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.