Sunday, September 23, 2012
Eight & Bob
Today Maxine and I were caught in a rain storm and so we took shelter in... a perfume shop just off brick lane. This perfume shop was exquisite and housed some of the most intriguing scents. Among the library of perfumes I came across Eight and Bob, the signature scent of John F Kennedy. And here is the story of the scent.
Eight & Bob is a fragrance that tells a story of Albert Fouquet, the son of a Parisian aristocrat and perfume connoisseur. He created a fragrance for his personal use in collaboration with his butler, Philippe. According to the company, he was asked by many in his social circle to market the fragrance, but he declined. And then, on vacation in 1937, he met John F Kennedy.
Kennedy was captivated by Fouquet's fragrance and persuaded him to leave him a sample (who knew Kennedy collected decants?). Fouquet left Kennedy a sample, and a note which read "In this jar, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks."
On returning from his vacation, Fouquet received a letter from Kennedy thanking him, and asking if he could send eight more samples, "and if your production allows, another one for Bob". Butler, Philippe found eight beautiful glass jars in a Parisian pharmacy for Fouquet to send the fragrances in. He labeled the package "Eight + Bob".
Soon everyone wanted the fragrance: Hollywood producers, directors and actors. Unfortunately, Fouquet died in a car accident in 1939, and Philippe, who was handling orders left his job with the family due to the start of World War II. In the last shipments he sent, he his them in books to prevent them being seized by Nazi's.
Decades later, the formula was found by the family of Philippe, and the fragrance was recreated.
The fragrance contains a note from a plant called "Andrea" which apparently is "in short supply due to the altitudeand the limited area where it grows; it can only be picked during themonths of December and January."
I spritzed my palms with the scents and the whole day I was smelling myself! It's a beautiful smell that developed and matures throughout the day! How wonderful to stumble into something so beautiful by chance!