Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” as Want to Read:
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  189,173 Ratings  ·  8,483 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 (first published 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Perfume, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lory Sh Yes he is a genious , however he did kill people , innocent young girls , yes the book did title him as a freak from the start and that was wrong and…moreYes he is a genious , however he did kill people , innocent young girls , yes the book did title him as a freak from the start and that was wrong and not fair but that doesn't make his crimes any less ugly and unhuman ,therefore he's maybe a genious but he's definitely a murderer (less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeePride and Prejudice by Jane AustenTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
Best Books Ever
143rd out of 43,375 books — 162,338 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling1984 by George OrwellPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once
135th out of 16,407 books — 77,159 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Huda Yahya
May 27, 2016 Huda Yahya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

أي رأس يحمل ذلك الباتريك على كتفيه
أعني ..
حقا كيف استطاع انتاج أعجب كائن في تاريخ الأدب الإنساني؟
كيف رأه في عقله قبل ان يخطه على الورق..؟
كيف نشأ هذا الغرينوي في تلابيب أفكاره...؟
هل اشتمه ذات ليلة يا ترى
فقرر تحويل عطره الفريد إلى سطور ادبية..؟؟
لا يمكن!!
فغرينوي لا رائحة له

وهذه هي الطامة الكبرى...

غرينوي ولد بصفات غير بشرية
يحمل في داخله الأسطورة القديمة ليتيم فقير دميم
كرهه الجميع ونفروا منه من اللحظة الأولى
حتى أمه-في مشهد من أشنع ما يكون
تتخلص منه فور ولادته وهي جالسة على مشنتها العطنة في سوق السمك

Khanh (the Grinch)
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
Jul 22, 2008 Bryce Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mohammed Arabey
Apr 23, 2016 Mohammed Arabey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
قاتل لأنه
John Wiswell
Nov 07, 2012 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing  ·  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 it was amazing  ·  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
Michael Fierce
Apr 15, 2016 Michael Fierce rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Apr 20, 2009 Molly rated it it was ok  ·  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
Dec 04, 2013 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
❁ بــدريــه ❁

" 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
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
Jun 18, 2009 NoraH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 04, 2013 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rinda Elwakil
Jul 06, 2015 Rinda Elwakil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
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
Mia Nauca
May 15, 2016 Mia Nauca rated it it was amazing
Este libro es una experiencia sensorial olfativa, el libro no se lee sino se huele, se aspira y se exhala

Es un clásico situando en Francia del siglo XVIII descrita como un lugar desagradable, apestoso, caótico, nauseabundo y en medio de todo nace esto Grenouille, nuestro protagonista, en un mercado lleno de pescado y fruta podrida es abandonado por su madre al nacer y tiene que aprender a sobrevivir a muchas pruebas a lo largo de la historia

Lo interesante de este personaje es que tiene la capac
Ahmed Ibrahim
" فكيف تمنى النفس بالخلاص من السفاح ؟ إنه أغشم من الطاعون ؛ يمكن الهرب من الطاعون لكن لا يمكن الهرب من هذا المجرم "

أى جنونٍ هذا ؟ كيف خطرت هذه الفكرة فى بال الكاتب .. ماذا فعل ليخرج لنا هذه الرواية ؟
رواية غريبة وفكرة مبتكرة ومبهرة ؛ وهى تقريباً متكاملة على الجانب الادبى .

جان باتيست غرينوي ؛ صاحب أدق أنف فى العالم ؛ الفتى الذى إستطاع بأنفه إحصاء كل الروائح - والروائح التى لا نعرف لها نحن رائحة - لكنه ولد وعاش بدون رائحة ويظل يسعى أن يجعل لنفسه رائحة تجعل الناس يحبوه لدرجة العبادة وفى طريقة لعمل
Nov 20, 2007 Cindy rated it did not like it
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
Feb 11, 2013 Khadija rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 05, 2011 Rania rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite, novels
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
Will Byrnes
Aug 20, 2014 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
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
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 11, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Cary
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
Saoirse Sterling
Read as part of the #InfiniteVariety2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll.

The first thing I want to say is that, even though I didn't really enjoy it, I do fully recommend you read this book. It has a wonderful concept and will make you think so much about a lot of things-life, people, senses, smells, the way you see the world-that I think the enjoyment of the story is a little unimportant.

This is the story of a late-Seventeenth-Century French man who is born with an extraordin
Parthiban Sekar
Jan 04, 2016 Parthiban Sekar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated-texts
The cover says that this is the story of a murderer. "Of a Perfumer" would be more appropriate.

We live in a fusty world reeking with all kind of smells, ranging from obnoxious to out-of-this-world smells. How many of us want to smell differently good from our own natural odor? The desire to anoint ourselves with those so-called perfumes in shiny bottles is almost pressing. Süskind narrates this story with the helps of all the fragrances and odors, of a bastard named Grenouille saved from his own
Dec 09, 2007 أروى rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2007 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crap
This perfume stinks. Hahaha I'm so witty.
Petra X
Jan 10, 2016 Petra X rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Original story, well-written, a bit creepy, a lot silly, morality turned on its head for sex and drugs, it put me in mind that it was the Pied Piper in reverse. Not an exact analogy, just what it put in my mind.

I've just downloaded the film. It will be interesting to see how much humanity is allowed Grenouille.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Devil's Elixirs
  • Die Physiker
  • Schlafes Bruder
  • Die Hüter der Rose (Waringham, #2)
  • Os Pilares da Terra - Volume II (Os Pilares da Terra, #1)
  • The German Lesson
  • Momo
  • The Collector
  • The Quest for Christa T.
  • The Holy Terrors
  • The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
  • La petite marchande de prose (Malaussène, #3)
  • Pure
  • Mephisto
  • Herr Lehmann
  • The Invention of Curried Sausage
  • Wilhelm Tell
  • A Filha do Capitão
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...

Share This Book

“He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.” 395 likes
“...talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.” 294 likes
More quotes…