Perfume: The Story of a Murderer


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical cross-genre novel (originally published in German as Das Parfum) by German writer Patrick Süskind. The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry. Above all it is a story of identity, communication and the morality of the human spirit. The novel was translated into English by John E. Woods and won the PEN Translation Prize in 1987.

The story focuses on Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume apprentice in 18th-century France who, born with no body scent himself, begins to stalk and murder virgins in search of the "perfect scent", which he finds in a young woman named Laure, whom his acute sense of smell finds in a secluded private garden in Grasse.

Some editions of Perfume, including the first, have as their cover image Antoine Watteau's painting Jupiter and Antiope, which depicts a sleeping woman.

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