31.1.11

Perfume: The Story Of A Murder

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (frog in French) is born into poverty under a table at his mothers stall at the fish market. Thrown onto a pile of fish guts he is left for dead.

This introduction to life establishes his revulsion for putrid scents and coupled with his own lack of body scent sets him apart from others. He survives a tormented childhood in an orphanage and goes on to take a job at a tannery- well know for being nauseatingly putrid. While strolling the streets of Paris one day he catches a scent which he follows to discover is the scent of a young woman. In an insatiable craze he murders her attempting to smell her more thoroughly but realizes that after her death her smell too ceases to live.
By chance Grenouille is able to get a job working for a famed perfumist Giuseppe Baldini. His new found talents in mixing renowned perfume scents are negated by his obsession with creating the perfect scent which captures the essence of the human soul. His methodology has him murdering female virgins to reduce their body fats into essential oils and creating the perfect alchemy so that their scent may live on.

I read the novel Perfume: The Story Of A Murder a few years ago. It is originally written in German by Patrick Suskind and explores the human sense of smell and how it translates to emotional experiences of ultimately acceptance or rejection. This is a subject that fascinates me as when I first became pregnant my sense of smell became keener and has been so since. The amount that I love my monkeys and husband has a very strong correlation to the pleasure I devise from inhaling them. I am one of those people that you will see at a farmers market or grocery store smelling the fruits and vegetables before purchasing them. Most of all this story is about identity and how this relates to other peoples reactions or lack therefore of, in shaping the human soul. Ultimately the desire to be accepted, loved and needed is paramount to human spirit.

Unlike most really good novels that are turned into films I really enjoyed this film, by the same title, which came out in 2007. In fact in an unprecedented recommendation I would say read both or just see the film.

21 comments:

Ninjagaiden78 said...

I have heard of this movie and wanted to go and see it.

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Signe said...

Didn't read the book yet but I saw the movie and it was franky a bit repulsive - which I suppose was half the point :)

And a happy Monday to you!

Sourkraut said...

I adored the book too, which I read because I heard they were making a movie and wanted to experience the book first. Wish my German were good enough that I could have read it in the original language but with all of those wonderfully descriptive passages I know my limited vocabulary would have done me in.

Krystal said...

I have to read this! I also read somewhere about scents being a large part of what attracts you to someone. And i have never smelled anyone better than mark i guess!

a new girl in vienna said...

i've read this book and i LOVED it. fascinating idea. i'm yet to see the film though... must remember to watch it!

drollgirl said...

this is in my netlix q! can't wait! at least i think it is? or maybe it is a different one? must go check now!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I must be in the minority as I haven't read the book or seen the movie (haven't even heard of either). Sounds gross and interesting at the same time. I have a very strong sense of smell, my husband says it's bionic so I will probably enjoy SOME of the story.

Nuit said...

fascinating! I will try and get my hands on the book! =D

bklyn76 said...

you seem to read all the books in my *to read* pile! :)

mice_aliling said...

I think I've come across this but never read or watched the film. I am also a smeller. That's what I call myself. I've never had kids but I like to smell everything first. :)Odd, no?

la petite coquine said...

This sounds like a terrific book, and I'm surprised at how much you also loved the movie adaptation-I'm also a stickler for movie versions! I have to check out both!

Getrealmommy said...

Sounds a bit creepy. But creepy is at least interesting. I have been reading garbage later, maybe I'll check this out!

Café Bellini said...

Sounds powerful. I think I bought the book when it came out (and never got around to reading it)... it's in a box somewhere, still unpacked from the move...

jacqueline said...

Dearest ren, i have heard of this book and movie but have yet the chance to check it out! Thanks so much for sharing. Something i can look out for when i am at the bookshop. Have a lovely merry happy day and love ot you!

Evie said...

Hey Ren, thanks for the follow! I remember seeing this movie at the indy theater in college, I love it! Still not sure what to make of the last scene when they finally open the "perfume"!

Anonymous said...

Your review reads like a movie about an
unbalanced serial killer. I'll pass.
Clair

Amber Blue Bird said...

i remember seeing the preview for the film and not really being sure if I would enjoy it but your critique has convinced me that I should rent it. Oh and I cant believe the White Stripes broke up, such a sad day. I was really hoping for another album. :(

Lovely World said...

I read this book way back in the late 1980s when I was in college. I really liked it. It set quite the atmosphere of life at a different time. It certainly did not romanticize the time and place.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow sounds really interesting!

Ola said...

Am I the only person who couldn't finish the book?:)

David Toms said...

Many thanks for the comment on my blog! Yes, I have read this and loved it!

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