It should come as no surprise that Alderson spent many years working as a fashion journalist in Sydney, covering the shows (‘Dahling! So fabulous!’) from London to Milan.
Alderson’s writing is stylish yet thoughtful. In each of her books there’s at least one character I’d kill to sip Bellini’s with.
The Scent of You is no exception and I adored the characterisation of Polly’s glamorous 80-something mother, an ‘older’ model who wafts around in a cloud of Chanel. I also loved Guy in this book – a mysterious perfume shop owner and potential new suitor for Polly.
I’ve read – and loved – all of Alderson’s books, but The Scent of You is my favourite. The characters are fun and fashionable and I found the story a pleasant change from the usual chick-lit fodder.
After the dozens of chick-lit books featuring stylish magazine editors and newspaper, columnists, Anderson’s protagonist, Polly, launches us into the digital age as a perfume blogger.
Polly believes her life is ticking along just nicely until one day her husband mysteriously ups and leaves. Strict, and highly confusing, instructions are left for our heroine that she must not tell anyone about his absence, or attempt to make contact with him.
There is little time for our busy heroine to lament her loss as she juggles her work as a luxury perfume blogger, sideline as a yoga teacher and being a mum of two to her grown-up children Clemmie and Lucas.
The months pass as Polly distracts herself with an eclectic circle of yoga friends, an old flame – Chum, and a new male friend – Guy, who seems to be harboring a secret or two of his own.
Polly’s character grows in strength supported by family and friends as the novel progresses. I loved that Alderson made her a luxury perfume blogger and enjoyed diving nose-first into her glamorous world of scent.
Polly Masterson-Mackay is quite a ‘grown up’ chick lit heroine, as indicated by the double-barreled surname. Polly is no flaky, Bridget Jones chasing her next snog.
She is a confident and poised perfume expert, invited to ritzy events and rubbing shoulders London’s glitterati of scent.
Of course, like all good chick-lit heroine’s, Polly’s personal life is in something of a shambles. Her husband has vanished without warning and our heroine throws herself into her work as a blogger and part time yoga teacher by way of distraction.
Another handsome, distraction is thrown into Polly’s path – former flame, the rather plummy, Chum – who proves to be a welcome interloper.
Time passes and her husband still hasn’t returned to the fold leaving the reader intrigued as to when the mystery will be solved – and whether his disappearance may end up being the making of Polly.
Polly thinks in perfume and throughout the book various scents – from melting butter, to a new school jumper – trigger memories and feelings in Polly. She then writes about them in her blog allowing us to dive deeply into her character and cunning ability to associate smells with people and memories.
Delightfully, Polly’s blog ‘A Fragrant Cloud’ is available in real life at fragrantcloud.net.
I enjoy that Alderson’s book covers are a tad more grown up than your standard chick-lit fare of hot pink covers. The Scent of You jacket is gorgeous – pale rose pink featuring a classy perfume bottle wrapped in a Chanel-style monochrome bow.
This is a slightly more grown-up read than a lot of your standard chick-lit fare featuring 20-somethings seeking love in the big city. Polly is in her forties, and thought her life was established until the rug is pulled under her following her husband’s mysterious disappearance.
Alderson explores adult story lines including the challenges of ageing parents and grown-up children with themes of life, love and loss explored along the way.
An interesting plotline, with a diverse cross-section of warm and engaging characters. The Scent of You is a warm and engaging read. Best read in a fragrant bubble bath with a splash of something delicious-smelling.
“I discovered the miracle of perfume as a very young child through the fragrant delights on my mum’s dressing table. It was the pretty bottles which attracted me initially, but once I got a whiff of what was inside, my world changed forever.” Maggie Alderson – The Scent of You
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