I am very excited to do my first “official” book review! I mentioned in last week’s Books, Books, Books posting how I came upon A Perfumer’s Secret and the author Adria J. Cimino, so we won’t review that, oops a pun!. I have had email “conversations” with Adria and I am happy to say she has agreed to answer my questionnaire and be profiled in one of my Monday postings…I am truly honored and thrilled. I hope she will still agree after she reads my review!
From the preface to the book: “Zoe’s Flore’s first creation was the scent of tears. A hot, salty fragrance that she concocted the day her mother died. A perfume built on oak moss, a touch of geranium and the real tears that tumbled into the mix. It was her fifteenth birthday, and from that moment on, she wore the scent as a suit of armour.”
I happen to love reading stories that educate, enlighten and engage me if they happen to be located in France (or England) so much the better. I found A Perfumer’s Secret to fill all those needs. The heroine of the novel, Zoe Flore, at the beginning of our story is a rather unhappy, lost soul in the midst of creating a perfume formula, with her newly ex-boyfriend and business partner, to enter into a very important competition. This competition can be a huge step forward in the very competitive world of perfume. She receives a letter from Grasse, France, where most of the components of fragrance originate, telling her she has inherited a long lost fragrance formula from her Great Aunt. Without hesitation and much to the chagrin of her business partner, she immediately leaves for France. She encounters many characters along her way all of whom seem to want the formula for their own devices. In some places, it became a bit too much of a romance novel for me, but who doesn’t like a touch of romance…that was short lived (of course, we are talking about fragrance so romance is very much a part of the entire story) and I found myself totally engaged with the journey and the explanation of how perfume is made, the huge costs involved not only dollars but in people’s lives and careers. I am aware of what a “nose” is in the business and how few people have it but to have it detailed in such an interesting manner that it was a delight to read. Zoe’s own fragrance is truly fantasy but how divine and how it drives the story!
I was truly enchanted with the book and look forward to reading all of Adria’s books in the near future. I hope you will enjoy it as well.