The Diary of a Nose: A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur

The Diary of a Nose:  A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur, by Jean-Claude Ellena.  A slip of a book, this, by one of the world’s most revered perfumers – now the in-house nose at Hermès.  (His most celebrated creation is probably First, for Van Cleef and Arpels.)  A quiet and thoughtful man who works in his own hilltop atelier well away from the hustle and bustle of the commercial perfumery world, this chronicles Jean-Claude Ellena’s thoughts, inspirations and global travels while working on new launches.  Most fascinating to us is the short section at the back in which Jean-Claude shares some of the harmonies and accords he’s perfected over the years:  his aim is to create a specific scent with the minimum of notes.  Who knew that you could conjure up the scent of sugared almonds with just vanillin, benzoin and benzaldehyde…?  (Although what’s clear from this book is that haute perfumery is anything but simple, actually…)


At Amazon

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