Sunday, October 7, 2012
The couple (Tom and his long-time partner Richard Buckley) has been together for 25 years. I hope the new baby - a boy - brings them much happiness. I want the dish on the woman who carried the baby. I can imagine that she was selected for her beauty and that she made a bundle for nine months of inconvenience. Were any of you as curious as I am about the biological mother?
It's too bad the baby is a boy. If it were a little girl, she could could give dad makeup advice as she matures. (See comments. Perhaps this was a short-sighted remark.)
WWD reported that Andrea d’Avack, President of Chanel Fragrance and Beauty, noted that "the commercial, shot by Joe Wright, features Pitt speaking in a way that the viewer assumes he’s speaking to a woman - and then it’s revealed that the addressee is actually the scent. Wright has worked with Chanel since 2006 and directed several Coco Mademoiselle commercials with Keira Knightley, whom he is also directing in the upcoming “Anna Karenina.”
I am not usually motivated to purchase products because of celebrity faces, and my attitude will be no different toward Chanel with Brad Pitt as a spokesperson. It's an interesting experiment. Will George Clooney be next? Can you imagine what beauty product he might represent? It sure won't be Wet 'n Wild. That will be Fergie.
EIGHT & BOB, a new fragrance, has arrived at Neiman Marcus. It has quite a story.
Albert Fouquet, the son of a Parisian aristocrat, was part of elite French society in the early twentieth century and a perfume connoisseur. In a room on the upper floor of the family chateau, Fouquet created and perfected various essences for his own personal use - aided by Philippe, the family butler. At social events he would surprise everyone with an exquisite fragrance that became increasingly in demand within the exclusive social circle he frequented. However, Fouquet continually rejected proposals to market his fragrance.
One night during his summer vacation in 1937 on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), Albert met and got on very well with a young American student who was touring France in a convertible: John F. Kennedy (JFK). Within minutes of being introduced, the vain JFK was captivated by the essence that Albert wore. John’s charm and congeniality persuaded Albert to leave him a sample of his cologne with a note at the hotel the following morning: “In this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.”
On returning from his vacation, Albert received a letter from John, 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 sufficient samples to offset the transport costs. His perfectionism extended not only to the fragrance, but everything surrounding it. He didn’t fill the order until Philippe found some beautiful glass bottles in a Parisian pharmacy that Albert considered suitable for his cologne. Finally, he ordered several boxes decorated with the same pattern as the shirt that JFK was wearing when they met, and then labeled the bottles and boxes with John's amusing request: EIGHT & BOB.
Albert was surprised a few months later when he began receiving letters from America 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 John's father, who had maintained relationships with well-known stars because of his previous business ventures in the movie industry.
Unfortunately, the success of his cologne would not spread much further. In the spring of 1939, Albert died in an automobile accident near Biarritz. Philippe, the only person who could handle the orders, would only continue with the work for a few months, when the start of World War II forced him to leave his job with the Fouquet family. In the final shipments, Philippe hid the bottles inside books that he carefully cut by hand to prevent the Nazis from seizing the cologne.
Decades later, thanks to the family of Philippe the butler, the formula for EIGHT & BOB has been completely recovered, along with its carefully crafted production process. Once again, it has become one of the most exclusive colognes, preferred by the world’s most elegant men.
In January 1934 Albert Fouquet traveled to Chile at the invitation of the Italian ambassador. Besides enjoying the charms of the country, he took advantage of this trip to search the Andes for aromatic plants that would enhance his fragrances.
He returned to Paris with several sprigs of “Andrea,” the name Albert had given the plant whose extracts are the soul of his cologne EIGHT & BOB. Andrea is a wild plant in short supply due to the altitude and limited area in which it grows; it can only be picked during the months of December and January. The plants gathered undergo a very exacting selection process in which only seven percent are chosen. This process ends between March and April and only then is it known how many units of “EIGHT & BOB” can be bottled; and how many can be allotted to each country.
Right now, you can purchase EIGHT & BOB for $195. I sampled it yesterday and came home with a small decant. I really like it, despite the fact that it contains patchouli (it must be a miniscule concentration). Now Smell This lists the notes as ginger, cardamom, lemon, bergamot, cedar, nuts, cistus, guaiac wood, patchouli, sandalwood, amber and vanilla. The blend sounds strange, but I assure you the fragrance is soft and beautiful on the skin.
True to its story, the bottle comes safely ensconced in a softcover book, with every page cut out in the bottles shape. You cans see the black and white book in the photo above. Once I wear my decant a few more times, and assuming the patch doesn't jump out and scare me, I may be forced to buy a bottle of EIGHT & BOB. I love the story almost as much as the fragrance.
Photo of Tom Ford courtesy of usatoday.com, source unknown for Brad Pitt photo, EIGHT and BOB photo courtesy of EIGHT & BOB