Book review and giveaway: Mademoiselle Chanel – I love France #142

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If you have recently read a good book in connection with France,
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Mademoiselle Chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.

Mademoiselle Chanel

(historical fiction)

Release date: March 17, 2015
at William-Morrow/HarperCollins

384 pages

ISBN: 978-0062356406

Source: Received
from the author for a
virtual book tour on France Book Tours

Buy the book:
HarperCollins  |  IndieBound  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

 French Bingo 2015 logo  2015 HF Reading Challenge Button_FINAL 

     New-Release-Challenge  New Authors 2015


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What better candidate can you find than a former fashion executive and a well renowned historical fiction author to write a novel covering the whole life of Coco Chanel? If several movies have been dedicated to her and a few novels focusing on some period or other of her life, I believe Mademoiselle Chanel is the first historical novel to consider her extensively from her humble beginnings to her years after WWII. The result is a masterpiece by C. W. Gortner.
Click to continue reading

Spotlight and giveaway: Scent of Triumph – I love France #139

And maybe you do too!
If you have recently read a good book in connection with France,
or watched a movie, read an article on France, etc,
please mention it in the comment section
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I will regularly post a recap of all the links mentioned.
If it’s a book review, why not enter it in the 2015 French Bingo?



Author Jan Moran

on Tour

March 28-April 16


SCENT OF TRIUMPHScent of Triumph:
A Novel of Perfume And Passion

(historical novel)

Release date: March 31, 2015
at St. Martin’s Press
384 pages

ISBN: 9781250048905



Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. —from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt

When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?



JScent of Triumph - Jan MoranAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II,
which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list,
and other contemporary novels,
including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway.
A fragrance and beauty industry expert,
she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine,
and has spoken before prestigious organizations,
including The American Society of Perfumers.
She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School
and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writers’ Program.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Subscribe to her newsletter

Go deeper with her Reader’s Discussion Guide

Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks

IndieBound | Powell’s | Books A Million | Kobo | | GooglePlay


You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below


Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open internationally:
1 winner will receive 1 print copy of Scent of Triumph


Scent of Triumph Vintage Perfumes

– independently from this book tour –
With every purchase of Scent of Triumph,
she is offering a free ebook of Vintage Perfumes,
a nonfiction guide to the finest classic perfumes, for epub and mobi.
Just email her some proof of your purchase
(receipt, email receipt, photo of yourself with the book or ebook on your reader, etc.),
and she will send you the free ebook of Vintage Perfumes.


Scent of Triumph banner

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, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes/iPad, Kobo 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, UK 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, [a trailer of the book is on her website], on Twitter at, and on facebook at
“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]


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