The Scent Of You – Maggie Alderson

ISBN:9781460751220. 14th June 2018. Harper Collins. With thanks to Harper360 for sending me a copy to read and review.

Perfume blogger Polly is in crisis. Will her husband’s absence break her … or make her? A novel of perfumes, exploring life, love, loss and forgiveness – Maggie Alderson’s new bestseller. Are you still married if you haven’t seen your husband for months? Polly’s life is great. Her children are away at uni, her glamorous mother – still modelling at eighty-five – is happily settled in a retirement village, and her perfume blog is taking off. Then her husband announces he needs some space and promptly vanishes. As Polly grapples with her bewildering situation, she clings to a few new friends to keep her going – Shirlee, the loudmouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old flame from university. And while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, Polly knows she can’t keep reality at bay forever. Eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths: about her husband, herself and who she really wants to be.

When Harper360 did a blogger call out for this book, I thought it was entirely out of my normal read but looked interesting, so of course I figured ‘why not?’. Then The Scent Of You arrived and it was a monster of a book. At 500 pages long, starting was an extremely daunting prospect, especially with having accepted a time limit in which to read and review. I kept thinking to myself ‘what have I let myself in for?’ I decided that getting started was really my only option. I would have to answer my own question sooner than later. Little did I imagine it would only take me about three days and I would thoroughly enjoy myself.

To look at, the cover is simple and clear. The perfume bottle, combined with the colour and font choices gave for an elegant look. My only niggle with the cover is, where Maggie is a well known author, her name was the eye catcher. The title was quite small in comparison, and whilst I understand that she’s well known, for me as a new reader, it seemed a little like they were relying on her previous success than this story for it to sell.

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I found it was a little slow to start, but once you hit about 100 pages in the story picks up. The plot suddenly grabs you by the nose and pulls you in, until suddenly you’ve finished and looking for more.

The characters were well-written and felt extremely real.  The main character, Polly (Hippolyta,by the way, is an awesome name, but I understand why she’d want to shorten it, especially when girls used to call her Hippo for short), goes through so much and yet she still manages (in my opinion) to stay pretty strong. She is funny and lovable, and needs to learn to give herself a break sometimes. Her children, Clemmie and Lucas are great! They’ve been raised really well, and even though they have a few problems, they pull themselves together. Clemmie is easily the rock of the trio, she seems to know what she wants and always knows what Polly needs to hear, even if Polly doesn’t realise it herself. Lucas is the baby, and acts like it. However, he clearly matures and shows himself to be the kind of brother we all wish we had.

Then there are the other characters, Digger, the rescue dog who became more than that to Polly. Shirlee and her nosey, can’t help getting involved, wanting to help ways. Guy, the mysterious up-and-coming perfumer. Chum, the lovable, laid-back, friendly love interest from the past. Even Maxine, the kind therapist and yoga-lover was a good character, though you see less of her than most. I wish I was lucky enough to find myself with a group of friends and family like this.

The only character I disliked was David, the husband. Of course, you’re probably not supposed to like him. After all, Polly only finds herself when he ups and leaves out of Polly and her children’s lives.

I loved reading the book from a blogger’s point of view. Especially a scent blogger. I love how key parts of the story were covered as a blog post, complete with scents related to those particular moment/s. It made me think a lot about the scents that surround me in my day to day life – Mostly books and cats to be completely honest!

This novel was a fun ride, and a great introduction to Maggie Alderson’s works. I will be on the lookout for more.

The Scent Of You was easily a 4 out of 5 stars for me.

You can buy it here.



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