Author Interview & Giveaway: Jan Moran

We're excited to welcome the author of Scent of Triumph, Jan Moran, to Reading Lark today. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If this book was a perfume, what scents would dominate it? 

Jan: Scent of Triumph takes place in the 1940s, so vintage perfumes are threaded throughout the novel. The heroine holds Mitsouko by Guerlain in high regard, and her grandfather worked with the Guerlain found (fiction, not fact). Other perfumes mentioned in the book include Shalimar, Chanel No. 5, Jicky, Floris Lavender, Geo. F. Trumper Spanish Leather, Tabac Blond, among others. These were the luxury perfumes of the era. The French characters tend more toward French perfumes, while the English characters choose English fragrances. If this novel had an overall scent, I imagine it might be roses, with a warm, ambery wooded finish to reflect the elegance, resolve, fortitude, and love inherent in the saga. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: World War II is a fascinating time period. What led you to choose this era for your novel? 

Jan: SCENT OF TRIUMPH was inspired in part by stories my mother and her friends had shared with me. My mother and father married during World War II, and he was a pilot who ferried planes to and from Europe. St. Martin’s Press even included her 1940s-era photo in the front of the book, which was a wonderful surprise for her. I was touched by stories of people who were forced to flee in the path of the Nazi aggression, as well as those who remained. 

 While I was doing research in perfumery over the years, I also came across several stories of perfumers and couturiers during World War II. I was inspired by Robert Piguet, a Swiss couturier in France, and Germaine Cellier, one of the few female perfumers of the time, who blended Fracas and Bandit, among others. The Guerlain family was an inspiration, too; they were important perfumers whose French factory was bombed during the war, and also suffered the loss of a son killed in combat. Coco Chanel’s story, of course, is legendary as well. 

 As a writer, I began to imagine what might happen to a woman who is a young, artistic, compassionate French perfumer, who becomes separated from her family and child at the beginning of the war. What if her husband was a German aristocrat and her mother’s family was Jewish? What choices would she have to make? And how does a woman go on after tragedy strikes? How does she start over and provide for her family amid overwhelming losses? This is the difficult situation my heroine Danielle finds herself in, a situation similar to the stories I’d heard from my parents and their closest friends. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If you could only smell three things for the rest of your life, what would you choose? 

Jan: From nature, I’d have to choose lilies, roses, and tuberose. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Why is Danielle a heroine readers need to get to know? 

Jan: Overall, SCENT OF TRIUMPH is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience. Danielle’s choices are seldom black or white, good or bad. I explored the choices women were often forced to make to survive. From our comfortable homes, we can make such easy judgments, but to have lived in that period and had to make decisions among often detestable alternatives must have been truly heartbreaking. 

 However, Danielle, and other women of the period, didn’t have the luxury of giving in to heartbreak. With their husbands and fathers fighting at the front lines, they were in charge of providing for their families. These women often had children and parents who depended on them, and they had to find the courage to wake up every day and do the best they could. To me, their personal heroism was striking, and is at the core of SCENT OF TRIUMPH. I hope women are inspired by Danielle’s courage and resilience. She is an imperfect heroine, because we are all imperfect, but she rises to the challenges set before her. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a tradition to ask - What is your favorite bird? 

Jan: My writing office is perched on a hilltop overlooking a gold course, lagoon, and the sea. Red tailed hawks soar at eye level with my window, hunting prey on the hillside below. I’ve formed a bond with these strong, magnificent creatures, and I envy their ability to rapidly soar over great swaths of land with nary a flap of the wing.

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

St. Martin’s Griffin
Formats: eBook, Paperback
384 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for her the remains of her family, relying on the strength and support of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a young captain. Finally, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Through determination and talent, she rises high from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

Praise for Scent of Triumph

“SCENT OF TRIUMPH [is a] World War II epic.” -Los Angeles Times
“Though romance figures importantly in [SCENT OF TRIUMPH], Danielle’s professional life is most appealing, profiting from perfume expert Moran’s (Fabulous Fragrances, 1994, etc.) authentic experience…The casual demeanor with which Danielle always notices scents in her environment helps establish her character and professional credibility in a charming way…Danielle makes for a strong, unusual heroine who doesn’t always make wise decisions, although her resilience, style and knowledge remain admirable…. [A] historical fiction carried by a complex, resourceful heroine with a nose for business.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Warm and well written, with characters who attract the reader’s sympathy and affection. A lovely story well-told, which will appeal to romantics, fashion and perfume devotees, and fans of historical fiction.” -Amy Edelman, founder of

Buy Scent of Triumph

About the Author

Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women’s fiction for St. Martin’s Press, contemporary women’s fiction, and nonfiction books. Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details. The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful.

Jan has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Women’s Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for a variety of publications such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Costco Connection, and Porthole Cruise.

A perfume and beauty industry expert, she is the creator of Scentsa, a touch screen fragrance finder in Sephora stores.

From Jan: “I love smart and fierce female protagonists. I hope you enjoy these books, and if you’d like to Skype me into your book club meeting, simply send me a message!”

For more information and to sign up for Jan Moran’s newsletter visit her official website. Jan blogs at Jan Moran Writes. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Goodreads, and LinkedIn.

Special Offer from Jan Moran!

Jan Moran is running a special incentive on her website for a free digital ebook of her new non-fiction book, Vintage Perfumes, to everyone who purchases Scent of Triumph from March 31 to April 30! All you have to do is email your receipt to Jan Moran at, along with a photo of yourself with the Scent of Triumph book, eBook, or your tablet.

Scent of Triumph Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 1

Interview & Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 2

Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight & Excerpt at Genre Queen

Friday, April 3

Review & Excerpt at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Monday, April 6

Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, April 7

Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 8

Thursday, April 9

Tuesday, April 14

Interview at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 16

Guest Post at Book Nerd

Friday, April 17

Review at The Lit Bitch
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf
Interview at Reading Lark

To enter to win a signed copy of Scent of Triumph, please complete the giveaway form below.

Giveaway starts on April 1st at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th.

Giveaway is open to residents in the US only and you must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 18th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.