Scent of Triumph

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
403 Pages
Reviewed on 01/07/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jan Moran writes smart, stylish, sensual sagas. She’s the author of Scent of Triumph, a historical novel, and Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list. She is at work on another novel.

“SCENT OF TRIUMPH, was inspired by my love of perfumery and history. I drew upon my own family history and my mother's memories of World War II, imagining a young entrepreneur whose talent, determination, and fearlessness catapult her to the pinnacle of success, despite mounting personal tragedies and the elusiveness of love. I love to write about strong, capable, female entrepreneurs and places I love.”
As a fragrance and beauty expert, she has been featured in the media and on television and radio, including CNN and Extra, Women's Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. She has written for numerous magazines.
As an entrepreneur, she created Scentsa for Sephora, a touch-screen guide to fragrance and skincare in the US, Canada, France, Mexico, Brazil, and Denmark.
As a speaker, consultant, and major brand/retailer spokesperson, she has spoken before Fashion Group International, The Fragrance Foundation, and The American Society of Perfumers. She has represented brands and retailers in media on behalf of several international PR companies, including Edelman and DeVries. She is available for speaking engagements.
Jan is represented by agent Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency. Sign up with Jan at for the latest news!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

"Scent of Triumph" is a well-written novel that captures the drama of World War II and the people who lived and loved back in those threatening years. The main character Danielle Bretancourt has been raised in Paris as the daughter of a Jewish mother and Catholic father. Her marriage to a much older German aristocrat, Max, has produced a son, Nicky, and, shortly into the story, a daughter named Jasmin after one of the floral scents that the Bretancourt family uses to make perfumes in their home in the south of France. Max fights against the Nazis who are ruining his beloved homeland and Nicky is stranded in Poland with his grandmother Sofia. Surrounded by death and horror, Danielle takes Jasmin, her niece Liliana and her shell-shocked mother, Marie, who has also witnessed death, and flees to America and to Los Angeles where they are impoverished but free from war's harm. Can Danielle survive the horrors she has witnessed? And where does Jon Newell-Gray fit into her complicated life?

Jan Moran has created a novel of a young woman's triumphs after numerous setbacks and missteps that will recall the writings of Danielle Steele and Barbara Taylor Bradford. Danielle, her husband Max von Hoffman and addicted but charming Cameron Murphy, her true love Jon Newell-Gray, her family and friends like Abigail Newell-Gray and Lou Silverman are believable and seem real products of those wartime years. The plot line moves with resolvable twists and turns to the story's happy ending. I am sure "Scent of Triumph" will be a popular book for readers everywhere to place on their "must-read" lists.

Kathryn Bennett

"Scent of Triumph" by Jan Moran introduces us to a gifted young woman born in Paris, named Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman. You may ask what her gift is. Danielle has such a sensitive nose that she can not only smell the faint scents of a perfume but recall thousands of essences by memory alone. World War II broke out in 1939 and raged its way across Europe leaving no country unaffected by what was happening. Danielle and her family find themselves swept up into wartime. When her husband and son are trapped behind enemy lines, Danielle takes it upon herself to spy for France. Soon she must flee from Europe and begin again plying her gifted nose to make a living. Jan Moran spins a story that follows Danielle through ups and downs, losses and gains, and even gives a glimpse of old Hollywood, while still in the middle of a war.

Any Historical Fiction fan is going to love this book that Jan Moran has written. For me the book started a little bit slowly but it only took about three chapters for me to really get hooked onto the story. In Danielle, Jan Moran has created a heroic 'stop at nothing' type of heroine, a woman who, despite the circumstances a war throws at her, refuses to give up fighting. I love a character with fighting spirit especially when it is something we can relate to. You can tell that Jan Moran did a lot of research on the time period, and that makes the book more of an enjoyable read. While the characters may be imaginary, the time period is not. Seeing justice done to such a well-documented time in the world's history is gratifying. The prose is stunningly spun and describes scenes so beautifully that you almost feel as if you are watching a movie in your head, instead of reading a book.

Gayani Hathurusingha

In her novel "The Scent of Triumph" Jan Moran takes her readers to a hectic world. The start of the Second World War paves the way to the crisis in her novel, separating her characters from each other in a heartbreaking manner. Jan Moran functions as a chronicler of actual history in her presentation of the chaotic realities of war. Danielle, the protagonist of the novel, is engaged in a sea voyage, wishing to expand her career as a skilled perfume blender. The outbreak of war interferes with the journey and her life. Forced to stay away from her family because of the intensity of war, how would she win back her life which starts slipping away through her fingers? Will she be able to find her son who was lost in the confusion of the war?

The novel "The Scent of Triumph" is proof of the writer's ability to depict the diverse impacts of war on each and every individual. When the peacefulness of the protagonist's life is challenged by war the reader tends to question the sanity of those who cause war. Even though war provides the novel with its background, it is not the main concern of the novelist; her focus is on the inner strength of humanity which makes people tougher when they emerge from the hardships of life. The plot is highly emotional, dramatic and even inspiring. It is not another war tragedy. It follows that special quality humans have which cannot be destroyed by tragedy.

Patricia Day

Danielle Bretancourt von Hoffman is on board the Newell-Grey Explorer, on her way to Paris. The ship is in the middle of the Atlantic and war has just been declared. The Germans have invaded Poland. Danielle’s family is back in Poland. Business matters demanded her presence in New York and that is the reason why she is on board the Newell-Grey. Her mother Sofia is battling cancer and is too weak to take the journey. Choosing to remain behind, she promises to care for Danielle’s young son Nicky until Danielle returns home. It was a decision that would prove to be a huge mistake on her part. Now, as the ship on which Danielle travels is torpedoed, she is not at all certain she will ever see them again. This very engrossing story takes you on a journey of romance, loss, horror, war and peace. Danielle overcomes many of the challenges thrust into her young life, while others leave her stranded and in despair. Her sheer determination helps her take each new step even though at times she lacks the strength to even think.

I found this book to be a very easy read. There are great characters and it is a captivating story. I knew when the first page grabbed my attention that the book was going to be a good one. The deeper I got into the story, the more engrossing I found it. There is no doubt that "Scent of Triumph" is a thoroughly enjoyable story and a triumph in its own right. I loved it!

Maria Beltran

"Scent of Triumph" is a historical novel built on incidents taking place during the Second World War. After the conclusion of business meetings in the United States, Danielle and Max von Hoffman returned to Europe by ship. It was just a couple of days after the invasion of Poland and the boat they were in was sunk by a German U-boat. This heralded the major changes in the life of perfumer Danielle Bretancourt. In swift succession, she lost the people closest to her. Being of Jewish origin, her family suffered and in an effort to find her little son Nicky, who was left behind in Poland, she joined the Resistance in France. Unable to find her son and devastated by the loss of her husband, father, brother and sister in law, Danielle went to the US with her mother, daughter and niece, where another struggle awaits her. Belonging to a family of perfumers, she certainly has the “nose” for scents and this was her ticket back to wealth and influence.

Jan Moran writes about heart-wrenching despair and devastation in such a way that everyone can get easily carried away. Her debut novel is about families torn apart during the Second World War. It is a story of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming despair. It is about wealth lost and regained and love that is lost. The events in Danielle Bretancourt's interesting life unfold in a swift pace that seem to match the urgency of life during war time Europe. The author weaves her story in such a way that it is difficult to put the book down. Every chapter presents a tapestry of overwhelming emotion that, as a reader, I find very exciting. This novel brings me back to the 1940's when the world suffered the indignities of war. It seemed unbelievable that anyone can rise above this kind of devastation and this is perhaps the most important lesson we get from Danielle's story. "Scent of Triumph" is also a story of love between two people whose personal circumstances prevent them from being together. For love to flourish, they have to fight against all odds.