Albert Fouquet, the son of a Parisian aristocrat, was part of the elite French society of the early twentieth century and a perfume connoisseur. Fouquet created and perfected various essences for his own personal use aided by Philippe, the family butler. Fouquet continually rejected proposals to market his fragrance.
One night during his summer vacation in 1937 on the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur), Albert got on very well with a young American student who was touring France in a convertible: John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s charm and congeniality persuaded Albert to leave him a sample of his cologne. On returning from his vacation, Albert received a letter from Kennedy in the U.S. thanking him for the kind gesture and informing him of the success his perfume was enjoying among his friends. He requested that Albert send him eight samples, “and if your production allows, another one for Bob.”
Without fully understanding the request, Albert decided to send a box with enough extra samples to offset the transport costs. He didn’t fill the order until Philippe finally found some beautiful glass jars in a Parisian pharmacy. Albert considered them suitable for his cologne and labeled them with John’s amusing request: “EIGHT & BOB.”
Albert couldn’t believe it a few months later when he began receiving letters from the U.S. with requests from various Hollywood directors, producers and actors such as Cary Grant and James Stewart. Everyone wanted the “EIGHT & BOB” cologne they had apparently discovered through Joseph Kennedy, John’s father.
In the spring of 1939, Albert died in an automobile accident near Biarritz (France). Philippe, the only person who could handle the orders, would only continue with that work for a few months longer, since the start of World War II forced him to leave his job with the Fouquet family. In the last shipments he sent, Philippe hid the bottles inside books that he carefully cut by hand to prevent the Nazis from seizing the perfume.
Decades later, thanks to the family of Philippe the butler, the formula for EIGHT & BOB has been completely recovered, along with its refined production process.
The main note of EIGHT & BOB is a closely-held secret. The fragrance is based on a rare aromatic plant from Chile. In January 1934 Albert Fouquet traveled to Chile and returned to Paris with several sprigs of a plant he called “Andrea.” Andrea is a wild plant in short supply due to the altitude and the limited area where it grows; it can only be picked during the months of December and January. The total plants gathered undergo a very exacting selection process of which only 7% are chosen. This process ends between March and April and it is only then that one knows the how many units of EIGHT & BOB can be bottled. EIGHT & BOB was launched in 2012.