An addition to the favorites shelf!

Perfume by Patrick Süskind cover

Perfume by Patrick Süskind cover

I read this book because Clifford Lee Sargent over at Better Than Food: Book Reviews reviewed it on his YouTube channel! Check out his channel and his video about this book!

See this book on Goodreads

(5 / 5)

Apparently, it was Kurt Cobain’s favorite book!

  • It was a very, very clever book and I don’t mean just Grenouille, the main character, being a genius.
  • I mean, (as Cliff said in his video) you end up rooting for a murderer. Which doesn’t happen often, at least for me, I don’t know about y’all.
  • Set in France, a part of it in Paris!
  • The whole book was amazing, but I liked the part up until he began his life as a journeyman better than the rest and I can’t really put my finger on why. Maybe because it was less focused on murder and more on him having fun creating and remembering all of these scents? Idk
  • Oh, also, I felt that the orgy near the end of the book was kinda unneccessary, but I also can’t think of anything I would’ve liked to see instead, so
  • There was this one point where we wouldn’t be seeing a character in the story anymore so the narrator told us what would happen to them afterwards. “Since we are about to leave Madame Gaillard behind us at this point in our story and shall not meet her again, we shall take a few sentences to describe the end of her days.” I LOVED IT, more books should do this instead of leaving me wondering. Really nice touch.
  • Smell is an underrated sense!
  • I’ll definitely be checking out the movie!
  • Different!! Original!!! Certainly a must-read


But on the other hand, it was clear as day that when a simple soul like that wet nurse maintained that she had spotted a devilish spirit, the devil himself could not possibly have a hand in it. The very fact that she thought she had spotted him was certain proof that there was nothing devilish to be found, for the devil would certainly never be stupid enough to let himself be unmasked by the wet nurse Jeanne Bussie.

But she dreaded a communal, public death among hundreds of strangers. She wanted to afford a private death, and for that she needed her full cut of the boarding fees.

It was as if he had been born a second time; no, not a second time, the first time, for until now he had merely existed like an animal with a most nebulous self-awareness.

The perfume was glorious. It was to “Amor and Psyche” as a symphony is to the scratchings of a lonely violin.

What did he need Paris for! He knew it down to its last stinking cranny, he took it with him wherever he went, he had owned Paris for years now.

How miserable this God smelled! How ridiculously bad the scent that this God let spill from Him. It was not even genuine frankincense fuming up out of those thuribles. A bad substitute, adulterated with linden and cinnamon dust and saltpetre. God stank. God was a poor little stinker. He had been swindled, this God had, or was Himself a swindler, no different from Grenouille – only a considerably worse one!

It was really true – Grenouille, the solitary tick, the abomination, Grenouille the Monster, who had never felt love and would never be able to inspire it, stood there beside the city wall of Grasse on that day in March and loved and was profoundly happy in his love.

And he owed it to no one – not to a father, nor a mother, and least of all to a gracious God – but to himself alone.

Perfume was a book that suprised me in many ways. Have you read any unusual books lately? I’d love to hear about them!

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