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Perfume The Story of a Murderer 2006


23.976 English Quick. We can’t hold them back much longer. Hurry. – Come on!
– Get up! Quick! Faster! Open the doors. Come on, quickly! Just read them the sentence. The sentence of the court
is that in two days hence the perfumer journeyman
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille shall be bound to a wooden cross with his face raised toward heaven. And whilst still alive be dealt twelve blows
with an iron rod breaking the joints of his arms, his shoulders, his hips, his legs. He shall then be raised up
to hang until dead and all customary acts of mercy are expressly forbidden
the executioner.In 18th-century France,there lived a man who was
one of the most gifted
and notorious personages
of his time.
His name was
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille,
and if his name has been
forgotten today, it is
for the reason that his ambition
was restricted to a domain
that leaves no trace in history:To the fleeting realm of scent.Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)In the period of which we speak,there reigned
in the cities a stench
barely conceivable to us
modern men and women.
Naturally, the stench
was foulest in Paris,
for Paris was
the largest city in Europe.
And nowhere in Paris was that
stench more profoundly repugnant
than in the city’s fish market.Here we are.
I’ll get another box.It was here, then, on the most
putrid spot in the whole kingdom,
that Jean-Baptiste Grenouillewas born
on the 17th of July, 1738.
It was his mother’s fifth birth.She’d delivered them all here
under her fishstand,
and all had been stillbirths,
or semi-stillbirths,
You all right?And the whole mess was shoveled
with the fishguts into the river.
It would be
much the same today
but then,Jean-Baptiste chose differently.What’s that noise? – It’s a baby.
– What’s going on here? It’s a newborn. Where’s its mother? She was just here. She tried to kill it.
Her own child. She tried to kill her baby! There! There she is! Stop! Stop where you are! Murderer!Thus, the first sound
to escape Grenouille’s lips
sent his mother to the gallowsand Jean-Baptiste,
by official order,
to the orphanage
of Madame Gaillard.
How many today? Four. Well, three and a half. As usual, more dead than alive. Just take the money and sign. Make room. – Where?
– Move! Go on, now. Is it dead? That’s not staying in my bed. – Let’s throw it out, then.
– What if it screams? Let’s just kill it. Harder! Push! What are you doing?For Mme Gaillard, Grenouille was a
source of income, like any other.
The children, however,
sensed at once
that there was something
different about him.
By the age of five, Jean-Baptiste
still could not talk.
But he was born with a talent that
made him unique among mankind.
It was not that the other
children hated him,
they felt unnerved by him.Increasingly he became aware that
his phenomenal sense of smell
was a gift that had been
given to him, and him alone.
When Jean-Baptiste
did finally learn to speak
he soon found that everyday
language proved inadequate
for all the olfactory experiences
accumulating within himself.
Wood. Warm wood. Grass. Wet grass. Stones. Warm stones. Water. Cold water. Frog. Wet stones. Big, wet frog stones. Something. Something. Something.By 13, Mme Gaillard no longer
had room for Jean-Baptiste
and therefore
decided to sell him.
Come on. Ten francs.From his first breath of the odor
enveloping this man…
Seven, and not one sou more.… Grenouille knew that
his life in Grimal’s tannery
would be worth precisely as much
as the work he could accomplish.
Unfortunately for Madame Gaillard,the bargain was short-lived.Life expectancy in the tannery
was a mere five years
but Jean-Baptiste proved to be
as tough as a resilient bacterium.
He adjusted to his new fateand became a paragon
of docility and diligence.
Slaved 15, 16 hours a day,
summer and winter.
Gradually he became aware
of a world beyond the tannery,
where a Utopia of unexplored
smells lay in store for him.
Grenouille! Come with us. I’m taking you
to town for delivery.Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
had triumphed.
He was aliveand at last he was
in his element.
He was not choosy.He did not differentiate between
what are good smells from bad,
at least not yet.He was very greedy.The goal was to possess everything
the world had to offer in odors.
His only condition being,
that they were new ones.
Thousands upon thousands of odors
formed an invisible gruel
which he dissected into its
most remote parts and pieces.
Grenouille! Come on! Get your ass over here! He needs two dozen skins
by next week. Can you do that? – Yeah. Yeah.
– Yeah, come with me. What is it called? “Amor and Psyche”, madame.
My latest creation. May I try it? If you’ll allow me, mademoiselle. Sheer heaven! Monsieur Pelissier,
you are truly an artiste. Please, take them.
I’ve got far too many. What do you want? Want to buy some? Two for a sou. Next time you run off like that,
I’ll kill you!That night, he could not sleep.The intoxicating power of the
girl’s scent made it clear to him
why he’d come to his own life
so tenaciously, so savagely.
The purpose of his miserable
existence had a higher destiny.
He would learn
how to preserve scent
so that never again would he
lose such sublime beauty.
There were about a dozen
perfumers in Paris in those days.
One of them, the once-celebrated
Italian perfumer, Giuseppe Baldini,
had set up shop in the center of
the bridge called Pont au Change
on his arrival in Paris
over thirty years ago.
To be sure, at one time in
his youth, Baldini had created
several truly great perfumes,
to which he owed his fortune.
But now Baldini wasout of touch, out of fashion,and spent his days waiting for
customers that no longer came.
– Chénier! There you are!
– Monsieur Baldini. Put on your wig. Put on your wig! You going out? I wish to retire to my study
for a few hours and do not want to be disturbed
under any circumstances. Will you be creating a new
perfume, Monsieur Baldini? Correct. For Count Verhamont. He has asked for something like…
I think he said it was called Amor and Psyche from that swindler
in the Rue Saint André des Arts. Pelissier? Pelissier, that’s him. Amor and Psyche! Do you know it? Oh, yes. You can smell it
everywhere these days, monsieur. On every street corner. In fact, I just
purchased you a sample. In case you wanted to test it. What on earth makes you think I’d
be interested in testing it? You’re right.
It’s nothing special. Actually
it’s a very common scent. I believe the head chord
contains lime oil. Really? And the heart chord? Orange blossom, I believe. And civet in the base chord, but, you know,
I cannot say for sure. Well, I couldn’t care less
what that bungler Pelissier – slops into his perfumes.
– Naturally not, monsieur. And I am thinking of creating
something for Count Verhamont that will cause
a veritable sensation. I’m sure it will,
Monsieur Baldini. Take charge of the shop, Chénier,
and don’t let anyone come near me. Inspiration requires
peace and tranquility. Is there anything else you need? Inspiration, perhaps. Ah, my Giuseppe. You are still
the great perfumer Baldini. Wonderful. He did it again. Lime oil. Orange blossom, to be sure. And a hint of cloves, perhaps. No. Or could be cinnamon? It’s gone. Cinnamon. It’s not cinnamon. Cloves. No. Musk? No. Who’s there? I’m from Grimal’s tannery. I’ve got the goatskins
you ordered. Follow me. This way. There. Lay them there. Tell your master
that the skins are fine. I’ll come by in the next
few days and pay for them. Yes, Monsieur. You want to make this leather
smell good, don’t you? Why, of course and so it shall. With Amor & Psyche
by Pelissier? Whatever gave you the absurd idea
I would use someone else’s perfume? It’s all over you. It’s on your forehead,
your nose, your hands… It’s bad, Amor & Psyche
is, Master. There’s too much rosemary in it. And too much of… that and that. Bergamot and Patchouli? Pat…? Patchouli. Patchouli. What else? That and that. That and that. Orange blossom, lime… – Rosemary.
– Musk. And cloves? And this. – Storax?
– That’s in it too. – Storax.
– Storax. You have, it appears,
a fine nose, young man. My nose knows all the smells
in the world. It’s the best nose in Paris,
only I don’t know the names. I need to learn the names,
learn them all… No, no, no! You dont interrupt me
when I’m speaking. You are both impertinent
and insolent. Even I don’t know every scent. I’ve, of course, known for some time
the ingredients of Amor & Psyche. But all it needs to find that out is
a passably fine nose, nothing else. But it needs the craft
of a true perfumer to detect the exact formula, which notes, which chords, and in what precise measurements. Could you tell me the exact
formula of Amor & Psyche? Best-nose-in-Paris! Speak up! You see, you can’t. Can you? And I’ll tell you why. Because talent means
next to nothing, while experience acquired in humility and hard work
means everything. I don’t know what a formula is, but I can make Amor & Psyche
for you now. And you think ljust let you
slop around in my laboratory with essential oils
that are worth a fortune? You? Yes. Now pay attention! What is your name, anyway? Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Very well,
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, you shall have the opportunity now
to prove your assertion. Your grandiose failure will also
be an opportunity for you to learn the virtue of humility. – How much do you want me to make?
– How much of what…? How much Amor & Psyche do you want? Shall I fill this flask? No! You shall not! You may fill this one. Yes, Master. But, Master Baldini… You must let me do it in my own way. As you please. No! Don’t drop it. That’s pure alcohol.
You want to blow up the building? You have to measure it first! Stop, stop it! That’s enough! You know nothing! Essential oils are always
to be mixed first, then the alcohol added and never ever is perfume
to be shaken like that! I must have been insane to listen
to your asinine gibberish! It’s all done. This is Amor & Psyche! But it’s not
a good perfume, Master. If you let me again, Master,
I’ll make it more better. Now it’s a really good perfume. Don’t you want
to smell it, Master? I’m not in the mood
to test it now. I have other things
on my mind. Go now. – But, Master…
– Go! Now! Can I come to work
for you, master? Can I? Let me think about it. Master! I have to learn
how to keep smell! What? Can you teach me that? I shall have to think
about it. Now, go. I love you. I’ll give you 50 francs for him. Grenouille!Grimal’s transactionhad a profound effect
on all three parties.
Not least upon
Monsieur Grimal himself.
As for Giuseppe Baldini,
the acquisition of Grenouille
miraculously transformed
his dwindling business
even surpassing its former glory.While at last, for Jean-Baptiste,the mysterious secrets
of the perfumer’s craft
began to unfold.Now, pay careful attention
to what I tell you. Just like a musical chord,
a perfume chord contains four essences or notes, carefully selected
for their harmonic affinity. Each perfume contains three chords: The head, the heart and the base, necessitating twelve notes in all. The head chord contains the first impression,
lasting a few minutes before giving way
to the heart chord, the theme of the perfume,
lasting several hours. Finally, the base chord, the trail of the perfume,
lasting several days. Mind you, the ancient Egyptians
believed that one can only create a truly original perfume
by adding an extra note, one final essence
that will ring out and dominate the others. Legend has it that an amphora
was once found in a pharaoh’s tomb and when it was opened
a perfume was released. After all those thousands of years, a perfume of such subtle
beauty and yet such power, that for one single moment every person on earth believed
they were in paradise. Twelve essences could be identified, but the 13th, the vital one, could never be determined. Why not? Why not?
What do you mean, why not? Because it’s a legend, numbskull! What’s a legend? Never mind. Jean-Baptiste. Jean-Baptiste? What’s the matter? Master, I have to learn
how to capture scent. What are you talking about? I have to learn
how to capture scent and reprise it forever. You mean, preserve. You have to teach me that. All right.
Calm down, my boy. Calm down. We have work to do. “The soul of beings is their scent.” You said that, master. Did I? I will make you
as many perfumes as you want but you have to teach me how to capture
the smell of all things. Can you do that? Well, naturally. Then teach me
everything you know and I’ll make you the best
perfume in the whole world. Imagine, Jean-Baptiste, ten thousand roses to produce one single ounce of essential oil. Now, keep the air flowing or the
bottom petals will begin to stew while I set up the alembic.
And take care not to damage them. We have to let them go to their
deaths with their scent intact. Perfect. Now, help me
with the Moor’s head. Temperature is vital. When the quicksilver is here,
the heat is precisely correct and the oil will gradually rise. Note this mechanism is a remarkable
invention of my own devising. You will observe how cold water is pumped through here allowing the essence
to condense here until it finally appears here. Of course,
out on the hillside above Grasse we had only to bellow
pure, fresh air. Ah, Grasse. What a town. The Rome of scents. The Promised Land of perfume. No man can rightly
call himself a perfumer unless he has proved his worth
in that hallowed place. Not to worry.
Happens all the time. To Grasse. Master. Look. The very soul of the rose. Jean-Baptiste. What’s wrong? Jean-Baptiste. What have you done? – You lied.
– What? You lied to me. How dare you talk to me like that. You said I could capture
the scent of anything. And so you can. What do you smell? What do you smell? Nothing. What were you expecting to smell? Glass. But glass doesn’t smell. Course it does.
What’s this? I don’t smell a thing. It should smell like copper! Enough! You were trying to distill
the smell of copper? Iron? Glass? Copper? What else did you try? No! Have you gone completely insane? You told me I had to experiment. Experiment? Experiment? But not with the cat. What kind of a human being are you? Don’t you know anything? You can no more distill
the scent of a cat than you can distill
the scent of you or me. I can’t? Of course not!He is in stadio ultimo.– What?
– He’s dying. Is there nothing you can do? – I fear not.
– No! He cannot die. Well, my fee is 50 francs. 50 francs? You charlatan!
You can’t even name the disease! No! Jean-Baptiste! You cannot do this to me. Not now. Not yet. Is there any other way to preserve smell
besides distill it? Jean-Baptiste? Is there, master? Well, yes, I believe there is. What is it? It is known as the mysterious
art of enfleurage. Can you teach me? Not even I am intimate
with its secrets. But could I learn it in Grasse? – Well…
– Could I? Where else but in Grasse?Within a week Grenouille
was well again,
but to travel to Grasse to find
ajob he needed journey papers.
Baldini agreed to provide themon condition that
Grenouille left him
not less than one hundred
formulas for new perfumes.
Grenouille did not mind. He
could have given him a thousand.
The morning of Grenouille’s
departure, Baldini was pleased.
At last, he felt rewarded for
his many years of hard work.
He could not remember
a happier day.
Deeply satisfied,
he went back to sleep
and awoke no more in this life.With every step he took from
the city, the happier he felt.
The air above him grew
clearer, purer, cleaner,
and at last he was able
to breathe freely.
There were two ways
to reach Grasse.
The first followed the winding
roads through the villages
while the second lead across
the mountains, down into Provence.
The choice was quite easy.Thus his nose led him
ever higher,
ever further from mankind,more towards the magnetic pole of
the greatest possible solitude.
Grenouille needed a moment to
believe that he had actually found
a spot on earth where scent
was almost absent.
Spread all around lay nothing but
the tranquil scent of dead stone.
There was something sacred
about this place.
No longer distracted
by anything external,
he was finally able to bask
in his own existence
and found it splendid.After a while, he almost forgot
his plans and obsessions
and, indeed, might have done
so altogether.
Hello? Hello? Hello?There were a thousand
smells in his clothes.
The smell of sand,
stone, moss.
Even the smell of the sausage
he’d eaten weeks ago.
Only one smell was not there.His own.For the first time, Grenouille
realized he had no smell.
He realized that all his life
he had been a nobody to everyone.
What he now felt was the fear
of his own oblivion.
It was as though
he did not exist.
By the first light of next morning,
Grenouille had a new plan.
He must continue
his journey to Grasse.
There he would teach the world
not only that he existed,
that he was someone,but that he was exceptional.And with this decisionit seemed that the gods had
at last begun to smile on him.
Go in. Laura? Laura? Coming, Papa. Haven’t seen you here before. It’s my first season. Picking together
is always more fun. They say you pick
everything you find. Idiot! How many times have I told you
not to cram the blossoms in like you’re stuffing a chicken? Watch how Grenouille does it. Look how skillfully
he handles them. The whole art of enfleurage is
to allow the flowers to die slowly. In their sleep, as it were. Handle them as you would a lady.
Wouldn’t you agree with me, Druot? If you say so, Madame. You. Check the jonquil blossoms. They need more time. Do what I say! Stop it! I’m not in the mood. Are you sure? Of course I’m sure. I said… …no! Suit yourself Lucien? Fetch me back the ladder. Fetch it yourself. Lucien? Lucien! Lucien? Lucien? Lucien? Tuberoses for Madame Arnulfi.
She here? She’s busy. Seems such a waste to boil them. Or whatever you do with them. So what do you do with them? Warm them in animal fat. – What for?
– The fat soaks up their scent. Then what? Then I cool it to a pomade and then I filter it before… Before what? Before I add in alcohol and
other essences to make a perfume. Don’t touch anything. What’s in there? Nothing. Just flowers. – Can I look?
– No. Not now. I’ve got work to do. You must go now. – Come on. Let me look.
– Don’t touch. Ah, my tuberoses. Morning, Madame. Morning. Why have you covered the tank? It’s an experiment, Madame. To protect the blossoms
from daylight. To preserve the scent better. Well, if you say so. Come with me. I’ll settle
your master’s account. To preserve
their scent better, you say? I don’t smell much. No. Then my experiment
was a failure. Make sure it’s your time
you’re wasting, not ours. How much must I pay to be with you? Depends what you want. What’s that stuff? I’m creating a perfume. Lie down, please. It feels horrible. It’s only animal fat.
To soak up your scent. Creating a perfume, eh? Admit it. You’re getting
some sort of bang out of this. Aren’t you? I enjoy my work. Hold your arm still. Don’t think
you’re gonna tie me up. Hold out your arm, please. I’ve come across some
strange men in my time… Just relax. Holy Mother, what’s that?! Just for scraping off the fat. – Are you mad?
– Relax. You’ll ruin everything. If you’re frightened, you stink.
Then your perfume will be spoiled. I’ve had enough. Here, take your money. Basting me up in all this goo.
You think I am a Christmas goose? Get out of here! Quickly, blow them out
before the roses melt! – Roses can’t melt, Papa!
– These ones can. Now I’d like to propose a toast
to our guest of honour, his Excellency,
the Marquis de Montesquieu. May our trade
continue to flourish! I thank you all and would ask of you
the honour to be the first to offer my congratulations
to your beautiful daughter and present her with a small
token of my affection. It’s beautiful. I’m overwhelmed, your Grace. “Your Grace”? I had hoped that we would be
on more familiar terms by now. Let’s have a game
of hide-and-seek! Oh yes! But everyone must play! Let the men catch the women. Albine! Wait! Put me down. Please? Now there’s no escape. Game’s over, everybody. Laura? Time to go in now. Laura? Albine? Françoise? Laura, have you seen the twins? No, not since the game started. Albine? Françoise? Albine? Françoise? Jacques? Take this way. You two with me. Your Excellency? Through here. Albine! Françoise! I told that cretin ten times
to get these ready! Don’t keep picking on the boy. I’ll kill him, the useless
little sewer rat! Grenouille! What are you doing? Why aren’t the enfleurage
frames… Yes, master? I mean, would you be good enough
to prepare the enfleurage frames? Certainly, master. Acurfew? Are you mad? Jasmine can only be picked
before dawn. We all know that. This could mean
the ruin of our trade. Yours. And yours and yours. Supposing it’s your daughter
next time. Of course a curfew is necessary,
but we also have to catch this man and to do that is to understand
how he thinks, what he wants. I should have thought that
was obvious. Use your imagination. And if I were to tell you
that all except the prostitute went to their graves
with their chastity intact? How would you know? The coroner had each girl examined.
They were all found to be virgins. Supposing there isn’t a next time? If we introduce a curfew we
may all go bankrupt for nothing. So we wait until he’s killed,
what? Six? Seven? Eight? Curfew!
Go back to your homes! Gentlemen! Gentlemen! We have to face the fact that our
police are helpless in this matter. I suggest that we ask
for support from Paris. Paris won’t be smarter than we are. We must arrest every Gypsy
in Provence. And every beggar. And every man without
a wife and family! Listen. We have to put ourselves
inside the mind of this man. Each of his victims
had an especial beauty. We know he doesn’t want
their virginity, so it seems to me that it’s their beauty itself
that he wants. It’s almost as if he’s trying
to gather something. As if his ambitions
are those of a collector. A collector? Of what? Their hair? Whatever it is,
I fear he won’t stop killing until his collection is complete. Monsieur. This man is a demon. A phantom who cannot be fought
by human means. Now, I insist that we call upon
our bishop to excommunicate him! What good would that do? Have you no faith in the power
of our Holy Mother Church? This is not a matter of faith. There’s a murderer out there and we must catch him
by using our God-given wits! I say until
we submit to Mother Church these killings will not cease. Citizens of Grasse, we hereby
declare that this murderer, this demon in our midst, has incurred the sentence
of excommunication. Not only has this depraved monster robbed us of our daughters, the young and fair blossom
of this city, and by his wanton acts has brought our trade,
our livelihood, our very existence, to the brink of eternal darkness. We therefore declare that this vile viper, this ignominious carbuncle, this execrable evil in our midst, shall henceforth be solemnly
banned from our holy presence, rejected from the communion
of Holy Mother Church as a disciple of Satan, slayer of souls. Stand clear! An infected limb,
an outsider of the faith a necromancer,
a diabolist, a sorcerer and a damned heretic. Oh, God, in Thy most
merciful spirit, bring down thunderbolts
upon his head and may the Devil
make soup of his bones. Amen. My Lord! It’s a miracle! He’s been caught!
He’s been caught! My Lord, the fiend has been caught. In the city of Grenoble. He’s confessed to everything. He’s confessed to everything! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise be to God! And we thank Him for listening to our prayers
and answering them. Amen. Amen. Just read the report. This cannot possibly
be the same man. He confessed to everything.
Including the murders in Grasse. Yes. Under torture. Look. Here. He admits to strangling
his victims, pulling out their hair
and ravaging them. The Grasse girls were killed by
a blow to the back of their heads their hair was carefully cropped,
and not one of them was violated. Antoine, we’re all happy it’s over. Let it go. – Papa, what’s the matter?
– We’re going home. Now! But why? I’m enjoying myself. – Don’t argue with me, Laura.
– Stop it! I’m going… Laura! Laura! Out of my way! Laura! Laura! Papa! I’m so sorry. I know you must think me
a very foolish man, but try to understand you’re all I have left. You don’t need to explain, Papa. – If anything were to happen to you…
– I know. But you must stop worrying
about me all the time. Sweet dreams, my love. Sweet dreams, Papa. Laura! Papa, what’s the matter? Did you open the window? No. Why? Have this letter dispatched to the
Marquis de Montesquieu immediately. Stay on the road north
into the mountains. Did Monsieur Richis leave? He did. Which way? North. You sure it wasn’t south? I saw them with my own eyes.
Why do you want to know? I said north. North! Grenouille! Grenouille! Grenouille! Grenouille! Good God! Good afternoon, Monsieur. Good afternoon. Do you have
anyone else staying here? No, Monsieur. Then I would like to take
all your rooms for the night. It will be our pleasure, Monsieur. And tomorrow, at first light, we wish
to be ferried to the lle de Lérin. – It’s deserted, just a few monks.
– I’m aware of that. Very well, Monsieur. Our finest room, Mademoiselle. With a superb view of the sea. One moment. Very well. Do you have a room next to this one? – Yes, but the view is different.
– I have no interest in the view. Papa, will you please tell me
now what is happening? You haven’t said a word all day. Why all this secrecy? Last night I dreamt you were dead, murdered like all the other girls. The truth is, I’m convinced that
the killer is still here somewhere. All of his victims
were young and beautiful, and who is there more beautiful
than you, Laura? Whatever his insane scheme, it will surely be incomplete
without you. I wrote to the Marquis accepting
his proposal of marriage and requesting that it take place
as soon as possible. Until then you will stay
in the safety of the monastery. And all this because
you had a bad dream? – I’ve made my decision.
– But I don’t know if I love him! I’m afraid the circumstances
leave us no choice. – Papa!
– It’s all arranged, Laura. On your feet.
Hands in the air! Why did you kill my daughter? Why? I needed her. Why did you kill my daughter? I just… needed her. Very well. But remember this. I will be looking at you when you are laid on the cross and the twelve blows
are crashing down on your limbs. And when the crowd has finally tired of your screams and wandered home, I will climb up through your blood and sit beside you. I will look deep into your eyes and drop by drop I will trickle my disgust into them like burning acid, until finally you perish. Unchain the prisoner. That’s enough. Let him be brought to the scaffold. What’s that? He’s over there. This man is innocent! He is innocent! An angel! This is no man! This is an angel! Grenouille! You can’t fool me! Forgive me, my son.The people of Grasse
awoke to a terrible hangover.
For many of them,
the experience was so ghastly,
so completely inexplicable and
incompatible with their morals
that they literally erased it
from their memories.
The town council was
in session by the afternoon
and an order was passed
to the police lieutenant
to immediately begin fresh
investigations into the murders.
The following day,
Dominique Druot was arrested.
It was in his back yard that they
found the hair of the victims.
After fourteen hours of torture,
Druot confessed to everything.
With that, the case was closed.By then, Grenouille was already
half way back to Paris.
He had enough perfume left to
enslave the world if he so chose.
He could walk to Versailles
and have the King kiss his feet.
He could write the Pope a letter,
reveal himself as the new Messiah.
He could do all this
and more if he wanted to.
He possessed a power stronger
than the power of money,
or terror, or death.The invincible power to command
the love of mankind.
There was only one thing
the perfume could not do:
It could not turn him
into a person
who could love and be loved
like everyone else.
So, to hell with it, he thought.To hell with the world,with the perfume,with himself.On the 25th of June, 1766,around 11 o’clock at night,Grenouille entered the city
through the Port d’Orleans
and like a sleep-walker,his olfactory memories drew him
back to where he was born.
An angel! I love you!Within no time,
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
had disappeared from
the face of the earth.
When they had finished, they
felt a virginal glow of happiness.
Forthe first time
in their lives
they believed that they
had done something
purely out of love.– Ey, over here!
– Look! Look, a jacket! Let’s take them all home.

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