Women Writers Reading Challenge #48: A Scented Palace by Elisabeth de Feydeau


The full title of this work on non-fiction is A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette’s Perfumer, which really helps to explain the whole premise of the biography. Jean-Louis Fargeon was a man with Republican leanings and an aristocratic clientele, and his story gives insight into how the country was split by the French Revolution. The entire court was captivated by perfume, and perfumers were kept busy creating different scents for different times of day and a million different occasions. If you’re interested in the intimate workings of fashion and finery in Marie Antoinette’s court, this book will give you a unique look. (And the other book you should read if you’re interested in Marie Antoinette and fashion is Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber).

Marie Antoinette is one of those subjects that I find totally fascinating. No matter how many accounts I read of her, I can’t help but be enchanted with the doomed queen. She’s one of a few historical figures that I can’t get enough of: Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe, and Coco Chanel are just a few of my obsessions.

Anybody else have any historical figure obsessions?

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