fracas.

5:29 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I love those both!

9:09 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

I'm still scared.......

8:59 AM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

I don't remember ever smelling the original Bandit, so I have nothing to compare. I do like the new version but I don't own it. I am more of a Jolie Madame/Cabochard leather girl. I would probably change my mind if I smelled the old stuff though!

I have a tiny micro bottle of vintage Baghari, and it smells very different from the new version. I don't think all the Piguet resurrections are close reproductions, partly for the same reason Tom mentioned - the heavy use of bases that no longer exist in the industry.

Of course when they brought Fracas back to its old standard of quality they had to make it match as much as possible since it's such an icon, and it never really went away like the others did.

4:14 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Don't be!

6:45 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


And I am s glad they did! I love Fracas.

In small doses, that is...

6:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Ziz said...

There are at least 3 versions of modern Bandit EdP prowling around.
The first is the most brutal and closest to the original. The second is a floral Bandit painted in water color: recognizable but more galbanum/jasmine than green leather. The third is made with the synthetic oak moss and ranks with modern Cabochard in terms of atrocious neutering. And let's not even get into vintage versions ... at least 9 Bandits, counting all years.

1:35 PM EDT  

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