The Perfume Knows Who You Are
Original title: Il profumo sa chi sei
Cristina Caboni is the storyteller best loved by Italian readers. Her books reconstruct fascinating and very different worlds. In this new novel she gifts her readers with the return to the heroine and to the magic of her first book The Secret Ways of Perfume that confirmed her presence on the Italian and international literary scene.
For Elena perfume is everything. It’s her way of reading the world around her and it has never let her down. In Paris her personalized creations are in great demand, because she is the only one who can look so deeply into a person’s being and come up with the right scent. It’s her vocation and she’s happy that it is. This is why, when one day she suddenly loses her ability to create, her life turns into a nightmare. The magic of perfume seems to have vanished.
At this very moment, she receives a proposal from the last person she would have expected it from: Susanna, her mother, who has never managed to love her, leaving her with an unfillable void inside. The woman asks her to go on a journey with her, starting out from Florence, the palace of the Rossini family, from whom Elena learned everything she knows. She wants to take her daughter to Japan with her, because in the country of cherry blossom, the art of creating perfumes is guided by the principles of simplicity and purity. After this she lets herself be transported by the power of roses through India and on to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia, where the Flower of the King stands for tradition and sacredness.
This is a path leading to the search for something Elena feared she had lost. A path filled with the scent of flowers and incense. But for Elena the journey means something more, because it brings her closer to an answer she’s been seeking for years. Because perfume is the way to follow but not until we understand who we really are, can we approach our goal and put a finger on the pure essence of ourselves. This is a gift from Cristina Caboni to her readers – a return to the heroine and to the magic of her first book, The Secret Ways of Perfume that confirmed her presence on the Italian literary scene.
A beginning that continues, after so many years, to live on in the hearts of those who fell in love with it then. Elena Rossini is back with us again in the backstreets of Paris, the hidden corners of Florence and the new places along her journey. Alongside her are old friends and new, but above all the perfumes that have so much to tell and teach us all.