Welcome Jan Moran!

I am so excited to have my very first guest post with author of "Scent of Triumph" author, Jan Moran!

Scent of Triumph is the story of Danielle Bretancourt, a talented young French perfumer with a flair for fashion and a natural olfactory gift. In the language of perfumery, she is a Nose, with the rare ability to recognize thousands of essences by memory. The story opens on the day England declares war on Germany, and Danielle and her family are caught in the midst of a raging disaster sweeping across Europe. 

Her life takes a tragic turn when her husband and son are lost behind enemy lines. She spies for the French resistance, determined to find them, but is forced to flee Europe with fragments of her family. Destitute, she mines her talents to create a magnificent perfume that captures the hearts of Hollywood's top stars, then gambles again to win wealth and success as a couturier. Her intelligence and flair attracts the adoration of Jonathan Newell-Grey, of England's top shipping conglomerate, and Cameron Murphy, Hollywood's most charismatic star.

Danielle charts her course through devastating wartime losses and revenge; lustful lovers and loveless marriages; and valiant struggles to reunite her family. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, here is one woman's story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

Best Vintage Perfumes from Scent of Triumph – Part I
By Jan Moran

Hello Lindsey, and thank you for having me today. I understand many of your readers like romance, so I thought I’d share details from my novel Scent of Triumph, a historical romantic suspense.

I’ve worked in the beauty industry for years; I cataloged fragrances and created a touch-screen program for Sephora stores. When I began to write, it seemed natural to write about perfumery. Scent of Triumph is follows a French perfumer during the 1940s. Fragrance and aromas are her professional frame of reference, so vintage perfumes are laced throughout the book. (And with Mother’s Day approaching, perfume is a lovely gift.)

Today I’d like to cover three classics that are still popular today. Even if you don’t wear them, chances are someone you know does. Our olfactory sense—our sense of smell—is the strongest memory trigger we have, with a direct path to the limbic center of the brain, the seat of such memories and emotions. These perfumes might conjure memories of your mother or grandmother, but they’re still hot, haute scents for today, too.

In Scent of Triumph, the protagonist, Danielle, has specific memories or encounters with each one of these. Without giving these scenes away, here’s the history on each perfume. When you read Scent of Triumph, you’ll have extra insight as to why these were included.

Mitsouko (1919) - Created on the eve of the Roaring Twenties, Mitsouko reflects the Far Eastern style that became the rage in the flamboyant years after World War I. Third generation perfumer Jacques Guerlain developed Mitsouko for women of passion, intensity, strength, and introspection.

Mitsouko opens with fruity top notes of tangy bergamot and smooth, mellow peach. A lilac blend follows, dissolving into a woody chypre drydown, redolent of vetiver, oakmoss, and amber. Mitsouko is a sensual, voluptuous fragrance, like a dark, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mitsouko means "mystery" in Japanese and was inspired by a character in the Claude Farrère novel, La Bataille, or The Battle. The story revolved around the ill-fated love of an English officer and the wife of the ship's commander–a beautiful Japanese woman named Mitsouko. Farrère had mentioned another Guerlain fragrance, Jicky, in one of his novels, so Jacques Guerlain reciprocated the honor by naming his fragrance after a Farrère character. And so Mitsouko lives on, in print and in fragrance. It remains one of the great jewels of the House of Guerlain.

Chanel No. 5 (1921) - Chanel No. 5 was the first fragrance from Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, who was one of the first designers to introduce a perfume. According to Chanel, the secret behind Chanel No. 5 is an extraordinary, powdery blend of aldehydes–ingredients that defy categorization–combined with rich floral and warm amber notes. Take a tip from Marilyn Monroe–when the press once asked what nightwear she wore to bed, she smiled and answered, "Chanel No. 5." And that was all.

What inspired the numeric name? Chanel once reported that when she asked Ernest Beaux to create a fragrance for her, he presented her with several scents, and she selected the bottle numbered "5.” Coincidentally, her couture collection was scheduled for presentation on the fifth day of the fifth month–May 5. Interpreting this as a good omen, she bestowed upon the fragrance the name of Chanel No. 5. It was the popularity of the early Chanel fragrances that spawned the designer fragrance industry of today.

Joy by Jean Patou (1930) – French couturier Jean Patou had set out to create a fragrance "free from all vulgarity" at any cost, as well as "impudent, crazy, and extravagant beyond reason.” Indeed, the sumptuous scent quickly became revered as the world's most extravagant perfume and to this day remains one of the costliest perfume to produce, according to the Patou firm.

The dominant notes are absolute of jasmine and Bulgarian rose, two of the world's rarest and most expensive essences. Each ounce contains the essence from more than 10,000 jasmine flowers and twenty-eight dozen roses.

Jean Patou launched his quest for Joy in 1926 when he took his assistant, cafe society woman Elsa Maxwell, with him to Grasse to work with perfumers on the new scent. Together they searched for a fragrance that would meet the exacting requirements of the best-dressed and most discriminating women of the world. After exhaustive testing they were presented with the formula for Joy; it called for twice the amount of essential oils that other popular perfumes contained. But alas, the perfumer told them it was too expensive to be commercially viable. That cinched it. Hence was born the "costliest fragrance in the world," and women the world over had to have it.

Thanks for sharing your platform today, Lindsey. On my next blog stop, we’ll cover a few more beloved classic fragrances. Visit me at www.janmoran.com to learn more about fragrance and Scent of Triumph.

Buy "Scent of Triumph"

About Jan Moran

Jan Moran writes smart, stylish, sensual sagas. She’s also written several books on perfume.

“My most recent book, SCENT OF TRIUMPH, was inspired by my love of perfumery and history. In writing, I drew upon my own family history and my mother's memories of World War II, imagining a young entrepreneur whose talent, determination, and fearlessness catapult her to the pinnacle of success, despite mounting personal tragedies and the elusiveness of love. 

“I write about strong, capable, female entrepreneurs.  I’m a world traveler, so I also enjoy writing about different destinations.”

Jan Moran is the author of SCENT OF TRIUMPH, a historical novel, and FABULOUS FRAGRANCES I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list.  She is at work on more series in fiction and nonfiction.

As a fragrance and beauty expert, she has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN and Extra, 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.

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I want to thank Jan for all the great info on some fabulous perfumes and wish her the best of luck with "Scent of Triumph"!