Women's Wear Daily had a chat with perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena on the occasion of a talk he gave on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. Article is accessible to subscribers only so here are two excerpts,
"For instance, the olfactory notes of a fragrance are often compared with the musical notes of a song. However, while music is "successive" in structure, with one note audible after another, Ellena asserted that this structure is nonexistent in perfume — the notes of a scent are perceptible as soon as one opens the bottle, he said. "Olfactory expression is total," Ellena said in French through a translator....."
"I am a pilferer, a thief, a scavenger of odors," he said, adding he's not interested in copying nature but rather "transforming it" and conveying aspects of nature using as few materials as possible. "It's a challenge to be simple," he said. "If I'm simple, the better [one] understands." If a composition is "too complex," he said, "the message is lost."
Ellena also just published a little book on perfume at Presses Universitaires de France.
(Source: Women's Wear Daily)