Jean-Claude Ellena, the art of the perfumer
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Jean-Claude Ellena, the art of the perfumer

Jean-Claude ELLENA gave a beautiful lecture at the Mougins Museum of Classical Art at the beginning of this year. He took us on a trip to the land of the fabulous history of eau ce Cologne. What a surprise to learn how cologne was born! What's more, its formula has remained unchanged since 1760, when it was introduced at the Court of Versailles; what incredible modernity!

Jean-Claude Ellena, creator of modern fragrances

President of the association for the promotion of the Musée International de la Parfumerie, he has created great successes in perfumery, notably for Hermès.

  • His "pure" style has given a new imprint to the modern perfumes we know today. More lightness and subtlety are the new trends that have replaced the heady and heavy fragrances that were nevertheless desired by the bourgeoisie of another time.

Not really retired, he organized as curator the exhibition "The fabulous history of eau de Cologne" which was held at the Musée international de la parfumerie in Grasse until January 5th.

  • Eau de Cologne is becoming a universal product, declined by many large houses.
  • Of Italian origin, the "miraculous water" is said to be "made from a citrus-based composition concocted in a convent in Florence in 1695", according to the exhibition catalogue. The Farina family and then the Roger and Gallet house give a second version of the origins based on the return from India of a wounded British soldier. These are stories that are just as mythical and believable as each other.

In his book "L'écrivain d'odeur", published in 2017 by Nez/le Contrepoint, Jean Claude Ellena shares with us his passion for smells since his childhood.

  • What I like about his story is the way he goes in search of the details of the fragrant flowers that we all love, but also in the search for the smells of life, less noble but rich in emotions.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the perfumer writes the chemical formula of a new fragrance from memory. It tries to memorize each component in isolation. There is a real process of intellectual creation, imagined in fact before the realization of the product which will only be corrected at the margin afterwards. First you imagine, then you make.

At present, he still collaborates with Frédéric MALLE. The third generation of perfumers for a "total freedom to create" and other houses internationally.

Coming soon to the International Museum of Perfumery in GRASSE

The Musée de la Parfumerie is preparing future conferences and exhibitions that will be just as interesting: we will be seeing

"The Powder Puts Century (1880-1890). La poudre de beauté et ses écrins, from May 29th to September 27th 2020".

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