Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Essencia Cistus, Gaiacum Wood, Sandalwood, Ambergris, Vanilla
The Short Story
Casual elegance in a bottle.
The Long Story
Great fragrances go beyond just smelling good – they create an aura around the wearer that elucidates their elegance and enhances their natural beauty. The spirit of the scent brings out their 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.
Describing the technical characteristics of Eight & Bob is similar to describing the chemical ingredients of the colours Botticelli used in the Birth of Venus. It almost feels sacrilegious. When it comes to scent, however, such a description is necessary in order to give a full picture of what it may smell 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.
Eight & Bob won’t get you compliments, nor will you seduce lewd girls in a club with it. You’ve got 1 Million and the likes for that. It’s a fragrance you wear for yourself. It is quiet and stays close to the skin but it will keep you happy for more than 8 hours.
Despite its many virtues, Eight & Bob is surrounded by a total bullshit of a story. The fact that the story exists doesn’t have anything to do with the fragrance, but more with the state of the oversaturated market it has to exist in. In order to sell niche perfume nowadays you have to rely on incredulous crap that you have concocted out of thin air.
In short, allegedly Eight & Bob was the signature scent of a Parisian aristocrat Albert Fouquet, who criss-crossed Chile and found a rare plant he called Andrea. He brought a couple of sprigs to Paris and used the essence from them as his signature note. At this point you may be raising your eyebrows but it gets better. Fouquet makes the acquaintance of Kennedy who convinces him to give him eight samples plus one for Bob. Then, Kennedy keeps asking for more and starts giving them out left and right to his Hollywood friends. In the meantime Fouguet dies, the Nazis come and disturb the whole fragrance operation. The loyal butler saves the not-so-secret-anymore juice in a book, so that the Nazis won’t find it. Years later, it is found and reproduced for our enjoyment.
Despite the great scrutiny on Kennedy’s life, no biographer has ever heard of any such fragrance shenanigans. The only record of this Fouquet fella I could find was as far from a budding aristocrat as he can get. He was a communist who died in 1942 in Auschwitz during transportation. Below is his picture.
If you believe in Santa Claus, you would probably believe this story too. Even though, it is incredulous, the story is necessary to sell the fragrance. It is the first release of a small company and is not the type of scent that would get huge publicity for being great. It is like these quiet geniuses that sit in the corner at a party and you wouldn’t even know they exist until you start talking to them. The only way to notice them, however, is for them to do something that’s attention-catching. Same here. Eight & Bob got more press for its incredulous story than for the scent itself. Those who smell it and are able to get past the bullshit realize that it is a beautiful scent surpassing in quality the majority of aquatics on the market.