The boring brother of Eau de Gentiane Blanche.
Ellena translates as ‘The Greek’ in English. Should Jean Claude aspire to being King of Hellena, by virtue of a Mediterranean ancestor, I would be a loyal subject.
Greek Mythology fascinated my Father, a man whose further education was shattered by WWII during the bombing of London. He became an armchair academic instead and we listened to radio stories before the advent of television, the childrens’ bathed bodies in pyjamas, sitting on the hard bare-boarded floor that was barely covered by an old hessian rug. We ate toast and tomato, or crumpets and jam for supper, as tales of Pegasus, Cyclops, and Narcissus, cadenced by melliflous British voices, shapeshifted in our imaginations.
Eau Narcisse Bleu,well, the clues are in the name.
Narcissus, a young man blessed with unsurpassable beauty spurned male and female alike. He and his Mother, Liriope, gave their names to naturalising bulbs of great charm, the trumpet flowers of daffodils and earlicheer and the Grape Hyacinth.
Using today’s parlance Narcissus was stalked by Echo, a single white female, who, under the spell of an angry Hera, could only repeat his uneasy call of ‘Who is There? She was therefore incapable of captivating Narcissus with scintillating conversation. She faded away, (anorexic probably) from unrequited love and only her echo remained in the glades of their sylvan abode.
Narcissus came upon a glistening pond where the water reflected not only the azure sky but the plumage of birds on the wing and overhanging trees. He stooped at the waters edge and saw his one true love, a creature so perfect he fell in love, truly, madly deeply, with himself. Unable to tear himself away Narcissus pined away until his soul left his body. The search party found only a nodding daffodil growing at the edge of the pool.
The perfume is a homage to Ovid's story in my opinion. The elements of sylvan glade, water, blue sky and the slight scent of Narcissus are present. Voila.
To wear it successfully you will need garments without any laundry detergent scent residue left in them and unperfumed soap and body lotion for your toilette. It is quite fleeting and is easily drowned out. Edmond Roudnitska, at his doorway in Grasse, shouted at a very young Jean Claude Ellena to 'go home and not come back' until his (trademark) white shirt carried no smell of soap. Roudnitska set Ellena the discipline of an unperfumed life; to this day Ellena eschews fragrance on his person.
Not being such a sensitive nose, I prefer my other JCE fragrances, Kelly Caleche, Apres La Mousson, Claire des Merveilles etc and my husband and son are devoted to Terre D'Hermes.
This is a floral scent to be sure. It has a citrusy tang that seems to round out the flowers and make them feel more masculine though. It lasts all day and is soft and natural-smelling enough for that to be a good thing. It is a bit too timid for my personal taste however, and I would likely only wear it on occasion.
The Good: Tasty flowers.
The Bad: Probably too flowery and sweet for some.
Overall: I don't think it's for me, but I feel that it has merits.
Want to know what this smells like? Go smell a daffodil! It is a reasonably realistic recreation of that distinctive, slightly bitter, lightly powdery, fresh green scent, with a chalkiness akin to iris and a floral smell distantly related to hyacinth, shot through with a subtle thread of sweetness.
I did a side-by-side comparison with the real thing, which is currently in bloom in my garden (variety Ceylon - different cultivars have subtly different smells). The main differences are that the iris-like facets (carrot, powder, chalk) are more prominent in the recreation, and the actual flower is greener and sweeter. The net effect is that Eau de Narcisse Bleu has a darker hue and more 'weight' than the real thing.
The 'bleu' moniker is quite apposite, as overall the scent is quite stark and minimalist, stand-offish even in its lack of warmth.
Projection is average; longevity I found very good, at over 6 hours. Unisex.