The Perfume Collector
By Kathleen Tessaro
This is an excellent book! I read it in record time as it was so engrossing that I had to keep going! A wonderful story following the intersecting lives of two women, one in the 1920’s-1930’s and the other in the 1950’s, taking place briefly in London and Monte Carlo, but mostly in New York and Paris. It is a very sensual book of fragrances, fashion, sexuality, high society privileges and also of working class trials and tribulations. An inheritance from a mysterious stranger is the basis of the story and each piece of the puzzle is revealed ever so slowly with excellent character developments of the main players. The perfumes hide the secrets and reveal the truths. It is quite sad that child labor laws didn’t exist early in the twentieth century but getting beyond that, this is a profound story of survival, using one’s talents, and new adventures that change the characters according to the place and time. I found it bewitching! This is a refreshing and classy approach to a dramatic and mysterious story line, so different from the “same old-same old” of many books. How wonderful Paris must have been in the 1950’s!! This is an unforgettable novel.