The Perfume Collector
A remarkable novel about secrets, desire, memory, passion, and possibility.
Newlywed Grace Monroe doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations of a successful 1950s London socialite, least of all her own. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d’Orsey, Grace is drawn to uncover the identity of her mysterious benefactor.
Weaving through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, the story Grace uncovers is that of an extraordinary women who inspired one of Paris’s greatest perfumers. Immortalized in three evocative perfumes, Eva d’Orsey’s history will transform Grace’s life forever, forcing her to choose between the woman she is expected to be and the person she really is.
The Perfume Collector explores the complex and obsessive love between muse and artist, and the tremendous power of memory and scent.
Praise For The Perfume Collector: A Novel…
— Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker
“Fragrance, fashion, and a puzzling bequest lead a 1950s British socialite into a whirl of Parisian intrigue in Kathleen Tessaro’s The Perfume Collector.”
— Good Housekeeping
“A colorful, stimulating journey through time.”
“A bewitching, compelling novel, full of dark desires, long-buried secrets, revisited memories, and new opportunities.”
“Dazzles the senses.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Beautiful imagery and prose are the strong points of this seductive story that paints the most bewitching picture imaginable of perfume creation and the muses who inspire it. The themes are brilliant . . . and likely to leave readers feeling awestruck by the end of this classy and unforgettable novel.”
— Romantic Times
“A mesmerising novel of passion and scent.”
— Woman and Home (UK)
“This evocative novel spins you back a few decades to the 20s and 50s where a young bride suppresses her intellect to be the trophy wife her husband desires. She is devasted when he is unfaithful but could it be the making of her?”
— Glamour (UK)
“Through vivid descriptions, lively mishaps and devastating details, Tessaro serves up a witty, original, fast-moving debut.”
— USA Today on Elegance
“Witty…proves that confidence never goes out of fashion.”
— Glamour on Elegance
“A compelling plot in a truly magical Parisian setting, fascinating information about the way perfume is made, and great secondary characters make this a charming read. . . . Readers of the works of Emily Griffin and Laura Florand will enjoy.”
— Library Journal
“A lovely tale of a young woman in London who receives a mysterious inheritance that brings her to Paris and eventually to an old perfume shop. . . . Sigh.”
— NY Daily News, The Summer's Best Beach Reads
Harper, 9780062257833, 464pp.
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
About the Author
Kathleen Tessaro is the author of Elegance, Innocence, The Flirt, The Debutante, The Perfume Collector, and Rare Objects. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.