Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by visions of the past, her earliest memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up with as the heir to a storied French perfume company. These worsened after her mother’s suicide until she finally found a doctor who helped her, teaching her to explore the mythological symbolism in her visions and thus lessen their painful impact. This ability led Jac to a wildly successful career as a mythologist, television personality and author.
When her brother, Robbie - who’s taken over the House of L’Etoile from their father - contacts Jac about a remarkable discovery in the family archives, she’s skeptical. But when Robbie goes missing before he can share the secret - leaving a dead body in his wake - Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Traveling back to Paris to investigate Robbie’s disappearance, Jac discovers that the secret is a mysterious scent developed in Cleopatra’s time. Could the rumors swirling be true? Can this ancient perfume hold the power to unlock the ability to remember past lives and conclusively prove reincarnation? If this possession has the power to change the world, then it’s not only worth living for.... It’s worth killing for, too.
The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense in an intoxicating web that moves from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. This marvelous, spellbinding novel mixes the sensory allure of Perfume with the heartbreaking beauty of The Time Traveler’s Wife, coming to life as richly as our most wildly imagined dreams.
Phil Gigante did a fine job as usual, but this book was not worth listening to. I put it on double time but had a hard time staying with it. If I'd had the book, I would have flipped to the back to find out what happened.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
How could the performance have been better?
A lovely and interesting book. However, the French pronunciation is absolutely hideous, if you have even a speck of high school French lingering in the back of your brain I'm sure you will agree!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
M.J. Rose is a good writer with an admirable flair for narrative and description, a believable knowledge of geography and history, and the ability to weave a suspenseful tale that keeps you interested. The story, involving "proof" of reincarnation by being able to access past lives (and particularly, past lovers) through mystical fragrances, was intriguing enough to buy and listen to the entire audiobook. That said, the story throughout has exaggerated human response and by the end, a simply hokey and nauseating amount of melodrama. The big sex scene may appeal to romance aficianados but to me was so extreme that it was more like the birth of a universe than a mere sex scene. The ending just dropped the ball as well, an anticlimax if there ever was one. Important note: Phil Gigante was not the right reader for this book. His style is monotonous, there are only two voices - "male" and "female" or maybe four, if you include "Chinese female" and "Chinese male". Worst, he has no knowledge of French whatsoever and mangles the pronunciation of French words and phrases enough to make you wince many times. Ouch!
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Read the reviews, expected a great story. Not the case. All the characters whined. The heroine would rather be crazy than entertain reincarnation. I completely did not get the last scene between Jac and her father. Wasted my money on this one.
Excellent story and narration. It held me spellbound. I am still wearing the perfume for special occasions.