Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are You a Bandit?

Over the last couple of months I have featured some of Robert’s Piguet’s perfumes on Savoir Faire. All of these have been reformulations and then subsequent re-launches of some of the classic greats of modern day perfumery. The originals were wonderful creations from the singular floral Fracas, to the more complex and daring Futur. These have all been available now in modern versions of the originals for a couple of years and have carved out a niche market for themselves. Piguet perfumes are not for everybody. They attract that rare breed of consumer who does not want to be like anybody else. One of the things that I find most appealing about Piguet perfumes is that they work just as well on a man as they do on a woman. One of my all time favourites is Bandit. This is one that I keep returning to all the time. On its original launch it was considered daring and different, a characteristic that has not been lost in the new interpretation. I love the acrid tobacco, leather smoky floral scent which was described once as being brutally beautiful.

World War II was reaching a crucial turning point when Robert Piguet decided to launch his first perfume. This wonderful leather chypre was launched “on the couture runway with models sporting villain masks and brandishing toy revolvers and knives like highway men”. This in itself was in complete contrast to the elegant atmosphere that prevailed among the Parisian Couture Houses of the late 1940’s. Here was something different that required a whole new approach in marketing.

This is not a perfume for the timid and faint at heart, with animalistic undertones that is incredibly sexy. It packs a punch with daring, bitter green leather, galbanum, orange, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, rose, tuberose, leather, patchouli, mousse de chene, vetiver, and musk. It is sophisticated while hinting at a sort of dark rebellious intelligence that leaves the wearer being either man or woman, incredibly confident, with the possibility of mischief.

Bandit manages to pose a glorious riddle that has a resonance even to today’s sensibilities, staying resolutely, brilliantly modern and quite young in spirit, contrary to many chypres and leather scents.

Now more than ever, even with the modern reformulation, Bandit remains a gem, strong, confident and elegant, much like its avant-garde creator.

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