Jean-Claude Ellena is believing that composing a scent is an art form that requires all 5 senses (Click photo to enlarge).
Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive business. After all, if you create a truly unique and successful scent, the whole world wants to copy it. So, what is the day to day life like for a nose? How is a new scent actually created? And how do you translate it into a perfume that smells nice on your skin? This book takes you on a journey in the life of one of the world’s most important perfumers Jean Claude Ellena, mastermind of many Hermès fragrances.
Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose’ (picture by Rebecca, La Touch de Beauté) (Click photo to enlarge)
The French bestseller The Diary of a Nose is the story behind the creation of a perfume, from the head perfumer at Hermès. Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive endeavour. What is day to day life like for a perfume maker? How does the creation of a new scent begin? How do you capture the essence of a smell on the skin?
For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as ‘parfumeur exclusif’ (‘le nez’ or ‘the nose’) for Hermès, and the result is this fascinating book in which he offers the reader a rare glimpse into the secrets of the perfume business and with it a peek into his mind and life. Believing that creating a scent is like creating a work of art, and describing himself as a writer using ‘olfactory colours’, he explains how all of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. He also reveals how inspiration can come from a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy, and concludes this charming, perceptive diary with recipes for natural fragrances, each made up of three synthetic ingredients, to create the illusion of smells like freesia, orange blossom, grapefruit, pear, chocolate, cashew and cotton candy. This is the story of a quest to capture what is most elusive. Jean-Claude Ellena offer readers a rare insight into the secrets of his business, his art, and his life as one of the world’s most important and admired perfumers.
The book is not new, it came out in French five years ago. The English translation of the American edition 3 years. Hermès perfumes are timeless, like this book is timeless. A great present for those who love perfumes, their secrets, and everything around it….
Even if you don’t like the Hermès perfumes. You have to admit: The man is a magician, a nose, a parfumuer … His journal reveals in simple words a real secret: the creation of perfumes. Day by day, every emotion, every encounter, every precious moment is preserved. Here, everything is customary but nothing is ordinary, for this is where the magic happens. More than a chemist or composer, I’d call Ellena a poet.
by Jean Amr