Updated Nov. 2016
Eight & Bob is a fragrance that goes beyond just smelling good. It creates an aura around you that elucidates you elegance and enhances your natural beauty. The spirit of the scent brings out your best features and enchants the passers-by in a trance of utter adoration.
This is the effect Eight & Bob had on me the first, second, third and every other time I smelled it.
I take a deep breath, close my eyes and imagine: I'm standing on the terracotta terrace looking down on the green crowns of the trees and the transparent bright blue water on the beach.
It is mid morning on a beautiful day in May and the sun has not heated up the air yet. I can smell the breeze coming from the coast carrying with it the fresh scent of the sea and the gentle smell of the blooming flowers. I can feel it caressing my chest revealed through the unbuttoned white cotton shirt.
I check my watch and get a whiff of this effortlessly elegant air wafting from my neck and my face. I saunter across the terrace and enter the house bringing with me the scent of the beautiful scene captured in the fragrance on my neck. It is Eight & Bob.
Eight & Bob is the first release from a perfume house with the same name. According to the company's website, the founder, L. Bodes, rediscovered a long-forgotten scent that a French aristocrat used to make for American luminaries in the 1930s.
The story of the fragrance seems incredulous but here it is for your entertainment and your own judgment.
The Story Behind Eight & Bob
The story of Eight & Bob starts with a French aristocrat called Albert Fouquet. He was fond of scents and often impressed his party guests with his own creations.
One summer night in 1937, while frolicking in Cote d'Azur, Mr. Fouquet met an American student who turned out to be John F. Kennedy. The two got on along well and Kennedy, captivated by Fouquet's fragrance, persuaded him to give him a sample.
The next morning Fouquet left a sample for Kennedy at his hotel with a note many would find condescending:
"In this bottle you will find a dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks."
I don't doubt that a French aristocrat could have said something like this to an American student. Considering the attitudes at the time it is very possible. What I find odd is that this is something the French aristocrat wrote to someone he liked enough to give him a sample of his personal fragrance.
Some time after his encounter with Kennedy, Fouquet received a letter from his American acquaintance asking him for more samples of his scent.
The story goes that Kennedy asked for eight samples and another one for Bob. Fouquet obliged and sent Kennedy nine samples with a note: "Eight & Bob". This is how the name of the fragrance Mr. Bodes resurrected came about.
As they say, the rest is history and it the case of Eight & Bob it really is. Soon after Fouquet dies in a car accident and when the Nazis take over France, his trusty butler, Philipe, suspends all production. He hides the last bottle of Eight & Bob in a cut out book. This is where the unique packaging of the fragrance comes from.
When the fragrance was originally released in 2014, its story included a blurb how Fouquet discovered an exotic flower in Chile called Andrea. Since the flower bloomed only at certain times, he had to time his perfume production accordingly.
When I check the Eight & Bob website today (November 2016), I don't see any mention of Andrea and expeditions in Chile.
Another fact that makes me doubt the credibility of Eight & Bob's back story is that there are no records of Kennedy ever sending any letters to a French aristocrat about perfume. The biography of Kennedy is studied very closely and experts familiar with his life haven't found anything supporting Eight & Bob's story.
Regardless, the fragrance itself is amazing and is worth trying.
Dig Deeper: What Eight & Bob Smells Like
Simply put, Eight & Bob is an aquatic fragrance. In fact, come to think of it, it is not even a very original one. At a first sniff, you will get the usual lemon and ginger mixed with a little bit of calone and cardamom to add a rounded masculine touch to it. At this point you may shrug your shoulders and say to yourself: "Okay, it's a middle of the road aquatic. So what's the big deal?"
Well, the big deal is just about to come. You just have to keep sniffing. Gaiacum wood, vanilla and sandalwood chime in to create the most relaxed and chilled vibe, which envelopes you slowly and transports your mind to Cote D'Azur. Any sharpness and harshness is removed and all that remains is the beauty of top quality ingredients working in perfect harmony.
Once you get to the middle notes you may still say to yourself: "I get it, it's a nice fragrance but it's still just an aquatic...there is nothing revolutionary about it".
You're right. Eight & Bob is not meant to be revolutionary. It is not meant to be stunning and knock you off your feet. Instead, it transports you. It takes you on a journey and puts you in a relaxed and calm state of mind. It creates an aura of effortless elegance around you; it makes even the most mundane activity glorious.
How to Wear It
The versatility of Eight & Bob is unsurpassed. It works great any time and anywhere.
As an aromatic-aquatic fragrance, Eight & Bob is best suited for the summer. Its chill vibe is perfect for a vacation in the Mediterranean or the Mayan Riviera. It was my go-to fragrance last time I traveled there.
Eight & Bob has a certain warmth to it, which also makes it a good choice for a colder weather. Give it a try during the fall or winter when you are missing the summer days.
Eight & Bob is a casual scent you can wear pretty much anywhere. The best thing about it is, that it doesn't smell like the typical citrus-aquatics.
If there is a perfume that works equally well on the beach and in the board room, this is the one.
Maximum versatility points here too. I can't think of an age group where Eight & Bob won't work. Anyone from 15 to 95 can wear it and and own it.
The Experts Say...
Mark Behnke from Colognoisseur, Perfume Blogger
"I always think the ultimate question for any fragrance is 'does it smell good?' Despite all exciting 'history' behind Eight & Bob my answer to that question is yes. I will look forward to wearing at my next formal occasion; where I will meet a young woman destined to be President and my fragrance will entice her into making me her most trusted adviser...If it isn't, it oughta be."
Star Rating: None Given
Read Mark's full review here.
Flaconneur from PER FUMUS, Perfume Blogger
"Eight & Bob does not boast or blabber but speaks quietly and softly like a Parisian gentleman should."
Star Rating: None Given
Read Flaconneur's full review here.
Alfarom, a Basenotes Member & Reviewer
"Not much to say here. Eight & Bob is basically a Fahrenheit 32 clone. If you like the Dior, stick to it (it does exactly the same thing for cheaper), if you don't like Dior, you have even less reasons to be interested in Eight & Bob. Either way, save your time."
*The star rating is the overall rating of the fragrance on Basenotes. Alfarom hasn't provided a specific rating for this fragrance.
Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Bergamot
Cedar, Nuts, Cistus, Gaiac Wood,
Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ambergris
Bottle Size: 100ml
Concentration: Eau de Toilette
Where to Buy: LuckyScent
*Price is subject to change.