Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Vintage International) (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Vintage International) Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

Set in the slums of cities in 18th century France, this novel recounts the tale of Grenouille, a social outcast gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell. Born without any scent or odor of his own and abandoned by his family, he becomes obsessed with the olfactory arts and sets out on a quest to find and duplicate the perfect scent, that of a beautiful virgin girl. His obsessive indulgence in aroma eventually leads him to murder, and the moral and criminal consequences of his crime soon catch up with him. Suskind weaves his dark story of mystery and terror with an eye for the details of the period, and the character of Grenouille is brilliant, terrifying yet pathetic. Perfume will make you rethink your sense of smell, how you use it and how it uses you. ~ Andrew

— From Andrew


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 lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"--the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.

Translated from the German by John E. Woods.

About the Author

Patrick Süskind was born in Ambach, near Munich, in 1949. He studied medieval and modern history at the University of Munich. His first play, The Double Bass, was written in 1980 and became an international success. It was performed in Germany, in Switzerland, at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, and at the New Theatre in Brooklyn. His first novel, Perfume became an internationally acclaimed bestseller. He is also the author of The Pigeon and Mr. Summer's Story, and a coauthor of the enormously successful German television series Kir Royal. Mr. Süskind lives and writes in Munich.

Praise For…

?A fable of criminal genius?. Remarkable."?The New York Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780375725845
ISBN-10: 0375725849
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 13th, 2001
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: Vintage International