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Book Reviews - Perfume

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Perfume: The story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

First published in 1987 this highly unusual book will echo long after you have turned the last page.

An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation Patrick Suskind’s classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man’s indulgence in his greatest passion – his sense of smell leads to murder.

In the slums of 18th c France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift – an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odours of Paris and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there and becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects until one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever more terrifying quest, to create the ‘ultimate perfume’.  Dazzling narrative brilliance!   A Must Read.

 

The Perfumer’s Secret by Fiona McIntosh

On the eve of the First World War, Fleurette, the only daughter of the wealthy Delacroix perfume dynasty finds herself in a carriage with her brother outside the cathederal, moments away from being married to a man she despises Aimery De Lasset, head of the pre-eminent perfume manufacturer in France.

Only the tolling of the cathedral bells on the eve of war save her from consummating the marriage.

When she receives an unexpected letter from Aimery’s estranged brother, Fleurette is left holding a terrible secret, the discoveries risk shattering the two families and risking their perfume empires.

The novel set in the town of Grasse reveals a womans perspective of the class and expectations of her times and the changes created by war against a backdrop of the perfume industry.  Genre: popular romantic fiction