Blog Book Tour | “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran A Historical Biographical Fiction novel rooted in fashion, parfum, France, and a legacy through time through the threads of love and passion!

Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: Winning a contest adverted through “Shelf Awareness for Readers” bi-weekly newsletter, April 2015. I received the hardcover book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Griffin via St. Martin’s Press without obligation to post a review. The timing of the book’s arrival happily coincided with the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours route for this novel in the book blogosphere, as I originally had wanted to participate in one of the two blog tours I knew about for this particular release, however, from my understanding only ebooks were available for review. Therefore, upon receipt of the book itself from the publisher, I contacted HFVBTs and requested to be placed on the last stop for the blog tour itself: Friday, the 17th of April. 

Unfortunately, the timing ended up being a difficult one for me, as I was blogging about the stress and illness I was under last week on my reviews (both for ‘Inspector of the Dead‘ and ‘The Masque of a Murderer‘; the latter of which ended up posting on Friday in lieu of this one as I fell behind). I technically only had the novel a few short days ahead of Friday, but at that time I felt I could make the quick deadline. Instead, my reflections are posting the Monday after the tour ended.  I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts herein.

Intrigued to Read:

Much to my chagrin, the reason I am curiously receptive to historical novels surrounding parfum is due to my encounter with the writings of M.J. Rose; specifically the book showcases I wrote on behalf of The Collector of Dying Breaths and The Witch of Painted SorrowsI fully immersed myself into the Reincarnationist series prior to settling inside Dying Breaths, as I wanted to understand the world and the back-story of the lead protagonist. Following through to Painted Sorrows, I found myself with a beautiful arc of continuity where fragrance played an under-note of connection to this new release on behalf of Rose. Shortly thereafter, I had the pleasure of reading a Historical Biographical Fiction novel on behalf of Coco Chanel by Gortner; of whom I had the pleasure of reading previously through The Tudor Vendetta. It was during my ruminations on behalf of Coco Chanel I revealed my connection to The Shell Seekers which had given me my first connection to parfum and the intoxicating connections of scent in fiction.

Throughout my readings, one singular thread of context remains and that is the allure of scent and fragrance has sensory triggers that alight through the heart first and the mind second. It is through our memories and the ‘scents therein’ we attach to memory in it’s rawest of forms that allows us to transcend through time and go backwards to a singular moment which stands out to us. It is this pursuit of reading how writers can inflict and inflect resonance with their audience with a particular scent or the allure of a passionate attachment to a particular smell that draws me into their story-lines.

The fact Moran used the basis of her novel on memories of her mother added to my curiosity to pick up her novel, inasmuch as having read her author newsletters for a good portion of the past year. She happily keeps her readers informed of her stories whilst revealing just enough to whet a thirst of interest if you haven’t yet read a novel she’s published. For me, the short notes and the synopsis of Scent of Triumph implored me forward to finding a way into her re-released debut novel. As this was originally published by Crescent House Publishing | Briarcliffe Press in 2012. Read a bit about her Indie Press to Major Trade journey on her blog.

Coincidently, to my own recollection Ms Moran is one of the ‘writers who found me’ via Twitter, thus I started to follow in-kind and signed up for her author’s newsletter. This is one reason I curate a list on Twitter for writers who find me as I keep a list of the authors and stories which alight quite serendipitously across my ‘twitterverse journey’ for the day in which I can properly become introduced to their stories. This is another example of how finding each other on Twitter can be a wicked sweet discovery for both writers and readers alike and I encourage you, if your following me on Twitter, tweet me and/or convo me on my blog — you never know when I might be inspired to read your novel!

As an aside, as I have the hours to do this, I am uploading a list of books to a special list on Riffle solely dictated by the writers who found me and the stories they’ve written which ignite a reason of interest for me to read them. I am not sure why some writers find me and then disappear or if I add them to my Twitter list why they stop following me, but once an interest is sparked, trust me, I stay curious. I presume it’s because I do not ‘auto-follow’ back as I like to get to know the writer (or book blogger, reader, etc) following me before I follow them myself. I like to understand their writing style and the stories they publish, as much as I read their feeds to ascertain a bit about them as a person. Word to wise: if you find a book blogger, tweet them a ‘hallo’ and start a random convo interdependent from your novel. Conversations are golden!

After all, if Ms Moran hadn’t found me, how would I have known about Scent of Triumph?

Yes, I would have found it via Shelf Awareness, but would I already be committed to reading it?

More incredible is I truly believe I was meant to read all of these novels in succession of each other: The Shell Seekers, A Fall of Marigolds, the Reincarnationist series, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, and Coco Chanel in order to fully appreciate what I would find inside Scent of Triumph. There is something to be said for reading intuitively and reading the stories we recognise are meant to enter our lives at the time in which they are meant to come alive in our imaginations.

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Blog Book Tour | “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran A Historical Biographical Fiction novel rooted in fashion, parfum, France, and a legacy through time through the threads of love and passion!Scent of Triumph
by Jan Moran
Source: Direct from Publisher via Shelf Awareness for Readers

Book Synopsis of Scent of Triumph:

When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for her the remains of her family, relying on the strength and support of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a young captain. Finally, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Through determination and talent, she rises high from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

Genres: Historical Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250048905

Published by St. Martin's Griffin

on 31st March, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin via St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Available Formats: Hardback, Paperback and Ebook

IF you want to follow the conversation by Twitter, please tune into: #ScentofTriumphBlogTour OR #ScentOfTriumph. There is also a Twitter share button below this post for your convenience as well.

About Jan Moran

Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women’s fiction for St. Martin’s Press, contemporary women’s fiction, and nonfiction books. Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details. The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful.

Jan has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Women’s Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for a variety of publications such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Costco Connection, and Porthole Cruise.

A perfume and beauty industry expert, she is the creator of Scentsa, a touch screen fragrance finder in Sephora stores.

From Jan: “I love smart and fierce female protagonists. I hope you enjoy these books, and if you’d like to Skype me into your book club meeting, simply send me a message!”

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Memory. Sight. Resolve. United in Courage:

Moran has created such an incredibly honest and bonefide real character in Danielle, you feel as if you know of her or at the very least, a parting acquaintance of her history rather than soaking inside the story of her life for the first time. This novel reads like it’s non-fiction counterpart of biography, as this is how authentically real Moran has created her novel’s niche within the World War era. Everything assaults your senses at full blast from the quickness of the war visuals of destruction and death, to the painting of a portrait of a woman’s resolve to re-strengthen her courage to defeat fear and survive.

Memory plays a very strong role in adding layers of emotional ripples to carry you forward and through the moments which ache your own heart’s resolve to dig deeper into the context of the story itself. You already are aware of the bare bone facts of the War, but it is how Moran gives credence to known history and the envisioned history herein that gives the reader the greatest pause. Her style of telling the story itself reminds me of a time slip novel entitled A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner.

Sight is an issue for most survivors of war because how do you turn ‘off’ what your eyes have taken in? How do you filter the internatlisations of the horror of what war brought into your soul? Sight is not limited to what is in front of you but also anchoured to what is not yet seen coming up next. Moran unites the duality of how sight can project and guide her characters forwards whilst attempting not to slide backwards into flashbacks of anguished guilt.

Resolve in a belief she can overturnt the difficulties and afflictions of sorrow erupting through her life, Danielle takes on a bold choice each time a difficult obstacle attempts to imped her path. Her sorrow is marred by the tragedies of war, and complicated through choices others are making without understanding the implications of what could result as different circumstances come to light.

Courage ought to have been her middle name, because it is through a courageous heart, Danielle finds her symphony of repose and a beauty of light surrounding her days as her hours are difficult yet blessed by unexpected mirth of renewal. She is not one to stop believing in the transitions of life nor in the ability to change the tides of where her lifepath is leading her to traverse.

My review of Scent of Triumph:

Sensory perception and intuitive assertion are two trademarks of Moran’s writing, as they are witnessed within the very first paragraph of the first Chapter within Scent of Triumph. She pulls you into the vortex of the emotional climax assaulting Danielle Bretancourt as if you were standing beside her and having the closeness propell her emotional angst into your personal space in waves. You are caught up in the tidal wave of the moment, of a ship keeling into a fierce and dangerous storm, whilst the weight of both a World War and the thin annex of safety extended to a mother’s family is as fragile as her resolve to believe the hope she has for the future will not come to an ill-fated present.

A woman betwixt her natural inclination to see a foreshadow reckoning of insight when others see naught a wink of a forbearance of truth crossing their path, and an alertness heightened by her nose’s inclination towards automatic sensory memory. Her nose taunts her mind, as the scents it breathes in can be both balm and elixir, both fuell of curiosity and an allure that could affect the course of a married woman’s life. Without time to pause the swirl of emotions igniting inside her, Danielle was soon caught in a turmoil of intuition, wherein her husband Max was finding it difficult to let go of the logical side of his mind. She felt things with such a strong clarity, she knew almost as if it were written on her soul, something was lurking in the sea; beguiling, unknown, and grave.

We first soak inside this gutting scene of 1939 from an ocean liner’s perspective of German warfare before transitioning to the very same day in Poland. It’s a juxtaposition that befits the historical accuracy of the time this story is set, but moreso than history’s lens being called to attention, it’s the depth of one woman’s family cast against the tides of war. It is this style of shifting perspectives between two threads of the novel’s heart that truly stimulates an urgency for the reader to get through the passages — whilst your with Danielle thoughts about Sofia and young Nicky (Danielle’s young son) are wicking around your mind; thus, the same is true in reverse. How will this family fractured by war reunite? How will the dangers that lurk in the shadows avoid befalling a further tragedy to separate them? The journalling style of this historical novel draws you further into the fever of anxiety all the characters are feeling at any given moment as their lives spilt onto the pages your fingers are eager to turn forward.

There is a moment where Danielle takes a reprieve from her woes of immense worriment and steps back inside her world of parfum and ancestral estate Bellerose; upon arriving her Uncle greets her with the best solace of balm by reminding her what is of most importance: we each have within us the strength of courage to survive despite the odds against us. It is moments such a these where Moran crafts inside her stitches of narrative glowing truths of humanity’s fragility and eloquence of reminders of how we carry-on despite an overwhelming stack of uncertainty; how to find hope from ashes, resolve from despair and grace through war.

I loved how Moran had Danielle’s perfume legacy rooted in the land and the curing of raw materials, rather than outsourcing them. You gathered a proper sense of how her family was touched by the connection to the land and the genuine approach to create scents from the materials they could grow and harvest. Their dedication reminded me of winemakers whose families went the extra distance to ensure the safety of their vines. Breaking down which ingredient is the raw source per each scent potentially ending up in a fragrance was an added bonus. To see parfum from the starting point was the most interesting non-war attribute to the story.

If Danielle hadn’t had a tethering thread of hope attached to her mind’s determined belief in what is created out of extreme adversity, she might not have been able to rise each day to a new dawn covering a shroud of loss over her shoulders. She barely had time to shoulder the grief as she had to keep carrying herself forward, rising to greet the hurdles even when she wasn’t as certain as how it would come out in the wash. The children forged resilience out of necessity, both the young girls under her charge and her dearly lost and beloved son Nicky fighting his own battle to survive back in Poland. Moran etched into each of her journalled chapters a willingness to see past the battlefield mindful of the soul’s willingness to step through darkness and approach the light anew.

Europe is a far cry from Los Angeles, but it is the City of Angels which set the score for Danielle’s charge towards recovering assets and financial security for her family. Her moxie and charisma to paint a story alive for people’s receptive ears is partially what fuelled her newfound passion for parfum half a world away from the family’s estate in France. Even the players of Hollywood’s elite take their stage cues as their world and hers are thrust together through scent and fashion.

Your heart learns new octaves of heightened urgency to reach the end of this unputdownable novel; your heart is so entwined to the Danielle and her search for her lost son Nicky, you feel as though you’ve lived a mile in her shoes by the conclusion. This is why I snuggle inside historical fiction, because writers like Moran know how to cast a story against a back-drop of history which will become a part of your own past. Stories have a curious way of becoming a part of our own experience; the memories of having read them lift off the printed page, past the inked out words and settle forever in our mind’s eye. Pieces of their characters’ lives will always remain, as real as if we listened to their stories aloud.

Scent of Triumph is a novel to dissolve inside
and never look at a clock the entire time your devouring it!

On the writing style of Jan Moran:

Moran has found a portal through time to allow you to dig so far into this world of war, your own heart and mind feel as if your living through the hours right alongside Danielle. The vexing anguish and anger of the injustice brought out of the separation Danielle has suffered through from her son, and the realisation that only a wife whose husband is taking on responsibility that could truly sever their union could distraught her emotions and psyche. Moran honours the period of this time in history’s tumultuous past by conveying such a heart-centered narrative to evoke out the most powerful of emotions therein.

Death is one of the hardest moments we face whilst we’re alive — the letting go of our loved ones is never something we’re ready to do, however, Moran is poetic in her aperture of death. She uses light as a transitional element to allow a gentle awareness of what occurs the moment the soul is released from it’s physical form and how the soul in turn realises the transition it’s taking. I have read a good number of war dramas in my life, but Moran has quickly become one of my top favourites alongside Rosamunde Pilcher, Julie Lessman, and Susan Meissner. In close pursuit are Jessica Brockmole (Letters from Skye), Paul Mark Tag (How Much Do You Love Me?), Sherryl Caulfield (Seldom Come By), Katy Simpson Smith (The Story of Land and Sea), Phil Pisani (Maggie’s Wars), and George Steger (Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder).

You do not merely read Scent of Triumph you live it as though your own mind and senses are intune with Danielle’s. This is a rare treat for a reader who loves dissolving into historical fiction in order to best understand the historical past — it is the lives of those who lived that provide the best gateway back into time. Their stories are meant to be heard as much as they are deserving of respect and admiration. Moran has truly given us a treasure to alight inside and it is one story you will not soon forget reading. Even if there is a hearty measure of fiction alongside fact, Scent of Triumph soars because of how well conceived the reality of it’s story reads to the reader. Moran has channeled reality through her novel in such a way as to have her biographical fiction breathe out a truism of World War II in such a way as to allow you the mercy to live a footstep inside her characters lives as they lived those hours themselves.

It needs to be said as much as I loved the shatteringly gutting portraits of war as read through Citadel and Maggie’s Wars what was refreshingly different to find is a true uplift of my spirits as I left the world of Scent of Triumph. It is one of my most favourite ‘#unputdownable‘ reads and #newtomeauthors of recent months.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

I had explained the delay from posting my review for Scent of Triumph from Friday to Monday, however, I was the last person who would think I could have an ‘epic Monday’ to where I would not even be in a position to post it! I left the house without realising I’d be gone not an ‘hour’ for lunch but over eight hours — trapped in the car during a major lightning and rainstorm, with a dead battery and a delayed tow truck to charge it. The car stalled three times after he jumped it, and insisted on having the car checked out properly. Hours later, the car has a new battery, the storm left loose limbs and branches everywhere in my city, and the rescue vehicles were actively going this way and that throughout the whole storm. I breathed a sigh of relief getting home, not only safe, but with a working car!

I picked up where I had left off settled inside the first half of the novel and blogged whilst tweeting my reactions as I continued following Danielle’s journey… this is a novel you do not want to part with nor take a leave of absence; the entire time I was gone during the storm I ached to get back into the story! I had to know what was going to happen! I read until my eyes grew dim from exhaustion collapsing into a quickening of sleep induced by a day of woe; Tuesday proved to be the perfect day to end my reverie of blissitude inside Scent of Triumph!

The Virtual Road Map for “Scent of Triumph” can be found here: I love discovering new wicked stories of the historical past as I am a regular hostess for HFVBTs! Kindly drop by my Bookish Events page to see which stories and authors are upcoming!

Scent of Triumph Blog Tour via HFVBTsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comScent of Triumph Book Trailer via Jan Moran

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Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.
Reader Interactive Question:
What are your thoughts about adaptive narratives based on real-life historical and biological history of either the writer and/or of persons unrelated who knit the historical backdrop of the novel together? What do you appreciate the most by Historical Biological Fiction and the selection of fusing history with fictional characters who integrate so well together in the story!?

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Scent of Triumph”, author photograph for Jan Moran, author biography, book synopsis, and blog tour banners were all provided by HFVBT (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. The book trailer for “Scent of Triumph” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Fiction Writers Blog Hop badge created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

Tweets shared on behalf of ‘Scent of Triumph’:
{ share if inspired }
( prior to the blog tour )

(read the rest of the convo)
( tweets as I read the novel )

Comments via Twitter:

Fiction Writers Blog Hop badge created by Jorie in Canva.

{ shared this review April 2015 }

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Found me On Twitter, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fashion Fiction, Fashion Industry, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Perspectives, Historical Romance, History, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Parfum Industry, Passionate Researcher, Romance Fiction, Shelf Awareness, The World Wars, War-time Romance, Writing Style & Voice

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4 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran A Historical Biographical Fiction novel rooted in fashion, parfum, France, and a legacy through time through the threads of love and passion!

  1. momssmallvictories

    We had Jan Moran give away Flawless and Scent of Triumph during our Travel the World in Books Readathon last year. I still haven’t read either one but really want to. I just finished and loved Mademoiselle Chanel by Gortner and Scent of Triumph is a perfect follow up! Great review!

    • Hallo, Hallo,…

      I regret I never had the chance to pull off my plans to join your reading group “Travel the World with Books” – I started to make an attempt years ago (even made a banner to use on my blog!) however with my intensive migraines and just life itself, the project became a bit too overwhelming for me to pursue and that is why I had to back out before I honestly began it! Ironically or not, I do marvel at all the beautiful places I’ve read and visited with whilst seeking out Historical Fiction. In many regards I have always felt like a time traveller due to reading such an extensive amount of Historical stories every year so the essence of your project is a shared passion of mine because I do this all the time. It is a natural part of my literary wanderings and I love finding out about places I haven’t yet travelled!

      Ooh my! You were quite right! If you had just finished Gortner’s Chanel, I hope you had the chance to read Moran’s book next!! I hope your blog is still around as I’ll have to dig round to see if you’ve blogged about this title! I hope the years have been kind to you and you’ve been able to continue blogging and enjoying sharing your readerly life! Thanks for blessing me with this lovely comment.

  2. Andrea (aka rokinrev)

    Without a doubt this is among my top ten book of last year, and I have read virtually everything Ms. Maron has written since. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who loves history a/o Paris

    • Hallo, Hallo Andrea,

      I regret I never had the chance to respond to my comments the past several years – a lot of that joy was taken away by my chronic migraines and then the recovery years of my father’s stroke (from late 2016). I wanted to say then and now, how lovely it was that we both enjoyed Ms Moran’s novel Scent of Triumph! I used to love seeing your comments and notes on my blog – I know you used to visit whenever you could and those were the notes I looked forward to the most because they were a bit random and spontaneous. I hope you’ve found some wicked good reads since your last visits and tonight, just know how much I appreciated the time you put into your notes for me as I don’t always get the pleasure of knowing who is reading my blog. Those comments and notes truly were a lift of joy.

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