Scent of Triumph

Written by Jan Moran
Review by M.K. Tod

This novel begins in September 1939. Danielle Bretancourt and her husband, Max, have left their young son, Nicky, with his grandmother in Poland and are devastated when they hear news of Hitler’s invasion. As the months unfold, a series of tragedies, combined with the threat of being exposed as a Jew, force Danielle to abandon her search for Nicky and escape with what’s left of her family to America. In Hollywood, Danielle draws on her skills as a perfumer and clothing designer to get a start, gradually earning enough to establish her own business. What keeps her going is the belief that Nicky is alive and the steadfast support of Jonathan Newell-Gray, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer.

Jan Moran brings her knowledge and love of perfume to the forefront of this novel and offers readers many twists and turns as the story unfolds. For this reader, Scent of Triumph felt melodramatic rather than dramatic and, with so many points of view, the central characters – Danielle and Jonathan – are not as fully developed as they might have been.