Summary (via Goodreads): An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .
An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secret
London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.
Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.
So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.
But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.
Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women,The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.
Review (4/5 stars): I loved this book! Sometimes authors have a difficult time telling a story that switches main characters from one chapter to another as the story unfolds along different timelines but Kathleen Tessaro handles this with ease.
I enjoyed all of the characters and loved how each and every one of them evolved throughout. Perhaps Eva's development was rather sudden but I think it was meant to be that way. I was able to fully immerse myself in all of the different worlds that were described, never questioning the validity of the scenarios, only anticipating the moment when everyone's secrets and true desires were finally going to be unveiled for me.
This book makes me long to return to Paris to start a new life with a new outlook someday. If only I had an inheritance from an anonymous benefactor to get me started on my way~
Today anyone and their dog (literally) can make a perfume and name it after themselves, but there was a time when perfume was special. I visited the town of Grasse in France many years ago and took in the free tour of the Fragonard Perfumery. Even though I'm usually quite allergic to scents I found the whole thing fascinating.
Have you ever visited a Perfumery? Had a scent made especially for you? Be the first to leave a comment below!