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The Secret of a Heart Note

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,550 ratings  ·  581 reviews
Love chose me, and I tried, but I couldn’t stop the arrow in its flight.

As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, fifteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of using her extraordinary sense of smell to mix base notes, top notes, and heart notes into elixirs that help others fall in love.

All while remaining incurably alone.

For Mim, the rules are
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,550 ratings  ·  581 reviews

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Sue (Hollywood News Source)
The Secret of a Heart Note is everything I wanted in a book. It’s the perfect read for To All the Boys I’ve Loved You fans.  
It’s incredibly difficult to find a light book about people of color, where we experience racism, but it’s not the entire plot of the novel. I’m not discrediting stories that feature our struggles, but sometimes you just want to unwind, and read something that doesn’t show the hard truths of our lives. That’s rightfully justified. Reading stories with characters of color a
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Love witches can’t love.”

This was a YA magical realism story, about a girl who created love elixirs using a heightened sense of smell.

Mimosa was an interesting character, and she certainly went out of her way to try and please her mother, even when it mean doing things she didn’t want to do.

The storyline in this was about Mimosa accidentally giving a love elixir
4/5 stars

Video Review:

With this being my first Stacey Lee book I was ecstatic to read it since I have heard nothing but wonderful things about her other works. Now, that I have read one of her books I cannot wait to read more!

Her writing style is descriptive and vibrant. It almost felt like I could smell what she was describing. The main character was lovely and incredibly bright. I was happy at the fact although she is younger I never felt like she was i
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this on a whim, but wasn't quite sure what to expect.

I loved Mim. She's smart and well meaning and probably one of the most genuine MC's I've read before. I loved being in her head. There's also an excellent cast of secondary characters: I loved Kali and Court, but Bryony stole every scene she was in.

The best part of this book is the smells and how emotions are scented. If even half of the information about the flowers is correct, I'm seriously impressed. The writing is gorgeous a
“The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own”

----Fernando Pessoa

Stacey Lee, a Chinese-American author, pens a charming tale of young love and perfume in her new young adult book, The Secret of a Heart Note that revolves around a teenage perfume maker, who has a nose for each individual's scent and can customize that perfume into love elixir to make people fall in love with one another, but her magic comes with a price of never falling in love with anyone, but the girl desires of
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars. You know when you read a book that just makes you feel all warm and wonderful on the inside? That leaves you with an ear to ear grin when you finish? That was this book for me. I fell in love with this story that plays out exactly like a romantic comedy, which I love! I liked the aromateur aspect, which was something I've not truly thought about or read before. There are a very few minor quibbles I have, but all in all, this was an extremely fun reading experience for me. ...more
Mim and her mother are the last two aromateurs on Earth. They use their divine sense of smell to mix love potions for other people. But Mim starts to fall in love and that is forbidden because she could lose her aromateur powers. Will she choose love or lose it all?

I really love Mim and her mother's relationship. That was a highlight of the book. I also just loved her best friend Kali. I thought she was just unstoppable and amazing, and kind of wished she was the main character instead. I felt M
you can read my review HERE as well, if you'd like!
What an adorably unique book! As my first novel by Stacey Lee, I can proudly say that I loved this book and I do hope more people read it. Lee combines a contemporary California (I forgot where exactly, it's been like a month, and this review itself is way overdue) with a fresh blend of magical realism that makes this book both adorable and intricate!

Mim was just a darling character. She was torn between wanting to be a regular teenager--who
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-own, favorites
Finally got around to immersing myself into this novel. I loved it so much! All the diverse characters, the scent descriptions, botanical details, the plot everything. I loved every bit of this book and the way everything played out.
Tomes And Textiles
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
In the world of The Secret of a Heart Note, an aromateur is a love witch who works with scents to create the perfect combination of scents that make people fall in love. They are hired by those seeking love, but have very strict rules of engagement and seeing their services through. They are scent witches with written rules spanning generations, after all. This unique environment, although completely natural, is elevated to an almost fantastical state by Lee’s aromatic descriptors. Lee had a see ...more
4.5/5 ★ The Secret of a Heart Note was super unique and cute! it's a fairly solid contemporary novel and i couldn't find any problems i had with it. (but i also couldn't find anything super spectacular about it....) ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I give up. DNF 65%
Maybe I'm just not in the right mood for this type of book OR maybe it was just extremely boring.
I was drawn to this book based on the whimsy and magic of an aromatuer witch matchmaker but this idea plus the characters were all underdeveloped - you never got a true gauge on who any of the characters were and the romance was lustreless.
This could have been a good book but it was bombarded with descriptions on botany, plant scents and completely unfocused tidbits on historical fo
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee is a perfect spice of romance and growing up. In addition, Lee adds a nice little touch of magic to the general story with our adorable main character, Mim, being an Aromateur. A type of "Witch" that has a nose unlike any other. Mim can smell the heart notes and the personality of the people around her, her ability to do this allows her to create the non-cliché version of a Love Potion.

Mimosa, the main character is what makes this book so fantastic. Her c
Morgan (The Bookish Beagle)
I loved this book so much! I read a couple reviews that called it a modern California fairy tale and it really feels like that; it sort of reminds me of Practical Magic and Chocolat in the charming, witchy love aspects, meets Clueless for the mix ups. The aromateurs had such an interesting history and I love that this book had a fresh concept. It felt really unique! The characters were rich and complex, and I especially loved Mim. She was so relatable in her wish to be a normal teenager while st ...more
rachel ☾
I have heard literally nothing but the highest of all praises for Stacey Lee’s novels. Everyone seems to simply adore her stories and writing so I knew that I would have to give something of hers a chance sooner rather than later. I didn’t think that there could be a better place to start than with The Secrets of a Heart Note whose premise I had already been salivating over for a while. Unfortunately, while I can honestly see why so many people adore her, this particular book just did not impres ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Stacey Lee has fast become one of my favorite YA authors. She pens stories that are real, raw and hopeful, the kind of stories that anyone can relate to no matter what cultural background they come from. Every time I pick up a book by her, I know I’m in for a treat. The Secret of A Heart Note is a veering from her past historical novels, but it was just as beautiful of a story as Under A Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon were.

Like with Lee’s other stories, there are prevalent themes throughout The
Sarah Glenn Marsh
I can't recommend this beauty highly enough!

If you're a fan of clever female protags (and who isn't?!), slow-burn romance, quirky characters, and the most wonderful, lush, vivid prose that engages all your senses...pick this book up ASAP!

I'm normally a pretty quick reader, but I limited myself to a few chapters a night on this one, because I wanted to savor every page and stay in Mim's world as long as possible--and I'm glad I did, because I'm bummed that it's over now. This story is *gorgeous*
Mónica Bustamante Wagner
This book!! I love this book--even though I read an early version, I thought it was sooo original. I loved the elixir magic, how the love witches mixed the spells, and how they worked. Mim, the protag is a sweet girl, and I like that there's forbidden romance (!!) and she messes up things with a potion and.... oh, man. I can't wait for this one to be officially out! :D ...more
This review also appears on my blog, Reading with Jenna.

I have a few Stacey Lee books at home on my shelf but The Secret of a Heart Note is the first one that I’ve picked up, and it absolutely blew me away. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and this was just what I needed. It was not only cute and a feel-good read, but also a really refreshing contemporary story with a sprinkle of magical realism.

This book follows Mimosa, who is one of two aromateurs left on the planet. Her role as an
4.5 stars

this book is so adorable and cute guys
Femke (booksfemme)
well i am glad i finally finished this. bored me to death.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

I had the privilege of winning this book through the author's giveaway! Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced readers copy. 

Have you ever felt that pure sense of contentment after finishing a book? That's how I felt after reading The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee. What a lovely, lovely book.

In The Secret of a Heart Note, we see the extraordinary, unique, and magical life of being an aromateur. Paired with Lee’s splendid writing, Mim’s perspective was enjoyable and utt
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Mimosa is one of the last aromateurs on the planet. As an aromateur she can smell emotions, personality traits and heart notes and everything else that she needs to concoct elixirs that help people fall in love. Yet she must remain alone. The rules for aromateurs state that if she falls in love, her nose becomes useless. But Mim has dreams of being normal, of going to high school, falling in love and having a boyfriend. When sh
sil ♡ the book voyagers
I know this book doesn't release until December but I blame Sue for telling me how cute this book was and making me read it asap. I don't blame her now because it was just what I wanted and I wanted to keep reading The Secret of a Heart Note forever.

It's a cute book with a plot that intrigued me so much, seriously the plot is magical and sweet and interesting to the thousands. Mim, the main character, is so intelligent and caring for other people. She thrives and is optimistic and I love her. Co
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Jennie
Cover Story: Behold, The Field In Which I Gather My Scents
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
Bonus Factors: Gardening, Diversity, Bay Area
Relationship Status: High School Sweetheart

Read the full book report here.
Kelly Gilbert
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming, funny, romantic, and so quintessentially Stacey Lee. I loved this book.
Brittany S.
I just feel like as a candle-maker, I need to read this book.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
SUPER cute. Reminds me of PRACTICAL MAGIC for the YA set, with the witch who can't fall in love. (And also SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, with the love elixirs, but that was a worse movie.) ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed here:

(Linking because giveaway attached)
Laurence R.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book, but I don't think it cured my book slump :( ...more
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Stacey Lee is the New York Times and Indie bestselling author of historical and contemporary young adult fiction, including THE DOWNSTAIRS GIRL, Reese's Book Club Late Summer 2021 YA pick, and her most recent, LUCK OF THE TITANIC which received five starred reviews. A native of southern California and fourth-generation Chinese American, she is a founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement and wr ...more

Articles featuring this book

A young, perfume-making "love witch" is the focus of the Under a Painted Sky author's new book, The Secret of a Heart Note. Lee shares her favorite...
10 likes · 0 comments
“Somewhere between right and wrong lies a garden surrounded by thorns, and I have met you there.” 9 likes
“Most people don't know that heartache smells like blueberries.” 2 likes
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