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  1. #1

    Default J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Hi friends,
    I've just ordered a copy of J.C.Ellena's new book "Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs".

    Once I've read it, I'll pop back to leave my impressions.
    In the meantime, has anybody else had a chance to look at it? I'd love to hear others' opinions.

    Best to all.

    (Link to NST blog-entry: http://www.nstperfume.com/2011/06/24...perfume-books/)

  2. #2
    Basenotes Member Alnysie's Avatar
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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    My review won't be as eloquent as Cheryl's on NST (which is also what prompted me to buy the book), but I liked it! I read it very quickly, and it's the kind of book you should rather read slowly, so I intend to read it again soon. I'm new to perfumes and I feel like I learned a lot about the (or at least his) process of creating a fragrance, the chemistry and the business, but maybe someone who knows just a little more than me won't learn anything, since nothing is really treated very deeply. It is what it is: a journal. If it wasn't necessarily written for people like me (i.e., people who are interested in perfumes but don't know much about it), I feel like he kept us in mind. The tidbits of information were what interested me the most, such as historical changes in the industry (and his views on it) or the different scents resulting from different extraction processes. People more knowledgeable might be more interested in other aspects, for example Ellena's curiosity and reflections about art -- music, literature, painting. All in all, I'm happy it's in my library. I'll be interested to know what you think about it!

  3. #3

    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Thanks so much Alnysie! Other than the review on NST, I couldn't find any information on the book, so your comments have been super useful. I can't wait for it to arrive.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Thanks gandhajala & Alnysie. I wonder if a translation will come out. Do you guys know anything about his other book, Le Parfum?

  5. #5
    Basenotes Member Alnysie's Avatar
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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    MonkeyBars, I did a quick Google search in French and couldn't find anything about a translation, but I assume it's in the works! (Maybe I'm just optimistic, or naive, but I'm sure “they” know that a lot of people would buy that book if it were available in English! If “they” don't, I should work on it myself and get the money! )

    He mentions his other book in passing in his Journal, and I had intended to look into it, but had forgotten: so thanks for reminding me! The Que Sais-Je collection is always interesting. I'll buy it and read it right after I finish The Emperor of Scent! I can let you know what I think then!

    You probably found them already, but here are anyway a review on NST and a... commentary(?) on Grain de Musc. And you got the table of contents here.

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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Thanks Alnysie. I really enjoyed The Emperor of Scent.

    Cool blog article!

  7. #7
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Jean-Claude is really an interesting character. In my view, somehow he manages to be self-promoting without being obnoxious about it. He sort of wants to take us along on his journey, hence it is not ego on his part but generosity, in a sense. I learned alot about J-C and perfumerie by reading Chandler Burr's book on him and Hermes (in part).
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  8. #8

    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Well, having now read the book I must own that I was a little disappointed.

    Ellena's writing seemed, rather strangely, less focused on his actual art, and more about trying to convince us that he was an artist.

    He wants to transpose jazz great Bill Evans' 'sonorous colours' into 'olfactive colours' (p. 60).
    Having read Jean Giono, he decides, he is a 'writer of smells' (p.12).
    Quoting Cézanne, who is alleged to have said to Pissaro " with an apple, I want to astonish Paris", Ellena claims the same ambition, to "astonish with an everyday smell" (p.80).

    The author seems quite comfortable placing himself in such company.
    So it is when a group of young perfumers come to his lab. "Their curiosity is, I imagine, as strong as that which I experienced the first time visiting the office of Edmond Roudnitska". (p. 100).

    Here and there are factlets of the type one would expect to find in a book written by a perfumer. For example, the peppery note in Poivre Samarkand was created by combining absolute of violet leaves and and overdose of Iso-E super. That, at least to me, is interesting.

    Unfortunately, to find these, one must plough through such nonsensical drivel as " My research is driven by the constant concern for finding a balance between the perceptible and the intelligible. I am mediterranean". (p. 124) Huh ?

    I guess his personality, at least the way it came across in print, just rubbed me up the wrong way.
    Apologies to all for being so negative here. Perhaps I'm just feeling crabby this evening...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    I guess his personality, at least the way it came across in print, just rubbed me up the wrong way.
    Apologies to all for being so negative here. Perhaps I'm just feeling crabby this evening...
    I, for one, appreciate your honesty. I'm very skeptical about any artist writing (or making some expression or art that is not what they are famous and respected for). I won't rush to read this anymore than I would rush out to see Keith Richards' paintings or Terry Gilliams' jug band.

  10. #10

    Default Re: J.C.Ellena book - Journal d'un parfumeur : Suivi d'un abrégé d'odeurs

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Thanks gandhajala & Alnysie. I wonder if a translation will come out. Do you guys know anything about his other book, Le Parfum?
    This is due out in English in November 2011

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