Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

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Still of Alan Rickman in Perfume: The Story of a MurdererStill of Dustin Hoffman and Ben Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a MurdererStill of Karoline Herfurth and Ben Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a MurdererStill of Karoline Herfurth and Ben Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a MurdererStill of Ben Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a MurdererStill of Rachel Hurd-Wood in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, 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.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.5/10 (83,520 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Tom Tykwer

Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in the stench of eighteenth century Paris, develops a superior olfactory sense, which he uses to create the world's finest perfumes. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he tries to preserve scents in the search for the ultimate perfume.

Writers: Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger

Ben Whishaw - Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
Francesc Albiol - Court Official
Gonzalo Cunill - Guard 1 Dungeon
Roger Salvany - Guard 2 Dungeon
Andrés Herrera - Door Guard (as Andres Herrera)
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 - Woman - Fishmarket
Núria Casas - Woman 2 - Fishmarket (as Nuria Casas)
Carlos Gramaje - Police Lieutenant - Fishmarket
Sian Thomas - Madame Gaillard
Michael Smiley - Porter

Taglines: Enter an intoxicating world of passion, obsession and murder


Official Website: Metropolitan Films [France] | Official site [Germany] |

Release Date: 5 January 2007

Filming Locations: Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain

Box Office Details

Budget: €50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: €154,604 (Netherlands) (10 December 2006) (49 Screens)

Gross: $132,180,323 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Producer/screenwriter Bernd Eichinger, had been trying to get novelist Patrick Süskind, with whom he was friends, to sell the rights to the novel from the time of its original publication in 1985, and Eichinger very much considered the film to be a dream project. In 2001, he finally managed to convince Suskind to sign over the rights, for 10 million euro.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When Grenouille meets the perfumer, at his house/laboratory, he knows where all the substances are, although he has never been there before. He is able to do this due to his heightened sense of smell, he is able to work out where specific substances are by the scent they give off.

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

User Review

The critics are wrong - Brilliant!

Rating: 8/10

With "The Perfume" it's like with any blockbuster movie: if the critics praise it, it's horrible - if the critics hate it, it's brilliant.

I had the chance to watch a preview of "The Perfume" tonight and I was very surprised: this movie is really good! Okay, it can't actually make you smell all the scents and odours, but the images and the music allow you to experience the atmosphere and the emotions Grenouille is feeling when he takes in the scents of his environment. You couldn't have done this much better without the use of real scents at theatres.

Although much of the story is told by a narrative voice (mostly quotes from the novel), the movie is still thrilling and exciting all the way. It's a very good adaption of Süskind's novel, sticking to the original plot concerning the major events, leaving away unnecessary subplots (although it's a pity that funny "lethal gas"-plot was cut out!) and shortening long passages. The result is well-constructed movie that is worth seeing.

The actors, especially Whishaw who plays Grenouille, have done a very good job. Like in the novel, Grenouille is an ambivalent character and you never know whether to love him for his genius talent or to hate him for his cruel murders. Whishaw's half-crazy, scary gaze made me shiver. Dustin Hoffman as old and unsuccessful parfumeur Baldini was very convincing... I loved the way he talks to Grenouille arrogantly although he recognizes how much more talent the young man has. Baldini is always good for a laugh.

The only thing to criticize is that the movie is not as brutal as the novel. I think they wanted to avoid the FSK 16 rating and so didn't show much violence, which in my opinion would have been necessary if you wanted the movie to have the same shocking impact on the audience as the novel. For example I was really shocked by the end of the novel - in the movie you hardly see what happens.

However, it's really a thrilling story visualized excellently - go to the movies and watch "The Perfume"! You won't be disappointed.


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