Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound
Summary from publisher:
A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.
Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. I picked it up and did not want to put it down until I finished. It was that good.
I have been obsessed with fragrances and scents for quite a long time. Really. I buy perfume almost as frequently as I buy books. Not in such great a number but I buy them and try to figure out the scent combination. It’s a strange hobby. But that is why I was looking forward to this book so much. It touched on one of my weirder obsessions. I also love that it touched on scent memory. Certain smells can bring you back to your past. The smell of drying paint always brings me back to the nerves of the first day of school, honeysuckle always reminds me of my Grandma, the perfume Opium reminds me of my Mom and the smell of library—I can’t even define it—reminds me of Tuesdays with my Mom at the library. I loved how the idea of scent memory was utilized in The Book of Lost Fragrances.
This is not my usual type of book even though it had a bit of romance in it but there was just so much I loved about it. I loved how detailed it was about the process of making and mixing fragrances. The language was so detailed that you almost felt that if you concentrated hard enough you could smell the scents. If that make any sense at all. I am such a big fan of complex storylines and this one definitely was. There were so many interwoven storylines from different historical periods. I was amazed at how beautifully M.J. Rose took such vastly different time periods and turned them into such a cohesive story.
This book was gorgeous. I loved every bit of it. I am dying to smell this perfume. I am a fragrance addict and I now have a near obsession with smelling the perfume inspired by this book.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.