Scent of a Woman

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to talk about the wonders and varieties of perfumes.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.   //

True story: In 2007, China banned reincarnation. This weird law was passed to stop Tibetan Buddhists from finding the next Dalai Lama. If one wants to be reincarnated, they must get approval from the Chinese government. In 1995, a six-year-old boy was identified as the future Dalai Lama and “disappeared.”

Have I got your attention?

This fact begins The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose. A young calligraphy artist travels to Paris as part of a museum event. He is the future Dalai Lama. There’s a plan in place to give him asylum so he can complete his destiny.

But I’m not here to talk Chinese politics. I want to explore perfume.

In the novel, Jac L’Etoile and her brother have inherited a French perfumery. She wants no part of it. After 15 years of living in America, Jac is brought home when her brother disappears after uncovering knowledge of a secret scent that enables one to view a past life. Jac, with her sensitive nose and ability to smell out ingredients of perfumes, is on a mission to identify the ingredients of the ancient scent and find her brother.


Every woman should have a favorite scent. Cleopatra had her own factory near the Dead Sea. She created a smell said to seduce Caesar and Marc Anthony. Queen Isabella of Spain is rumored to have taken only two baths in her lifetime. Perfume covered the BO.

I remember going to church at Christmas and being overwhelmed by Avon. Evening in Paris with its distinctive cobalt blue bottle was on dressing tables. Popular for 35 years, it was discontinued in the ‘60’s and made a comeback in the 90’s.


The most expensive perfumes? Each bottle of Joy contains 10,600 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses. It costs $1,800. Guerlain will concoct an original scent for $55,000. But the one that tops them all is Shumukh from Dubai. Maybe it’s pricey because it’s decorated with 3500 diamonds. There is only one bottle in the world and it costs $1.29 million.

Young women experiment with different perfumes. Mine was Prince Matchabelli’s Beloved. It was a light, floral scent and perfect for a 16 year-old. It wasn’t until I was more mature that I discovered the perfume I use now. Mitsouko by Guerlain is subtle, unlike its popular sister scent, Shalimar. Shalimar dominates a room and trails behind the wearer. Mitsouko is a whisper and requires getting closer. It’s also harder to find.


There’s a legend behind the perfume. Blond Bombshell actress Jean Harlow used it so much that the studio stocked up. Rumor has it that when she married Paul Bern, a studio executive, she left him after two months. Some say that he was found in a bathtub filled with Mitsouko. Others say he was shot in the head by a jealous woman.

In conclusion, I have a message for men: If you want to buy a woman perfume, learn her signature scent. Ask her what she’s wearing. Sneak a peek at her dresser. Buy cologne, not perfume. Preferably the spray kind. She will reward you accordingly.