THE SECRET WAYS OF PERFUME

Cristina Caboni

Scents evoke the memories that linger in our minds and our hearts in this evocative, romantic, international bestselling novel.

“Remember Elena, perfume is the truth. The only thing that really counts. Perfume never lies, perfume is what we are, it’s our true essence.”

Elena Rossini has a rare gift: She has the ability to decipher the ingredients of a perfume from its scent alone. Passed down through generations of her family, Elena’s ability delights as easily as it overwhelms, especially when she catches a scent in the air that evokes painful memories of her mother.

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Scents evoke the memories that linger in our minds and our hearts in this evocative, romantic, international bestselling novel.

“Remember Elena, perfume is the truth. The only thing that really counts. Perfume never lies, perfume is what we are, it’s our true essence.”

Elena Rossini has a rare gift: She has the ability to decipher the ingredients of a perfume from its scent alone. Passed down through generations of her family, Elena’s ability delights as easily as it overwhelms, especially when she catches a scent in the air that evokes painful memories of her mother.

For so long, Elena has avoided the world that was her past. But when a betrayal destroys her dreams for the future, her best friend lures her from Florence to Paris. There, Elena finds that when she is wrapped in the essences of flowers, herbs, and spices, she doesn’t feel quite so alone.

Once again immersed in the ancient craft of perfumery, Elena searches for a celebrated family recipe that no perfumer has been able to replicate. And as she opens herself up to secret scents and distant memories, Elena discovers the very essence of the woman she could become…

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  • Berkley
  • Paperback
  • July 2016
  • 400 Pages
  • 9781101989760

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$15.00

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About Cristina Caboni

In addition to devoting herself full time to writing, Cristina Caboni also works for the family beekeeping business, dealing with the care of queen bees, and also enjoys cultivating a variety of roses. The world of perfumes and natural essences has been a passion of Cristina’s for a long time. Her debut novel, The Secret Ways of Perfume, is a tribute to the connection between scent, memory, and emotion—and was a highly acclaimed bestseller in Italy before its publication in English.

Discussion Questions

The many scents of different perfumes evoke memories and feelings for Elena as well as for many of the other characters in The Secret Ways of Perfume. Is there a scent that evokes strong memories for you? Do you associate certain scents with certain people or moments in your life?

Have you ever had a signature fragrance created specifically for you? How did it make you feel when you wore it?

Separate from what their scents evoke in an individual, flowers and herbs have also traditionally had their own meanings, their own “language.” Before you read The Secret Ways of Perfume were you aware of what the individual flowers symbolically represent? Have you ever used flowers to convey a specific message to anyone?

Elena was searching for her ancestor’s celebrated perfume recipe, but what do you think she was really in search of? And did she ultimately find it?

Do you think Elena made the right decision to go to Florence without Cail? Did Cail overreact?

Why do you think Elena decided to call her mother at the end of the novel? Do you think Elena truly understood and forgave her mother at that point, or was it just the beginning?

The Secret Ways of Perfume was originally written in Italian but translated into English. If you could read Italian, would you be interested in reading it in the original language or would you prefer to just read the translation? Why or why not?