The Perfume Collector

  • by Kathleen Tessaro
  • Narrated by Heather Wilds
  • 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An inheritance from a mysterious stranger...< /p>An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris...
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory...and a secret.
London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her; and perhaps never will.
Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.
So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.
But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.
Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women, The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.

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What the Critics Say

"[L]ush, descriptive imagery and admirable authenticity.... [A] bewitching, compelling novel, full of dark desires, long-buried secrets, revisited memories, and new opportunities." (Booklist)
"A colorful, stimulating journey through time." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Dazzles the senses." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I Loved It

Would you listen to The Perfume Collector again? Why?

Perhaps, as there were some complexities; but more likely I will not listen to it again.


Which character – as performed by Heather Wilds – was your favorite?

Overall many aspects of Eva were admirable.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Near the end where Grace wants to spend some time with the lawyer and describes how she'd like that time to be.


Any additional comments?

I quite loved this book, which I may have gotten as an audible.com daily deal. Having listened to it, any misspellings or grammatical errors that others (in "goodreads") are complaining about slipped by me. I’d never thought much about perfume formulas, especially since these days—at least in California—wearing perfumes in public is frowned upon. Still, when younger and perfume was in vogue, I wore and cared about my share. So I read the book. Not searching for “likes”, I’ll just give it a 4.5—>5 rating, as I thoroughly enjoyed The Perfume Collector. I liked the little bit of history, the observations about French vs. English cuisines, relationships, personal growth. I certainly lost some sleep to my compulsion to listen.

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- Violin 2 Lover

Well written and the performance hypnotic.

Where does The Perfume Collector rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my top two.


What did you like best about this story?

The world woven around the world of scent. We are sensual beings in a brutal world and yet in this story I felt hypnotized with the descriptions of how perfumes are developed, how the essences are collected and the world created to tell the story.


What does Heather Wilds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has a wonderful voice and her cadence, tempo and voice nuances made me look for other books she has performed.


If you could rename The Perfume Collector, what would you call it?

I wouldn't. It's the perfect title.


Any additional comments?

I really loved that it was a mystery which made me think as well as act upon. I've stated wearing perfume more often and it's for my pleasure vs only for parties and occasions with other people. It taught me the sensual identification one can instill in others through the sense of scent.

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- Tatiana Christiansen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-04-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio