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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.
To women the whole world over, perfume means glamour, and in the world of perfume, Jean-Claude Ellena is a superstar. In this one-of-a-kind book, the master himself takes you through the doors of his laboratory and explains the process of creating precious fragrances, revealing the key methods and recipes involved in this mysterious alchemy.Perfume is a cutthroat, secretive multibillion-dollar industry, and Ellena provides an insider's tour, guiding us from initial inspiration through the mixing of essences and synthetic elements, to the deluxe packaging and marketing in elegant boutiques worldwide, and even the increasingly complicated safety standards that are set in motion for each bottle of perfume that is manufactured. He explains how the sense of smell works, using a palette of fragrant materials, and how he personally chooses and composes a perfume. He also reveals his unique way of creating a fragrance by playing with our olfactory memories in order to make the perfume seductive and desired by men and women the world over. Perfume illuminates the world of scent and manufactured desire by a perfumer who has had clients the likes of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, and Hermés.