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The Perfume (Horror Point, #27)

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Venom. Dove doesn't want to buy the perfume. She doesn't like its scent. And its name frightens her. But somehow she can't help herself. It's almost as if something--or someone--inside her is forcing her to try it. Dove was always a nice person, a sweet and gentle girl on whom friends could rely. Until now. Because when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself Venom. Dove doesn't want to buy the perfume. She doesn't like its scent. And its name frightens her. But somehow she can't help herself. It's almost as if something--or someone--inside her is forcing her to try it. Dove was always a nice person, a sweet and gentle girl on whom friends could rely. Until now. Because when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life. It is a second self she never knew existed. And it is Evil.


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Venom. Dove doesn't want to buy the perfume. She doesn't like its scent. And its name frightens her. But somehow she can't help herself. It's almost as if something--or someone--inside her is forcing her to try it. Dove was always a nice person, a sweet and gentle girl on whom friends could rely. Until now. Because when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself Venom. Dove doesn't want to buy the perfume. She doesn't like its scent. And its name frightens her. But somehow she can't help herself. It's almost as if something--or someone--inside her is forcing her to try it. Dove was always a nice person, a sweet and gentle girl on whom friends could rely. Until now. Because when Dove puts on the perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life. It is a second self she never knew existed. And it is Evil.

30 review for The Perfume (Horror Point, #27)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    This book is utterly batshit and I LOVE it. It was my favourite Point Horror book when I was 13, and re-reading it at 33 I can see why: I was an overly-dramatic, wordy, moody, Ancient Egypt-obsessed teenager, and this book is all of those things. Just re-read this for Episode 1 of the Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror). Listen here, or subscribe on your podcast app: https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream This book is utterly batshit and I LOVE it. It was my favourite Point Horror book when I was 13, and re-reading it at 33 I can see why: I was an overly-dramatic, wordy, moody, Ancient Egypt-obsessed teenager, and this book is all of those things. Just re-read this for Episode 1 of the Teenage Scream podcast (lovingly dissecting the best and worst of 90s teen horror). Listen here, or subscribe on your podcast app: https://soundcloud.com/teenagescream

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Dove couldn’t help but buy a bottle of Venom after seeing an advert for the perfume in a newspaper, but little did she know that it was about to unleash her evil twin. One of the weirder Point Horror’s, but the conflict between the two sides made for a great read. These sort of stories the range does so well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Taralen

    Where should I start on this? Well I'm going to poke at that cover for having a bottle that looks NOTHING like the one in the book. Now on to the real review: Dove Daniels (What a name) is the main character. She is a 15 yr old goody-goody with some odd phobias. She checks her bed for monsters, she thinks parking lots are the end of the world, and she's just overall pessimistic, which is rather odd for her "sweet and lovely" personality. Anyway, despite her obvious symbolic name, Dove seems to be cu Where should I start on this? Well I'm going to poke at that cover for having a bottle that looks NOTHING like the one in the book. Now on to the real review: Dove Daniels (What a name) is the main character. She is a 15 yr old goody-goody with some odd phobias. She checks her bed for monsters, she thinks parking lots are the end of the world, and she's just overall pessimistic, which is rather odd for her "sweet and lovely" personality. Anyway, despite her obvious symbolic name, Dove seems to be curious about getting a change in her life. So to be "cool" so to speak, she buys this really foul smelling perfume called VENOM. A no brainer there. What comes out of this perfume is the supposed "vanished twin" of Dove, WING. Wow. WING. Obviously symbolic but it's a big "DUH" type of symbolism. Nothing deep there. Long story short (literally), the entire plot (AND I MEAN LITERALLY) is composed of Dove's internal struggle with Wing. Now this would have been a very interesting concept but it was poorly executed. Wing is a character who is honestly so twisted and all over the place that you can't #$%^ing tell what kind of person she really is. At first I sympathized, I thought she was just troubled and angry. But no. The author switches from a "troubled unwanted twin" to a "crazy and demented Egyptian spirit monster thing of some sort who just hates everything" to "really just a dark side of Dove" character. None of the characters have depth. They are all pretty black and white (minus Hesta who showed in the end she wasn't really EVIL but just a bitch.) If you want to read this book read it for laughs. The metaphors and similes used are sometimes hilariously corny.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex (The Bookubus)

    3.5 stars When Dove tries the new perfume, Venom, she unleashes a second personality. So, this is a pretty bonkers story and really quite enjoyable. I liked how it stands apart from the typical Point Horror mould. Cooney's writing, as always, is excellent and unique with a coldness to it that I find so intriguing. Unfortunately, it does get somewhat repetitive and the ambiguity left me scratching my head as to what on earth actually happened. Definitely worth reading for moments like this: "The cr 3.5 stars When Dove tries the new perfume, Venom, she unleashes a second personality. So, this is a pretty bonkers story and really quite enjoyable. I liked how it stands apart from the typical Point Horror mould. Cooney's writing, as always, is excellent and unique with a coldness to it that I find so intriguing. Unfortunately, it does get somewhat repetitive and the ambiguity left me scratching my head as to what on earth actually happened. Definitely worth reading for moments like this: "The creepy tremor came over her again, but on the inside, like something crawling upside down within her skull."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bren fall in love with the sea.

    This book is about a bottle of perfume and anyone who puts it on basically goes insane. It was not very good. I was hoping it would be a little scary and fun but it was more bizarre then anything else. Not one of her best.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula Brandon

    I would have hated this as a kid! But as an adult, I enjoyed the writing and the loopy-ness of it all. Yes, Cooney tends to over-write, and her books all seem to be a parable about the individual choosing between good and evil, but this one evoked a sinister atmosphere that hooked me in! Unfortunately, Cooney can't seem to decide what is actually behind the evil perfume and Dove's vanished twin, which lets the story down. And a climax involving an interpretive dance in a mall's water fountain? H I would have hated this as a kid! But as an adult, I enjoyed the writing and the loopy-ness of it all. Yes, Cooney tends to over-write, and her books all seem to be a parable about the individual choosing between good and evil, but this one evoked a sinister atmosphere that hooked me in! Unfortunately, Cooney can't seem to decide what is actually behind the evil perfume and Dove's vanished twin, which lets the story down. And a climax involving an interpretive dance in a mall's water fountain? Hardly exciting!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It's not great, but it's weird AF and I respect that. It's not great, but it's weird AF and I respect that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Farah

    Another wonderfully insane book from Cooney, I must say the main character Dove is so insipid that a part of me was rooting for Wing to just 'win'. Dove 'I'm nice, I'm good, I'm scared of car parks' developing a second personality, due to what seems like lifelong parental neglect was truly creepy. The bit about going bonkers in mall fountain - brilliant, inspiring. If my local mall had a huge fountain I would be tempted to jump in whilst dancing and screaming at Egyptian gods for shits and giggl Another wonderfully insane book from Cooney, I must say the main character Dove is so insipid that a part of me was rooting for Wing to just 'win'. Dove 'I'm nice, I'm good, I'm scared of car parks' developing a second personality, due to what seems like lifelong parental neglect was truly creepy. The bit about going bonkers in mall fountain - brilliant, inspiring. If my local mall had a huge fountain I would be tempted to jump in whilst dancing and screaming at Egyptian gods for shits and giggles thanks to The Perfume. Thank you C.B Cooney! I remember this book having a much better cover image as a teen.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dna

    I'm sure not ALL vintage teen horror is a 5-star affair, but my nostalgia tells me they're 5 stars. I wanna re-read so many of these books! I'm sure not ALL vintage teen horror is a 5-star affair, but my nostalgia tells me they're 5 stars. I wanna re-read so many of these books!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Nothing about this book makes sense. Very bizarre.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Armand

    The book is too wordy and has many strange turns of phrase. "A cologne of terror invaded Dove's mouth." "Luce drove fiercely, shifting gears like throwing sticks of dynamite." I found it hard to get into the story because of the callow writing although our lead's insane antics did spark my interest midway through the book. Also, the Egyptian motif doesn't mesh that well with the plot. There are some elements of the book that are either irrational or impracticable. That Dry Ice store is one exampl The book is too wordy and has many strange turns of phrase. "A cologne of terror invaded Dove's mouth." "Luce drove fiercely, shifting gears like throwing sticks of dynamite." I found it hard to get into the story because of the callow writing although our lead's insane antics did spark my interest midway through the book. Also, the Egyptian motif doesn't mesh that well with the plot. There are some elements of the book that are either irrational or impracticable. That Dry Ice store is one example. AFAIK prolonged exposure to its fumes in enclosed spaces is dangerous. Another thing: if a store is fogged up inside, it would be a shoplifting magnet. At least the plot is a refreshing change from most retro horror. The evil "twin" who resides in the subconscious isn't exactly an overused trope. There were also some nice historical tidbits like Cleopatra's suicide through her asp and the Druids' fiery human sacrifices. I low-key enjoyed the evil Wing's pettiness and homicidal bent. I was scratching my head at the ending. It was so weird and abrupt. Overall, the book is rather tame and bloodless. I'm rating it 3.5/10 or 2 confusing stars out of 5.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Findley

    I occasionally dive into the pulpy teen horror books my preteen self devoured throughout the 90s, and this one just happened to be my latest pick. And WOW. Is it the worst book ever written? Probably not. Is it painfully, hilariously bad? OH YES. The dialogue sounds like it was written by space aliens who were too lazy to do much research. The plot, insofar as there is one, has the feel of those AI predictive text writings. It is baffling and just... bad. It’s a bad book, guys. Unless you’re ver I occasionally dive into the pulpy teen horror books my preteen self devoured throughout the 90s, and this one just happened to be my latest pick. And WOW. Is it the worst book ever written? Probably not. Is it painfully, hilariously bad? OH YES. The dialogue sounds like it was written by space aliens who were too lazy to do much research. The plot, insofar as there is one, has the feel of those AI predictive text writings. It is baffling and just... bad. It’s a bad book, guys. Unless you’re very stoned or very drunk and looking for a laugh, I’d say leave this on the shelf. Also... half the damn book talks about the snake-shaped perfume bottle and y’all couldn’t make the cover match that description? At least make an effort, man...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meconopsis Lingholm

    wow, this was awful :D it gets a 3 star rating and a ":D" because I had great fun reading it aloud in an overdramatic voice, reminiscent of both william shatner and laurence olivier. it irritated my 17 yo even worse than when I read aloud from popco in my cali-hipster voice. (popco review coming shortly) wow, this was awful :D it gets a 3 star rating and a ":D" because I had great fun reading it aloud in an overdramatic voice, reminiscent of both william shatner and laurence olivier. it irritated my 17 yo even worse than when I read aloud from popco in my cali-hipster voice. (popco review coming shortly)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Some of these books I read as a teenager had such ridiculous premises... That's the only reason I remembered this one. Also, the girl's name was Dove. Like the soap. Some of these books I read as a teenager had such ridiculous premises... That's the only reason I remembered this one. Also, the girl's name was Dove. Like the soap.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erica Leigh

    Wild. Very dramatic, especially for a 90s YA thriller lol. Like, did the perfume make her evil or is she crazy or is she possessed by her dead evil twin, who knows

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Dio

    What you will find in ‘The Perfume’... - An insane story (literally) - Unexpected turns of events - Some scents with secondary effects - An evil twin - Many excursions to the malls - A trip in a hot air balloon In short, a crazy ‘Point Horror’ book that’s super fun to read! https://www.instagram.com/reel/CO-Rxo... What you will find in ‘The Perfume’... - An insane story (literally) - Unexpected turns of events - Some scents with secondary effects - An evil twin - Many excursions to the malls - A trip in a hot air balloon In short, a crazy ‘Point Horror’ book that’s super fun to read! https://www.instagram.com/reel/CO-Rxo...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline (Fall In Love With The Sound of Words)

    I don't think this book crossed generations easily. It definitely felt old, and had very little atmosphere. Honestly even the plot felt a bit outdated. Not a bad time though, thankfully very short. I don't think this book crossed generations easily. It definitely felt old, and had very little atmosphere. Honestly even the plot felt a bit outdated. Not a bad time though, thankfully very short.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I’be been re reading with Don’t Point That Horror at Me podcast. Wow this one was crazy! I expect most of them to be bad but I just couldn’t get into this one. My only will to finish it was so I can laugh about it with the podcast!

  19. 5 out of 5

    sara

    this isn't a good book at all, but by the number of times I've read it I think it's deluded me into thinking that it is. anyway it's a fun book to read but isnt peak horror if that's what you're expecting this isn't a good book at all, but by the number of times I've read it I think it's deluded me into thinking that it is. anyway it's a fun book to read but isnt peak horror if that's what you're expecting

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Of all the (many, many) teen horror tales I read in middle school and high school, this one has stuck in my memory more than most for some reason. Maybe it's the names "Dove" and "Wing," or the way that the fictional store Dry Ice reminded me of Hot Topic (when it was still scary and not nerdy). Or maybe it's because of the guilty feelings associated with the book: I bought it as a birthday gift for my sister and speed-read the whole thing before I wrapped it and gave it to her. :-/ Anyway, this Of all the (many, many) teen horror tales I read in middle school and high school, this one has stuck in my memory more than most for some reason. Maybe it's the names "Dove" and "Wing," or the way that the fictional store Dry Ice reminded me of Hot Topic (when it was still scary and not nerdy). Or maybe it's because of the guilty feelings associated with the book: I bought it as a birthday gift for my sister and speed-read the whole thing before I wrapped it and gave it to her. :-/ Anyway, this was another instance of a "comforting" reread from my youth to enjoy during the sleepless pandemic nights. It's no classic, but I did appreciate all the symbolic messaging around teen hormones unearthing the monster within and the moping about the blandness of Dove's home and life. The horror elements were tamer than I remembered--I kind of thought someone actually died?--but the thought of having your mind taken over by an evil twin is scary enough itself. My edition also included a fun little bio of Caroline B. Cooney (with photos!), which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially now that I know more about the inner workings of the publishing industry. I didn't know (though it makes sense) that several of her book concepts were commissioned by her editor. She really mastered a specific genre of teen writing, and boy did it work for young Hannah!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelley Toy

    5 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/tales-p... All in all I personally liked this book - classic retro point horror! For more reviews and book chat please visit www.talesofyesterday.co.uk Please be aware that the discussion will contain spoilers! 5 out of 5 Point Horror Book Stars! (I rate these books compared to other Point Horror Books Only) I read this as part of the #pointhorrorbookclub that I run monthly! Want to know more about #pointhorrorbookclub - check this out http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/tales-p... All in all I personally liked this book - classic retro point horror! For more reviews and book chat please visit www.talesofyesterday.co.uk Please be aware that the discussion will contain spoilers!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I could not get through this book. The writing is idiotic and annoying, the characters are not likeable and I did not find the story engaging whatsoever. I really did like the concept of the book but it was not executed very well unfortunately.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lula

    This is potentially one of the most bonkers Point Horror books to exist. And that's really saying something. From corpsey perfume to murderous hot air balloon date action. It has it all. Honestly, it's a scream from start to end. This is potentially one of the most bonkers Point Horror books to exist. And that's really saying something. From corpsey perfume to murderous hot air balloon date action. It has it all. Honestly, it's a scream from start to end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I read this when I was young and loved these kinds of books! I happened to come across it when looking for a book with the same name! What a throwback to the 80's!/early 90's!! I read this when I was young and loved these kinds of books! I happened to come across it when looking for a book with the same name! What a throwback to the 80's!/early 90's!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I always remembered this as being one of the more 'out-there' Point Horror books and after this re-read can confirm it is. However, I still to this day wish Venom perfume would be released. I always remembered this as being one of the more 'out-there' Point Horror books and after this re-read can confirm it is. However, I still to this day wish Venom perfume would be released.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    What in the eff did I just read? This is a bizarre little book. I had remembered reading it when I was in middle school or something, but I don't remember it being so weird. What in the eff did I just read? This is a bizarre little book. I had remembered reading it when I was in middle school or something, but I don't remember it being so weird.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liam Underwood

    Although it didn't have quite the same impact as The Cheerleader or Freeze Tag , I must confess I still rather enjoyed Caroline B. Cooney's writing style in The Perfume. Once again her flowery way of writing (mostly) works for the strange story she's spinning here. And thankfully this is a far more enjoyable read than The Return of the Vampire . There's some really interesting ideas and themes within this book, especially around the sudden mood changes that can inexplicably grip teenage Although it didn't have quite the same impact as The Cheerleader or Freeze Tag , I must confess I still rather enjoyed Caroline B. Cooney's writing style in The Perfume. Once again her flowery way of writing (mostly) works for the strange story she's spinning here. And thankfully this is a far more enjoyable read than The Return of the Vampire . There's some really interesting ideas and themes within this book, especially around the sudden mood changes that can inexplicably grip teenagers. Internal conflict and struggling to live up to self-imposed ideals and the allure of the careless. Parental neglect and attempts to break free of friendship groups. It's all incredibly teen angst, but I think Cooney weaves it well throughout this book. Then there's also a healthy dash of absolute ridiculousness, like hot air balloon rides threatening to turn deadly. It's all told with a somewhat poetic prose which mostly works. But there's also a few elements that don't work. There's an Ancient Egypt narrative thread running throughout this book which feels undercooked, and the conclusion is very abrupt. I think The Perfume is a book which is perhaps more fun to think about and discuss than it is to actually read. The protagonist, Dove, somewhat lacks much of a personality, and her evil counterpart, Wing, is comically one-note. The touching on mental health also raises an eyebrow, but at least Cooney doesn't shy away from taking the story there, unlike most other Point Horror authors. This is ultimately a really mixed bag, but I can't deny I didn't enjoy it once I adjusted to the writing style and the nonsensical plot. 2.5/5 Point Horror Ranked 1) The Girlfriend - 4/5 2) Trick or Treat - 3.5/5 3) Fatal Secrets - 3.5/5 4) Teacher's Pet - 3.5/5 5) The Baby-Sitter II - 3.5/5 6) The Cheerleader - 3.5/5 7) The Hitchhiker - 3.5/5 8) April Fools - 3.5/5 9) My Secret Admirer - 3.5/5 10) The Lifeguard - 3.5/5 11) Freeze Tag - 3/5 12) Thirteen Tales of Horror - 3/5 13) The Accident - 3/5 14) Funhouse - 3/5 15) The Window - 3/5 16) The Invitation - 2.5/5 17) The Perfume - 2.5/5 18) The Train - 2.5/5 19) The Waitress - 2.5/5 20) The Snowman - 2.5/5 21) Beach House - 2.5/5 22) The Mall - 2.5/5 23) The Boyfriend - 2/5 24) The Fever - 2/5 25) The Cemetery - 2/5 26) Mother's Helper - 2/5 27) The Baby-Sitter - 1.5/5 28) Hit and Run - 1.5/5 29) The Return of the Vampire - 1/5 30) Beach Party - 1/5

  28. 5 out of 5

    GrahamV

    The first few chapters of this book had me sold. I've read a lot of teen horror from this era, so I went in with the understanding that there's nothing especially literary about this sort of book, and that the best I can hope for is a fun, engaging story that's well-structured. However, this surprised me early on by being exceptionally well-written. Cooney imbues the story with an effectively surrealistic, otherworldly feel, which gives the impending horror an unknowable and yet inevitable quali The first few chapters of this book had me sold. I've read a lot of teen horror from this era, so I went in with the understanding that there's nothing especially literary about this sort of book, and that the best I can hope for is a fun, engaging story that's well-structured. However, this surprised me early on by being exceptionally well-written. Cooney imbues the story with an effectively surrealistic, otherworldly feel, which gives the impending horror an unknowable and yet inevitable quality that I think works really well, and is a far cry from the comparative workmanlike prose of someone like R.L. Stine. However, the problems with this book become readily apparent about a third of the way through. The main would-be conflict is completely muted because the plot never really takes off, and the stakes never feel real. Cooney also spends too much time hinting a mythology that is never explored, and her prose - which early on is such a highlight - eventually becomes tiresome and repetitive because the story its telling is so flat and predictable. The story's resolution is also a major disappointment, as I hoped that at the very least, Cooney would have been able to tie things together in a way that was meaningful and thoughtful enough to make the slog that preceded it feel at least somewhat worthwhile. And despite the fact that I could think of many simple ways in which she could have accomplished this, the book essentially just stops, which is wholly unsatisfying. I wanted to like this book - the first few chapters are so weird and unlike anything I've read in any other teen thrillers from this era. And the premise is so bonkers with themes that have the potential to be incredibly resonant, that I hoped the book would live up to it. Of course, it doesn't, which is a shame. Granted, I'm not the target audience, but I can't even see kids in middle school having the patience for this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    T.L. Bodine

    Another Point-Horror YA book, this one from the early 90s. It’s…ok. It’s weird. Weird in ways that’s hard to pin down. It’s just…I can’t even say it’s bad because I’m not even entirely sure what it is. Ostensibly it’s about a girl who tries some perfume and it awakens an alternate personality inside her. If you’re expecting this to be like The Haunted Mask, forget that right away because that’s not at all what this is. Nothing much happens in the book other than the main character having a lot o Another Point-Horror YA book, this one from the early 90s. It’s…ok. It’s weird. Weird in ways that’s hard to pin down. It’s just…I can’t even say it’s bad because I’m not even entirely sure what it is. Ostensibly it’s about a girl who tries some perfume and it awakens an alternate personality inside her. If you’re expecting this to be like The Haunted Mask, forget that right away because that’s not at all what this is. Nothing much happens in the book other than the main character having a lot of arguments with herself. The prose is surprisingly florid and overwrought for a kid’s book. Sometimes it’s kind of good in a weird “this book sounds like it was written by an alien who is only vaguely familiar with how human beings work” way, but mostly it’s just…weird. What the fuck was going on with these Point Horror books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Scalera

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would say 3.5 stars. I just don’t know….I liked it, but some things bugged me. I didn’t care for the writing style. It took me longer to read than other books of the same type. I would say it has potential. The main issue is that we don’t find out what Dove’s ailment was. Was it really supernatural, or was Wing part of her imagination, and she is actually schizophrenic? No answer is given. Also, the store Dry Ice? Where did it go? It suddenly disappears, yet no explanation is given on that, ei I would say 3.5 stars. I just don’t know….I liked it, but some things bugged me. I didn’t care for the writing style. It took me longer to read than other books of the same type. I would say it has potential. The main issue is that we don’t find out what Dove’s ailment was. Was it really supernatural, or was Wing part of her imagination, and she is actually schizophrenic? No answer is given. Also, the store Dry Ice? Where did it go? It suddenly disappears, yet no explanation is given on that, either. Finally, although it’s not part of the story per se, but the cover artwork on the edition I read; the perfume bottle shape doesn’t match the story? Others have pointed that out. The artist should’ve actually read the story if they get to design the cover.

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