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 perfume. The one I enjoyed just a week ago.
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 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&Bob 100ml EDT Spray.
The Eight&Bob story goes like this:
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.” (I can imagine that text to be true 😎).
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 & Bob,” and a brand was born. In 1939, Fouquet died in a car accident. However, Philippe, the Fouquet family butler, had often assisted Fouquet in his perfume-making, so he 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 it.
After the war, Philippe never made the perfume again. The formula remained a well-kept secret. Eight&Bob recovered the formula and production process sixty years later and here it is, in cut out book packaging again. You can read their full story here.
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 a fresh fragrance. It could make a great signature scent. It lasts and it lasts, for almost 12 hours. Does it smell “good”? Yes, with a citrus and spice opening, developing on my skin into an accord that feels like a cross between violet and iris (is that the famous Andrea ingredient?). Woods embrace this accord as cedar, sandalwood, and guaiac add depth. Eight & Bob stays refined with not overly sweet vanilla adding the final, classy touch. The packaging is superb! Yet again, as my thoughts rush, this one puts the new Eight & Bob perfume Cap d’ Antibes on my wish list.
The story behind Eight&Bob might be true or false, whatever – just enjoy the perfume, write your own story! 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…)