An inheritance from a mysterious stranger...< /p>
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.
©2013 Kathleen Tessaro (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
"[L]ush, descriptive imagery and admirable authenticity.... [A] bewitching, compelling novel, full of dark desires, long-buried secrets, revisited memories, and new opportunities." (Booklist)
"A colorful, stimulating journey through time." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Dazzles the senses." (Publishers Weekly)
Perhaps, as there were some complexities; but more likely I will not listen to it again.
Overall many aspects of Eva were admirable.
Near the end where Grace wants to spend some time with the lawyer and describes how she'd like that time to be.
I quite loved this book, which I may have gotten as an audible.com daily deal. Having listened to it, any misspellings or grammatical errors that others (in "goodreads") are complaining about slipped by me. I’d never thought much about perfume formulas, especially since these days—at least in California—wearing perfumes in public is frowned upon. Still, when younger and perfume was in vogue, I wore and cared about my share. So I read the book. Not searching for “likes”, I’ll just give it a 4.5—>5 rating, as I thoroughly enjoyed The Perfume Collector. I liked the little bit of history, the observations about French vs. English cuisines, relationships, personal growth. I certainly lost some sleep to my compulsion to listen.
One of my top two.
The world woven around the world of scent. We are sensual beings in a brutal world and yet in this story I felt hypnotized with the descriptions of how perfumes are developed, how the essences are collected and the world created to tell the story.
She has a wonderful voice and her cadence, tempo and voice nuances made me look for other books she has performed.
I wouldn't. It's the perfect title.
I really loved that it was a mystery which made me think as well as act upon. I've stated wearing perfume more often and it's for my pleasure vs only for parties and occasions with other people. It taught me the sensual identification one can instill in others through the sense of scent.
I have given this audio book two attempts and had to put it aside both times. I am sure the story is captivating but the narration was unbearable. The voice of Ms. Heather Wilds is capable of modulating in only one way. She reads almost every sentence with the same predictable bend of the pitch, often disregarding the natural rhythm of the grammatical construct. At times, it was difficult for me to follow the story because I kept listening to this repetitive annoying melody in the narrator's voice.
I am not able to review the story properly. I would like to read it in full, perhaps on Kindle or paperback this time.
Wonderful narration that truly brings the story to life. Though it took more than the first chapter to catch my attention, the story had me hooked.
I really enjoyed this book. The poetic descriptions, plot twists and Old description of Paris. Great character development. Ms. Wilds did a wonderful narration, even with male characters.
Books that delve into the hearts and minds of strong female characters are my favorite.
This one is lovely and one of those books you hate to see end.
Also any romance that is there is downplayed as not the most important part of the story, which then lends the author to define the characters with sharper lines.
Lots of history regarding the 20's through the 50's Monte Carlo, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling, an interesting time. Also the hideous treatment of women...don't be too smart, a man doesn't like it if you are "clever"..makes me glad I am living in this time.
The "American Southern " dialect was especially distracting . Otherwise, I could not listening to this beautiful story. I highly recommend it.
Although Tessaro writes very well throughout the novel, for some reason the plot and dialogue are much better in the Eva sections. Perhaps her creation of Grace as a bit of a cliche is more or less important to the feminist tract that is clearly at the heart of the novel. I had to grit my teeth during some of the Grace/Andre exchanges, "surely you are the creature who is made to drive me mad." But I liked the discussion about "coming to your senses." Tessaro does a wonderful job of depicting Paris in the 1920s and the use of perfume was an excellent touch. I definitely recommend this book and am interested in reading more by this author.
Chick Lit Lover
Yes. Because I can do other things while I am listening, and I cannot while reading.
When they discovered the old perfume shop with all of the little bottles still on the shelves. I could almost smell the perfumes. The description was very vivid but not over the top. Not too wordy.
When she was teaching her daughter how to make perfume in the pantry.
Great listen. I was transported back in time. Although it was a bit predictable I enjoyed it.
Very good book. Well written and very well read with each character in a different voice. Easy to listen to
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