Penguin Book


The Diary of a Nose

Jean-Claude Ellena

The story behind the creation of a scent, from the 'parfumeur exclusif' at Hermès.

Perfume creation is an insular and secretive business. What is day-to-day life like for a perfume-maker? How does the creation of a new perfume begin, and what inspires a new scent?

For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as 'parfumeur exclusif' ('le nez' or 'the nose') for Hermès. His diary offers readers a rare insight into the extraordinary everyday life of one of the world's most important and admired perfumers. Ellena believes that creating a scent is like creating a work of art. Every moment is filled with an obsession for scent and a desire to bring these smells to bear onto a fragrance. All of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. 'The painter learns to see, the pianist learns to listen, I learned to smell. But it's a question of the brain, not of the nose, and you learn it simply by experience. Everyone can smell everything I can smell, but they don't know how to understand it, distinguish elements, or how to speak about it.' This is the story behind the creation of a scent: the quest to capture what is most elusive.

In 2004, Jean-Claude Ellena was made Hermès first 'parfumeur exclusif'. He lives and works in the hills in Grasse in France.

Division
Penguin
Publication date
05/07/2012
Category
  • Biography and Memoir
  • BUSINESS, ECONOMICS AND LAW
Format TPS
198 x 129mm
Extent
192
US
Rizzoli
Translation
Jean-Claude Ellena
Film
Jean-Claude Ellena
Serial
Jean-Claude Ellena
Audio (Unabridged)
Jean-Claude Ellena
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