A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra—and lost for 2,000 years.
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.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
Published Date: 2013
Series: The Reincartionist
Source: Requisitioned from publisher for reviewing purposes
Although this story is written primarily around fictitious ideas of reincarnation there is quite a bit of lacing of the maybes, and ho-hums of whether something like this was really experimented with. M.J. Rose actually includes a great little glossary at the end of the book which does explain several different things that are discussed and the numerous parties (Cleopatra, Tibetan Monks, etc.) who believed in the art of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances was fantastic! I never thought I’d be so enthralled with the story and although it was slightly confusing at times, I was slowly realizing the numerous locations, timeframes and characters were so closely related and would eventually come together in the end.
Jac L’Etoile has an amazing sense of smell; a genetic trait which was birthed through generations within the family of perfumers, but not all L’Etoile’s were lucky to have this in their DNA. Jac is a skeptic of the idea of reincarnation and has moved out of her childhood home in Paris to live in New York and continue telling the stories of myths of the ages, her brother, Robbie, on the other hand is optimistic and believes that the thirty-plus shards of pottery that he found in his father’s workshop were the passage to what has been longed believed to be nothing but a story their father and grand-father told of ancestors and the locating of the ancient recipe for reincarnation, and he was determined to either recreate this perfume or do something else with them.
So many events occur in this novel, it’s amazing I was able to focus. There were lulls but overall this book definitely has a lot of information to consider and process. The whole idea behind this story is that the fragrance to which was supposedly kept in the pottery was a fragrance that would evoke memories from your past life. It didn’t always work, but for those who would be able to feel its effects would be able to change the path of the body the soul was hosted, and if the person didn’t realize the damage that was occurring than history was likely to repeat itself.
The story-line was great. The characters were well written and I felt like I was witnessing some of the many events, I was even able to figure out who some of the characters were even she they were disguised as other people.
I requested this novel from the author myself and although I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t like it, I’m glad I actually went through with reading it. If you like a mystery, thriller, or suspense styled book this is a great piece of literature. I would highly recommend it if you’re going to spend any time doing nothing this summer, i.e. sunbathing, being the passenger of a moving vehicle, etc…