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Moments of luminosity interspersed with the mundane
on 4 February 2013
I'm afraid I didn't love this as much as most of the other reviewers here. There are lovely moments where Ellena captures something very elusive in his thoughts and writing, and I liked the way he depicts himself as both a craftsman and an artist. Indeed, his metaphors of a perfume being like a symphony or a classic novel, layered and dense, shot through with a mysterious alchemy, worked very well, and these insights lit up the book.
They are interspersed, however, with a more rambling and sometimes very mundane monologue about the tyranny of marketing departments, snippets of travel and so on that felt chaotic (and not in a good way) to me.
This is a short book, only about 145 pages and many of them are left blank as each `journal entry' starts on a new page.
So there are some gems here particularly when Ellena is talking about scents and perfumes in almost a metaphysical way. But these moments are more sparse than I expected, and there's a lot of padding to fill out what still remains a short and slight book.