The Perfume Collector – by Kathleen Tessaro – independent book review – Fiction

Don’t Miss This One! Awarded five stars on Goodreads.

An exceptionally intelligent mystery with a fascinating cast of characters that makes turning each page a pure delight.

perfumecollectorStart with Eva D’Orsey, a penniless 14 year old with a savant’s ability to remember numbers. Lucky enough to land a job as a maid at William Randolph Hearst’s posh New York hotel, Eva encounters both glamorous and shady characters from the 1920s, some of whom push Eva’s life into new and unexpected directions.

Add Grace, a troubled British housewife in the 1950s, the product of an aristocratic upbringing, now married to an eager, up and coming lawyer. The problem is Grace seems unable to fit into the social life around her.

Add to this a brilliant Jewish perfumer able to create customized fragrances for the most discerning clients, an alcoholic con man disinherited by his titled British father, a charismatic emigre from Tsarist Russian, and a sad and damaged botanist suffering the effects of poison gas from World War I.

Ahh, but there’s more! A huge inheritance from a total stranger. A prostitute who becomes a Hollywood legend. Along with the chic wife of a wealthy perfume tycoon who collaborates with Nazis to preserve her husband’s empire.

How all these interesting, distinctive and multi-dimensional characters relate to one another across generations and continents makes this book a very fun and fast read. And along the way, you’ll also learn quite a bit about the language of scents and the creation of perfume.

Kathleen Tessaro
More about the author Kathleen Tessaro.
You might be interested in my review of another Tessaro book, Elegance.