I LOVED this book. I found it easy to read (I had difficulty with her earlier works) and very well researched.The Book of Lost Fragrances refers to Cleopatra's famous book of perfumes. Apparently, Cleopatra loved scent and had the formulas all in one place. One of the scents created was supposed to make reincarnation a possibility.
This is the center of the story of Jac and Robbie E'Toile, the latest generation of the House of E'toile, Perfumers. Lots of adventure in the story with the Chinese Mafia in Paris trying to get a hold of the pottery shards that have been in the E'toile family for generations. Robbie wants to give the shards to the Dali Lama who is in Paris, visiting. There is a Chinese national who is in Paris for an art show who is also planning on escaping his handlers to be with the Dali Lama. And chases through the underground catacombs of Paris. There is also a psychiatrist who is trying to get his hands on the pottery shards for his own purposes. And a love story between Jac, Robbie's sister and her old flame who risks his life for her.
It almost sounds like too many htreads to make a neatly patterned story but Ms. Rose does an effortless job of presenting it as a lovely whole tapestry of past lives and current endevours. The characters are engaging and the story is such that I hated to put it down.A really good read.