Rebecca Raisin comes to the blog with the third installment in The Little Paris Collection series, the first I’ve read. Please read my review of
The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées
Leclére Perfumery in Paris is hosting a competition: win the competition and get a cash prize, six months in Paris, a line of your own scents and plenty of opportunities to work with mentors and perfumers. This is just the boost that Del needs, especially after her twin sister Jen bailed on their plan to move from their sleepy Michigan town to New York to open a small boutique scent shop. Growing up, Del had worked tirelessly with her Nan, learning how to recognize and blend scent: and now, feeling the loss of her keenly, she’s hit a point of grief where the boost in confidence she got from being accepted into the competition is competing with her fear that she’s lost her gift of creation, but she’s in Paris to compete, learn and win the prize to make her dreams of a New York shop a reality.
Sébastien Leclére, the reclusive owner and son of the famous Victor feels as if he’s been bludgeoned into the contest. Through all of the interviews and the process to find the six contestants, he’s been absent, leaving the task to his mother. He dislikes Paris, wants little to do with the all-encompassing world of scent creation, and misses his father terribly – to the point that he’s agreed to stick with the contest only long enough to find a winner, then turning the operation over to the management team. There’s an instant spark with he and Del though, and when he’s assigned to be her mentor after several encounters that have Del shown in the most embarrassing situations, the two meet, and a connection of sorts is born.
The contest is not without pitfalls, however. Other contestants from the coldly brusque and single-minded Anastasia, to Karen and Chloe – a Brit and a Parisienne with their own subtle (or not so) ways of undermining the others, to Lex, an older man with the weight of the world on his shoulders to Lili, a chemist with controlling parents and a need to succeed, Del’s got to find her own strength and path, despite the obstacles from contestants to creation that come her way.
Through the scents and scenes in Paris and France, Del finds the keys to the contest: it’s not for a new nose or creation but the ultimate gift from Victor to his son, hoping to reignite his creativity and love for the world of scent and the possibilities within. Dealing with her own grief over the loss of her Nan, to what she sees as a betrayal from her twin to the difficulties she has without a solid five year plan after her parents’ rather offhanded approach to responsibility, Del has to let go in the moment, and capture the essence of what it means to live in a scent – a scent that will open doors and provide her with the life she never knew she wanted.
Lovely and atmospheric from the bits of history and scenery to the evocative scent profiles, struggles and growth – the story just keeps on giving back to readers. I meant to read only a bit of this at a time, wanting it to last: I looked up to discover I had devoured it in one sitting – happily. Raisin has mixed emotion, growth, scents and scenes into a story that feels approachable and real, and most of all, grounded in the hope and shine of Paris.
Title: The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection #3
Also in this series: The Little Bookshop on the Seine
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements, Setting: France
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 30 March, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
What is French for falling in love?
When Del leaves small town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!
Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…
Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.