a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
EIGHT & BOB – 2012 – ♂
Top Notes: Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Cedar, Nuts, Cistus, Guaiac Wood
Base Notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla
Perfumer: Albert Fouquet
Price: $195 for 100ml bottle
When talking about Eight & Bob, you can’t help but ask the following question: can a fragrance be as fantastic as the story behind it? Eight & Bob has done an exceptional job at combining two elements to insure successful marketing of this fragrance. The first element is a brilliant story line, and who doesn’t love a good story? Second, smart packaging design that connects the story perfectly to the product in order to intrigue the consumer.
My first in-person experience with Eight & Bob was at Neiman Marcus to visit a fellow fragrance friend. She presented me with a book covered in small grey and white stripes that was entitled “Eight & Bob.” She insisted that I open the book and read the contents. Honestly, I had no idea what I was about to read, so I just started in on the story. After a few sentences, the story of Eight & Bob began to unfold. I found it compelling and I continued on to the story’s end. This was a tale of coincidences that seem unlikely but eventually turned into something marvelous. Not knowing anything about the contents of the “book” I held in my hands, I was pleasantly surprised as I turned the last page to find a bottle of Eight & Bob nestled within carefully cut pages as to hide the bottle inside the book’s body. The story catches your imagination and the packaging design related to the story is ingenious and appropriate. I find myself getting hung up on the question of whether or not there is any truth to the story of Eight & Bob. Is this story an accurate representation of actual events, or has it been carefully concocted to romanticize the fragrance making it more palatable to the fragrance buying public? Personally I was hoping for the latter.
If the story of Eight & Bob isn’t intriguing enough, there is one more complication. There is a rare ingredient that seems to be the nucleus of Eight & Bob, and it is called Andrea. The supposed creator of Eight & Bob, the son of a Parisian aristocrat by the name of Albert Fouquet, took a hiking trips through the Andes looking for plants to add to his perfumes. During the hike, Fouquet’s butler Philippe, who accompanied him on this trip, found a plant that the butler named Andrea. Apparently, Andrea can only be harvested during the months of December and January because of the limited growing area. The production of Eight & Bob is directly based on how much Andrea can be harvested during this particularly short season. This unfortunate set of circumstances makes Eight & Bob even more precious that the story itself. If Andrea is such an intricate part of Eight & Bob, why isn’t it listed as part of the notes of the fragrance? Enough about the story surrounding this fragrance, it’s time to talk about the juice itself.
I found Eight & Bob’s opening to be rather traditional and nothing surprising. It is a biting citrus blend of bergamot and lemon, predictably masculine and fresh. Interlaced with the citrus top notes came a spice accord that was subtle and somewhat perplexing. While ginger and cardamom are listed in the top notes, personally I felt that the reference to them was vague at best. There was a greater herbal presence not previously mentioned. In many great men’s fragrances, this is where we would find lavender, rosemary or thyme. Perhaps this is where the sacred Chilean Andrea comes into play. The heart thrusts forward with a host of sweet, nutty, almond-like qualities that are layered with resinous dry woods and set with powdery cistus. The dry down of Eight & Bob is where this fragrance tends to shine. It is comfortably tinged with sweet vanilla, a dollop of warm amber and an animalistic nod of sorts. It seems more likely that a nice dank patchouli brings on this musky quality when combined with aromatic sandalwood. From beginning to end, Eight & Bob was rather delightful.
Obviously, I enjoyed Eight & Bob as so did the people I encountered while wearing it. It has a straightforward, modest personality without expectation. For some, the simplicity of the fragrance could possibly be its only downfall. If Eight & Bob’s story is true and subsequently developed during the 1930’s, its modern masculine structure is reflective of the time period in which it was born. The fragrance’s use for day or night is a little noncommittal. It works perfectly for casual circumstances just as well as an evening out on the town. Eight & Bob does not boast or blabber but speaks quietly and softly like a Parisian gentlemen should.