The Perfumist of Paris: A novel from the bestselling author of The Henna Artist (The Jaipur Trilogy, 3)

From the author of Reese's Book Club Pick THE HENNA ARTIST, the final chapter in Alka Joshi’s NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Jaipur trilogy takes readers to 1970s Paris, where Radha’s budding career as a perfumer must compete with the demands of her family and the secrets of her past.
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368 pages

Average rating: 7.96




Community Reviews

Sep 18, 2023
10/10 stars
A great continuation of the family that you grow to love almost like your own throughout the series. Truly a journey through the lives of the first found family introduced, where people will come into and out of each other's lives as they all grow until you find the peace that lasts with the people that love you wholeheartedly and with every mistake you have made that created you. Radha's trauma from the first book being explored was phenomenal and a great look at acceptance, perspective, and blended families at the beginning of their public acceptance in the 20th century.
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Jul 11, 2023
6/10 stars
I really was so excited to read this book because of how
much I loved the first two books…sadly it fell very short. The details about scents became very mundane. It finally got interesting at about 3/4 of the way through the book.
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May 26, 2023
8/10 stars
“Perfume. The very word conjures an image of Cleopatra seducing Mark Antony in a bathtub filled with rose petals.” Roses aren’t just an important ingredient in fragrances. In India, “the crazy quilt of business hustle, larger-than-life celebrations and the fiery cuisine,” cooks use roses in food, especially desserts. I included roses on my Insta photo as a tribute to the rose petal jam Gulkand from the Hindi word for rose that Alka Joshi‘s mother made. Alka Joshi’s The Perfumist of Paris brought me back to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul where thousands of attars, vials of oud and fragrant incense intoxicated my senses. “My memories were rich with scent. And so were my secrets.” Radha was “born of fragrance. It’s in your blood, bones, hair, breath. You eat fragrance in your food. You wear it from the inside out…When you smell your lover, you’re consuming their essence. You want to absorb some part of them. That’s what I create. Fragrances that make people want to consume some part of their wearer.” “My work with fragrances is important to me. It transports me. Excites me. Takes me to places I've never been. I need it. And it makes me feel needed in this world...makes me curious and keeps me wondering. What will this scent do to the wearer? How will it change the way she–or he–moves in this world? What memories will it conjure? Will they be happy ones or sad? Will the fragrance open new possibilities for that person’s future? Those things matter to me.” “My agenda has always been clear–to create the best parfum in Paris. The formulas we create must be both critically successful and commercially viable.” But are white men the only figures to be immortalized in history? Is perfume only the domain of people who look like Radha’s affluent French colleagues or is there room for an Indian woman like her? “Betrayal has a smell. Burnt rubber, ginger, dandelion leaves.” When an insider attempts to subvert Radha’s good work, she must believe fragrance will set her free. “The measure of us isn’t in the day-to-day. And it’s not in our past or our future. It’s in the fundamental changes we make within ourselves over a lifetime.”
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