The French Per­fumer

by Amanda Hamp­son, Penguin.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS - KE

A charm­ing flight of fancy as Miss Iris Turner de­parts post­war London, 1956, bound for France and a po­si­tion as a live-in sec­re­tary for a blind per­fumer on the Riviera. Leav­ing her 17-year job in the civil ser­vice and grilled gam­mon lunches, she starts drink­ing Belli­nis and danc­ing the merengue at night­clubs in a place where wit is at oth­ers’ ex­pense and an­ti­quar­ian no­tions of who and who is not proper still ex­ist. Catty party boy Alexan­der says her frumpi­ness re­minds him of his nanny. Tyrant ho­tel owner Vi­vian asks her to use the ser­vants’ en­trance. Ham­mond Brooke may no longer be able to see the Aure­lia la­bel of his leg­endary per­fume, but he senses some­thing unique in his new pro­tégée. Set against a back­drop of High So­ci­ety, Grace Kelly and her wed­ding to Prince Rainier, it’s light and frothy, but with a very good nose.

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