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Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent (Anglais) Relié – 22 décembre 2011

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Perfume The exclusive in-house perfumer to Hermes reveals for the first time the secrets behind the art and business of creating perfume. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x923fdbac) étoiles sur 5 24 commentaires
38 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x921794ec) étoiles sur 5 Great at perfume, terrible at writing 11 janvier 2012
Par elboone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I first entered the world of Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermes perfumer, through Chandler Burr's eyes in "The Perfect Scent," and instantly fell in love with this eccentric, sensitive, poetic genius of fragrance. And I was first in line to order Ellena's first book, "Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent." I'm also the first to admit that, after plodding through the first half, Ellena is such an awful writer that he can't keep an admitted perfume freak's attention any longer. I expected (and craved) lovely, lyrical writing and a fascinating education about the creation of perfume for a prestigious fashion house. Instead, I got a set of tedious essays that belie Ellena's intelligence and incredible nose. You can learn more about this man's process, skill and art by taking a whiff of "Un Jardin Sur Le Nil" than opening the pages of this book.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9259cb40) étoiles sur 5 Too technical and tedious 27 février 2012
Par kauai lei - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I agree with elboone! I also had read Chandler Burr's novel - which I could NOT put down it was so fascinating - and expected this to be equally, if not MORE enthralling, considering it's the work of one of the greatest perfumers of modern times. Unfortunately, this book is so technical I often found myself tuning out and having to remind myself to focus on what I was reading. This is not at all a relatable or fun read. Ellena tends to drone on about very technical aspects of the perfume world in a very uninteresting way. If you're looking for a fascinating book on the world of perfumery, read Chandler Burr, Mandy Aftel, or the "History of Chanel no. 5." Jean Claude Ellena's first foray into the written world of perfume literature was unfortunately a huge disappointment. At least he has other talents!
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923fdc48) étoiles sur 5 Phenyl ethyl alcohol by any other name would smell more sweet 4 mars 2013
Par Lady Fancifull - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I don't love this quite as much as I do Ellena's The Diary of a Nose: A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur, which is in many ways a more subjective, personal and philosophical book, incorporating, as diaries do, what the person is doing and the reflections which arise.

This is more of an information giving book - and is as deliciously absorbing, but because it deals more in the laying out of objective facts (as well as subjective experience and interpretation) I was aware, reading from my particular perspective of a few likely errors, and places where I wanted greater precision, explanation and information.

So, for example, in the interesting chapter on extractions of material from plants, he describes in good detail GC (Gas Chromatography), but casually throws in that MS (Mass Spectrometry) is also used, and completely neglects to describe what this is.

In detailing the volume of plant material needed to produce a kilogram of essential oil or aromatic extract, there is surely an error by a factor of 10 between the amount of plant material needed to produce a kg of lavender in the absolute extraction - he states 100 kg - previously stating 20kg to produce a kg of essential oil. What does he mean, which figure is the right one?

And, to someone interested in the plants themselves I'm afraid I had an annoying botanist's hat on when he was describing the bottles in his lab - `Oui! Oui! Monsieur Ellena is this Citrus aurantium var amara flos, fol or fruct - you have merely detailed Bitter Orange. And, more seriously WHICH lavender'. And so it goes on.

There are a few annoying, careless editorial errors, for example, to illustrate a point he is making, Ellena references the text `Below is an odor map' which either never appears, or is another unexplained table which occurred 2 pages earlier

However Ellena is an engaging writer and raconteur - what I really wanted was to be having conversations with him, to say `explain further, s'il vous plait'.

I was most intrigued by his insistence that his objective as a perfumer is not to create an identical synthetic representation of a real odour - say, the essence of damp fig leaves which inspired his Mediterranean garden perfume, - but, like an abstract or impressionist artist, to suggest a flavour, a composition with layered notes that might imaginatively give some sort of `gesture of Mediterranean garden' perhaps with odours that suggest the quality of light, the formal arrangement of the plants in the garden. It's the difference between representation and symbolism, verismo and the abstract which contains the reality but also suggests more than the thing itself

However, one reservation which troubles me, and is not a problem with Ellena's book, rather something untoward in modern perfumery - and that is the cavalier invention of new odour molecules, synthetic chemistry which has never existed before. As Ellena points out, the olfactory cells and their receptors are part of the brain, and odour molecules have powerful effects. Natural chemistry in plants, like the natural chemistry in food, is something which has evolved over millennia, and other species have likewise evolved over millennia to utilise, neutralise, and react with this chemistry. Novel chemistry which never existed outside a lab is different.

Many people have adverse reactions to strong perfume - headaches, allergic rhinitis, and the like. It is, I believe, not the `strength' of the perfume, it is the cocktail of chemistry which is marginally, and in isolation, tested. Paradoxically I have found many such people who have come to use fragrance products and perfumes which are made only from essential oils and absolutes - natural, whole chemistry rather than synthesised odour molecules, whether of chemistry which occurs naturally or `novel' molecules - and who do not experience those allergic reactions with the natural products.

IFRA, the regulatory body of the fragrance industry in the UK sets maximum levels for safe amounts of various odour molecules. Curiously, there are various compounds occurring in essential oils which have been used for centuries safely and effectively - and yet the synthesised isolates are being identified as potential sensitisers and irritants. Somehow, it does not seem to strike home that, for example, synthetic linalool in isolation may be very different from linalool in synergy with other naturally occurring chemistry with a linalool rich essential oil. It all seems to have certain parallels with the changing of a vegetable oil, unsaturated, into a fat solid at room temperature (margarine) and the problems which occur because it is not the chemistry of the molecule, but its shape, which gives rise to problems (trans fats)
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923b7a5c) étoiles sur 5 Fails to Deliver 3 mai 2012
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book disappoints on several levels. While touching upon several aspects of the world of perfume, the author's musings are more often than not confusing. This book could use a thorough editing. But even then, it would garner no more than, say, 3 stars. Ellena's jumps around the various topics he proposes to answer, and rarely does more than give us cursory opinions. And opinionated he is, showing a marked preference for everything French, what a surprise! He dismisses major creative talent on this side of the Atlantic, and completely misses exciting trends in perfume today, including a return to the use of naturals, especially by boutique perfumers.

Ellena's book is more tease than treatise. Despite some interesting ideas, this book is thin, both in pages and ultimately in content. The tone of this small book is often pretentious and more than occasionally annoying. Prior to purchase, I noted its rather negative reviews. However, my passion for the subject of perfume prevailed, and I bought it nonetheless.

The book is not without merit, and clearly Ellena is a force within the industry. Though not familiar with the perfumes he's composed, I hope he is better at making perfume than he is at writing about it.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923ba768) étoiles sur 5 Excellent book for Those wishing to learn the art of Perfume 17 mars 2013
Par Rebecca R. Allinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I believe many of the negative reviews for this book are due to a misunderstanding of its purpose. Jean-Claude Ellena is sharing his vision with us. He is letting us into his creative process, so that we might see what being a perfumer means to him. It is like Monet sharing his methods and the thinking processes he uses with us. any artist knows that true art is more than technique.. Understanding that perfumery is not merely technical, but art...art with the intangible, is what is being premised. There is much to learn here. I also believe that this was written in a humble manner. No where did I see arrogance of a preference for all things French. Many of the classic perfumes he mentions here are French...try to name some early classic perfumes that are not. It is a lovely, lyrical book. Other than the charts not showing properly on the Kindle version I bought, it is well translated and I didn't really notice any editing problems. If you are looking for dirt and gossip about the world of perfume, this is not a book for you. If you want to see into the mind of one of the world's greatest perfumers, buy it. You won't be disappointed!
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