Travel to Provence with new to me author Adria Cimino as her tale of a search for the perfect scent unfolds with Teri Schnaubelt narrating. Please read on for my review of
A Perfumer’s Secret
A story laden with scent, family secrets, drama and deep-rooted mysteries are at the core of this tale about Zoe Flore, heading from the only life she’s known in New York to Grasse France, to collect a bequest from an aunt she never knew existed. Raised by her mother, and learning the art of scent-craft from her mother’s constant creations for her, Zoe is completely unaware of her French relations, and they of her. She’s decided that along with collecting this special formula that was left to her, she’s going to meet and discover her family in the area, and perhaps discover who her father is. All of this minor drama is taking place as a contest is announced for a major perfumery contract to become the Cherone in-house perfumer, which is bringing interest from perfume creators (noses), known and unknown, from around the world. Thinking this may be a good opportunity, Zoe’s plans for entering the contest center on the recipe left by her aunt. But, after a day of sightseeing and discovery, she returns to a ransacked hotel room, a missing formula, and the owner of the famed Grasse Fragrance International looking to meet with her.
While Zoe is searching for who (and why) her formula is stolen, she’s meeting other noses in the area as all are working toward an entry for the prize. Philippe works for Grasse Fragrance, but is determined to win the contest, defeat Henri Dumas and take his ‘rightful place’ as the lead, in house perfumer for Cherone. Meeting Zoe, there is a connection between Philippe and Zoe. It’s intriguing to see their different approaches to creation: Zoe is far more organic in her approach whereas Philippe is far more methodical and routine based in his approach. He’s caught a scent that captures his imagination, but his desire to recreate that scent and use it as his entry add yet another level of gamesmanship to his acquaintance with Zoe. When you add in Loulou – a fifteen year old girl who picks blossoms for the factories, and still reeling with the discovery of her aunt’s death and her parent’s marital difficulties: the fields are her escape and her hackles are up. As the story develops, more subplots unfold as Zoe’s hunt for the formula, answers to the questions about the family she never knew existed, and discover why her mother left France for New York, never mentioning home again – the twists, turns and tensions are palpable. With lovely description of sight and scent – the visual imagery is unique and cleverly poised for readers to grasp and imagine.
Narrated by Teri Schnaubelt, the story comes to life with her simple adjustments to character voices, allowing a distinct tone and delivery for each. This is a story laden with frustration, suspicions and questions that often are hidden beneath an angry and abrupt approach: all understandable reactions to the never-ending tangle of what-next that Zoe is facing, presented with appropriate emoting that kept both the content and context at the forefront.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: A Perfumer's Secret
Author: Adria J. Cimino
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Mystery Elements, Setting: France
Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt
Published by: Tantor Audio, Velvet Morning Press
Published on: 10 October, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 45 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France...
Perfumer Zoe Flore travels to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, to collect a formula: her inheritance from the family she never knew existed. The scent matches the one worn by her mother, who passed away when Zoe was a teenager. Zoe, competing to create a new fragrance for a prestigious designer, believes this scent could win the contract—and lead her to the reason her mother fled Grasse for New York City.
Before Zoe can discover the truth, the formula is stolen. And she’s not the only one looking for it. So is Loulou, her rebellious teenage cousin; Philippe, her alluring competitor for the fragrance contract; and a third person who never wanted the formula to slip into the public in the first place.
The pursuit transforms into a journey of self-discovery as each struggles to understand the complexities of love, the force of pride and the meaning of family.
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.