Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Tale told by Jean Claude Ellena

"It's December the 25th and my grand-children are calling me to unwrap their gifts. Hastily I put on an old, shapeless cashmere sweater imprisoning a sweet and sour smell, reminiscent of sweat and salt.
Everyone is gathered round the Christmas tree. The smaller kids throw themselves in my lap. Three ages, three smells that mingle into one. During the course of the evening, they lose the scent of their bath; their smell now is nothing but softness, tenderness and happiness. I don't dare breathe, I become intoxicated. Their three little, impatient mouths are spattered with chocolate. "Jean Claude, have you tried the one with orange zest?" "No, I prefer coarse dark chocolate; Caracas I think it's called."
The room is pervaded by aromas which don't blend. The smell of resin, of candles, the scent of yellow roses which reminds me of the scent of tea. Lunch will be a perfumed affair; a small bottle of fragrance will be slipped inside the napkins. With an Irish wife, one child married to an Italian and another to a German, dishes and desserts will be redolent of the whole of Europe! The kitchen is filled with the smell of butter and spices, coming from the pudding being cooked for an hour now. There will be white truffle from Alba and stuffed goose. To add to the tastes, we will talk about smells!"

~Jean Claude Ellena

Thanks to Jean Claude Ellena and au.feminin


  1. Sounds like a really tasty Christmas :-).

  2. Hello, E -- What a charming Christmas tale. I wonder what the small bottle of fragrance slipped inside the napkins smelled like.

    Merry Christmas, dear friend.

  3. Lovely! His description of all of the aromas makes me a bit dizzy!

    I, too, wonder what the fragrance in the napkin was.


  4. It certainly does, L!

  5. J, I think it must have been something special, concocted specifically for that day and for family.

  6. R,

    hugs to you too, sweetie. He is very sensuous, isn's he? I most of all enjoy his leaping to the eye enjoyment of his role as "papa famille" :-)
    (btw, I have been a little late in sending you your prize, but rest assured it will get to you shortly!)

  7. How lovely, I am a fan of JCE's and had never read this... delightful...

  8. I'm a bit late to the party but this is just the sweetest little nugget. Thank you. Belated congratulations on the blog awards too!

  9. Daily,

    yes, that's probably because it was in French in the first place, which would make it less "popular". ;-)
    How lovely that you like his work: he's a very smart man!

  10. K,

    isn't it so cute? It's endearing how he feels that joyful of his family and their gatherings.

    And most heartfelt thanks! :-)


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