An exercise in contrast (Cap d’Antibes by Eight & Bob)

I have yet to visit the luxurious coastal destination Cap d’Antibes. However, I did get away to the mountainous countryside of Vermont last weekend to see the fall foliage about halfway through the color transformation from green to reds and yellows. It was a very rural, rustic experience—all was calm and quiet, and I was sleepy enough to go to bed about 2 hours before my usual time. Who knew that instead of relaxation and retreat, I would be tormented by nightmares from night to morning? The brain does strange things sometimes.

The point is, though, that on this weekend, one of the perfume samples I brought with me was Eight & Bob Cap d’Antibes. I had sprayed it timidly once to make sure I liked it enough to wear on a trip, and it was easily my favorite in the discovery kit. The mossiness complemented the crisp autumn air quite well. Yet, it wasn’t until I wore it for a day at home that I felt I really got to know it.

Cap d’Antibes opens with a leathery, smoked wood (birch). This is quickly followed by a cool cucumber note courtesy of violet leaf and mint, which lends the fragrance a shower freshness of the “For Men” product genre. Combined with cinnamon in the heart notes, the overall effect is that of a watery fruit. Cinnamon being an accessory note, meaning a very little goes a long way, it was not distinct on its own. The moss and violet keep the scent green as it evolves into a warmer woody-incense-vanilla on skin.

On clothing, Cap d’Antibes ventures into more medicinal territory in the initial stages of its development. The contrast is always at play, with the warmer notes of burnt wood counterweighted by cooling mint. As they mingle, the mint becomes somewhat powdery, reminding me of how it shows up in the fragrant “tattoo” AMKIRI. The effect is pleasant, but lingers beyond its welcome—I would prefer that it makes way for the warm base notes toward the drydown. Instead, the mossy, woody incense must be content in its place as a present object of longing, while the mint asserts its constant ubiety like a third wheel.

Screenshot from Jeeves and Wooster episode Safety in New York (Wilmot in the middle being a third wheel to Wooster and his lady acquaintance)

By the end of the day, Cap d’Antibes takes on a “hollowness” characteristic of the mossy aromachemical Evernyl and an aquatic tone common to many popular men’s fragrances. This combination might be harsh were it not for a light vanilla smoothing things over.

And that mint… that powdery mint.

4 thoughts on “An exercise in contrast (Cap d’Antibes by Eight & Bob)

  1. I’m thinking: have you missed any of the notes I don’t like in perfumes? Actually, you did, but for a while there I kept reading with interest to see what else will land that perfume in my perfume nightmare territory.
    Birch tart? Mostly “No.” Cucumber? Only in a salad (I dislike it even in skincare). Cinnamon? I can take it only in homeopathic quantities, both in food and perfumery. I do love mint, but I’m not sure there might be enough of it to offset everything else that seems not appealing in this perfume. But now I’m curious to check out what other perfumes they produce.

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    1. LOL, it sounds like a perfume nemesis!
      I have birch tar oil and it smells very much like barbecue sauce. I’m not a fan of cucumber scents either, and my other half makes an association with cigarette smoke when he smells it in skincare products. The cinnamon effect on the whole was a guess on my part based on the brand’s listed notes – I would not have discerned it on my own at all.

      The current discovery set showcases “masculine” fragrances. The Original is hard for me to describe – maybe “watery spicy”? Egypt is a lavender-mossy fragrance that smells like tart pineapple juice to me (I got a similar perception from Paco Rabanne Phantom). At first sniff, Mémoires de Mustique, Nuit de Megève, and Champs de Provence are all heavy on petitgrain and/or orange blossom, which are not my cup of tea.

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