Jean Batiste Grenouille was born in Paris on July 7, 1738, one of the hottest days of the year. His mother was busy gutting a fish at her fish stall when she felt the first labor pain. She had been pregnant four times prior to this pregnancy, each one resulting in a still-born baby and was anxious to get this one over with. When the time came, she gave birth under the gutting table, cut the umbilical cord and passed out with the knife still in her hand. When Jean Batiste was discovered, he was handed over to a wet-nurse and his mother was arrested after admitting that she was planning to abandon her baby.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born without any scent and was passed from one wet-nurse to another “I only know one thing: this baby makes my flesh creep because it doesn’t smell the way children ought to smell”. Yes, there was something very strange about this baby and as he grew up even the other children would avoid him.
Although Grenouille had no scent of his own he had an amazing sense of smell. At the age of eight he was sent to work for a tanner and spent his days scraping meat from hides and at night he slept on the floor in a closet. One day Grenouille was sent to deliver goat skins to Giuseppe Baldini, a local perfumer. Grenouille begged Baldini for a job and Baldini humored him asking him to recreate a fragrance. He was so amazed at Grenouille’s talents that he hired him. With Grenouille’s special gift, Baldini’s perfume business began to grow as never before.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was a genius when it came to creating scents but he was an evil man with no conscience. He had no interest in developing beautiful fragrances. His plans were much more sinister. When Grenouille smelled something intriguing, he would hunt it down like an animal. He had to possess the scent. Perfume: The story of a Murderer was unlike anything I had ever read before. This book will keep you up late at night reading and the end is incredible! Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was published in 1985 and was made into a movie in 2006.