To help celebrate the release of M. J. Rose's The Book of Lost Fragrances, I have a lot to share in this post: Overview, excerpt, guest post, and giveaway! Let's get started.
Overview: Set over thousands of years and in France, Egypt, and China, The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose is a genre-spanning, action-packed story centered on the history of one family and its long, long connection to the art of making perfume. Interwoven plot lines involve reincarnation, memory, Tibetan mysticism, Chinese politics, the Dalai Lama, French history, archaeology, and mental health.
Okay, you say. Whoa! How can that work? Well, it does. As I noted Rose anchors the plot by focusing on a single family and weaving in a mystery, complete with red herrings and twisty bits to throw you off. The Book of Lost Fragrances is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure that will capture your attention.
The scavenger hunt excerpt is from near the beginning of the book and it's part of a crucial scene:
The soul rose to the heavens on the smoke from incense.Guest post: To spark your interest even more, I'm so pleased to welcome author M. J. Rose to my blog today to tells us a little bit about the research that went into The Book of Lost Fragrances.
The general came closer to inspect the mummies. As he reached down into the coffin, Abu muttered a warning. Napoléon waved off the cautionary words and lifted a small object out of the male mummy’s hand. "How extraordinary," he said as he extracted an identical piece of pottery from the female’s hand. "They are each holding one of these." He opened the first pot, then the second. A moment passed. He sniffed the air. Then he lifted each pot to his nose, smelling one and then the other.
"L’Etoile, they seem to contain an identical perfumed substance." He gave one of the pots to him. "Is this a pomade? Do you recognize it?"
The container was small enough to fit in his hand.
To read more , visit Dreaming in Books, where the next bit will be posted in a day or so.
Wow, the perfume descriptions remind me of wine tasting notes. Very evocative.M. J. Rose on Researching Perfumes
Researching The Book of Lost Fragrances was a labor of love. One of the most wonderful parts was working with a famous blogger, Dimi of The Sorcery of Scent. He helped me find out about fragrances that have been lost to us and what they smelled like.
I thought it would interesting for us to tell you about some of them.
Guerlain first focused on verveine (verbena) varieties to use in perfumes in the mid to late 1800s. Eau de Verveine was released first in the 1870s and made brief reappearances in the 1950s and the 1980s before being retired from Guerlain's perfume portfolio. Eau de Verveine is the scent of high summer . . . sharp, uplifting notes of citrus-green lemon verbena flood the mouth with saliva with their crisp, energizing aroma. Below is a prickle of something darker - perhaps carnation or clove, which adds incredible depth. There is a dry, tea-like quality that emerges as the scent dries on the skin. This impossibly rare scent evokes feelings of long days at the summer's end with the chirrup of cicadas ringing in the ears.
The most coveted and rare perfume from the Guerlain portfolio, Djedi, was launched in 1926, right on the heels of Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb. Presented in a flacon resembling a golden sarcophagus with its lid being raised, Djedi is an exploration into decomposition and decay. Gloomy and desolate, Djedi has a dry, arid quality like the shifting desert sands . . . a "closed over the ages" feel furnished by dry vetiver, oakmoss, musk, and leather. This olfactory requiem pays homage to fallen ancient Egyptian dynasties that have been lost to the sands of time.
Coque d'Or is an exceptionally beautiful leather chypre created in 1937 by Jacques Guerlain. Soft florals tumble over a buttery leather accord, which evoke thoughts of paper-thin handmade gloves of extraordinary quality. Built over a classic Guerlain chypre base of sandalwood, amber and oakmoss . . . this perfume is pre–World War II finery at its best. A scent to be worn with cashmere, pearls, and soft furs, but sadly one that has been out of production for the last 60 years.
Giveaway: Thanks to the publicists, I am fortunate to be able to offer one reader of Beth Fish Reads a copy of M. J. Rose's The Book of Lost Fragrances. Because the book will be mailed by the publicist, this giveaway is open to only those with a U.S.A. or Canadian mailing address. To be entered for a chance to win, just fill out the form. I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner on March 29. Good luck!
My full audio review will appear on the AudioFile website next month.
Buy The Book of Lost Fragrances at an Indie, Powell's, Book Depository, or a bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs.
Published by Simon & Schuster / Atria 2012
Source: Review (see review policy)
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