The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense

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The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense

by M. J. Rose

Atria Books | March 13, 2012 | Hardcover

The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.
A spellbinding novel from the internationally bestselling author!

A Secret Worth Dying For…

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by visions of the past, her earliest memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up with as the heir to a storied French perfume company. These worsened after her mother’s suicide until she finally found a doctor who helped her, teaching her to explore the mythological symbolism in her visions and thus lessen their painful impact. This ability led Jac to a wildly successful career as a mythologist, television personality, and author.

When her brother, Robbie—who’s taken over the House of L’Etoile from their father—contacts Jac about a remarkable discovery in the family archives, she’s skeptical. But when Robbie goes missing before he can share the secret—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Traveling back to Paris to investigate Robbie’s disappearance, Jac discovers that the secret is a mysterious scent developed in Cleopatra’s time. Could the rumors swirling be true? Can this ancient perfume hold the power to unlock the ability to remember past lives and conclusively prove reincarnation? If this possession has the power to change the world, then it’s not only worth living for…it’s worth killing for, too.

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense in an intoxicating web that moves from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. This marvelous, spellbinding novel mixes the sensory allure of Perfume with the heartbreaking beauty of The Time Traveler’s Wife, coming to life as richly as our most wildly imagined dreams.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 in

Published: March 13, 2012

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451621302

ISBN - 13: 9781451621303

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Mysterious The Book of Lost Fragrances, is an enchanting and mystifying book that grabbed me from the first few pages and has become one of my favourite books of 2012 so far. For any historical fiction fan this book is a must. The central story takes place in Paris, so you get your fair share of French history, but intertwined with the French was fascinating details of Egyptian and Tibetan history. I especially loved the details about Tibet. It's not an area you get to read a lot about in literature and I loved how thorough and thoughtful M.J. Rose was when exploring their history, beliefs and current political situation. In addition to the history, I also loved learning about the mechanics of perfume. I always knew there was a pretty detailed science behind but The Book of Lost Fragrances takes time to look at the mystery of it as well. Though Robbie is the one who takes over the family perfume business, we are told Jac is the one who truly has a nose for it. I found this incredibly interesting and often found myself wondering how good my own nose would be. Finally, there is the mystery. There are a lot of different players through out the book and a lot of different interests at stake. In the beginning it was a little difficult to keep everyone straight, mostly because you know so little about them. But as the story continues and the mystery unfolds, many of the characters develop alongside it. M.J. Rose took the story in directions I never anticipated and the ending had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen. I was surprised to see this book was the fourth in a series because it reads like a stand alone. I am interested to see what the earlier books are like and how they relate to this one. This was an absolutely fabulous book to get lost in and I can only hope the other books are the same. This was my first M.J. Rose book but it definitely won't be my last. This and other reviews at Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com)
Date published: 2012-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved it This book broached perfume and its essence and murder and mayhem.Jac and Robbie Etoile are from a family of perfumers and Robbie has found links in the Pharoahs tombs that help people remember the past. Does this really exist?
Date published: 2012-04-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Full of suspense, mystery and romance! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’ve never really stopped to think about how smell plays an important role in our lives. The smells of freshly cut grass, or the smell of saltwater might remind us of summer, or the smell of a certain perfume may bring back memories of our mothers or grandmothers. Everything has a smell and we associate those smells with certain memories. But what if there was a smell that could bring back the memories not only of your current life, but of your past lives? That’s what the basis is for M. J. Rose’s novel The Book of Lost Fragrances. This is the story of Jac and her brother Robbie. They grew up around their family’s French perfume company, but as they grew, Robbie stayed with the company and Jac moved away from it. It isn’t until Robbie disappears that Jac has to go back to the place of her childhood to find out what happened to him. Through the course of these events, the reader is also plunged into a history of reincarnation — from that of the ancient Egyptians to the beliefs of Tibet’s people. I did really like this book, but probably more for the descriptions of places and smells, than for the mystery. There’s a lot of mystery in this book and it starts to build up from the first chapter. While that’s a huge part of the book, Rose excels in her descriptions — if there ever was a book that could be scratch and sniff, I wish it could be this one. The descriptions made me hungry to just climb inside the book and experience everything that was going on. When Rose describes settings like the ancient ruins in Egypt or the Seine in Paris, the words come across like a painting — you can see the whole picture in front of you, but you can also see each individual brush stroke and smell the paint itself. Images are so clear and beautiful that it’s like you’re right there in the story. This book reminded me a bit of Ann Brashares’s My Name is Memory — another book that deals with reincarnation. I loved how there was the understanding that two souls would always be able to find one another in their future life. The only thing that really threw me off in this book, interrupting the flow of my reading, was the incorporation of dates and times at the beginning of each chapter. I found myself flipping back to previous chapter headings to see where the next chapter falls. I think it worked most effectively when Rose was writing about another century, or a character in another country, rather than jumping from different times in the day. I thought the book would’ve flowed better without that. And a personal preference for me, I wish that Jac had a more feminine name. Her full name is used later in the book, but I felt that the book was dominated by a lot of males that her name blends in. I also wish there was more romance, though there is some romance in the book. All in all, this was a wonderful book. If you’ve ever been one to associate smells with memories, this is the book to read. Rose also included wonderful quotes by Proust and Carl Jung that drew me in right from the beginning, and anything that includes the mysteries of ancient Egypt is bound to be a winner. Rose is quite a wonderful writer and I loved how she managed to tie everything together in the end. Full of mystery, suspense, and romance, The Book of Lost Fragrances is sure to leave you longing for that favourite smell of your past, and wonder if you can find the smell to unlock hidden memories.
Date published: 2012-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Provocative Read This was such a fun and provocative book to read! I was drawn in by the rich details and discussion of art and perfume and reincarnation. It was a book I could luxuriate in, yet there is also suspense, mystery and romance. The first thing to note, however, is even though this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand alone book. There are so many layers to this book. I love how so many diverse stories can come together: Jac with her haunted past; Xie, a young Tibetan living in China; Valentine, part of the Chinese mafia in Paris; a young couple in ancient Egypt; and a young couple in revolutionary Paris. Not only does Rose entwine their stories through reincarnation and scents, but also draws on the rich history and culture of each of these times and places. Even though this might sound complicated, it works. I'll admit that, at first, it was a little bit difficult for me to keep track of all of the stories, but the author clearly labels the chapters to help with this. And each story is so distinct that, as you get to know the characters, it becomes easier to keep track of them as well as become invested in them. Rose did a great job of developing her characters. For example, I felt total sympanthy for Jac, but was also able to see her brother, Robbie's, point of view when they argued - I didn't know who I supported more. They both had histories that brought them to where they were and these were brought out in the book. There is so much history in this book - of perfume and perfume making, myth, politcs, and general history. This comes off as authenticly and naturally. And then there are the scents! I've never read a book that relies so heavily on the sense of smell in its desciptions and plot and I found myself reacting to the smells described. Some were wonderful and others were off putting, but all added another dimetention to the book. The author also did a great job of creating tension and suspence as well as a bitter sweet romance. She gave you just enough at the right moments that I could hardly put the book down, anxious to see what would happen next. At the same time, the book had a meandery feel to it enriched with history and story telling. I hope I'm explaining this well - I felt complelled to keep turning the pages, but didn't feel rushed. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to those who like historical fiction. My only crticisms are that I got confused a bit with all of the point of view shifts and there were a few times when I felt thigs got a bit repetative. However, the rest of the book more than makes up for this, and I'll definitely be seeking out other books in this series. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley for review.
Date published: 2012-04-02

– More About This Product –

The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense

by M. J. Rose

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 in

Published: March 13, 2012

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451621302

ISBN - 13: 9781451621303

About the Book

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.

Read from the Book

The Book of Lost Fragrances One ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, 1799 Giles L’Etoile was a master of scent, not a thief. He had never stolen anything but one woman’s heart, and she’d always said she’d given that willingly. But on this chilly Egyptian evening, as he descended the rickety ladder into the ancient tomb, each tentative footstep brought him closer to criminality. Preceding L’Etoile had been an explorer, an engineer, an architect, an artist, a cartographer, and, of course, the general himself—all the savants from Napoléon’s army of intellectuals and scientists now stealing into a sacred burial place that had remained untouched for thousands of years. The crypt had been discovered the day before by the explorer Emile Saurent and his team of Egyptian boys, who had stopped digging when they unearthed the sealed stone door. Now the twenty-nine-year-old Napoléon would have the privilege of being the first man to see what had lain lost and forgotten for millennia. It was no secret that he entertained dreams of conquering Egypt. But his grand ambitions went beyond military conquests. Under his aegis, Egypt’s history was being explored, studied and mapped. At the bottom of the ladder, L’Etoile joined the assembled party in a dimly lit vestibule. He sniffed and identified limestone and plaster dust, stale air and the workers’ body odor, and a hint of another scent almost too faint to take in. Four pink granite columns,
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From the Publisher

A spellbinding novel from the internationally bestselling author!

A Secret Worth Dying For…

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by visions of the past, her earliest memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up with as the heir to a storied French perfume company. These worsened after her mother’s suicide until she finally found a doctor who helped her, teaching her to explore the mythological symbolism in her visions and thus lessen their painful impact. This ability led Jac to a wildly successful career as a mythologist, television personality, and author.

When her brother, Robbie—who’s taken over the House of L’Etoile from their father—contacts Jac about a remarkable discovery in the family archives, she’s skeptical. But when Robbie goes missing before he can share the secret—leaving a dead body in his wake—Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Traveling back to Paris to investigate Robbie’s disappearance, Jac discovers that the secret is a mysterious scent developed in Cleopatra’s time. Could the rumors swirling be true? Can this ancient perfume hold the power to unlock the ability to remember past lives and conclusively prove reincarnation? If this possession has the power to change the world, then it’s not only worth living for…it’s worth killing for, too.

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense in an intoxicating web that moves from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. This marvelous, spellbinding novel mixes the sensory allure of Perfume with the heartbreaking beauty of The Time Traveler’s Wife, coming to life as richly as our most wildly imagined dreams.

About the Author

M. J. Rose is the international bestselling author of eleven novels, including The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, and The Hypnotist. She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com.

Editorial Reviews

“Enthralling. A supple and elegant thriller. There is simply no more daring writer than MJ Rose, and her blisteringly original [novel] shows why.”
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