Base Notes
January 27, 2022

Book Review

Base Notes

reviewed by Sheena Alizadeh



“I have never cared much about being liked; still don’t. I expect the deeper we get into all this, the less and less you’ll like me. I’m not bothered. That’s not the point.

What is the point? We’ll get there, if you can stick it out through the foul bits. Think of it like a dry down: to experience a perfume fully, you have to let it work through every note.”

Vic Fowler is a struggling artist in the heart of New York City trying to make it big. Their perfume company isn’t as successful as they had initially hoped. They are adamant to live the life of luxuries and willing to do almost anything to get there. Vic is threatened with blackmail in exchange for commission: a perfume made of people that conjures up different memories. They have no problem with finding interns to help in this endeavor but rather a problem in being successful in the task at hand itself.

The story itself has a slow build with a very descriptive prose. The writing is very immersive in that you feel yourself swept into New York, down to every minor detail. Each chapter begins with scent notes which gives insight into Vic’s job and the way their calculating mind works. 

The author never specifies pronouns of Vic which is very unique to read about a character with no gender. Vic is an interesting character in that they are morally grey, but you still root for them. We follow their thoughts and almost feel as though we are partaking in corrupt behaviors right by their side. Vic also portrays themself as incredibly smooth and confident on the outside when in reality is anxious and constantly stressed on the inside. They are always looking behind them and afraid things can blow up at any moment; their secret to be exposed to the world. The juxtaposition of the two is explored in a fascinating way. 

Compared to Perfume by Patrick Süskind, fans of the classic will definitely enjoy Base Notes. Thank you so much to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book and be sure to check this out once it’s published on February 1st, 2022.

Base Notes is available at:

More Suspense


Features You Might Like