I always love a brand with a story. It means as a consumer I’m buying into something so much more than a simple product. I’m buying into the brand’s history, its lifestyle. And I think I may have found one of the coolest brand stories to date… If you don’t know the brand already, let me introduce you to Eight & Bob.

Eight & Bob’s history is extensive, so I’ll be giving you the abridged version.

It all starts with Albert Fouquet, a perfumer and the son of a Parisian aristocrat, who was part of the French elite in the early twentieth century. Fouquet used to spend hours on the upper floor of the family chateau with the family butler, Philippe, (natch!) where he created his own unique fragrance for personal use.

His fragrances would become all the rage among his friends, yet he continually shunned any opportunity to market them publicly.

A famous admirer

During his summer vacation in 1937, Fouquet befriended a young American student who was touring France in a convertible. This young student just happened to be JFK (yes, that one!). Kennedy, too, was intoxicated by the bespoke fragrances and was able to convince Fouquet to leave a sample of his cologne. He did so the following morning with a note that read, “In this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.”

In this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.” – Albert Fouquet to John. F. Kennedy.

After returning to the states, JFK requested that Fouquet send him eight more samples, “and if your production allows, another one for Bob”. Not knowing what he meant, Fouquet decided to send the samples, but would only do so when Philippe the butler has managed to locate beautiful glass bottles worthy of the fragrance. When the order arrived in the states, JFK found severeal boxes decorated in the same shirt pattern as the one he was wearin when the toew gentlemen met, and  albel that denoted JFK’s request: EIGHT & BOB.

Not long later, requests form Hollywood glitterati started pouring in. Unfortunately Fouquet died in a freak car accident tin the spring of 1939, leaving the butler as the only person with the knowledge to fulfill the orders, but the start of WWII soon meant that Philippe had to leave his job with the family. He hid the bottles in books he had carefully cut by hand to stop the Nazis from seizing them.

A brand is reborn

It was decades later than the family of Philippe the butler would be recover the formula to what is now known as the original Eight & Bob scent.

Top notes
Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Bergamot
Heart notes
Cedar wood, Nuts, Essencia cistus, Guaiacum wood
Base notes
Patchouli, Sandal, Ambergris, Vanilla

Homage is paid to its story with its amazing packaging; a striped book, cut out in the centre to house the most beautiful, masculine yet elegant glass bottle. The original scent has become one of the most sought after the world over.

The olfactory journey didn’t stop there. Since then, the brand has created three news fragrances, all inspired by the tales of it’s notable founder, including the latest Mémoires de Mustique.

Eight & Bob is available at Harvey Nichols.

Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.