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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

R | | Crime, Drama | 5 January 2007 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), 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.


Tom Tykwer


Andrew Birkin (screenplay), Bernd Eichinger (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1,974 ( 255)
15 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Whishaw ... Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
Francesc Albiol Francesc Albiol ... Court Official
Gonzalo Cunill Gonzalo Cunill ... Guard 1 Dungeon
Roger Salvany Roger Salvany ... Guard 2 Dungeon
Andrés Herrera ... Door Guard
Simon Chandler ... Mayor of Grasse
David Calder ... Bishop of Grasse
Richard Felix ... Chief Magistrate
Birgit Minichmayr ... Grenouille's Mother
Reg Wilson ... Customer Fishmarket
Catherine Boisgontier Catherine Boisgontier ... Woman Fishmarket
Núria Casas ... Woman 2 Fishmarket
Carlos Gramaje Carlos Gramaje ... Police Lieutenant Fishmarket
Sian Thomas ... Madame Gaillard
Michael Smiley ... Porter


Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) 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 of 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


Based on the best-selling novel See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer See more »

Filming Locations:

Barcelona, Catalonia See more »


Box Office


€50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€154,604 (Netherlands), 10 December 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,527, 31 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Fish Market scenes were shot in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter. Two and a half tons of fish and one ton of meat was used over the course of the shoot, and people as far away as six miles reported a bad smell in the air. See more »


Fifteen minutes into the movie, Jean-Baptiste enters town and sees a carriage with two women inside, one holding a Pomeranian. According to the American Pomeranian Club, "When (Pomeranians) first came to notice in Britain in the middle of the 19th century, some specimens were said to weigh as much as thirty pounds and to resemble the German wolf Spitz in size, coat and color." The film takes place in the mid-seventeen hundreds (the 18th century). The Pomeranian, as we know it today, would not have existed as depicted in the film. See more »


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


Referenced in 90210: Nerdy Little Secrets (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 »

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User Reviews

Stunning version about a famed bestseller with magnificent performances and spectacular scenarios
23 February 2007 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This Spanish/German/French co-production turns out to be an interesting and exciting film based on Patrick Suskind (he is known to be very skeptical and for a long time did not want to sell the movie rights to his books) novel well adapted by Andrew Birkin and being developed during eighteen century , Paris . It deals with Jean Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), an unfortunate young but born with an extreme olfactory sense who seeks the definitive scent . For that , he doesn't doubt to kill in cold blood . Jean becomes a psychopathic series killer , but he tries to preserve the vital essence for an ultimate perfume . Firstly , Jean falls enamored a beautiful girl (Karoline Herfurth) who finds in the streets and posteriorly he stalks numerous victims . After that , he serves for the most famous perfume maker named Giuseppe Baldini (Dustin Hoffman) . Later on , Baptiste pursues a gorgeous young girl (Rachel Hurd-Wood: Wendy in Peter Pan), daughter of a rich man named Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman) who engages her to the marquis of Montesquieu (Harris Gordon) and attempts to track down the heinous murderer . Meanwhile , the vicious killer displays a criminal rampage and goes on his objective , the creating the world's rapturing perfume .

The picture is a co-production among various countries as Germany (Constantine Films) , France (Nouvelles editions) and Spain (Castelao , Julio Fernandez) realized in big budget and great production values . The film contains suspense , explicit and grisly violence , involving sexuality and disturbing images . Although sometimes is slow moving and overlong for a runtime about 147 minutes ; however resulting to be entertaining for the continued suspense . While the look is suitable atmospheric and colorful , the plot stretches plausibility to the breaking point , a fantastic final at the town square . During preproduction, director/screenwriter Tom Tykwer, Director of Photography Frank Griebe , Production Designer Uli Hanisch, and Costumer Designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud studied the complete works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Joseph Wright in order to ensure the film's aesthetic correctly captured 18th century France . Sensational outdoors are marvellously filmed on location in Figueras , Gerona , Tortosa and Alps locations . Glimmer and evocative cinematography by Frank Griebe and sensitive , appropriate musical score , including a feeling leitmotif .

Taut and suspenseful direction by Tom Tykwer . This is Tom Tykwer's international breakthrough and was a hit with both audiences and critics alike . Tom's energetic style helps push this elegant and brilliant flick . The movie garnered many awards and was one of the most successful European films of the year . Former and subsequent projects filmed in creative manner and technically developed by Tykwer include the followings : the successful Run Lola run (1998) ,The princess and the warrior (2000) ,Heaven (2002) , The International (2009) and the ambitious epic Cloud Atlas (2012). Rating : Better than average , it's a good rendition of the famous best seller.

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