I’m going to tell you right now that Perfume: The Story of a Murderer doesn’t stink. It’s a film about a character by the name of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a man who smells for a living. Because he can’t do anything but…snuffle around, that is, in his quest to make the finest perfume on earth. His nose is special, one that can differentiate between every stench and aromatic wisp in the air. This guy is a walking nostril – one which spends nearly all its time sniffing anything and everything.
But he doesn’t do it doggy-style. He’s alert and upright, ready to take it all in, from the olfactory assault of rotting garbage to, dare I say, the scent of a woman. He absorbs this spectrum of smells with equally euphoric bliss. The only nose bigger than his belongs to no less than Dustin Hoffman. Yes, Dustin Hoffman! In a brilliant bit of casting, he plays the role of a perfumer anxious to procure a plethora of potent new potions to make his life complete.
It is one of his best roles to have come out that display his phenomenal acting skills to the fullest extent ranking up there with the likes of Rain Man and that is saying something as soon he might become a brand ambassador of perfumes.
But wait! The women in town are dropping like flies – they’re being snuffed out by a sniffer! Who’s to blame? Only the nose knows. From a lemon peeling lovely to a persnickety hooker – they all must die. Their unique odors are being cultivated in a grand slam of a plan to make everybody on the planet join hands and fornicate like nose buddies business.
You see, when our sniffing machine come snuffing machine finally snares the treasured, virginal daughter of the head honcho in town, he’s able to consummate the ultimate concoction. A Nobel prize-worthy batch of what must have been the headiest mix of heaven this side of Liz Taylor’s White Diamonds. But then he’s captured and paraded in front of a crowd prime for an afternoon of revenge. Yet after he wafts a hankie imbued with a secret stash of the stuff, the outcome is not to be believed.
Jim Morrison or even The Hollies (All I Need is the Air that I Breathe) with two cents – or scents – from Ratso Rizzo would have been right at home in the Woodstock-style love fest that ensued. Young with old, men with women and even women with women. No men with men however – probably because they already met their quota with Borat and Brokeback Mountain. But by god, were they stoked from that scent!
The atmosphere practically buckled under the weight of their carnal entanglements. Love was in the air – and then some, enough for even the most hardened to have a magnanimous turn of the heart. In the end, Perfume just might leave you ready to skedaddle it over to your nearest emporium, ready to turn your nose up at anything less than scent-sational.