Narrator: He still had enough perfume left to enslave the whole world if he so chose. He could walk to Versailles and have the king kiss his feet. He could write the pope a perfumed letter and 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 man kind. 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.
Antoine Richis: [to his daughter] Whatever his insane scheme is... it will surely be incomplete without you
Antoine Richis: Why did you kill my daughter?
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: I just needed her.
Antoine Richis: Very well, but remember this... I'll be looking at you when you're laid on the cross and the twelve blows are crashing down on your limbs. When the crowd is 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.
Narrator: 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. It was here then, on the most putrid spot in the whole kingdom, that Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born on the 17th of July, 1738. It was his mothers fifth birth, she delivered them all here under her fish-stand, and all had been stillbirths or semi-stillbirths. And by evening the whole mess had been shoveled away with the fish-guts into the river. It would be much the same today, but then... Jean-Baptiste chose differently.
Antoine Richis: [to his daughter] Last night I dreamt you were dead
Narrator: 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. For the first time in their lives, they believed they had done something purely out of love.
Giuseppe Baldini: Talent means next to nothing, while experience acquired in humility and hard work means everything.
Giuseppe Baldini: Now pay 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 12 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.
Giuseppe Baldini: Mind you, the 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 had 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. 12 essences could be identified, but the 13th, the vital one, could never be determined.
Various: He's an angel!
Giuseppe Baldini: Because it's a legend, you numbskull.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: You want to make this leather smell good, don't you?
Giuseppe Baldini: Why of course, and so it shall.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: With Amor and Psyche by Pelissier?
Giuseppe Baldini: What ever gave you the absurd idea I would use someone else's perfume?
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: It's all over you.
Court Official: Quick. We can't hold them back much longer. Hurry. Come on!
Narrator: When Jean-Baptiste did finally learn to speak he soon found that everyday language proved inadequate for all the olfactory experiences accumulating within himself.
Narrator: Thus... the first sound to escape Grenouille's lips sent his mother to the gallows.
Narrator: For the first time in his life, Grenouille realized that he had no smell of his own. 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 a though he did not exist.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: I can make Amour and Psyche for you. Now.
Giuseppe Baldini: And you think I'd just let you sop around in my laboratory? With essential oils that are worth are fortune?
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Yes.
Giuseppe Baldini: Pay attention! What's your name, anyway?
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille.
Giuseppe Baldini: Well, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, you will have the opportunity now to prove yourself. And your grandoise failure will also be a lesson in humility.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: How much do you want me to make?
Giuseppe Baldini: How much of what?
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: How much Amour and Psyche do you want me to make? Shall I fill this flask?
[He picks up a large jar]
Giuseppe Baldini: No, you shall not! You may fill this one.
[He hands Grenouille a small bottle]
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Yes, Master.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: That's a really good perfume.
[he holds the bottle out to Baldini, who turns away]
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Don't you want to smell it, Master?
Giuseppe Baldini: I'm not in the mood to test it now. I have other things on my mind.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: But Master...
Giuseppe Baldini: Go! Now!
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Can I come to work for you, Master, can I?
Giuseppe Baldini: Let me think about it.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: Master! I have to learn how to keep smell.
Laura Richis: Papa, what's the matter?
Antoine Richis: We're going home. Now.
Laura Richis: But why? I'm enjoying myself.
Antoine Richis: Don't argue with me, Laura!
[he starts to drag Laura away]
Laura Richis: Stop it! I'm grown up!
[Antoine slaps her. She runs away from him]
Antoine Richis: [chasing after her] Laura! Laura!