The Perfume Collector

The Perfume Collector

by Kathleen Tessaro

Overview: A remarkable novel about secrets, desire, memory, passion, and possibility.

Newlywed Grace Monroe doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations of a successful 1950s London socialite, least of all her own. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d’Orsey, Grace is drawn to uncover the identity of her mysterious benefactor.

Weaving through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, the story Grace uncovers is that of an extraordinary women who inspired one of Paris’s greatest perfumers. Immortalized in three evocative perfumes, Eva d’Orsey’s history will transform Grace’s life forever, forcing her to choose between the woman she is expected to be and the person she really is.

The Perfume Collector explores the complex and obsessive love between muse and artist, and the tremendous power of memory and scent.

Faith Bowers (09/15/15): Though the story is predictable in both the secrets and outcome, I did enjoy learning out the perfume business in pre WW2 and the status of women throughout the mid twentieth century. It was an enjoyable read.
Rating: ***

Judy Stanton (08/03/15): Set in the 1950s, with flashes back to the 1920s, The Perfume Collector is a well written story of two women whose lives are mysteriously connected. As the characters of Grace Monroe and Eva D'orsey are developed, the reader begins to connect the dots. I especially enjoyed the description of perfume smells and potions, and the coming together of two different times in history, both of which impacted the expectations of women. A good, quick read.
Rating: ****

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