Jean-Claude Ellena, the art of the perfumer
The fabulous history of eau de Cologne
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Jean-Claude Ellena, the art of the perfumer

Jean-Claude ELLENA sometimes takes part in conferences at the Mougins Museum of Classical Art. He made us travel to the country of the fabulous history of water this Cologne. What a surprise to learn how eau de 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 major successes in perfumery, notably for Hermès.

  • Its "pure" style sets a new trend in the modern perfumes we know today. More lightness and subtlety replace the heady and heavy fragrances that were desired by the bourgeoisie of another time.

Not really retired, he is curating the exhibition "La fabuleuse histoire de l'eau de Cologne" 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 have "come from a composition based on citrus fruits 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 the Indies of a wounded British soldier. These are stories that are just as mythical and plausible as each other.

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

  • What I like about his story is the way he goes after the character of each fragrant flower we all love. He is interested in all the smells of life, less noble but rich in emotions.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the perfumer writes the chemical formula of a new perfume from memory. He tries to memorize each component in isolation. A true intellectual creative process, imagined before the product is made, will only be corrected at the margin afterwards. First we imagine, then we manufacture.

He is currently continuing his collaboration with the Frédéric MALLE company. a third generation perfumer with "total freedom to create".

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 century of the powder kegs (1880-1890). Beauty powder and its cases, from May 29th to September 27th, 2020".

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