The Story of A Murderer

DVD - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born under his mother's table at the fish market, onto a pile of muddy fish guts, establishing from the beginning his repulsion for putrid scents. A childhood of neglect and, later, a job at a tannery, encourage Jean-Baptiste to develop his olfactory sense rather than his verbal skills. An opportunity to prove his worth to Parisian perfumist Giuseppe Baldini results in his immediate hire into a promising new career. His successes in perfume mixing are negated by a blinding obsession for capturing the sublime beauty of the human soul, which in his twisted logic requires the killing of young women to reduce their body fats to essential oils for the ultimate perfume.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 10, 2018

The book was better. It's more like 3 1/2 stars, but I gave it 5 stars to balance out the 1-star reviews of a couple of whacked-out religious people. I'm a natural perfumer, and I really liked the aspect of the story that focused on the creation of perfumes (from flowers and other botanicals) before the advent of modern aromachemistry. The story absolutely nailed some of the problems with 18th century perfumery (flammability, dearth of interesting but legal materials). Like Baldini, I have tried to make a perfume with too much rosemary and citrus, and I wouldn't recommend it, even as a linen spray. But the premise of a person who is devoid of scent who covets the scent of others is pretty bizarre. I won't even go into the manufacturing practices of the antihero.

May 06, 2017

This is the kind of film which children and folks with weakened minds just shouldn't be tempted to watch. Should it be on library shelves? I think not! In the first few minutes it depicts someone obsessed with the pleasure of his incredible sense of smell. He begins the film following a beautiful young girl. He stalks her, sneaks up and smells her in the quiet of her home. When she's startled and screams he suffocates her to prevent from being found out, then he begins some disgusting fetishistic actions over her half naked dead body that really defy description. That's all I needed to see because after that seeing the world through this man's eyes was just perverted. It wasn't soft core porn, it was hard core necrophilia. One thing we've learned over the years is that our libraries attract people of all sorts of folks and the ones who have weakened minds might find something like this stimulating. On the off chance someone might copy this man and become a copy cat killer, I really just don't see the need to make this film available to the Library public.

Dec 04, 2016

There are many good books that don't make good movies, and Perfume is probably one. There's something about this surrealist fable that stays firmly on the printed page, like a written description of a scent. And yet everyone involved, especially young Ben Whishaw in his first major starring role, do their damnedest to bring the story to dizzying, sensual life, and they mostly succeed. Don't look for a great deal of historical accuracy or probability. This is a folk tale for adults.

Feb 04, 2016

There are so many inconsistencies, unexplained issues, and a weak story line that combine together to produce something that should never have been filmed in the first place. Probably one of the worst films I have ever seen.

Apr 15, 2015

That was hard to rate, not just because I dozed off in the middle (sorry). For a while there, Ben Wishaw actually acts instead of just looking pretty, the whole cast is the real deal, and it's so visually intense that you *can* smell stuff just by looking. However, not a great movie, because it's also weird and stupid! And also maybe profound, meaningful, bizarre, and thought-provoking. The ending is as unexpected as the TV show Twin Peaks.

Feb 28, 2015

The film opened well and the portrayal of 17th century France was visually a treat. And there were moments of eroticism, too. However, as the film progressed to the second half it began to lose its credibility. The ending, for example, is so outlandish that it made me chuckle. A missed opportunity of being a good film.

lulublu22 Nov 19, 2014

Although I usually like to read the book first if there's both book & DVD. The film fell in my hands first so I got to be creeped out on video first with this one. And now enough time has passed to give the book a shot . The video was excellent, strangely scarey, (the way it should be) and I remember referring it to quite a few people. Alan Rickman is always a pleasure. Dustin Hoffman is great in his rather small, but essential role, as is the protagonist; Michel Hurd-Wood. You really get to understand why he is damaged from the beginning and wish that he could somehow change his inevitable future which really could have gone a number of other ways. I definitely recommend this movie and now hope to get to the written word ASAP as well, luckily already in my home library.

Oct 14, 2014

This is a movie I never heard about, but found it accidentally on the shelves. Great movie,
great cast, great period piece. Dustin Hoffman in a serious role, very good.

Topic is engaging

Aug 24, 2014

beautiful and great film highly recommended

hania4987 Jul 01, 2014

grotesquely beautiful

View All Comments


Add Notices
Feb 28, 2015

Sexual Content: A number of scenes showing female nudity.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMCL

To Top