I will not go mad as long as there is beauty in the world and I can be near it.
Featuring 3 perfumers, a windfall inheritance, and a missing perfume formula, The Perfume Collector starts slowly as it builds a wide base for the ensuring very tangled plot. In fact it starts so slowly that I wondered whether to continue. Was anything going to happen in this book at all?
An Englishwoman who suspects her husband of infidelity has to fly to Paris to meet a lawyer who reads her a will. She has inherited an apartment in Paris, a share portfolio and several mysteries from a person unknown to her. Almost halfway through the book everything comes together across several time periods in New York, London, Paris and Monte Carlo.
The character development in each historical period (1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s) adds depth as well as questions and answers to the next shift forward or backward in time. Suddenly I could not keep up and marveled at the intricate plot.
She exuded the air of a woman used to spending her days glowing brightly at the centre of her own personal solar system.
With more twists than Interlude Man and more vanishing acts than Molecule 01, The Perfume Collector has predictable flyaway top notes, a heart of pathos and passion followed by an intricate, rich and very rewarding drydown. Average sillage. Longevity is just beyond the two day mark making it an enjoyable weekend read.
Enfleurage, perfume development, and scent memories as well as a seemingly abandoned Parisian haute parfumerie make appearances in this novel which will appeal to book-loving Perfumistas. I hope to spend another weekend with the yet-to-be-written sequel.
You can make your own mind up by reading the opening chapter on Kathleen Tessaro’s website.
Editor’s Note: Thank you for this lovely review, Jordan. I loved Tessaro’s book Elegance, so I can’t wait to read this one! What about you? Interested?