Friday, February 24, 2012

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J Rose

Overview from Goodreads:

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances—and of her mother’s suicide—she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L’Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

My Comments:

Have you ever smelled something and been transported back to an earlier point in your life?  This happens to me whenever I smell honey-suckle.  Suddenly, I’m thinking back to my childhood  and all the memories surrounding growing up in our first family home.

That is part of the premise for this book.  How a scent, sometimes that of perfume, can trigger past memories.  In the case of this story, those memories can also come from past lives for those who believe in reincarnation.
In The Book of Lost Fragrances, the author magically weaves a plot that includes Chinese politics and mafia,  psychology, reincarnation and Buddhism, along with the science of perfume and archeology into a fast paced, page turning story.  It took me awhile to connect the different intersecting story lines, and while sometimes it was a bit overwhelming, I think the author did a good job of tying it all together in the end.
This is the first book I have read by M.J. Rose.  I’m impressed enough by her writing that I have added some of her other books to my never ending to be read list.
I want to thank netGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

The expected publication date is March 13, 2012.

My Rating: ****


  1. So glad you enjoyed this..i loved it.

  2. Great Review! I might check this book out soon!