"Initially, the odour of wines seems indescribable. How could words bring an odour to life? When it comes to describing an aroma or a bouquet, when it is not a matter of discernment, but one of communication or suggestion, we feel the true poverty and insufficiency of words, even more than for tastes. This is not due to a shortage of terms – there is in fact a greater abundance of terms for scent than for taste – but because the sensations are finer, more complex and less immediately classifiable. This makes it more difficult to select the most appropriate description, which will least misrepresent the sensations perceived.
We learn aromas from nature or perfumery. If we have not been curious about scents in our youth, or have not had the opportunity to explore them,the olfactory references may be limited and remain to be gathered.
With its choice of 54 wine aromas, Jean Lenoir’s work is an invaluable instrument for the education of the sense of smell and the olfactory memory."
Emile Peynaud, PhD, Engineer, Author of “A Handbook of Oenology”, “Knowing and Making Wine”, and “The Taste of Wine”
Dany and Michel Rolland
“There have been famous appendages, such as Cleopatra’s or Cyrano de Bergerac’s, but they would have been much greater and more powerful had they known and adopted Le Nez du Vin® as their bible.
Thirty years ago, this was the original, brilliant idea and realization of Jean Lenoir, a man of science and art, to recreate this incredibly rich aromatic palette of our wines.
Who has never sighed « I know this smell but I can’t put a name on it »? Well, Jean the magician managed to dissect the scents, capture the molecules, and turn them into a didactic, entertaining, living sensory dictionary. Therein lies his creativity, delving so intelligently into the complexity of the odoriferous principles of wine, giving them an identity and an aromatic expression: one vial = one aroma. It is a playful way to practice and learn the notes.
Bravo and long live Le Nez du Vin®, which will remain in good odor with all, professionals and amateurs alike, so that you can have a nose for wine, no skin off your nose!”
Dany and Michel Rolland, enologists, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of
Le Nez du Vin®
Miguel A. Torres
“Thirty years already since Jean Lenoir first published Le Nez du Vin®! A magnum opus, it has its place in the recent history of wine culture, and has been an essential tool for oenophiles over the years. The proposition of developing our gustatory memory with aromas found in wines the world over was no doubt a key element in divulging the precious good that is wine.”
Miguel A. Torres, winegrower, Bodegas Torres, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“It came as a bolt of thunder in the world of wine lovers. These small vials, which reveal the aromas we cannot identify, all of a sudden helped us make sense of what we perceived.
Le Nez du Vin® came as a turning point in 1981. It gave people in the trade, and perhaps even more the public at large, a simple tool that allowed even the shyest and humblest to feel comfortable with tasting gurus. The work of Jean Lenoir is not done yet, for the next generations need and will always need the references he offers us in such a convenient form. While the idea is simple, its production shows scientifically proven, meticulous care, the fruit of in-depth research, and stands witness to a mind in a constant quest for perfection.”
Robert Tinlot, Honorary President, International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“In a former life I was a teacher, for quite a number of years, and my best memory of Le Nez du Vin® is still the wonderful moments spent with my secondary school students in the mid 80’s, generally just before Christmas, playing with them a game of “what’s this smell?”. Their engagement, the ease with which they readily memorize smells, which alas life gradually takes away from them, are the very justification for these vials-cum-books, which have retaught everyone how to smell and how to enjoy nosing wine. Above and beyond social entertainment, this book has accompanied the evolution of our wines towards greater respect of the original taste of the grapes, and has enhanced the drinking pleasure of thousands of wine-lovers. Happy anniversary, Jean!”
Michel Bettane, co-author of the Bettane & Desseauve Guide to the Wines of France, President of Presse Française du Vin, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of
Le Nez du Vin®
“In the winter of 1981, the then leader of the cultural center in Chalon-sur-Saône, a hotspot for creations in the city, proposed theme evenings devoted to olfaction. Incidentally, it was a mutual friend, enologist Michel Billy, Director of an enology laboratory, who arranged the meeting of Jean Lenoir, talented facilitator, and Burgundy’s enologists, led by Charles Quittanson and Paul Chapelle, as well as some 150 guests, most of them in the business of Burgundy wines.
Great crowd, big day, next to bœuf bourguignon was a set of small vials containing aroma solutions, and a worksheet designed to check whether our nose measured up to the olfactory images Jean Lenoir proposed. He presented his approach. Upon analysis of the results of the exercise, we had to recognize that, though we were enologists, the expression of our senses was so rich and diverse that we were puzzled and moved by doubt. For the most discerning, this doubt translated into reflection: surely something can be done!
We are grateful to Jean Lenoir for grasping this doubt so as to create, choose, master and stabilize these aromas, and offer us this highly instructive collection of 54 aromas with explanatory factsheets, thereby contributing to popularizing the “sensory analysis” approach, now a fashionable expression, which appeared in the United States around 1950 and only began spreading to French enology circles towards 1965-1970.
With his theme evenings, Jean Lenoir forged his communication style, his Burgundian accent, his great presence, his kindness, which are all part of his product and his success.
Jean Lenoir‘s Le Nez du Vin® has triggered many imitations, now discontinued… and we are delighted that he is still enjoying worldwide success 30 years later. We are thankful to him for originating an educational tool that has supported the development of personal expressions of the richness and pleasure one experiences when tasting the wines of the world.”
HL Arnould, agricultural engineer and enologist, Editor of La Revue des Œnologues, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“Le Nez du Vin® has first and foremost been an amazing working tool. Even after several decades of tasting wine, it is always useful to check and memorize certain aromas. Wine Faults is probably the one I most often use in my work, but the most fascinating one is the Master Kit. Having fun learning is satisfying for everyone. It’s playful work. A central part of tasting is the simple pleasure of discovering the aromas of wine. Thank you, Jean.”
Georges Pertuiset, Meilleur Sommelier de France 1980, Honorary President of Union de la Sommellerie Française, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“I can claim to be the first or at least one of the very first buyers of Le Nez du Vin®. Back in 1982, I found out in the great newspaper Le Figaro that a Mr. Jean Lenoir had created a kit containing the main aromas in wine. I was literally dazzled by such a prodigious idea, and wondered how he managed to solve the technical problems it must have raised. But Jean Lenoir is a genius, and thanks to his unimaginable creation, he revolutionized the world of wine, allowing winegrowers, sommeliers and all lovers of this nectar to taste wine with precision, and discover all of its aromas. We can say that thanks to his mad passion and his talent, he has enabled us to lift our perceptions higher, so we may know even better the most delightful things nature gives us.”
Henry Marionnet, winegrower, Domaine de la Charmoise, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
Jeanne & Simone Laffitte
“There is no greater misfortune in life than to die ignorant... Since we have met Jean Lenoir, we no longer fear such fate: his aromas, “arômes”, pronounced with an “r” rolling like a torrent, and an “o” with an accent as big as a magician’s hat, fascinated us.
After a strict education thirty years ago at Les Arcenaulx, our sense of smell developed, and thanks to Le Nez du Vin®, we were able to share our knowledge. Admittedly, you will find abundant literature on wine, but the reminiscence of different aromas always needs reviving, and these 54 small vials are so many necessary booster shots, drawing us into the unfathomable poetic pleasure of our memories, before we discover them in this or that flask of happiness that a good bottle of wine can be.
So, whether or not you have a wine cellar, if you like wine, you will need a corkscrew of course, two fine glasses, as drinking alone is not recommended, and Le Nez du Vin® so you can praise the winegrower and Jean Lenoir for offering you such a lovely olfactory voyage.
Let there be no mistake, if Le Nez du Vin® has prevailed for thirty years, it is that it has found its place in the world of wine, and that its little vials are destined to conquer the galaxy.”
Jeanne & Simone Laffitte, Les Arcenaulx bookstore, gallery and restaurant in Marseille, France, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“There are diseases in our society. Those we all know of course. But there are also deficiencies. Among the latter, there are those that affect the soul: lack of consideration, lack of love, as well as lack of recognition. Worse yet, sensory deficit.
The inability to see, smell, taste or touch, such are some of those major deficits, shortcomings that make for unfit, unhappy people, strangers to themselves. This is why Jean Lenoir ought to be recognized as a true benefactor. He has given everyone the resources to single out, recognize and above all name smells.”
Jean-Philippe Derenne, Professor of Medicine, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of
Le Nez du Vin®
“Le Nez du Vin® is the vision of a passionate, incredibly charismatic discoverer, who opened up to the world of wine the knowledge and complexity of a poorly known, often atrophied sense. He brought a new, exceptional dimension to the art of tasting, now accessible to all, connoisseurs and mere consumers alike. It is a true creation that is simply brilliant. Thank you, Jean!”
Louis Havaux, Editor-in-Chief of VINO, Honorary President of FIJEV, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
“To me, Le Nez du Vin® today is first and foremost a superb success with exemplary longevity, relying on several strengths:
- an original concept likely to appeal to the curiosity of wine lovers and interest them in getting this amazing box, for their own pleasure or as a gift,
- a simple and effective kit that teaches you about wine aromas in an entertaining way, very much like an exciting party game, making it a remarkable encyclopedia of wine,
- a positive, personally enriching experience for wine lovers through education, learning about aromas, enhancing their vocabulary and description when tasting wine, thus bringing them significantly closer to the world of experts and enlightened connoisseurs.
- a precious aid to prepare food and wine pairing successfully, playing with the complementarity of wine aromas with dishes, thereby heightening the gustatory enjoyment of meals.”
Jacques Duley, General Manager of Nicolas wine stores from 1988 to 2011, testimonial on the 30th anniversary of Le Nez du Vin®
"I used Le Nez du Vin® in my early career to educate myself and develop my olfactory acuteness.
It is still with me today when I teach. It is a precious companion to the courses I teach my students in hotel management school, the future ambassadors of taste who will convey the culture of wine throughout the world.
In addition to its primary pedagogic purpose, the recognition of wine aromas, this tool incites us to develop greater sensitivity to the smells found in nature. Using Le Nez du Vin® intensifies our attention to aromas in general and helps us better understand those of wine.
Le Nez du Vin® has the great merit of motivating us to bring olfactory education into our daily lives. It does not terminate but, on the contrary, initiates training!"
Best Sommelier of the World 2013
Best Sommelier of Europe 2010
“When Jean Lenoir takes his friends on a tour of his wine cellar, he engages his guests in a ritual that stands out from that of the big companies that conduct inductions with sometimes grotesque formalism. With him, the experience makes for long-lasting memories. This is why in a conversation, answering a thought he had expressed, I told him: “Why don’t you turn your passion for wine, and your passion for culture, into an occupation?” Since his profound desire is to meet people and have people meet through convivial activities, it seemed natural to me that he would take wine as the medium. As far as I know, Jean was the first to make enology a cultural activity in the full sense of the term instead of just a vehicle to promote the sale of wine.”
Henri Cueco, French painter and writer
"What is the point of refining winemaking techniques and increasing the legal arsenal of protections of authenticity, if the ultimate beneficiaries, the wine drinkers, are unable to discern a bad white wine from a good cider? Or if they do not understand the range of information provided on the label?
Competent judgement of wines demands that the senses be trained and developed. To this end, Jean Lenoir’s book is particularly useful and instructive."
Max Léglise, Honorary Director of the Burgundy Oenology Station in Beaune (INRA, French National Institute for Agribusiness Research)