The Perfume Garden
High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Untouched since Franco's forces tore through Spain in 1936, the whitewashed walls have crumbled, the garden, laden with orange blossom, grown wild.Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in seventy years. Guided by a series of letters and a key bequeathed in her mother's will, she has left her job as London's leading perfumier to restore this dilapidated villa to its former glory. It is the perfect retreat: a wilderness redolent with strange and exotic scents, heavy with the colours and sounds of a foreign time. But for her grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed here during Spain's devastating civil war, Emma's new home evokes terrible memories. As the house begins to give up its secrets, Emma is drawn deeper into Freya's story: one of crushed idealism, lost love, and families ripped apart by war. She soon realises it is one thing letting go of the past, but another when it won't let go of you.

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The Perfume Garden Reviews

  • Ashley Daviau
    Dec 31, 1969

    Ashley Daviau

    I absolutely loved this book! I'm a big fan of historical fiction and it was refreshing to read a story set in a period I'm not familiar with. I'm also a big fan of family secrets and this book most definitely had heaps of that! I also quite enjoyed that it flipped from past to present...

  • Angie
    Dec 31, 1969


    Enjoyed this one a lot! It's refreshing to read historical fiction set in a time period/event I'm not very familiar with like this one was. It's historical venue is mainly Valencia, Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The characters, both historical and modern, were interesting. I also...

  • Anna
    Dec 31, 1969


    Seduced by the cover, cheated on by the book. ...

  • Jeffrey
    Dec 31, 1969


    Oh dear, I really wanted to like this book and the marketing blurb is terrific, just terrific.But the writer fails to deliver the promise of the book. Here we have the stage setting for a fab novel: Spain, war, drama, names and names...a house in the hills - and poor writing and craft ...

  • Ana T.
    Dec 31, 1969

    Ana T.

    I think I may have found one of my favourite books of 2012 in Kate Lord Brown's The Perfume Garden. I read it for Historical Tapestry, loved it and had a hard time writing my review because it seemed I kept on writing and writing. I ended up heavily editing my review but I kept thinkin...

  • Stephanie
    Dec 31, 1969


    On the Hills of Valencia, a house with secrets, and a garden that is so beautiful described you can almost smell the aroma coming through the pages. This evocative debut is brilliant! Let’s not forget love, ties of family, loss and war. Powerfully written and the author honors the...

  • Marcia
    Dec 31, 1969


    I was tricked into reading this book by it's enticing cover and deceiving description. It promised to be a riveting read about survival, life and death in Spain during the revolution. Not having read many novels about the Spanish revolution (other than The Shadow of the Wind which was ...

  • DubaiReader
    Dec 31, 1969


    Good in parts.Although this book opens brilliantly with a scene between the two famous war reporters that made up Robert Capa, it quickly degenerated to something rather mediocre, with chapters that were too short to really get the feel of the characters. With each chapter ending we sw...

  • Christy
    Dec 31, 1969


    Judging from the title and the book's cover, you could be forgiven if you thought that this was a (excuse the pun) flowery romance novel. But once you start reading, you'll realise that this book is deeper than that. It weaves between the past and the present, and shows how events are ...

  • Susan Hebden
    Dec 31, 1969

    Susan Hebden

    Very well written book. I never knew the atrocities that occurred during the Franco years in Spain. The characters are believable, the lives during the war are tragic. WARNING: There are TWO DIFFERENT endings, depending on which edition you have! We read for book club and had a VERY li...