Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born in a Parisian slum and abandoned on the streets, discovers he has an extraordinary - near superhuman - sense of smell. As he sniffs his way across France, this gift is exploited by Grenouille to make the world's most marvellous perfumes.
Patrick Süskind's Perfume is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
'In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent . . .'
'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian
'A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review