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98 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I did not know much about the Spanish civil war. This story showed once again the horrors of war and human sacrifices made.
The story line is plausible and well written. It's detail is clear and easily pictured. I could even smell the perfume against the back drop of the Spanish scenery.
Even though the story is set in the 1930`s and 2011, it runs smoothly and...
Published 12 months ago by dzena4

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings!
The story surrounding the Spanish Civil War is really strong. The book is well researched, and I have a lot of respect for the author who will have spent a lot of time and effort in highlighting these atrocities. However, the modern day parts of this novel are much weaker. The characters are much more 'one dimensional' and dull, and by the end of the novel I found that I...
Published 5 months ago by Jane C


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 5 Aug 2013
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I did not know much about the Spanish civil war. This story showed once again the horrors of war and human sacrifices made.
The story line is plausible and well written. It's detail is clear and easily pictured. I could even smell the perfume against the back drop of the Spanish scenery.
Even though the story is set in the 1930`s and 2011, it runs smoothly and makes it a good 'read. All the characters and their stories come together.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 13 July 2013
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I couldn't put it down but also didn't want it to finish.Such a good read have recommended it to my friends
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Voyage to VALENCIA, 12 July 2013
This review is from: The Perfume Garden (Paperback)
If you love Spain and all things Spanish, then this is definitely a novel for you! We were enchanted by the style that pulls the reader in and the wonderful evocations of Valencia both during and post Spanish Civil War and in the modern day.

Emma has just lost her Mother, Liberty, the founder of Liberty Temple perfumes. Emma has taken over the enterprise with now ex Joe, who has been ensnared by the third business partner Lila. A novel with depth, that explores relationships, life and family both present day and issues of legacy from past generations. It also brings the horrors of the Spanish Civil War to life. The chapters alternate between The Civil War Years and the early 2000s as Emma abandons her life as a perfumer, and settles in Valencia to search out her roots and her history.

Valencia is the "land of flowers, light and love" which is a perfect backdrop for a character like Emma to explore her story. The novel is very sensory, you can feel the flowery notes as she dabbles and combines natural fragrances... neroli.... orange blossom.. and more....

If you know the city well, this novel will transport you right back there, as the plot moves from Emma's newly restored finca, to the Torres de Quart or across the Plaza Mayor or the Plaza del Ayuntamento. Enjoy a chocolate con churros, roscón de reyes cake or let your taste buds savour the full flavours of paella as the characters enjoy the cripsy layer of socarrat at the bottom of the pan; perhaps go on to enjoy a natillas pudding.

The ending was perhaps the weakest part of the novel - a fireworks ending that somehow jarred with the thoughtful writing in the rest of the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perfume Garden, 27 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Perfume Garden (Paperback)
When Emma's mum, Liberty, dies, she leaves a series of letters to her daughter, and a key to a crumbled villa in Spain. Leaving her job as a leading perfumier in London, Emma leaves and heads to sunny Spain. Heavy with grief after losing not only her mother but her ex-partner and father to her unborn baby, Joe, it's a balm for Emma's soul. For her, it's a place she can retreat and refocus. But for her grandmother, Freya, it serves only as a horrible reminder of her time in Spain during the civil war - a place and time she never wants to revisit.

What I loved about this, was the almost heady sense of description. Right from the very first page, the scene was set so perfectly, I was instantly transported to 1930's Spain and having a main character whose job is to create sublime scents only added to its allure. In fact, it was so good that I wondered rather sceptically about whether it would be sustained throughout the book. I'm pleased to say it was.

The story follows two timelines. One modern day, where we meet Emma in September 2011, and the other during the Spanish civil war. The dual timelines worked well with the heavy descriptions to keep the story fresh but I did feel that sometimes the chapters were a little too short. While the constant switching served as a great pacemaker in the lead up to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 for example, there were other times when I wanted to stay in one place just a little longer.

Because of this, I found it difficult to connect with any one character, and there were quite a few. I admit to being confused for the first few chapters about who was who, which wasn't helped at times by the dual timelines. That being said, once I got into the rhythm of the pace and set up, they began to stick. Every character was different and believeable, and Freya, in particular turned out to be the one I liked the most. The addition of Liberty's letters was a nice touch, and turned her into an actual character, despite her being dead from the outset.

Because of the sometimes confusing timelines and characters, The Perfume Garden isn't a book I flew through quickly, but then, I didn't really want to. If I had it my way, I'd have read it by a pool somewhere hot, because it's stories like these that I like to luxuriate over. If you're a fan of books by authors like Kate Mosse and Kate Furnivall, you'll love this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and thought provoking, 12 May 2013
I abandoned a well written but rather dark story set in Glasgow for the Perfume Garden. It is the first time I have read any novel by Kate Lord Brown and I am delighted to have come across her. Switching between the Spanish Civil War and the aftermath of 7/11, the book centres round three women perfumers and a house in Spain which is central to all the main characters. Despite the horrors of the Civil War and the tragic history of the house, the book is nonetheless totally entrancing. I decided that the reason I loved this book so much and hated Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina is because the characters in The Perfume Garden are open hearted and morally and spiritually aware, whilst those in Gods and Beasts are generally mean spirited, corrupt and despairing. Both books are equally well written, but the Perfume Garden transports you to a world where it is OK to hope, love and dream, whereas Gods and Beasts takes you to a place that is full of despair and hopelessness, a self-centred, modern version of Dante's Inferno. If you like people, love life and want to smell the flowers, then The Perfume Garden is for you. I am about to embark on The Beauty Chorus, Kate Lord Brown's earlier novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings!, 17 Feb 2014
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The story surrounding the Spanish Civil War is really strong. The book is well researched, and I have a lot of respect for the author who will have spent a lot of time and effort in highlighting these atrocities. However, the modern day parts of this novel are much weaker. The characters are much more 'one dimensional' and dull, and by the end of the novel I found that I had lost interest in them completely. I would have enjoyed this book far more if there had been more emphasis on the history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 5 Jan 2014
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A moving and enjoyable read I would read this author again The story was down to earth and realistic. The
descriptions were very good I could image myself there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfume Garden, 6 Oct 2013
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Great book very like Kate Morton style. Fascinating from start to finish. Would like to read more of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had no page numbers, 26 Feb 2014
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A good read but took me a while before I could get into the story. Worth persevering with. This copy had no page numbers option on my NEW paperwhite kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put down, 20 Feb 2014
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Really enjoyed this. An easy read but interesting elements relating to the Spanish Civil War, perfume essences and emotional decisions women often have to make
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The Perfume Garden
The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown (Paperback - 1 April 2013)
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