Basenotes needs your help!

If you have found this site valuable, useful or entertaining, would you be willing to support us? Our current goal is to upgrade our ageing forum system and bring it to the modern age! Find out More here

Jean-Claude Ellena and Andy Tauer ~ Scent Treks

02nd June, 2008

Editor's note: These interviews are the first part of a series in which Marian Bendeth explores what a panel of modern perfumers would say if they could travel back to the time of their choosing, to meet, chat and co-create with a perfumer of the past. An introduction to the series and table of contents is here.

Jean-Claude Ellena

Hermès In-house Perfumeur

Creations: Un Jardin Après La Mousson, Terre d’Hermès, Kelly Calèche, Hermèssence Collection, First by Van Cleef & Arpels, Eau de Campagne by Sisely (more...)

Marian: If it was possible to travel back in time to any particular century and decade of your choice to meet your number one inspirational Perfumer:

When would that be? Please state century and decade.

Jean-Claude Ellena: XXth century, in 1911.

M: Who would that be?

Paul Poiret, the first couture house which created its own perfumery under the name ‘Les Parfums de Rosine’.

M: What specific questions would you want to learn from them?

I wouldn’t have any questions, but the wish to live a week with him, in his fantasy, share his carefree life, his parties. Well finally I would ask him one question: How did you collaborate with the perfumer who created for you, Henri Alméras?

M: If you could team up together in that time period, who would you like to co-create a fragrance for?

As fantasy is important for Paul Poiret, we could create together the first masculine perfume of a man who will change the vision of the world: Pablo Picasso who was 30 years old at that time.

M: If you could bring anything back with you, what would that be?

Humour and joy of living.

Andy Tauer

Perfumer and Founder, Tauer Perfumes

Creations: Incense extrême, Rêverie au jardin, L'air du désert marocain, Le Maroc pour elle, Lonestar memories (more...)

I am not a fan of the early fifties and based on what I have learned about this time period I would rather like to leave this rubber plant and huge cocktail dress time to get my whiff of patchouli or other weeds later in the sixties. But I would be delighted to travel to 1950.

There is one reason to travel back then: It is Edmond Roudnitska, working on a fragrance that would see the light of this world as Diorissimo in 1956. I would travel back in time, end of April, early May, when the lily of the valley in his garden were blooming and where I imagine meeting this genius. Maybe I would have refreshed my French a little bit in light of this occasion. Bonjour Monsieur, I would say, and blush and would fall on my knees to sniff with him the lily of the valley, growing in his garden.

And then, I would ask him whether he put cumin aldehyde in the Diorissimo, hoping that I am right (I belong to an almost extinct class of perfumers working without GC). I love Diorissimo; and I admire Roudnitska and I have his “qualités fondamentales du grand parfum” always in front of my nose: “caractère, vigueur, pouvoir diffusant, délicatesse, clarté, volume, persistance”. Thus, after the second glass of Champagne, I would be brave enough; begging him to let me know more about the base that he used to fix the lily of the valley.

Marian: If you could team up together in that time period, who would you like to co-create a fragrance for?

Not having mastered a really good orange flower fragrance myself, I would like Roudnitska to help me out there, joining me for a few years, waiting for the sixties, and then we would do the ultimate patchouli-sandalwood-orange flower scent together. For Jim Morrison, of course, who would be delighted to pose for our marketing campaign.

M:If you could bring anything back with you, what would that be?

On my way home to 2008 I would buy Sandalwood from Mysore, as much as I could possibly get, in a quality that I cannot get anymore today, and I would then finally make the scent that I have always been dreaming of.

Join Marian next week for time travels with Camille Goutal, Ineke Ruhland and Antoine Maisondieu.

  • Share this

About the author: Marian Bendeth

Marian Bendeth is a Global Fragrance Expert based out of Toronto, Canada. Marian has won six fragrance industry editorial awards for her writing. You can find out more on her website


Advertisement — comments are below