Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. ófrom the journal of Danielle Bretancourt
When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.
Amidst the glamour of Hollywoodís Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?
This is the story of a strong, determined woman who, after losing her family during World War II, builds her life in America and becomes successful perfumer. It was interesting to see the perfume making and how sensible she was to different smells and it would have been interesting to see more about perfume making.
One of the continuing themes was Danielle’s search for her missing son Nicky. Nicky stayed behind in Poland with his grandmother, but when Poland is occupied by the Nazis things soon gets worse. Even when everyone else believes that Nicky didn’t survive, Danielle won’t give up.
WWII setting was what drew me to this book so I liked the first part more than her time in Los Angeles.
There’s lot going on and at times it goes little too much on the melodramatic side. But on the whole I really enjoyed this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list, and other contemporary novels, including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway. A fragrance and beauty industry expert, she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine, and has spoken before prestigious organizations, including The American Society of Perfumers. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writersí Program.
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