Perfume is a strange, historical, genre-blending novel about, among other things, the sense of smell. Poor french orphan Grenouille is brought up in the most unpleasant of circumstances, nurturing his nearly super-human sense of smell, which leads him to become the apprentice of a famous perfumer and ultimately a serial killer.
Tonally, Perfume is very unlike books I typically read, which didn’t stop me from plowing through it’s 260+ pages in two sittings. Something about Grenouille, his alienation, disinterest in the “real world” and ultimate descent into malevolence set against the backdrop of 18th century France was mysteriously engrossing. The book was faithfully adapted into a terrific film in 2006 by director Tom Tykwer.
will you be offended? For being a novel that dwells on murder and aberrant sexual behavior, it isn’t terribly gratuitous, but it isn’t pretty either.