‘I found myself bewitched by ‘The Perfume Garden’ … a deliciously winding narrative that takes us into the heart of battle, the locked rooms of family secrets, and the alluring promise of finally finding true love’

Good Housekeeping ME

'From the beginning when we read about the Falling Soldier, the famous photo taken by Robert Capa during the civil war, to the end when the secrets are revealed and everything fits into place it is an absolute treat. There were some tearful moments, the occasionally funny moment and several 'Oh no!' moments. If I could have given this book 11/10 I would have done so'.

Novelicious 10/10

'I loved this book, its fabulous characterisations and indulgent, atmospheric writing. I could smell and taste Spain while reading its pages and I was sad to close the book; sad to leave the characters behind, but satisfied at the ending. The Perfume Garden is a historical fiction novel set in an interesting and uncommonly cruel era, with both a mystery to solve and a dash of romance'.

A Fantastical Librarian *****

'The novel is beautifully constructed, with the characters’ individual experiences gradually weaving together, and the events of the past unfolding to reveal aftershocks in Emma’s present.  History fans will delight in cameos from figures including Hemingway, Dr. Bethune and Robert Capa.  Brown’s pacing is exquisite, revealing each twist slowly and deliberately, leaving you gripped to the end.'

We Love This Book (The Bookseller)

'I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a good story with strong female characters and I especially recommend it to those with an interest in modern Spanish history.'

Historical Tapestry Grade: 5/5

'El Jardin de los Perfumes' is above all a celebration of human and personal relationships ... love ... friendship ... and above all, the maternal instinct. Lord Brown forms a web of emotional ties that bind and separate the characters, gaining in intensity with each passing page.'

Revista Kritika

'I may have found one of my favourite books of 2012 in Kate Lord Brown's The Perfume Garden.'

Aneca's World 5/5

'The Perfume Garden is a absolutely gripping, heartbreaking and beautiful read and I can’t recommend it highly enough!'

One More Page 5/5

'This book is an intelligent blend of beauty and sentimentality, and the moving nature of human experience during wartime.'


'Let me start of this review by saying I am not a fan of war books or stories revolving around historical moments. Until now... The horrors and acts of heroism during the Civil War parts brought tears to my eyes, whilst I simultaneously indulged in the romance of modern day Spain. Lord Brown seamlessly manages to connect both timelines without it being forced and conjures up vivid pictures with her descriptive scents that will have you sniffing the air as you read. A story you will not forget in a hurry; it’s a wonderful mix of bravery, love, loss, pain and new beginnings that tugs at both the corners of your mouth your heartstrings.'

"The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown tells the story of a forgotten house in Valencia, untouched since Franco's forces tore through Spain in 1936, in which Emma Temple uncovers the secrets of her grandmother Freya's lost love. It had people here weeping helplessly on the tube and was one of the big in-house favourites of 2012" 


'This is a beautiful novel about love and separation, war and idealism, secrets and memories ... The Perfume Garden a very involving, vivid, romantic and moving read to lose yourself in.'

The Little Reader Library

'The Perfume Garden is really very charming and I got that jumpy feeling in my heart while I was gripping the pages and yearning for a happy ending in both eras.  Recommended to readers looking for something a little bit bitter-sweet that will give more than a few solid tugs on your heartstrings' ****

Lit Addicted Brit

'It was like an emotional roller coaster through time and it's one that I will be reading over and over again and I can't wait to read more by Kate Lord Brown. I highly recommend The Perfume Garden to fans of historical fiction, novels that are told in alternating points of view and time periods as well as those interested in reading a book set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War that will break your heart and make you smile.' *****

Turning the Pages

'The descriptions and story lines centered around the Spanish Civil War were vibrant and compelling. The horror and savagery of war was made even more poignant by humanizing it through Freya and Charles’s perspectives. These scenes are very realistic and hard to read at times but made so touching by the beauty – in butterflies and babies – the characters seem to find through the haze of horror. These portions were beautifully done.'

Luxury Reading

'What I loved about this, was the almost heady sense of description. Right from the very first page, the scene was set so perfectly, I was instantly transported to 1930’s Spain and having a main character whose job is to create sublime scents only added to its allure. In fact, it was so good that I wondered rather sceptically about whether it would be sustained throughout the book. I’m pleased to say it was. If you’re a fan of books by authors like Kate Mosse and Kate Furnivall, you’ll love this.' 

Vanity Case Books

'This book is exactly the sort of book I love to read the most ... the setting is wonderfully romantic and evocative, and Emma’s job as a perfumier adds an extra frisson of sensuous interest. I have always been fascinated by this period of history, and THE PERFUME GARDEN does an extraordinary job of bringing it to life.'

Kate Forsyth, best-selling author of 'Bitter Greens'