Perfume – The Story of a Murderer – Book Review


By Patrick Suskind

ISBN-13: 9780140120837

ISBN-10:  0140120831

First Published: 1989

I can’t believe I’m using the word ‘delight’ to describe a book about a murderer but I have to. Patrick Suskind has written a really unusual book and takes us on a journey that is full of … well… smells.

Perfume is based in 18th century France and focuses on Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s education in the alchemy of perfume making. He is a very unique character and is distinctly set apart from the society which worships the magic of perfume. Grenouille is blessed or cursed with an extraordinary sense of smell and his obsession with obtaining the most powerful scent in existence, costs him his sanity and morality. Nothing is more important than the ‘scent’ and he will do anything to obtain it including murder.

I found myself so immersed in this character that I easily accepted his behaviour as reasonable. The magic of perfume making is so engaging or intoxicating that I hardly remember there was murder. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to anyone for the unique experience is offers but it possibly requires a strong stomach.

Posted on 23 August '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Reviews.

8 Comments to “Perfume – The Story of a Murderer – Book Review”

#1 Posted by T.Y. (23.08.09 at 08:32 )

Perfume prompted me to appreciate smell. After this book, I went around smelling everything and everyone!

#2 Posted by Maria Grazia (24.08.09 at 00:44 )

Strong stomach? Not for me then, I’m afraid. Thanks for sharing anyway, Michelle. Good review!MG

#3 Posted by Michelle (24.08.09 at 08:26 )

Perhaps try borrowing it from the library and then if it is too much you haven’t wasted your money. It truly is a unique book and I’d encourage you to try it, I loved it. The movie is good also but my experience with the book was more sensory… hard to explain but you think you can really smell it!

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