Jean-Claude Ellena :: Perfumers

Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena

Jean-Claude Ellena was born in Grasse in 1947. His father was a perfumer, and as a teenager Jean-Claude went to work as an apprentice at the Antoine Chiris factory (see On a bed of oakmoss). In his early 20s, he enrolled at the newly-opened perfumery school at Givaudan (although he attended only 9 months of the 3 year course), after which he worked for Givaudan as a perfumer before moving to Haarmaan & Reimer (now Symrise).

In 2004, Jean-Claude Ellena was appointed the house perfumer at Hermès. By 2008, perfume sales at Hermès had reportedly tripled, and Terre d'Hermès was the top selling perfume for men in France.1

Jean-Claude Ellena is the brother of perfumer Bernard Ellena and the father of Celine Ellena. He is the author of Le Parfum, Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent and Journal d’un Parfumeur (published in English as The Diary of a Nose).

Fragrances created by Jean-Claude Ellena:

Acqua di Parma Colonia Assoluta (2003, with Bertrand Duchaufour)
Amouage Dia Pour Femme (2002)
Balenciaga Rumba (1988, with Ron Winnegrad)
Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert (1992)
Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert Extreme (1996)
Cartier Declaration (1998)
Christian Lacroix Bazar Femme (2002, with Bertrand Duchaufour & Emilie Copperman)
Decleor Aromantic (1999)
Frederic Malle Angliques Sous La Pluie (2000)
Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade (2001)
Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver (2003)
Giorgio Armani Emporio Armani Night for her (2003, with Lucas Sieuzac)
Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver (2013)
Hermès Caleche Fleurs de Mediterranee (2003)
Hermès Eau Claire des Merveilles (2010)
Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche (2009)
Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (2013)
Hermès Eau de Narcisse Bleu (2013)
Hermès Eau de Néroli Doré (2016)
Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose (2009)
Hermès Elixir des Merveilles (2006)
Hermès Equipage Géranium (2015)
Hermès Jardin Apres La Mousson (2008)
Hermès Jardin de Monsieur Li (2015)
Hermès Jardin en Mediterranee (2003)
Hermès Jardin Sur Le Nil (2005)
Hermès Jardin Sur Le Toit (2011)
Hermès Jour d'Hermès (2012)
Hermès Jour d'Hermès Absolu (2014)
Hermès Hermessence Ambre Narguile (2004)
Hermès Hermessence Brin de Reglisse (2007)
Hermès Hermessence Cuir d'Ange (2014)
Hermès Hermessence Epice Marine (2013)
Hermès Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé (2010)
Hermès Hermessence Muguet Porcelaine (2016)
Hermès Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan (2005)
Hermès Hermessence Paprika Brasil (2006)
Hermès Hermessence Poivre Samarcande (2004)
Hermès Hermessence Rose Ikebana (2004)
Hermès Hermessence Santal Massoïa (2011)
Hermès Hermessence Vanille Galante (2009)
Hermès Hermessence Vetiver Tonka (2004)
Hermès Kelly Caleche (2007)
Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles (2012)
Hermès Rocabar (1998, with Gilles Romey and Bernard Bourgeois)
Hermès Terre d’Hermes (2006)
Hermès Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche (2014)
Hermès Voyage d’Hermès (2010)
Lalique Eau de Lalique (with Emilie Copperman)
L’Artisan Ambre Extreme (2001)
L’Artisan Bois Farine (2003)
L'Artisan L'Eau d'Ambre (1978)
L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie du Hameau (1982)
Laura Ashley L’Eau by Laura Ashley
Lily Prune Sublime Vanilla (2001)
Paul & Joe Blanc (2003)
Rectoverso Blue Lagoon (with Christophe Raynaud)
Rectoverso Mystery Secret
Rectoverso Sun Sea
Rochas Globe (1990)
Sisley Eau de Campagne (1974)
The Different Company Bois d’Iris
The Different Company Divine Bergamote (2003)
The Different Company Osmanthus
The Different Company Rose Poivree
Ulrich de Varens no. 2 (1998)
Urich de Varens UDV Fun for men (2000)
Van Cleef & Arpels First (1976)
Van Cleef & Arpels Miss Arpels (1994)
Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again (1998)

Selected quotes:

My father did not drink, eat or even read without bringing to his nose the drink, meal, book or particular object. For him, things existed through their smells. He also taught me the importance of listening and sharing. (via New Straits Times, 12/24/2006)

I admire mainly the old Guerlain fragrances. They’re the complete opposite of the ones I create and this makes them wonderful. (via Wallpaper magazine)

I have no interest in trying to reproduce nature. I want to transform it, create olfactory illusions. Perfume isn't only about the scent of flowers. (via Los Angeles Times, 10/28/2007)

I am a pilferer, a thief, a scavenger of odors. (via Women's Wear Daily, 9/28/2007)

Further reading:

See all articles on Now Smell This tagged Jean-Claude Ellena.

See I Try To Take You By The Hand: Jean-Claude Ellena At The Launch Of Le Jardin De Monsieur Li.

Read about Jean-Claude Ellena and the creation of Hermès Jardin Sur Le Nil in an article by Chandler Burr in the New Yorker. This article later formed part of the book The Perfect Scent.

1. via New York Times, 5/18/2008.

Note: image via ifm-paris.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy