Perfume : The Story Of A Murderer Essay

1281 Words Dec 7th, 2015 null Page
In Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, the protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, is described mainly through his supernatural ability to smell and his obsession with scents. Grenouille’s purpose in life was to create perfumes which evoked strong emotional reactions from the people surrounding him. However, most of the olfactory concepts illustrated in this fictitious story are exaggerated in comparison to actual scientific evidence. Throughout the novel, Grenouille often rummages through his memory to recall the scents of certain people, places, and objects. While isolated in his “blessed region” (Süskind, 121), Grenouille imagines himself as Grenouille the Great, living in a royal palace. Süskind’s extended metaphor describes Grenouille’s time consumed by his drinking of scents from his life, out of bottles like fine wine.
“After a bottle of hope, he uncorked one from the year 1744, filled with the warm scent of the wood outside of Madame Gaillard’s house. And after that he drank a bottle of the scent of a summer evening, imbued with perfume and heavy blossoms, gleaned from the edge of a park in Saint Germain des Prés, dated 1753...He drank [the splendid scent of the girl from rue des Marais] reverently…” (Süskind, 129). However, studies show that most humans do not recall odors very well. According to neurologist Oliver Sacks, “The ability to imagine smells, in normal circumstances, is not that common — most people cannot imagine smells with…

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