Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future?
Cate Albion is a gifted young artist at a crossroads in her life. Looking to escape New York for the summer, she takes a job in her aunt's London auction house and is soon sent on assignment to the English countryside to value the contents of Endsleigh House, the once gracious but now crumbling estate of a former Jazz Age socialite. There, hidden in the back of a dusty bookshelf, Cate discovers an old shoebox, and inside, a peculiar assortment of objects, including an exquisite pair of 1930s dancing shoes; a faded photograph of a handsome young sailor, and a rare Tiffany pearl and emerald bracelet.
Intrigued, Cate sets out to learn more about the box and its contents, and becomes immersed in the mystery of its owner, Diana “Baby” Blythe, the younger of the infamous, glamorous Blythe sisters. Bright, beautiful, and reckless, Baby was the most famous debutante of her generation . . . until she suddenly disappeared entirely from view.
As a shocking tale of love and betrayal begins to unravel, Cate finds herself being drawn deeper into Baby's tragic life story—one that will force Cate to confront some dark truths about her own choices.
Newlywed Grace Monroe doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations of a successful 1950s London socialite, least of all her own. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d’Orsey, Grace is drawn to uncover the identity of her mysterious benefactor.
Weaving through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, the story Grace uncovers is that of an extraordinary women who inspired one of Paris’s greatest perfumers. Immortalized in three evocative perfumes, Eva d’Orsey’s history will transform Grace’s life forever, forcing her to choose between the woman she is expected to be and the person she really is.
The Perfume Collector explores the complex and obsessive love between muse and artist, and the tremendous power of memory and scent.