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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 181,028 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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15 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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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) »


Obsession can cause the unthinkable. 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?


Julian Schnabel, after making Before Night Falls (2000), was another director who tried to mount a production of this story but the project never got off the ground. See more »


When Grenouille meets the perfumer, at his house/laboratory, he knows where all the substances are, although he has never been there before. He is able to do this due to his heightened sense of smell, he is able to work out where specific substances are by the scent they give off. See more »


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


Featured in Brows Held High: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2011) 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

Really Excellent, but probably best if you have read the book
15 September 2006 | by (Heidelberg, Germany) – See all my reviews

It was a masterful achievement bringing the concepts of scent in to a book, bringing it to the large screen has even more challenges, which I believe was superbly overcome in this film. The film is narrated to ensure the audience understands some of the concepts and some parts of the plot were "dumbed-down" to make sure the audience got the point.

Unfortunately, much of the book had to be skipped in the interest of time – much of Grenouille's childhood is glossed over and the bit after the cave visit is completely omitted.

Despite this, the atmospheric sets and brilliant acting (with the exception of a disappointing Mr. Hoffman, who really does not have the stature of a master Parisian perfumer) kept me completely enthralled.

As in the original book, there is quite a bit of nudity, which is tastefully done, but I will be interested to see how this is swallowed in America – it will probably get an 18 rating or be cut down, which is a shame, it was given a 12 rating in Germany.

In summary, a really great film, but probably best if you have read the book beforehand..

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