We are born with many senses and sometimes without common sense. Well, this story is not about that. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a horror/thriller novel. Patrick Suskind has written a gripping account of the perfumer’s life. It will sweep you off your feet and fly you across the world of smells. However, it is not a simple horror/thriller novel it has many layers and they can be understood only after a careful read. Translated from German to English by John E. Woods.
Perfume: The story of a murderer by Patrick Suskind
Jean Baptiste Grenouille is the central character of this thriller. Born a bastard under the gutting table in the dirtiest part of the beautiful city of Paris, Jean is born without a scent. His first cry sends his mother running off to a scaffold to abandon the newborn. He grows up on the streets of the eighteenth century in a merciless world. Jean’s gift of smell is smelled out by a perfumery and under his apprenticeship he learns many things. Jean wishes to be left alone so he can study his olfactory gift in-depth. He takes pleasure in separating and making a map of the geographical areas and the people who live there in his mind with his nose. Unlike people who use eyes and ears to identify people, Jean uses his sense of smell.
Ultimately he likes to keep his favorite smells for himself because of his terrible desire to make the most amazing perfume. Born with no scent of his own he becomes obsessed with the smell of a virgin woman, it almost drives him to the brink of madness. What he smells & what he desires, he has to have it as a perfume for himself; he can shake up heaven and earth for his dream to make the ultimate perfume. Due to his monstrous desire, he becomes a walking monster for those who smell wonderful. It doesn’t matter if the origin of the scent goes through terrible experience during extraction of its scent. As a result of Grenouille’s obsession with the perfect smell many innocent people suffer. Bonding with Grenouille is rather similar to making a bond with the devil, it will drag you down to hell with him.
This is a masterpiece ‘original’ novel of its kind. A must read for the lovers of horror/thriller genre. I will watch the movie based on this novel soon & post my review here.
On another note, I wonder what would Sherlock Holmes be like if he had such an amazing olfactory capabilities. While I was reading Perfume by Patrick Suskind I asked myself this question many times and laughed at the thought of it.
Buy this Book Here: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
So if you have any recommendations similar to Perfume, please tell me in the comments section. 🙂