The Diary of a Nose

The Diary of a Nose : A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur

3.8 (365 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$32.75

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


The French bestseller The Diary of a Nose is the story behind the creation of a perfume, from the head perfumer at Hermes.

Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive endeavour. What is day to day life like for a perfume-maker? How does the creation of a new scent begin? How do you capture the essence of a smell on the skin?

For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as 'parfumeur exclusif' ('le nez' or 'the nose') for Hermes. Believing that creating a scent is like creating a work of art, and describing himself as a writer using 'olfactory colours', he explains how all of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. He also reveals how inspiration can come from a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy, and concludes this charming, perceptive diary with recipes for natural fragrances, each made up of three synthetic ingredients, to create the illusion of smells like freesia, orange blossom, grapefruit, pear, chocolate, cashew and cotton candy.

This is the story of a quest to capture what is most elusive. Jean-Claude Ellena offer readers a rare insight into the secrets of his business, his art, and his life as one of the world's most important and admired perfumers.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 138 x 204 x 21mm | 288g
  • Particular Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781846145599
  • 194,044

Review quote

Diary of a Nose explores the conundrums of his profession with the delicacyof an olfactory poet * The Wall Street Journal * Jean-Claude Ellena has always played the fragrancegame as high art -- Frederic Malle * Editions de Parfums * Based on a year's worth of notes from the author's notebook, 'Diary of a Nose' aims to seduce * Metro * In Diary of a Nose is the rarest of books. In it we sense that Jean-Claude Ellena appreciates the world with the passion and attention of an artist * Elle * The man is a magician, a nose, a parfumuer ... His journal reveals in simple words a real secret: the creation of perfumes. Day by day, every emotion, every encounter, every precious moment is preserved. Here, everything is customary but nothing is ordinary, for this is where the magic happens * Le Monde * More than a chemist or composer, I'd call Ellena a poet -- Suzi Feay * Independent * Ellena's diary of the 12 months from October 2009 is sensual, serious -- Carl Wilkinson * Financial Times *
show more

About Jean-Claude Ellena

In 2004, Jean-Claude Ellena was made Hermes' first 'perfumeur exclusive' at Hermes. He lives and works in the hills in Grasse in France, and designs his scents at his studio in Cabris.
show more

Rating details

365 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (100)
4 36% (131)
3 28% (101)
2 8% (28)
1 1% (5)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X