First published under the title Das Parfum in 1985, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a novel written by German author Patrick Süskind. The book got wide attention because it is a literary historical cross-genre work. With the main themes including identity , communication, and human morality and spirit, the novel digs deep into a quite unique subject, which is the sense of smell. It explores how scents are able to carry and convey different emotional meanings and how people perceive those meanings by catching the sense with their sense of smell.
Book Description (as written at Amazon.com):
In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the "ultimate perfume"—the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Editorial Reviews (as written at Amazon.com):
"A fable of criminal genius.... Remarkable." —The New York Times
"A supremely accomplished work of art, marvelously crafted and enjoyable and rich in historical detail." —The San Francisco Chronicle
"An original and astonishing novel." —People
"An ingenious story...about a most exotic monster.... Suspense build up steadily." —Los Angeles Times