In 1693, news of the Salem Witch Trials has made its way to Marguerite, a perfumer living in Providence, Rhode Island. Marguerite fears the hysteria will infect her own town, particularly if word spreads about what she can do. Though she learned her art from her father, it was from her mother’s side that she received the secret ingredient she uses in her perfumes: a crushed tulip. The tulip has no scent. Instead it serves another purpose. Any perfume made with a pinch of tulip powder and a hint of rosemary can make its wearer tell only the truth. But first the person buying the perfume must betray someone they love.
As hidden truths come to light and relationships are darkened by betrayal across Providence, Marguerite finds that she herself is not immune to betrayal, and her own truths are not as protected as she would like to believe.