Jean-Claude Ellena
A Retrospective

Stazione Leopolda, Conference Room

Jean-Claude Ellena is one of the great maestros of artistic perfumery. His influence on the perfumery industry has been extraordinary, not just from an esthetic point of view but on a technical and intellectual level as well. In the course of his career Ellena has given life to olfactory creations for numerous important customers which have undoubtedly gone down in history.

His olfactory masterpieces and a series of images looking back at the maestro’s life and career will be at the center of an experiential installation in the areas of the Stazione Leopolda. And during Pitti Fragranze an unmissable conversation/interview will also take place conducted by Chandler Burr – the project’s curator – recounting the elusive story of Ellena’s perfumes.

After his early experiences working with a producer of essential oils in Grasse, Ellena’s career as a nose first began at Givaudan and then continued with Haarmaan & Reimer, which subsequently became Symrise.

He then put his name to some classics like A First for Van Cleef & Arpels, Déclaration for Cartier, Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert for Bulgari, Dia pour Femme for Amouage, Colonia Assoluta (with Bertrand Duchaufour) for Acqua di Parma, Angéliques sous la Pluie and L’Eau d’Hiver for Frederic Malle and Ambre Extrême for L’Artisan Parfumeur.
In 1990 he was one of the founders of the Osmothèque, the Louvre of perfume based in Versailles.
In the early Noughties he began working with The Different Company for which he created Bergamote, Bois d’Iris, Bergamote, Osmanthus and Rose Poivrée.
Jean-Claude Ellena’s career took a decisive turn in 2004 when he became the official nose of Hermès creating dozens of fragrances – some of which have become legendary, like Terre d’Hermès.
With a career spanning over forty years under his belt, Ellena maintains that his modus operandi totally puts aside any marketing input and solely follows his own instinct. Because in order to reason about the future (and thus also the present) you need to be creative.