My SOTD is Eight and Bob, and it’s funny how my mind works. Keeps surprising me. US Election day is just around the corner, a friend arrived in Washington DC recently and sent me a photo of the White House yesterday and there I was – thinking about this perfume.
The story behind this perfume revived images of Antibes from my 2016. summer trip to Côte d’Azur. It was a hot sunny August day. I just took a right turn off the A8, driving towards San Juan Les Pins.
Roof down, fresh air coming from the park of nature and golf terrains, fresh Mediterranean Sea breeze playing with my hair. I thought, yeah, he might have felt just the same and why am I thinking in black&white right now? Well, because it was 1937. And now it’s about Eight and Bob…
And the perfume? Well, it brought back memories of my early corporate days. Being a young woman at the beginning of my career, struggling to be taken seriously in spite of her youth, I might have used this very perfume on a daily basis.
The perfume is Eight and Bob 100ml EDT Spray.
The Eight and Bob story
Allegedly, this is what happened, or this is the marketing copy behind Eight and Bob.
In 1937. a young college student from a wealthy family, aged 21, toured Europe with his friend, driving a Ford. His summer vacation included a stay on the French Riviera, Antibes, to be precise.
While wandering around the popular resort, openly and straightforward as any young American would have done, he started a conversation with a Frenchman about the fragrance he was wearing. The young American’s name was JFK.
The man he was talking to was Albert Fouquet, who liked to experiment in perfume-making. As the story goes, Fouquet left a fragrance sample at JFK’s hotel with a note that said, “In this jar, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.”
When Kennedy got back to the States, he sent Fouquet a letter saying that all his friends back home loved the fragrance, and asked the perfumer to send eight samples and “if your production allows, another one for Bob.” (Robert Kennedy.) Fouquet complied, and labeled the samples “Eight and Bob,” and a brand was born. In 1939, Fouquet died in a car accident.
Now it gets complicated. The brand claims that Philippe, the Fouquet family butler, who had often assisted Fouquet in his perfume-making, took over the orders.
When World War II started, Philippe hid the bottles inside books that he cut by hand so that the Nazis wouldn’t seize them. I rather like this detail, and the packaging – regardless of the story is true or made up.
After the war, Philippe never made the perfume again. The formula remained a well-kept secret.
Fast forward to more recent times: Eight&Bob recovered the formula and production process sixty years later and here it is, in cut-out book packaging again.
50 years after his assassination, four different perfumers — Jockey Club, Creed Vetiver, the German cologne 4711, and the reissued fragrance Eight & Bob — all claim to have touched JFK’s skin.
It’s a great story, but skeptics take note: The only hard evidence is that Kennedy really did visit France in 1937. Later on, there’s probably more proof that his collar occasionally held the scent of Chanel No. 5 (no further explanation needed, right?) than to any and all of the perfumes he might have used.
How did this perfume make me feel? It is a unisex perfume, to start with, make no mistake.
I would say is a fine “business day in an office perfume”, the one you would want to wear on executive board meetings. It could make you feel powerful, classy, and ummmm…rich.
There have been many reviews written about it. Some say that it’s nothing special, some say that it reminds them of Fahrenheit32 and some call it a masterpiece.
I would say it’s a winter/early spring perfume, a balanced and fresh fragrance. It could make a great grab-and-go scent, quite long lasting.
Does it smell “good”? Yes, with a citrusy and spicy opening, developing on my skin into an accord that feels like a cross between violet and iris.
Woods embrace this accord as cedar, sandalwood, and guaiac add depth.
Eight and Bob stays refined with not an overly sweet vanilla adding the final touch.
The story behind Eight and Bob might be true or false, whatever – if you’re enjoying the perfume, write your own story.
Truth or lie, now I wonder what fragrance shall be present in the Oval Office for the next four years? Soon we will know: enter “Empire” by DT or Thierry Mugler’s Angel? (Update: DT it is…)
The Plum Girl