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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Fantasy  |  5 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 180,779 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 476 user | 223 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Francesc Albiol ...
Court Official
Gonzalo Cunill ...
Guard 1 Dungeon
Roger Salvany ...
Guard 2 Dungeon
Andrés Herrera ...
Door Guard
Birgit Minichmayr ...
Customer Fishmarket
Catherine Boisgontier ...
Woman Fishmarket
Núria Casas ...
Woman 2 Fishmarket
Carlos Gramaje ...
Police Lieutenant Fishmarket
Sian Thomas ...


Jean-Baptiste Grenouille came into the world unwanted, expected to die, yet born with an unnerving sense of smell that created alienation as well as talent. Of all the smells around him, Grenouille is beckoned to the scent of a woman's soul, and spends the rest of his life attempting to smell her essence again by becoming a perfumer, and creating the essence of an innocence lost.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

breasts | smell | scent | perfume | stench | See All (238) »


Based on the best-selling novel See more »


Crime | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El perfume  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£485,200 (UK) (29 December 2006)


$2,208,939 (USA) (23 February 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the costumes were manufactured in Romania. See more »


While Grenouille is hanging heads down above the water filled barrel his hair changes from dripping wet to dry to dripping wet. See more »


[first lines]
Court Official: Quick. We can't hold them back much longer. Hurry. Come on!
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 6 January 2007 (2007) See more »


Performed by Saboï and its Members
Asta Coulomb, Christian Coulomb, Sebastien Coulomb, François Hecquet, Bertrand Mercier, Nicolas Pillard,
Edo Pols, Jocelyn Raulet, Simon Staelens, Remi Tran-No
By arrangement: Christian Coulomb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The critics are wrong - Brilliant!
13 September 2006 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

With "The Perfume" it's like with any blockbuster movie: if the critics praise it, it's horrible - if the critics hate it, it's brilliant.

I had the chance to watch a preview of "The Perfume" tonight and I was very surprised: this movie is really good! Okay, it can't actually make you smell all the scents and odours, but the images and the music allow you to experience the atmosphere and the emotions Grenouille is feeling when he takes in the scents of his environment. You couldn't have done this much better without the use of real scents at theatres.

Although much of the story is told by a narrative voice (mostly quotes from the novel), the movie is still thrilling and exciting all the way. It's a very good adaption of Süskind's novel, sticking to the original plot concerning the major events, leaving away unnecessary subplots (although it's a pity that funny "lethal gas"-plot was cut out!) and shortening long passages. The result is well-constructed movie that is worth seeing.

The actors, especially Whishaw who plays Grenouille, have done a very good job. Like in the novel, Grenouille is an ambivalent character and you never know whether to love him for his genius talent or to hate him for his cruel murders. Whishaw's half-crazy, scary gaze made me shiver. Dustin Hoffman as old and unsuccessful parfumeur Baldini was very convincing... I loved the way he talks to Grenouille arrogantly although he recognizes how much more talent the young man has. Baldini is always good for a laugh.

The only thing to criticize is that the movie is not as brutal as the novel. I think they wanted to avoid the FSK 16 rating and so didn't show much violence, which in my opinion would have been necessary if you wanted the movie to have the same shocking impact on the audience as the novel. For example I was really shocked by the end of the novel

  • in the movie you hardly see what happens.

However, it's really a thrilling story visualized excellently - go to the movies and watch "The Perfume"! You won't be disappointed.

435 of 569 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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