No, not the smelly stuff but the book, written by Patrick Suskind, it was the book choice of the book group I attend and wouldn’t have picked it myself.
So what’s it about?
It is set in France. A baby is born behind a fisher woman’s stall in the market. She had given birth to several babies already, giving birth in the same way and then wrapping them up and leaving them to die then throwing them into the rubbish afterwards. However this day it was different. The baby didn’t die, it cried and those passing by heard the baby’s cry. The mother is arrested and is hanged for her crime.
The baby is passed from one person to another because no one actually wants Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s; they say he doesn’t smell like a baby but that he appeared to be smelling them instead. The baby grows up and as he grew he realised how he has this unique ability to be able to determine any smell, no matter how far away or how embroiled one scent was with another. In time he becomes a great perfumer. He also realises that the only way he can be accepted in society was to create an almost human perfume he could use on himself, then he realises that we all smell different depending on what we have been doing or who we are and he then creates various perfumes of natural human smell which he uses to be able to fit in. This leads him to create the ultimate scent.
However there is one smell Grenouille wants more than anything else and finding and creating this smell becomes his undoing in the end. He becomes a murderer without remorse. Grenouille’s need to be desired becomes all consuming, quite literally, in the end. Can’t tell you the end though – can I?