The Diary of a Nose by Jean-Claude Ellena
A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur

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What a wasted opportunity this book is. Couldn't his publisher have insisted he use a ghostwriter?
-Guardian

Synopsis

An intimate exploration of inspiration and creativity, from the "parfumeur exclusif" of the house of Hermès. A scent has incantatory powers, capable of transporting you to your past, of kindling fantasies, of creating a vivid mise en scène—literally out of thin air. In the hands of the truly great, perfume creation is a kind of alchemy. Where does inspiration for this visceral art come from? How does one capture the essence of emotions, of desire? Jean-Claude Ellena has a sublime gift. As "parfumeur exclusif" (or "the nose") for Hermès, he elevates fragrance to an art form. A "writer of perfume," his concoctions are as finely composed and evocative as a haiku. He is also a conjurer of sorts: "I create an illusion that is actually stronger than reality . . . you enter the scent and follow the path." The Diary of a Nose is a collection of Ellena’s meditations on the world of scents, and what stirs his creation of some of the world’s most desired fragrances. Inspiration can come from anywhere—a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy. Though each smell has its own distinct character, a gifted perfumer creates olfactory experiences that are intensely personal and unique, that blossom on the body and leave a trace of us lingering after we have left a room.Seductive, delicate, and elegant as any of Ellena’s creations, The Diary of a Nose seeks to capture the most elusive facets of this rarefied and mysterious art.
 

About Jean-Claude Ellena

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Jean-Claude Ellena has been the exclusive perfumer to the house of house of Hermès since 2004. Over the course of his career he has created some of the world's bestselling fragrances, including "First" from Van Cleef & Arpels, "Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert" from Bulgari, and "Déclaration" from Cartier.
 
Published January 22, 2013 by Rizzoli Ex Libris. 185 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Jul 14 2012

What a wasted opportunity this book is. Couldn't his publisher have insisted he use a ghostwriter?

Read Full Review of The Diary of a Nose: A Year i... | See more reviews from Guardian

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