I love France #49: Book review: The Scent of Triumph


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The Scent of Triumph



426 pages

Published by Briarcliffe Press in  May 2012

Scent of Triumph

Ebook received from Briarcliffe Press
via NetGalley

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

     hf-reading-challenge-2013   2013 Ebook Challenge  New Authors 2013


NB: only parts of this novel happen in France, so I present it in this French meme,
but I don’t count it for my Books on France Reading Challenge


rating system

I keep saying I’m done with novels set in World War II, but I keep bumping into some titles I just can’t resist. I’m glad I requested The Scent of Triumph. Its heroine, Danielle Bretancourt, is quite a feisty woman. With all her skills as a French perfumer, eventually a couture designer, and a woman with a warm heart, she fights for her family and her country, as she is caught in WWII. This is a great story of resilience, Resistance, and survival; of family love as well.

I loved Danielle and the other characters, they seem so real and have great depths to them. I liked how the story evolved between different countries: Poland, France (the region around Grasse and Paris), England, and the US. I know nothing about the world of perfumes, and this was fascinating to see how Danielle created her amazing perfumes. It is really neat to see how the author, a perfumer herself, inserted her knowledge into a novel.

There are a few reasons I do not give  a 5 star Eiffel Tower to this book, but this may have more to do with my reading tastes. I thought maybe it was a bit overdone, the way the catastrophes kept heaping on Danielle and her family.  Also, I could feel lots of them coming, and guessed many elements of the plot, such as those related to her little boy. Of course I cannot give those plots away. There is also lots of romance, which I’m not much fond of, but it actually did fit with the character and her fights.

If you love historical novels set in WWII, adventure, and romance, you should really read this book.  And of course it is really a gem if you like the world of perfumes.

Incidentally,  the beginning of the book had some common elements with the shipwreck at the beginning of  The Siren of Paris, another great historical novel set in France during WWII.

Also, being French, I could not but think of Liliane Bettencourt when reading the name Danielle Bretancourt, the sounds are of course so similar, and I assume it is not by chance. Liliane Bettencourt, now 90 and considered to be the third wealthiest woman in the world, is the founder of L’Oréal, currently the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company. With The Bettencourt Affair, the recent scandal involving France previous President, Mrs Bettencourt is quite present in the media, and we could easily imagine some folks looking for Bettencourt in a search engine, misspell it, and end up with Danielle Bretancourt!


 Scent of Triumph is the story of Danielle Bretancourt, a talented young French perfumer with a flair for fashion and a natural olfactory gift. In the language of perfumery, she is a Nose, with the rare ability to recognize thousands of essences by memory. The story opens on the day England declares war on Germany, and Danielle and her family are caught in the midst of a raging disaster sweeping across Europe.Her life takes a tragic turn when her husband and son are lost behind enemy lines. She spies for the French resistance, determined to find them, but is forced to flee Europe with fragments of her family. Destitute, she mines her talents to create a magnificent perfume that captures the hearts of Hollywood’s top stars, then gambles again to win wealth and success as a couturier. Her intelligence and flair attracts the adoration of Jonathan Newell-Grey, of England’s top shipping conglomerate, and Cameron Murphy, Hollywood’s most charismatic star.Danielle charts her course through devastating wartime losses and revenge; lustful lovers and loveless marriages; and valiant struggles to reunite her family. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, here is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.Available in print and ebook formats: Amazon US http://amzn.to/VvQNir, Amazon UK http://amzn.to/PFiHUy, Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/VGl61W, iTunes/iPad http://bit.ly/Uq0k84, Kobo http://bit.ly/TDNQL9 and other online retailers. [Goodreads]


Jan Moran


Jan Moran‘s latest work is her debut historical fiction novel, Scent of Triumph, on all Amazons worldwide in print and kindle: US http://amzn.to/VvQNir, UK http://amzn.to/PFiHUy. Also for the Nook, iPad, Kobo and other formats.

She is the Rizzoli Books bestselling author of Fabulous Fragrance I & II. A perfume and beauty expert, she is the creator of Scentsa, a touch screen fragrance finder in Sephora stores. Follow her blog on Goodreads, or on the web at http://www.janmoran.com, [a trailer of the book is on her website], on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janmoran, and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/janmoranbooks.
“Scent of Triumph [is a] World War II epic.”— Los Angeles Times
From Jan: “I was inspired by the lush works of Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina, and War and Peace. Like Tolstoy, I love a smart and fierce female protagonist. I set the story during World War II, and gave Danielle the profession of perfumer, a profession that I am quite familiar with. I hope you enjoy it, and if you’d like to Skype me into your bookclub meeting, simply send me a message!” [Goodreads]


Book Drunkard
Goodreads readers




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6 thoughts on “I love France #49: Book review: The Scent of Triumph

  1. Pingback: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2013 | Words And Peace

  2. Pingback: 2013 Ebook Reading Challenge | Words And Peace

  3. Pingback: New Authors Reading Challenge 2013 | Words And Peace

  4. Pingback: 2013: April wrap-up | Words And Peace

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