Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Interview and Review: Jan Moran's "Scent of Triumph"

Author Jan Moran

on Tour March 28-April 16 with

SCENT OF TRIUMPHScent of Triumph: A Novel of Perfume And Passion

(historical novel) Release date: March 31, 2015 at St. Martin’s Press 384 pages ISBN: 9781250048905


Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. —from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt When French perfumer and aristocrat 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 occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles. Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?


I'm so happy to have Jan Moran here with me today as she tours the blogsphere in support of her novel "Scent of Triumph".

CW: Welcome Jan! Thanks for joining me to day. To start, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you start writing? Have your life experiences shaped the way the write?

JM: As a child, I was an avid reader and I began writing at an early age. Books were my passport to exotic locales. Today, I like to infuse my stories and characters with the ring of authenticity, so it’s natural for me to write about places I’ve visited or lived in. London, Paris, Grasse, and Beverly Hills figure prominently in SCENT OF TRIUMPH. I also share history of perfumery and fashion, which I drew from my professional background in the beauty industry, and from nonfiction books and articles I’ve written. 

The main character, Danielle Bretancourt, is a French perfumer and fashion designer, but she’s also a mother and an entrepreneur, as I am. Danielle is a complex character who must often make difficult choices between dreadful alternatives. However, her drive and determination to care for her loved ones propels her through the story. I wanted to bring to life a woman’s unique quest to triumph over adversity – which we all encounter to some degree in our lives.

CW: “Scent of Triumph” is set during World War II which has become a popular time period recently. What drew you to this period? Was it deliberate or did your characters dictate it?

JM: “Scent of Triumph” was inspired in part by stories my mother shared of life during World War II. She and my father were married during the war, and my father was a pilot. Through the years, she’s recounted many stories about their friends and what life was like then – and that’s part of the reason her photo from the 1940s is in the front of the book.

I’m so glad the World War II time frame is enjoying popularity now, because there’s a lot to learn about this era and what people went through then. As a writer, I write about what touches my heart. And oddly enough, when I started the novel fifteen ago, this period of time was not considered popular at all.

CW: How do you write? Do you create everything before hand or do you wing it?

JM: Before I begin writing, I have the cast of characters and the main issue in mind. I work from character and plot outlines for a sense of structure, but the story usually evolves into deeper issues as I write. I love weaving a tapestry of details into a story. “Scent of Triumph” is enriched with details of perfumery, fashion, the war, and the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

CW: Are there any authors that have influenced you or that you admire?

JM: How much time do we have? Okay, I’ll narrow it down… Recently, Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale” transported me back to the landscape of “Scent of Triumph.” Barbara Taylor Bradford’s “A Woman of Substance” and Colleen McCullough’s “The Thornbirds” are among my favorite historical novels. I read widely, and a few of my favorite authors are Allison Pataki (“The Accidental Empress”), Tatiana de Rosnay (“Sarah’s Key”), Anita Hughes (“French Coast”), Allegra Jordan (“The End of Innocence”), and Michelle Gable (“A Paris Apartment”), as well as the works of Lisa See, Philippa Gregory, M.J. Rose, Rebecca Forster, and Melissa Foster. Unfortunately, I’ve left out legions of others.

CW: And lastly, a random question: If you had time machine, what historical period would you visit?

JM: The first half of the twentieth century is fascinating, not only because of the political landscape and the war years, but also because of the shifting societal roles for women and the industrial revolution. This is another aspect of SCENT OF TRIUMPH. During that time, women were gaining rights in Western Europe and America – the right to vote, to own property, to run businesses. These women were our trailblazers, and I enjoy bringing their stories to life in this novel, and in future ones – such as the one I’m working on right now.

CW: Well thank you for stopping in. I really enjoyed "Scent of Triumph"!


The Scent of Triumph is an old-fashioned melodramatic yarn that will suck you in. Danielle Bretancourt, the novel's protagonist, is desperate to find the son she left behind just before the onset of World War II. It's a heart-wrenching prospect--you leave on a journey only to discover that you cannot go back. War devastates Danielle, but she is determined to re-build her life. The novel spans war torn Europe to the glitter of Old Hollywood, and features romance and intrigue. Readers of Barbara Taylor Bradford and Sidney Sheldon will warm to this tale of triumph in the face of tragedy. 


Scent of Triumph - Jan Moran

JAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list, and other contemporary novels, including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway. A fragrance and beauty industry expert, she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine, and has spoken before prestigious organizations, including The American Society of Perfumers. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writers’ Program. Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Subscribe to her newsletter
Discover her Vintage Perfume Guide
Go deeper with her Reader’s Discussion Guide
Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks IndieBound | Powell’s | Books A Million | Kobo | | GooglePlay *** You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.


Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open internationally: 1 winner will receive 1 print copy of Scent of Triumph * Scent of Triumph Vintage Perfumes

BONUS OFFERED BY THE AUTHOR – independently from this book tour – With every purchase of Scent of Triumph, she is offering a free ebook of Vintage Perfumes, a nonfiction guide to the finest classic perfumes, for epub and mobi.
Just email her some proof of your purchase (receipt, email receipt, photo of yourself with the book or ebook on your reader, etc.), and she will send you the free ebook of Vintage Perfumes.


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1 comment:

  1. thanks for your nice words on this book and this great interview. It's always fascinating to read about an author's writing experience. It's also neat that 2 of the authors she mentions have been featured on France Book Tours as well! We are in great company, lol. Emma at FBT