‘A Perfumer’s Secret’ by Adria J. Cimino

aps ajcSTORY: 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.

REVIEW: Zoe Flore is a perfumer vying for a contract with her employer’s client, Cherone, to produce a new and perfect scent. She had once been in love with senior perfumer, Drew Hudson, who broke her heart. She should have realized that a love affair with a colleague could only lead to competition between them. Now, they are both working on the same project.

Zoe receives a letter inviting her to the reading if her aunt’s will in Grasse France, the heart of perfume making country. Zoe has always wanted to know about her mother, Barbara Rose Flore-Fontaine, who grew up in a perfume family in Grasse. When Barbara found she was pregnant with Zoe, she left France and decided to raise her alone. Using her perfumer’s talents, she liked to create unique scents for Zoe, and thus, Zoe learned this skill from her mother. But Zoe was never told anything about her mother’s family in Grasse, nor even her father’s name.

Loulou Stanford is a young lady of 15 living with her family in Grasse. In order to earn money, she works in a the fields plucking flowers to be used in the making of perfumes. She is shocked to learn that her beloved Aunt Marie-Odile has just died and angry at her mother for not telling her sooner.

When Zoe arrives for the reading of her aunt’s will, she is surprised to have been left a special formula by her aunt. But when she finds her hotel room ransacked and the formula stolen, she begins a hunt to find the thief. She is told by the owner of the hotel that a man named Antoine Fontaine has stopped by asking for her. So, she is going to search out this person because he may have been the person who stole her formula.

Philippe Chevrefeuille is a perfumer for Grasse Fragrance International owned by Antoine Fontaine. Philippe is working hard to create a special perfume to win the Cherone competition and hoping to defeat Henri Daumas, a competitor. The winner will reportedly become Cherone’s in-house perfumer.

Philippe and Zoe meet up and are attracted to one another even though they are competitors. Throw into the mix that Philippe is engaged, and there are problems.

Loulou’s parents are separating which adds to her stress of losing her aunt.

Thus begins a race to see who can produce a formula capable of winning this coveted prize.

This was a fast-paced story that had many interesting plots that intertwined. The thing I didn’t care for was the constant anger expressed by the characters. This seemed to take away from the story. Perfume making should be a happier business.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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