Scent of Darkness
by Margot Berwin
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: January 29, 2013
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
Evangeline is eighteen years old when her
grandmother gives her the ultimate gift-a scent she has created just for her.
From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, her entire life changes.
Previously unnoticed, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone
around her. Men dance close to her; women dip their noses deep into her hair;
even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. Gabriel, the quiet
student Eva has admired from afar, falls head-over-heels in love with her. But
soon the gift begins to control Eva's life: strangers follow her around,
sniffing and touching her at every turn. When Eva meets Michael, an artist who
barely registers her smell, Eva wonders if he is the one person who can love
her for herself. Or is her scent impossible to escape? A bewitching, wildly
imaginative novel steeped in the mythology of perfume, Scent of Darkness
seduces the reader's every sense.
I have always been curious about smells and the attraction
we feel to them or associate with them. Certain smells trigger memories for me some
good and some bad. In Scent of Darkness
we are taken on a strange journey with one woman and the two men in her life.
One represents good and the other evil. While the tale was engaging enough, it did
leave me scratching my head.
The tale begins when we meet Evangeline and her grandmother.
We are taking back to childhood memories of the two and specific shared
moments. Louise her grandmother is a
scent maker, and keeps a room off limits to Evangeline. Upon her death she
leaves her home to Evangeline and a gift that she can choose not to accept. Gabriel
is a young man that she has a huge crush on, but feels he doesn’t return her
feelings. Together they clean out the
home and eventually make their way to the forbidden room. Here they find the
gift for Evangeline; a vial filled with a fragrance that will change her fate,
it comes with a warning. From the moment she places the precious drops on her
neck things begin to change; Gabriel falls madly in love with her and takes her
to New Orleans. The tale that unfolds takes a weird and wild twist when she
meets a painter named Michael.
The characters were each unique although we never really get
to know them. They are each chosen to represent something and I think the
author makes what clear. We meet a young
boy who I found interesting as well as his grandmother who will eventually help
Evangeline. A tarot card reader warns
her and forbids her to return. All of
the characters helped propel the tale and the message. I liked Gabriel, although I never got to know him and what I learned of Micheal gave me the creeps.
My feelings are so mixed on this. I appreciated how the
author used foreshadowing and characters represented things and perhaps even
lessons placed within the pages. The writing was lovely, and I certainly did
not struggle to read this as the tale unfolded beautifully. The subject matter
and strange turns were bizarre and unique but left me feeling off kilter. I
love paranormal, the occult and believe scent attracts us but I wanted more depth from the characters. I understand the how and why of the tale and I think I understand
the author’s intent but as I closed the book all I could think was, “Eek Gads
that was strange.”
This is a unique tale filled with lessons, good, evil and one woman’s journey to choose the right path. Filled with paranormal woo-woo Scent of Darkness is a tale you will
I want to thank Random House for providing this ARC in exchange
for my unbiased review.
Two and half cups of voodoo coffee out of five
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Labels: fragrance, Margot Berwin, paranormal romance, Perfume, random house