Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Subtitle: The Story of a Murderer

Published: 1985

Genre: fiction

Length: 255 pages

Setting: 18th century France

Interest: My husband and I had watched the movie by the same name which was very intriguing. When I found out it was based on a book, I put it on my list to read.

Summary: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is an orphan whose mother tries to kill him at birth. He grows up in a series of orphanages and when he is old enough, is apprenticed to a tanner. Two things set Jean-Baptiste apart from others – his lack of body odor and his phenomenal sense of smell that he relies on heavily. He manages to get apprenticed to a perfumer to learn how to make scents, before heading to the city that produced most of the oils used in perfumes. There, he is obsessed with the scent of a girl and he is determined to create a perfume from her scent. He does so, creating a perfume that makes everyone love him, but he feels nothing and decides to end his life.

Final thoughts: A fascinating book. The movie did a great hob of capturing the essence of the book. The interesting concept put forth by the book was that people perceive you as beautiful because of your smell, not your looks. I could totally see that as true, and it makes me wonder if my daughter smells wonderful and that’s why everyone reacts so positively to her.

Title comes from: Descriptive of the main character of the book

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was a book read in a previous year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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