The Book of Lost Fragrances

Guest Blogger: M.J. Rose

“He struggled to separate out the notes he recognized from the ones he didn’t, searching for the ingredients that gave the blend its promise of hope, of long nights and voluptuous dreams, of invitation and embrace. Of an everlasting covenant ripe with possibility. Of  lost  souls reunited.”                                                                               —THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES

Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, was fascinated with and some say obsessed by scent. Marc Anthony built her a fragrance factory and the famous queen was said to have kept a recipe book for her perfumes, entitled Cleopatra gynaeciarum libri. That book has been described in writings by historians Dioscorides, Homer and Pliny the Elder.

No known copy of the book exists today.

That missing book stirred my imagination and became the seed for THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES. While writing, to remain in the world of the novel, I burnedinsense and my favorite candles – those created by Frederick Boucharday.

When the novel was finished I searched out Boucharday to give him a copy of the yet to be published novel and thank him for how his lovely scents had helped me.

Boucharday told me he was intstantly intrugued by THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES.


As a reader, he said he was taken with the mystery and romance of the story.

In my tale, scent plays a strong role when it comes to memory. Boucharday, who creates using oils and classic ingredients, and Bouchardy said that spoke to him as a perfumer.

The ancient fictional fragrance at the heart of my novel is called Âmes Sœurs, which means “Soul Mates” in French. Inspired by the book, Boucharday surprised me by bringing that fragrance to life with his version of Âmes Sœurs , the scent of soul mates.  The first time I smelled it, I cried.

Âmes Sœurs has hints of Frankincense, Myrrh, Orange Blossom and Jasmine. Its smoky uncommon finish suggests the past and the future, and lost souls reunited.

While I was writing the book I didn’t dare dream that the perfume I imagined would ever exist. But thanks to Frederick Bouchardy, Âmes Sœurs is real. And lovely. It will go on sale in Henri Bendle, Fifth Ave in March at the same time as the book launches. I can only imagine what it will be like to pick up a bottle and see on the back, Âmes Sœurs, the Scent of Soul Mates. Inspired by THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES, by M.J. Rose.

M.J. Rose is the internationally bestselling author of  twelve novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including OPRAH MAGAZINE. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSWEEK, TIME, USA TODAY and on the TODAY SHOW, and NPR radio.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ‘80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors—

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and is also the co-founder of and




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