Jac and Robbie L’Etoile grew up in the L’Etoile family, descended from generations of historic perfume makers. Jac abandons the family business after her mother commits suicide to go work in America. In Paris, her father descends into Alzheimers and her brother Robbie is left alone with an the almost bankrupt L’Etoile company. Jac insists they sell some of the family scents to pay off their debt, but Robbie wants to discover a mythical fragrance hinted at in the L’Etoile stories about The Book of Lost Fragrances, Cleopatra’s book of ancient Egyptian fragrances.
Then fate takes it out of their hands, Robbie finds something that changes everything.
Jac comes back to Paris to find Robbie and his discovery missing, and a dead man on the L’Etoile workroom floor.
Though this is the main plot of the book, the secondary plot line is a tale from China and their battle with Tibet over reincarnation. We experience the after effects of the exile of the Lamas and discover a miraculous young man named Xie. I found this part of the story a little choppy at first, especially since the description of the book doesn’t hint at it in any way. I didn’t feel it was introduced in a manner that integrated perfectly with Jac’s story in the beginning, but if you stick with it and keep reading, it comes together nicely in the end.
I really enjoyed The Book of Lost Fragrances, it was a fun and descriptive story with a lot to keep me engrossed until the last page. The scents that are the heart of the book are saturated into every feeling and moment, until you can almost smell the dry tombs of Egypt or the crispness of fresh flowers after a rainstorm in the L’Etoile gardens. The Book of Lost Fragrances will treat you to a lot of exciting adventures, but it may also give you a new appreciation of all the wonderful and mystical scents in the world around you.
(This title will be released on March 13, 2012.)