After watching the movie, do you have more questions than answers? Let me help you find the hidden meaning behind the movie Perfume and also explain what the movie’s ending means.
Perfumer: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 drama film about a young man who has a unique sense of smell and tries to preserve the smells he smells through the art of perfumery. This story is cruel but instructive.
The film was based on the book of the same name. The off-screen voice, which leads the viewer through the twists and turns of the plot, completely repeats her text. The attempt to convey smells through the frame of the director of “Perfumer” is completely successful. Sometimes the picture comes out so realistic and bright that it becomes creepy.
Based on the film and book, a song by Aria called “The Story of a Murderer” was written.
What is the movie “Perfumer: The Story of a Murderer” about?
“Perfumer”, as stated in the title of the film, tells the story of the formation of the personality of a talented perfumer with an unusually developed innate sense of smell, who gradually becomes a maniac.
From his birth, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in a fish market and adopted by his mother dead, smells differently than other people. He can distinguish the delicate fragrance of metals, living beings, stones, and tree branches from each other. He feels so subtly that he scares the people around him.
From the first seconds of his life, Jean becomes the unwitting killer of his own mother. Because of him, she is executed for trying to kill her own child. So the boy ends up in a shelter, and then is sold as laborers. The woman who ran the orphanage and sold Jean dies the same day. In general, death always follows the young man on his heels, although he himself turns out to be very tenacious.
He inhales scents greedily and seeks to know each of them, preserve and give to humanity so that it can feel the same as he does. This is how his murder spree begins.
In an effort to preserve the extraordinary smell of innocent beauties, Jean does not come up with anything better than murder. It seems to him that otherwise he will not be able to preserve the delicate aroma exuded by them.
Baptiste himself is faced with the fact that his own body does not have any smell.
Jean is apprenticed to a famous perfumer who is slowly losing his income due to a competitor. When the young man easily picks up the components of the expensive and well-known smell of the Cupid and Psyche perfume throughout the city, the perfumer redeems Jean and takes him on as an apprentice.
It is with him that the young man for the first time tries to distill the smells of living beings, which frightens his master as well. Realizing that smells cannot be preserved in this way, Baptiste is looking for a new way again and again.
Grenouille leaves his master and leaves. He also works for other perfumers, along the way looking for a way to preserve the body odors of girls.
Over time, the perfumer finds a way. He wraps the bodies of his victims in greased skin and then removes the layer that retains the smell of the girls. So he creates perfumes that can inspire people with a feeling of love.
What is the meaning of the film “Perfumer”?
It is impossible to say for sure whether Jean understands that he is doing terrible deeds. For him, there is only one goal – to preserve the unique smells of the girls he meets. Although there are scenes in the film that show the young man’s excitement because of the murders committed, but they are more related to the impossibility of preserving their aroma than to the very fact of destroying their lives.
The point is clear. The end does not justify the means, and unique inclinations do not give the right to go to extreme measures in order to obtain the desired result.
But it is worth considering another line of the story. Why did Jean Baptiste do everything he did?
The film directly says that he longed not so much to be loved (although this line is also present), but to get his own smell. The off-screen voice informed the viewer that Jean did not have his own smell, did not feel it. While creating a fragrance filled with love, he wanted to create a scent for himself as well.