“He lived to find the true beauty. He killed so it could last forever.”
The story is set in the 18th century France. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is a man without an odor, but with an amazing sense of smell. He sees the world through scents. He uses his gift to make the best perfumes in the world, but while he is searching the formula for the perfect perfume, that the mankind hasn’t met yet, the key ingredient (young girls) is still missing. His methods become more and more bizarre and cruel. After 12 dead girls were found, citizens start to panic.
The tone in which the story is told is phlegmatic, cold, without any disgust or judgement of human stupidity, selfishness or main character’s crimes. Some situations are even funny, mostly because of the Grenouille’s lack of intelligence and common sense. Süskind is using the 18th century France to dissect the twisted in an individual and in the society, questioning if the moral freak is a product of his surroundings.
Besides the deranged mind and underwit people he encountered, the book offers an incredible look into the world of scents and perfume making in the times when people had only nature and their ingenuity at their disposal. „Perfume: The story of a murderer“ will leave you shocked, disgusted, confused, tense, surprised and in love with the book. It’s one of the best books I’ve read, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t handle the story about a psycho killer.
Napisala: Nera Bazina