Grace Munroe is in a marriage that is starting to fail and suspecting that her husband is cheating on her. She feels unfulfilled and is often annoyed at the impressions and standards her husband requires her to make for his continued appearance before the public eye. Grace is greatly confused when she receives and airmail from France complete with an aeroplane ticket to Paris. She believes that this has to be a huge mistake or mix-up of some kind.
The letter is from a law firm in Paris and expresses deepest sympathies for Grace’s recent loss of Madam Eva d’Orsey and explains that she is the sole beneficiary of her will. The letter requests her presence at her earliest convenience. Grace still feels this is a huge mistake, but as her suspicions of her husband’s unfaithfulness grow and soon prove to be true, she decides to go to Paris and investigate the mystery for herself, if only to get away from the problems at home.
In Paris, Grace is greeted by Monsieur Tissot from the law firm, who is there to assist Grace with anything she needs and aid her in the sale of Madam d’Orsey’s estate so that she may return home.
Alternating with this is Eva d’Orsey’s story. The reader learns of her lowly beginnings and how she got taken under Andre Valmot’s wing. Eva later became a perfumer but unfortunately spiraled into alcoholism, loneliness and isolation until her death.
Grace finds that the mystery intrigues her and wants to learn all about Eva and her story and refuses to sign any papers until she visits her home and investigates her life – only to find out that she is in fact related to the late Madam d’Orsey. Grace also finds answers to her past and her future with her husband while in Paris.
The Perfume Collector was a very intriguing read. It was quite informative about the making of perfume, without becoming dull and over explanatory, contained drama, love, loss, mystery, and was an all around engaging story.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.