Friday, November 22nd, 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy. What better, and namely more fashionable, way to honor our 35th president than by spritzing on the fragrance famously worn by the 1950s icon?
JFK’s signature scent, Eight & Bob, has quite a captivating backstory. It has been said that when young JFK made a trip to France as a college student he initiated a conversation with a French man after being enticed by the man’s pleasant scent. The fresh-smelling French man, Albert Fouquet, happened to experiment with perfume mixing here and there. After the encounter, Fouquet allegedly left a fragrance sample at JFK’s hotel with a note that cunningly read, “In this jar, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.”
Although the note seemed to be a considerably low blow for JFK, the fragrance sample proved to be a hit – so much so that the president ultimately requested eight additional samples to share with his fellow elites and baby brother Bob, formally known as Robert Kennedy. Precisely as requested, Fouquet responded by sending the specified samples labeled “Eight & Bob,” and with that, the coveted brand was born.
The ingredients to the ever-so-desired fragrance have remained a mystery. According to Fashionista.com, one detail is certain – the fragrance includes extracts of the “Andrea” plant, a species discovered by Fouquet in Chile. This mystery plant can only be harvested two months out of the year, and only 7 percent of that two-month harvest is usable. In other words, the production of this fragrance is extremely limited.
Eight & Bob’s “woody vanilla” scent exudes a combination of smells neutral enough to be considered a unisex fragrance, greatly expanding the consumer audience and ultimately heightening demand even more. According to a brand rep, the fragrance “smells very much like 1940.”
Eight & Bob is sold inside a hardcover book in which the pages have been cut to outline the shape of a perfume bottle. This unusual packaging tactic was used to acknowledge the Fouquet family butler, who had hidden the Eight & Bob fragrance bottle in hardcover books to prevent the formula from getting seized by the Nazi’s during WWII.
As fascinating as this historical story is, the Kennedy has failed to ever confirm or deny this famous backstory of JFK’s go-to fragrance.
Just last year, Eight & Bob fragrance hit store shelves for the first time in over 60 years. If you’re still looking for a holiday gift idea for your significant other, Eight & Bob is sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman here in the United States in one size for $195. Let’s be honest, who would you rather smell like: a one-hit wonder pop star or a Kennedy?