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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  160,826 ratings  ·  7,276 reviews
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion — his sense of smell — leads to murder.

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift — an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he
Paperback, 263 pages
Published 1987 by Penguin Books, Ltd (first published 1985)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
I was predisposed to love this book no matter what. I love perfumes. The fact that this book had blood and murder was just a bonus.

For me, perfumes and scents are a visceral thing. I love perfume. I have never been a visual person, my memories are composed of layers of scent.

I remember as a child, growing up in Vietnam, visiting my elderly neighbor's house and having him give me a cup of black tea infused with jasmine. Those jasmines would put the pitiful little star jasmines to shame. They were
Bryce Wilson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Wiswell
Nov 07, 2012 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical fiction readers, fantasy readers, readers who love bizarre characters
I had a heck of a time thinking who I'd recommend this to. It won a Fantasy award, yet I can't call it Fantasy. It's set in a bygone period, but it doesn't play with history, so it's not Historical Fiction. It's about a murder, yet it's not terrifying like Horror, nor is it a mystery. It's just the story of a peculiar boy who became a dangerous and most interesting man. He was born without an odor, you see, and lacking that part of identity, became obsessed with smell. That identity crisis trigg ...more
Apr 11, 2008 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone willing to enjoy something...different
This book was different and brilliant. The story of an orphaned boy born without a scent, but with an incredibly refined sense of smell, the book drags a bit in parts, but the ends justify the means, in more ways than one.

All things considered, the book is a valentine to the beauty, elegance, and power of smell. A truly underrated sense, Suskind reminds the reader of just how powerful an effect our sense of smell can have. Although Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (one of the great names in contemporary
Nandakishore Varma
There are some books which can be called unique. They may be good, bad or indifferent: but their authors strike out from the trodden paths of narrative themes and structure to explore totally new vistas, so that the product becomes unique. Perfume by Patrick Suskind is such a book.

Jean Baptiste Grenouille is "an abominable and gifted personage, in an era which was not lacking in abominable and gifted personages". Born a bastard in the stinking heart of the city of Paris in the eighteenth century
May 29, 2008 Tedb0t rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who eschew irritating film adaptations
Recommended to Tedb0t by: someone (?) via Matt
I'd like to make something very clear with my review of this book. I normally don't go overboard with the whole "the movie vs. the book" argument because I'm not interested in making people's decisions for them, even though I'm strongly opinionated about the subject. But this is a case where I have to speak out. Süskind has created here a work of literary art in prose, and I take that seriously. I admire lots of books but I wouldn't say this about any old novel. The movie "Perfume" makes an utte ...more
♍ichael Ƒierce
Mar 07, 2015 ♍ichael Ƒierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Gothic horror, serial killer lovers, and the literate crowd


Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer is simply one of the greatest horror novels ever written.

Taking place in 18th century, France, it begins with an infant born with one difference from the rest of the world: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with the ability to smell anything and everything in the world around him.

Although not a novel of the supernatural as commonly defined, in a sense, it is, because his ability can only be defined as that of supernature.

While not being the most prolific author
Let me begin by telling you that this book is hilarious, and I am mildly obsessed with it. I loved it. Grenouille is my new favorite literary character. I’ve even started doing little impersonations of him when I'm feeling particularly annoying, which I think is going over pretty well around my house. He lurks in the shadows, is mildly hunchbacked, and sniffs the air like a total freak.

Anyway, as you may know, Perfume is the story of Grenouille, a man born with the ability to smell every little
A cross between The Silence of the Lambs and a period drama. That's how I would describe Perfume, the great German classic of the 1980s. Basically, it's an eighteenth-century murder story, except that it doesn't focus on the victims and the hunt for the killer, but rather emphasises the life and times of the murderer, who is an unusual protagonist to say the least.

Perfume tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an eighteenth-century Parisian with a unique gift: a prodigiously well-developed
Apr 20, 2009 Molly rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Molly by: Betty - bettysbooks.blogspot
Shelves: fiction
I want my last 2 weeks back. I dove into this book expecting a hell of a lot more than I dragged out of it. From the very beginning I did not like the author's writing style and should have known then that this book just wouldn't be for me.

This book is set in the mid-1700's France and centers around a horrid man who has no redeeming qualities other than the fact that he has likely the most perfect sense of smell in the history of mankind. But he uses this skill for selfish and evil purposes and
Mohammed Arabey
اهلا بكم في رواية , ينبعث من صفحاتها عبق ما... رواية رائعة ذات رائحة
لا ليس بهذه الطريقة مستر جرين ...لم أقصد رائحة الكتب الساحرة التي آلفناها
بل هي رواية ذات روائح مختلفة ومتعددة تسبب لك مزيج من المتعة، القرف، النشوة، الحنين، الاشمئزاز و اﻷثارة..والجمال...رواية عطرية بعطور متعددة مختلفة
أهلا بكم في فرنسا القرن الثامن عشر..كما لم تراها تشتمها من قبل
في ذلك الوقت لم تكفي عطورها الشهيرة اخفاء نتن فقر شوارعها وحتي أهلها قبل الثورة ..وفي دكان بيع سمك بأقذر أحياءها يولد جان باتيست جرينوي ..القاتل
ولنقسم ا
يعتقدون أنهم يشاهدون كل شيء بعيونهم "


أكان شيطاناً ، مسخاً أم شبحاً لانسان؟ جسده الضئيل قد يوحي بذلك
هذا الكم الكبير من اللامبالاة ، البرود والحياة وحيداً هي ما تشير لذلك

هل كنا في يوم ما نهتم بحاسة الشم أكثر من النظر
أو اللمس أو التذوق ، هل كنا نرى الاشياء بعدة حواس
أم نكتفي بتكثيف حاسه واحده فقط ؟
كان "غرينوي" يشم ويرى ويتذوق بأنفه
استنشق كل شيء ما عدا أهم شيء
وهذا ما صنع منه هذا الشخص البالغ في الهزال
واللامبلاه والغيبوبة الانسانيه
التفاصيل الدقيقه افكاره حياته تشوقه المستمر لاستنشاق كل شيء
بــدريــه  الـبـرازي

" أدرك غرينوي أن حياته ستضيع هباء إن لم
ينجح في امتلاك هذه الرائحة بعينها، كان لابد له
من أن يمتلكها، لا بهدف الامتلاك فحسب، بل من
أجل راحة قلبه"

رواية غريبة تحتوي روائح كل شئ على الأرض
حتى الأشياء التي كنا نظنها بلا رائحة
ماعدا رائحة غرينوي لم نعرفها ولم يعرفها هو
نفسه و هذا أشد ماكان يؤلمه ويؤرقه و ربما كان
هو الدافع لأفعاله و السر وراء موهبته الفريده
وهو سبب نجاحاته كما هو سبب اخفاقاته ونهايته

بالنسبة لي استمتعت بالفيلم أكثر و لكن نهاية
بالرواية أجمل من فيلم !
خلصتهاااا :)

قريتها ببطء شديد متعمد .... كنت مستمتعة بتفصيلات ممكن تبان غريبة لبعض الناس وخيالي بيسرح في حاجات أغرب ... بس النهاردة مقدرتش ابطأ نفسي في القراية ... كان لازم أخلصها وتقريبا أكلت صفحاتها بعيني ومن غير ما أفوت كلمة واحدة

ودلوقتي حاسة بإحساس غريب يتلخص في كلمة واحدة هي "واااو"

منين جاب الفكرة دي؟؟!! والتفصيلات العجيبة والنهاية الغريبة دي؟؟!! أي شيطان كان بيتنطط في خيال الكاتب وإداله الفكرة

لازم أعترف إن للرواية مغزى أخلاقي من وجهة نظري فـ "چان بابتيست جرينوي" كان نتاج المعامل
This book was lent to me by a friend. This friend was really a great writer and kind of a genius but also an asshole. I should have known about this friend. Her name means sadness and she carried herself either in awkwardness or fierceness or hipper than you savagery or a combination of all of those or none of them and I’m just constructing a mythic version of her. Her writing was amazing. It was zany, rich, violent and grotesque. It would reach down into intense emotional depths and then get co ...more
الجميل في هذه الرواية انها تطرح موضوع لم يطرح مسبقاَ، في الحياة نتسأل دائما عن سبب انجذابنا لأشخاص و نعزو الاسباب لتجاذب الأرواح، الشخصية، و الكاريزما.
نعزو الانجذاب غالبا إلى حاسة النظر... الكتاب يحول انظارنا لناحية أخرى

الرواية تتحدث عن شخص ولد من غير رائحة و ايضا بحساسية عالية للعطور،و في حياته يتلقى فقط النفور و التجاهل و الإهمال ، لسبب واحد وهو أنه إنسان بغير رائحة.
فيسعى لتكوين عطر يتفرد به وحده.

تصور الرواية العطر او الرائحة البشرية و كأنها هالة تجذب او تنفر. تركت الرواية أثرها علي كالعطر و
إذا كانت الترجمة خيانة للنص الأدبي - وهي خيانة مغتفرة على أية حال- فإن تحويل بعض الروايات إلى أفلام خيانة لا تُغتفر. هذا ما خطر ببالي و كاميرا المخرج الألماني "توم تايكوير" تبتعد ببطء عن مِـزَق "غرينوي" في نهاية سوريالية لقصة مربكة. لقد استثار "زوسكند" خيالي لأقصى حدوده – إن كان ثمة حدود - و جاء الفيلم ليضغطه و يحشره في إطار بدا ضيقًا بالمقارنة مع الرواية. لم تكن إمكانات المخرج متواضعة بقدر ما كان خيال الكاتب جامحًا، عصيًا على التجسيد.

مستغرقًا، متماهيًا، و بنبرة لا تخلو من السخرية، يتحدّث "زوسكن
K.D. Absolutely
On the surface, this book is a big literary gimmick. But if you dig deeper you will see that this is a celebration of beauty, a valentine of senses and a man’s struggle to find happiness amidst being alone, sad, poor and unloved.

Think Patrick Bateman in Bret Easton Ellis in Psycho, James Ballard in J. G. Ballard’s Crash or Humbert Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov’s masterpiece Lolita. Easily, you will hate them However, beneath the mad and twisted criminal is a man who used to be a poor boy who grew
this book sounded really interesting, but i really didn't like it. couldn't wait to be done with it, but also had a hard time just finishing it cause i really didn't like it. felt like the writing and plot was just very amateurish. hopefully the movie is better.
This perfume stinks. Hahaha I'm so witty.
قرأته بالعربية
(العطر..قصة قاتل)

مذ قرأت هذه الرواية وأنا أشعر أن حاسة جديدة لدي قد تيقظت إلى أقصى مدى ..

ولعلي منذ زمن مولعة بذلك الأثر الساحر المخفي المربك لمجرد "رائحة جميلة"..

دعوني أبدأ قصة هذا الكتاب من البداية..!

كنت أضع هذه الرواية ضمن قائمة طويلة من الكتب والروايات التي قرأت عنها أو سمعت عنها كي أحصل عليها ريثما تيسرت الأمور..

صادف أن قرأت تقريراً عن السينما الأسبوعية ومن ضمن الأفلام المعروضةكان فلم
والمأخوذ عن هذه الرواية.
اتصلت صديقة بي كانت موجودة في ذلك الوقت في دبي، سألتني عن كتب ي
Nov 20, 2007 Cindy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
I don’t know what compelled me to finish this book but it was the worst book I’ve ever read. I get that Jean-Baptiste has an extraordinary sense of smell and that his obsession leads him to murder. I understand the irony of it all: that he was born abandoned and died in an act of love. Even so, there was nothing about the story that was vaguely likable. I know it’s fiction but it seemed completely unrealistic and ridiculous to be even remotely appreciated. Furthermore, it takes forever to reach ...more
Smell, they say, is the strongest of the senses.


I remember a time, years ago, on the beach.
I could smell the lake, the night air
Feel the Harley spinning out of control as it hit the sand. No pain just
The smell of wet leather and silk
Bob Seger singing
Moonlit endless sand
The taste of beer and cigarettes
His scent……..mine….mingled.

That’s the thing about smell; it commands an immediate and visceral response. It is instinctive, automatic; void of conscious thought or will, all the while affect
Rinda Elwakil
قرأتها و شاهدتها فيلما ..

كاتب متميز فكر خارج الصندوق و أنتج فكرة عجيبه لا أدري من أي مكان جاء بها من تلك الوديان البعيده التي يأتي للشعراء و الكتاب جميعا منها الإلهام ..

A master piece ..

لطالما احببت الأعمال الفنية اللتي تترك في فمك مذاقا ما ..
التي لا تعود الحياة بعدها كما كانت , منها العطر ..

رأيت أثناء قرائتي البطل طفلا يشم كل شئ في جشع
أشفقت عليه طفلا بالرغم من نفور جميع من حوله منه..
و هو يقوم بخلط العطور بدون قواعد .. رأيته و هو يري الفتاه قتيلته الأولي في منامه .. يتذكر شذاها , يحاول الإمساك
لأول مرة أجد "أنفي" متورطا في قراءة رواية!!!0

مع زوسكند والقراءة الثالثة له...في رواية ذات حبكة فريدة، وفي عالم يضج بالروائح ما قرأت له مثيلا...وفي موضوع يلامس الحاسة الحادة عندي...فالروائح تسكن ذاكرتي...تستوطنني...ولبعضها تأثير السحر عليّ

زوسكند...بعالمه الغرائبي الذي بناه على الروائح قوّض عالمي وهزّه من أعماقه...فأن يسمي روايته بالعطر فذلك قمة الغرائبية...فالمفردة تمثل لنا تصورا مختلفا عما جاء به...فلا هي العطر بالمفهوم الطبيعي...ولا هي كذلك فقط قصة قاتل...ولا هي مرعبة كقصص الرعب!!!0

إلى أي عالم
أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
للعطر قوّة أإناع أقوى بكثير من الكلمات , لستُ قاتلا و لا أملك نبوغا شمّيّا عاليا ولكن الأثر الآسر لامرأة واحدة تمرّ عرضا في شارع ما يكفي لأصدّق و أنتمي لهذا العطر !
للسابقين إلى مساحات لم يكتب فيها غيرهم قبلا حظّ من الريادة و حقّ الاكتشاف , لا أعلم إن كان أحدهم كتب من قبل رواية مركزها العطر و الرائحة , أو عالج العطر كما عالجه زوسكند بالنموذج الذي صاغه كبلّورة لا مكان فيها لغيره , هذا التحقّق الأعلى للعطر و تأثّرنا به , هو ما سبق إليه , و هذا النموذج الذي صاغه لا يكون طبعا من غير المبالغات , لأنّ
Will Byrnes
In 18th Century France a baby is born who lacks any scent. He does, however, have a deep and strong survival urge. Although he is treated as a pariah by many for his condition, he possesses a parallel condition, a heightened sensitivity to aroma. It is his quest to experience life through smell, and he does so. He is also a cold-hearted sociopath who seizes opportunities where he can to advance his particular desires. It ends badly for him, but that is a good thing.

The author

This is a very inter
La Petite Américaine
Dec 16, 2008 La Petite Américaine added it
Recommends it for: People Who Don't Read While Eating
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2012 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy dark but lush stories
Book Info: Genre: Literary Fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those who enjoy dark, strange, twisted, yet lushly beautiful writing

Please note: I picked up and first read this book several years ago in the early aughts; I wanted to watch the movie subsequently made of this book, but wished to re-read it first to refresh my memory about the book itself. I’m not aware of having written a review for this book the first time around, as at the time I was not writing a review for everything I
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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From 1968-1974 he studied medieval and modern history in Munich and Aix-en-Provence. In the '80s he worked as a screenwriter, for Kir Royal and Monaco Franze among others.

After spending the 1970s writing what he has characterized as “short unpublished prose pieces and longer un-produced screenplays”, Patrick Süskind was catapulted to fame in the 1980s by the monodrama Der Kontrabass [The Double B
More about Patrick Süskind...
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“He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.” 313 likes
“...talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.” 244 likes
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