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Scent of Triumph: A Novel of Perfume and Passion

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  218 reviews
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 occupi ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I was excited to read this book, however, my excitement diminished fairly quickly.

I enjoyed reading of Danielle's perfume lineage, her exceptional olfactory gift, her amazing intuition. I was taken with Sofia, her strength, her courage. Her presence was short lived but powerful and affecting. Reading of Nicky and his plight was emotional. The ravages of war clearly depicted.

The narrative was too dramatic for my taste and all predictable. Multiple subplots served as a distraction, most left fra
Jan Moran
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hope everyone enjoys reading Scent of Triumph as much as I enjoyed writing it. Would love to hear from everyone--let me know what you think!
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Mar 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2015
DNF around 62%

I really tried my best to finish this book. But I just couldn't find anything that I liked with it, neither the characters or the story worked for me. It was very predictable. In the end, I jumped to the end and read it to see if it would end as I thought it would. And, I was right.

One thing that bothered me while I read this book was how superficial the story felt and the lack of depth to the characters. This is a story that takes place during WW2, but even when horrible things ha
May 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I don't know where to begin with Jan Moran's Scent of Triumph. The book made an unmistakable impression, it left me speechless and I find myself at a loss in describing my experience with it.

Moran's style and tone grated my nerves from the start. The language she employs struck me as repetitive and the story is positively saturated with purple prose. I make a point of ignoring the odd hiccup in spelling and grammar, but Mor
The Lit Bitch
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love war time romances…like with a passion! It has been a long time since I’ve read a book in one sitting… a LONG TIME.

This book took me by complete surprise at how compelling it was. I was addicted from the very beginning and literally could not put it down until I finished it. I don’t know what it is about forbidden romances that just gets me but there just is!

The chemistry between Danielle and Jon was electric. I loved their love story…..tragic, genuine, and tender.

I loved Jon, he com
I enjoyed this book. I especially liked how it started with a storm of one kind meeting a storm of a different kind. I honestly believe that this is the best of Jan Moran’s historical novels.

It’s set in WWII and follows young mother and perfume formulator Danielle. She’s French, her husband German. While she and her husband are in the United States, her mother-in-law and son remain in Poland. When the Third Reich descends upon Poland, Danielle and her husband rush back to Europe to attempt to r
Hannah Fielding
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One word to describe the book: divine. Such a pleasurable few days I spent lost in this fictional world.

The plot is deeply moving and feels very realistically – hauntingly so when it comes to events related to loss and the war. There’s good pace, and plenty of suspense to keep you wanting to turn the pages. I was quite caught up in the story, to the point that I was tearful on several occasions. And such a marvellous ending!

I felt enormously empathetic towards Danielle, the protagonist. She’s m
Jan 29, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this novel quite unrealistic and very unfocused...the writing at grammar school level. I had the impression that the author couldn't decide what tale to tell and therefore felt the need to keep throwing things into each chapter hoping something would evolve into a worthy tale.

All throughout I kept asking myself "where is this story going"? The only thread that was constant was the fact that she was missing her little boy and even that didn't seem to take center stage.

Perhaps the sillie
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

Note: My sincere thanks to Briarcliffe Press and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Author: Jan Moran
Type: e-book
Genre: Historical Fiction (WWII)
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Briarcliffe Press
Publication Date: December 7, 2012
First Line: "Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman braced herself against the gleaming m
Sandi Layne
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heroine: Danielle Bretancourt
Hero: Jonathan Newell-Grey
Special areas of research: Perfume creation, Orphan charities, fashion, Hollywood of 1940’s


Scent of Triumph opens with fear and longing.

Traveling home via ocean liner to Europe after a business trip to the United States, Danielle and her husband Max are shocked by the news of the Nazi grab for power. Danielle worries desperately for their son Nick, who had been left behind in the care of his grandmother, and with good cause. Mor
Heading toward England on a Newell-Grey luxury liner with her husband Max, Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman was feeling nauseous on the heavily pitching seas. The storm was intense and her pregnancy made her feel much worse. Jonathan Newell-Grey was also onboard heading home to rejoin his family; he admired Max and found his wife to be a beautiful and gracious young woman. It was September 1939 and to the horror of all, England suddenly declared war on Germany. Hitler had declared his intent and ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I got this book off the free shelf of large print books at work (our company, in part, does large print publishing, so they offer some of the books free to employees). I have rarely given any book 1 star, so this is a first for me.

My first mistake was finishing this book. It was laughably bad, as was most of the plotting. The writing wasn't very good and it seems like the author needed to manufacture reason after reason for the main 'couple' not to get together. I mean, I get it on some levels,
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This historical fiction novel is set in the first days of WWII. Danielle
Bretancourt Von Hoffman is traveling from New York to England with her
husband Max. She is pregnant with their second child. Max is a German by
descent, and his family is living in Poland. Danielle is a perfumer with the
gift of perfect "scent". Her family has produced perfumes for hundreds of
years; she is trying to carry on the tradition. Max's family is known for
exquisite crystal, and has a factory in Poland. Jon Newell-Gray
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had the honor of receiving an early copy of Scent of Triumph. I'd already heard great things about the novel and it did not disappoint. This is a sweeping, epic story of a fearless, headstrong woman you will root for from the first page to the last. Set against the backdrop of WWII, the story spans multiple continents as the heroine Danielle moves from ocean liner to Paris, and on through London and Poland and all the way to working class Los Angeles. The plot lines, the characters, and the is ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abhorribles

     Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to receive a book that surprises me, that blows me out of the water and drives crazy with a love closer to addiction than mere enjoyment.  This is not that book.  I am indeed grateful to have received a copy through a Goodreads giveaway, but not nearly so grateful as I would have been, if the book had been a smidgen less … overdone.

     [ for more of my insanely snarky reviews, visit my Tumblog ]

     In large part, whether you enjoy a book or not comes down

Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
Wow! I came across Scent of Triumph through the Goodreads grapevine. I enjoy historical fiction and have recently been branching out into more types, but I will admit that I wasn't too keen about a book set during WWII. However, the premise of the book was intriguing, given the way scents and smells play a large role in the story and how they affect our memories. And I will admit, the 99-cent sale caught my eye so I thought I would give it a go. I was not prepared to be as blown away by the stor ...more
Tiana Dalichov
Absolutely heartbreakingly amazing. I've never read a book before that had me crying so much or squealing in joy or sighing with relief. What a wonderful piece of literature!

Scent of Triumph focuses mainly on the story of a French woman named Danielle Bretancourt, who finds herself in the midst of World War II and its terrifying atrocities. While on her way back to France, her cruise ship is attacked by a German U-boat, and the lives of several passengers are lost. Danielle travels with her husb
Things seem to just fall in place for Danielle, and the convenient nature of it all had me rolling my eyes. Her perfume really takes off when a gossip columnist gets a whiff. Husband #2 had been depicted as a playboy the ENTIRE novel, even mentioning the hundreds of women he's been with...until Danielle is made a widow. Then his entire persona changes because it's ~tru luv~ on his part. However, all throughout the novel, Scent of Triumph had been setting up Danielle with Husband #3 so I knew it ...more
Rachelle Ayala
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want this book to end. Danielle is a heroic woman who triumphs over grief, loss and tragedy. She always had a sense of honor and the will to do the right thing even when circumstances were against her.

This book could have been 1/3rd longer and I would have loved to savor and linger in it. The author's skill in using the five senses immerse the reader into the story. Danielle is passionate about her family and her work. I learned a lot about the perfume business and all of the details ad
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book to have read over the Thanksgiving weekend! I almost can't believe that this was a free download because it was just that good. It spanned the World War II years and the settings stretched from Poland to England (London) to Los Angeles, California. The main character, Danielle, while flawed in some ways, was determined, resourceful, intelligent, fiercely loyal, and courageous. Her main love interest, Jon, had many of those same traits, which made their relationship star-cro ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This is a reissue of a 2012 self-published novel that went through some rewrites and plot changes. Sadly, it still read like a self-pubbed novel to me, so I DNF'd at 50ish pages.

Writing style and plotting reminded me of M.L. Malcolm, who isn't my tastes, but has lots of rabid fans. Dialogue felt weak to me and there's so much melodrama it lost its impact after the first chapters.
Clive Eaton
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific story based in WW2 with a central character having an unusual gift. Well worth a read.
DeeDee Rice
I did finish the book, thinking that it would redeem itself. It didn't! It was very repetitious and was a woman's fantasy. Even though Danielle suffered and worked extremely hard for her family, things just came to easy. I wish there had been more inclusion of Max and what he went through to find Nicky and more from Nicky himself explaining the hardships. From looking at the reviews, it shows that you like historical romances or you don't. I much prefer historical fiction with the romance on the ...more
The strength shown by the characters in this book really amazed me. The author's writing style put the reader right next to Danielle and her incredible life. The author did well with the historical facts that she included in this book. I will be seeking out this author again in the future. ...more
Asheley T.
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran is the story of Danielle Bretancourt as she moves from obstacle to obstacle in an effort to keep her family together, to be a successful woman, and to find love. I've been sitting on this review for quite a while, trying to string together my thoughts. I read this book on Mother's Day - my family gave me a whole day of uninterrupted reading time and this is what I chose to read. I was swept away by the story, completely caught up in the time and the place and in the ...more
Anne Whiting
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a heart wrencher! The story is told from the beginning and during the second world war and tells of Danielle's struggle and search for her poor son Nicky after the occupation of Poland by the Nazis and the loss of Max. We live her nightmare with her as she is pursued by the evil Heinrich to such horrendous lengths.

Danielle has a tremendous responsibilty after finally arriving in the US and has to make enough money to support her dependant family. She is on her own and I was so moved as she
The story opens as England declares itself at war with Germany. The WWII setting is what initially appealed to me, England, France, Poland but Scent of Triumph is actually more sweeping family drama and one woman's determination to provide and care for her remaining family after facing great tragedy.

Danielle is a fiercely determined, clever, hard-working, resilient woman and I admired that about her but I didn't always feel an emotional connection with her. I'm not sure how to explain it, it mi
Romance novel set in France, California and Poland (“love is seldom what you expect”)

“Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume”

An epic romance novel set in the early years of World War II. It is an expansive book that evolves from war torn France and Poland, across to California.

Danielle Bretancourt, a trained perfumer, is a heroine carved from the Angelina Jolie mold, she is gorgeous, resourceful, capable, creative and hugely talented. But nevertheless has her fair s
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, war, amazing
Scent of Triumph
By Jan Moran

Summery courtesy of
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 tur
Indie Kindle Blitz
Jan Moran’s Scent of Triumph is an engrossing historical tale of a woman’s fortunes in World War II.

The main character, Danielle Bretancourt Von Hoffman, travels via ocean liner from New York to England. When she and her husband Max make the ocean journey, she is pregnant with their second child. In the course of the journey, the Nazis threaten to sink the ship. What unfolds made me think of the end of the movie Titanic. Yet Scent of Triumph is just getting warmed up.

Danielle’s family has a lon
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Hello there, glad you stopped by! If you like fun beach reads or romantic sagas that whisk you off to places like California beaches or Italy, Paris, and Napa Valley, then come on in. I'm Jan, and I write feel-good novels with heart that will help you escape. Join me in my Facebook Readers Group, too, where we celebrate good books and cheer each other on: ...more

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