Rebecca's Reviews > Parfums: A Catalogue of Remembered Smells

Parfums by Philippe Claudel
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liked it
bookshelves: essays, memoirs, uncategorizable, unfinished

I loved the idea behind this: a memoir in the form of short essays built around scent memories. Cinnamon brings the Christmas season to mind, aftershave reminds him of his father, and garlic and cannabis dredge up different aspects of his growing-up years. There’s some beautifully poetic language here. A favorite line was “The child that I am is allowed to breathe in these smells of dead pollen, widowed woolens and orphaned linen so that one day he can piece them together into a narrative and resurrect lives lost through wars, illnesses and accidents.” But ultimately I got a bit tired of more of the same. Perhaps if I’d kept it as a bedside book and just read a few pieces at a time instead of attempting to read it straight through, it would have worked better for me. Alas, as this is a library book, it will have to go back half-finished. (Read the first 86 pages out of 173.)

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Reading Progress

January 16, 2015 – Shelved
January 16, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: essays
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: memoirs
May 30, 2016 – Shelved as: uncategorizable
June 1, 2016 – Shelved as: unfinished

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