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The Scent Keeper

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  36,507 ratings  ·  4,063 reviews
Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives.

Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 2019)
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Erica Bauermeister Such a great question. Originally, this story was written from three points of view -- Emmeline, her father, and Fisher. I loved writing Jack and Fish…moreSuch a great question. Originally, this story was written from three points of view -- Emmeline, her father, and Fisher. I loved writing Jack and Fisher's stories, but in the end I realized that this was about Emmeline's quest and how, in the end, we really don't know who our parents were before we were born (and sometimes even after). It meant leaving a lot of wonderful back-story and even entire plot lines on the cutting room floor. I don't know that I would turn that material into a book—but then again, I always said I wouldn't write a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients and I ended up doing that, so never say never!(less)
Erica Bauermeister The two books are not connected to each other, so you can read in any order you want. If you are intrigued by how our senses subliminally influence us…moreThe two books are not connected to each other, so you can read in any order you want. If you are intrigued by how our senses subliminally influence us, or want something that feels a bit more like a fairy tale/real life novel, then start with The Scent Keeper. If you are more inspired by food, start with School of Essential Ingredients. (less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  36,507 ratings  ·  4,063 reviews

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This is a very difficult book for me to review. There are parts that I really liked and there are parts that I really didn't. I think the one thing that helps with these middle of the road reviews is identifying for others if the author is worth reading again. My answer would be yes. There were a few books that I was reminded of while reading this - The Great Alone, Where the Crawdads Sing and The Unseen World. If either of those pique your interest, then I suggest you give this book a try.

Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

A book about senses, about scents, and how they can transport us places, bringing up memories, and reminding us of important events in our lives. Have you ever heard the question, "If you could give up one of your senses which would you give up?" Many may choose the ability to smell. Many would choose differently after reading this book.

This is also a book about secrets, about growing up, about finding love, about grief, and about starting over. It's about finding a friend, being a fam
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I find myself taking in a very deep breath, as I start this review. 😍 I’ve smelled my husband. I’ve smelled my children. It’s romantically magical that scents can trigger so much emotion and memories. 🥰 This book had so many feels. Love, loss, hope, fear, adventure, romance, heartache. I loved the characters. I loved the settings. I loved the story. ❤️ I’d recommend this book to anyone who loved “Where the Crawdads Sing” or “The Great Alone”.
Katie B
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I read the synopsis for this book I was a bit concerned about whether or not I could possibly enjoy a story that revolved around scents. It just did not seem like something up my alley. But because the book was getting some really positive reviews, I decided to take a chance on it, and I am so glad I did. And guess what? I really grew to love the role scents and people's sense of smell played in the book. It was a fascinating read.

Emmeline has been raised by her father on a remote island, s
Larry H
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
4.5 stars.

I'm honored to be part of the blog tour for Erica Bauermeister's incredibly memorable new novel, The Scent Keeper .

Scents can provide some of our most potent memories, our strongest sense of time and place. It could be a perfume or cologne worn by someone you love, a freshly baked treat you remember from childhood, even the smell of the air after a rainstorm. Bauermeister's beautifully told book is an illustration of a life lived through embracing one of our strongest senses.

May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

I want to say upfront that a 3 star rating isn't bad in my opinion. Although I didn't fall in love with this book, I did like it. Erica Bauermeister puts her young protagonist, Emmeline on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Throughout this story as Emmeline leaves her remote island, struggles adapting to life, and then heads to the city to investigate unanswered questions, we do enter the world of fr
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dining-room-1
If you loved Where the Forest Meets the z Stars ir When Crawdads Sing, don't miss this beautiful book! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Emmeline has a charmed childhood. She lives on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the world through the various senses. 

There’s a machine in their home that creates scents, and all kinds of fragrances are stored in drawers that cover the walls. Emmeline’s father doesn’t talk about that, though. 

Emmeline becomes more impetuous, and her actions cause her to be f
4.5 rounded up to 5 for the way this book made me feel 💖

Scents have the power to evoke memories and powerful emotions. Certain smells can transport me to special moments in time and place. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could bottle them and save them forever? Emmaline and her father live on a remote island where they are immersed in nature, and they did just that.

Much like sommeliers are super-tasters, they are super-smellers. The cabin is lined with small drawers, each holding a vial containi
Elyse  Walters

Thumbs-up to Reese Witherspoon’s honest-to-goodness-great-2020
February-book choice!

The descriptions are lyrical - a little mystical and poetic - perhaps not to everyone’s taste… but I was in the right mood for the enchanting storytelling.

Those who enjoyed
“Where the Crawdads Sing”.... may enjoy this book too.

Emmeline and her father lived on a quiet small island.
The love between the two of them was heartwarming....
but.... there is much more....
Hint.... ‘scents’ of smel
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
𝓔𝓿𝓸𝓬𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓿𝓮. 𝓔𝓬𝓬𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓻𝓲𝓬. 𝓔𝓵𝓮𝓰𝓪𝓷𝓽.

Erica Bauermeister has crafted a unique and lovely tail about secrets, forgiveness, and the power of scent. Emmeline spent the first 12 years of her life living on an isolated island with her beloved father. All they had was each other, the trees, their cabin, and a drawers of fragrance. As Emmeline gets older she knows there is more behind her father’s obsession with cent then he is telling her, but what is it? After a tragedy Emmeline finds herself thrust into th
Holly  B
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it


I did enjoy this book, but didn't love it.

What I loved~

1. The remote island setting.
2. It is well-written and I wanted to follow Emmeline's journey.
3. The mystery and mystical feel of the Parts One and Two.

A few issues I had~

1. Part Three had an entirely different vibe to me. It seemed to lose the magic.
2. The way it ended was disappointing.

It was still enjoyable and many have loved this one. It has been compared to Where The Forest Meets The Stars which was one of my favorite bo
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

We are the unwitting carriers of our parents’ secrets, the ripples made by stones we never saw thrown… We humans are almost entirely made of water, except for the stones of our secrets.

I remember the way the rain seemed to talk to the roof as I fell asleep, and how the fire would snap and tell it to be quiet… I could feel the tendrils of a fragrance tickling the inside of my nose, slipping into the curls of my black hair… I inhaled, and fell into the fragrance like Alice down the
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the blog tour for this book and after reading the summary, I accepted the invite even though I did have a little bit of hesitation about the story. The reason for my hesitation was because I had never before read any books or stories that revolved entirely around scents and smells and wondered what kind of a story this would turn out to be. Also, reading the summary, I got the impression at first that this would lean toward magical reali
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Apparently a story revolving around scents bores me. Now I know.
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
4.5 sweet stars

What brings joy to your heart and mind? Is it the sight of someone you love, the look of the holidays, or is it the smells which engender in your heart and mind the things that you love? Think of the smell of turkey roasting in the oven (bet your mouth has started to water!), of pine, the scent of Christmas trees, of a winter's day, of a new baby, so warm and sweet smelling like the best flower ever, or the outdoors on a crisp autumn day. Don't these smells make you come alive? Yo
Sarah Nealy
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to give this book at least three stars but I couldn't! What?? This is a half finished book! It just ended during the climax, like the writer stayed up all night writing and she got to this point and had nothing left to write so she just decided to be done with it and go to bed. What?? Im so confused. I honestly think the author got tired of the story and just wanted to be done with it. The first half was really strong it was a complicated beautiful story about a Father with a com ...more
Kristin Lunz Trujillo
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gr-giveaways
While reading The Scent Keeper I was somewhat ambivalent about it. The overarching concept and plot was interesting, and while I was reading the book there were moments where I genuinely liked it.

However, there were a couple things that I didn't like. First, the characters were flat and most of them were incredibly selfish, with the exception of Henry and Colette, who were essentially used and underappreciated by Emmaline. Other things were unbelievable, such as the main character understanding
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this along with my friend @danythebookworm_ . I was in a major reading slump and this beautiful book yanked me right out!! I adored this story so so much. Really didn't want it to end. I could so go for another one as I really loved these characters. ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: real-book, won
Having always been fascinated how a smell can evoke an immediate memory I was excited to read this and it lived up to my expectations. The writing is beautiful, and I mean there were sentences that literally stopped me, and with an inhalation of breath, I would read them again and be instantly moved with emotion. Sometimes that emotion was tears and sometimes I felt sucker-punched the emotion was so raw. Always intense. Always beautiful.

Please let me also mention, this book came from the publish
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
*Minor spoiler under “The Bad”
Overall: A beautifully written, lyrical, unique story about love, courage, finding oneself, and scents. A very sweet and light book that was easy and fun to get lost in 4/5 or 7/10

“Back before there was time, I lived with my father on an island, tucked away in an endless archipelago that reached up out of the cold salt water, hungry for air.”

The story starts off on a secluded island in the Pacific Northwest where we meet Emmeline, a young girl who has alwa
It was well written, but I'm sorry book, I was just not that into you. ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I went into reading The Scent Keeper completely blind, but I loved the writing of it so much! Right away, I knew that I would love this book. The literary feel, the somewhat magical realism elements that I love, and the rich story of Emmeline as a child to her coming of age as a woman, all drew me in.

Emmeline lives on an island with her father, and realizes that certain scents are stored away as memories in small rolls of paper, each tucked away safely in each bottle. Her life on the island is b
Eva K (journeyofthepages)
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paper-book
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister is a beautifully written novel! The prose are poetic and lyrical. Some of the descriptions of scene and scent are so detailed that you feel transported to another world. It was fascinating to read the descriptions of how something smells. It’s not an easy task to describe a specific scent with words but Bauemeister does so elegantly.

At the start of this tale, you are plopped into the middle of a story with little context. The ambiguity piqued my interest a
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, fiction
Emmeline and her father live on a small island—all alone and in the middle of nowhere. Emmeline knows next to nothing about how they got there, and whenever she works up the courage to ask her father, he only answers in riddles or short “end of conversation!” statements. She loves the island, and she loves her father, so she doesn’t push.

What she does know is that they need to protect the scents. In their small cabin is a whole wall of tiny drawers filled with little corked bottles. Each bottle
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5🌟 actually rounded down to 3
I really enjoyed reading this book , made me "feel" and "smell " all those feelings that were trapped within its pages....
The book was a delight up to the last page, up to the ending...where I feel I was left wondering, guessing , deciding according to my own experience within the book what the end would open ending.....hence the 3.5🌟
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
I have been an avid fan of Erica Bauermeister since I read her first novel, The School of Essential Ingredients and I was not disappointed when reading The Scent Keeper. This is a coming-of-age story about Emmeline, a young child brought to an unhabited island by her father. She is raised there while being taught how to use her senses, especially her sense of smell. Her childhood is happy, leaving her completely ignorant of life outside of this small island and she is not prepared when she finds ...more
Kate Olson
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-reads
I wavered & wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this one because I really enjoyed the unique premise of the story and the magical nature of the language, BUT I was almost screaming at how it ended - I NEEDED MORE! And while because of the ending I won't be texting all my friends and sister telling them to read it, I really won't forget it. The lyrical descriptions were enchanting, and while some of the story and character development felt less-than, overall I am happy to have spent the hours I did ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five bright and shiny stars for this lovely, magical book!

I so enjoyed this very different story about, scents, trying to preserve scents, living isolated on an island, betrayal, love and abuse. Losing a parent, finding a parent. Secrets. Bullying. Coming of age. Some parts are quite heartbreaking.

Without picking apart areas that might seem unbelievable to others, I suggest you go with the flow and just enjoy the story. Let it take along you in it’s journey. It’s got a good opening.

I really ne
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, rounded down.

This is a beautifully written book about the power is scents, how they can evoke memories, define us and complete us.

Emmeline has always lived on a remote island with her eccentric father. He spun fairytales about their life and possessed a magical machine which captured scents on papers, which he stored in sealed bottles. As she grew older, Emmeline realized that her life with her father was not all that he said it was. At age 12, she is forced to leave the island and
Tinichix (nicole)
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were parts of this I really really enjoyed and adored but initially there were parts that I found myself slightly bored with to be honest, but only in the first portion. I’m glad I continued on. The farther this progressed the more I enjoyed it. I really appreciated the unique story line and found it very sweet and touching. It was interesting to view the world from the eyes of someone who only knows a remote island without technology and modern conveniences with minimal socialization. The ...more
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Erica Bauermeister is the NYT bestselling author of four novels -- The Scent Keeper (a Reese's Book Club pick), The School of Essential Ingredients,, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. Her memoir, House Lessons, will be published by Sasquatch March 24th, 2020. She is also the co-author of 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide and Let's Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Re ...more

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“We sat in silence, letting the green in the air heal what it could.” 16 likes
“Scents were like rain, or birds. They left and came back.” 11 likes
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