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Sens et Bois – Something different

Jean-Claude Ellena is a titan in the modern perfume world. He was born in 1947 in Grasse – destiny perhaps? He’s had a hand in the development of over 50 fragrances for such houses as Van Cleef & Arpels, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and L’Artisan. In 2004 he became the exclusive in-house perfumer for Hermès, where by the end of 2008, perfume sales tripled. Pretty impressive, I’d say.
I like a lot of Ellena’s work and own a number of his frags, so I was really happy when he opened his own shop, with daughter perfumer Céline Ellena, called The Different Company.
Now Céline is no slouch in the nose department herself, having created such scents as Côte d'Amour for L’Arstisan, but what is interesting to me is what results when creative people are allowed to explore their own path when given plenty of freedom and few restrictions. This is what the Different Company aims to do. As their web site says: “Each of our fragrances is the result of a non-compromised creation from a true artist.”
The first time I experienced any of their scents was at their store at 10 Rue Ferdinand Duval in Paris. I went in just to sniff around and I came out a bona fide Ellena devotee and over the years I have bought a few of their fragrances, but the one that I keep going back to is Sens et Bois.
Created by Céline Ellena, Sens et Boisopens up with a bergamot note that soon passes and allows a deep gorgeous cedar note to come forward. The dry, cool cedar is made warm and spicy by the appearance of black pepper. Violet also shows up and adds an earthy floral note that plays off the cedar/pepper accord beautifully.  Patchouli at the base gives it a pungency, while incense gives it a fabulous smokiness.
Sens et Bois is an elegant EDP in which all the hard corners have been rounded, giving the fragrance a beautiful, seductive power.
Sens et Bois is listed in our Decants Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.


If you had told me a couple of months ago (before I was introduced to the world of REAL perfume and became an addict!) that I would swoon when someone said a perfume had a hint of black pepper, I'd have said you were nuts. Then I was introduced to Piper Nigrum. And now I'm going to have to try Sens en Bois (with cedar!! heaven!!). Is there a support group for this?

Oh wait...I think this is it... ;)