Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)



Critic Consensus: Perfume is what you'd expect from a Tom Twyker-directed movie glamorizing a serial killer: a kinetic visual feast, with a dark antihero that's impossible to feel sympathy for.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

"Perfume" is a terrifying story of murder and obsession set in 18th-century France. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille has a unique talent for discerning the scents and smells that swirl around him, which he uses to create the world's finest perfumes. Strangely lacking any scent of his own, he becomes obsessed with capturing the irresistible but elusive aroma of young womanhood. As Grenouille's obsession turns deadly, 12 young girls are found murdered. Panic breaks out as people rush to protect their daughters, while an unrepentant and unrelenting Grenouille still lacks the final ingredient to complete his quest.more
Rating: R (for aberrant behavior involving nudity, violence, sexuality, and disturbing images)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Tom Tykwer, Bernd Eichinger, Andrew Birkin, Caroline Thompson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 24, 2007
Box Office: $2.1M
Dreamworks - Official Site


Ben Whishaw
as Jean-Baptiste Grenou...
Dustin Hoffman
as Guiseppe Baldini
Alan Rickman
as Antoine Richis
Karoline Herfurth
as The Plum Girl
Artur Sala
as Gatekeeper
Sian Thomas
as Mme. Gaillard
Corinna Harfouch
as Mme. Arnulfi
Paul Berrondo
as Dominique Druot
Jan Cortes
as Boarding House Boy
Berta Ros
as Boarding House Girl
Alvaro Roque
as Jean-Baptiste Grenou...
Franck Lefeuvre
as Jean-Baptiste Grenou...
Joan Serrats
as Upholsterer
Laura Gelman
as Françoise
Anna Diogene
as Tallien's Wife
Toby Harper
as Police Lieutenant
Thomas Lennox
as Messenger
Francesca Piñón
as Innkeeper's Wife
Nico Baixas
as Torture Chamber Guar...
Enric Arquimbau
as Executioner
Oriol Tramvia
as Land Priest
Cristina Sola
as Woman With Bishop
Reginald Wilson
as Customer Fishmarket
Laura Vidal Traver
as Hangover Girl
Ariadna Cabrol
as Beggar Woman No. 1
Maia Jenkinson
as Beggar Woman No. 2
Birgit Minichmayr
as Grenouille's Mother
David Calder
as Bishop of Grasse
Simon Chandler
as Mayor of Grasse
Francesc Albiol
as Court Official
Gonzalo Cunill
as Guard No. 1 Dungeon
Reg Wilson
as Fishmarket Customer
Catherine Boisgontie...
as Fishmarket Woman
Núria Casas
as Fishmarket Woman No....
Jaume Montané
as Pelissier
Dora Romano
as Baldini's Wife
Duna Jove
as Young Woman
Carolina Vera
as Neapolitan Girl
Jerome Willis
as Councillor No. 1
Fermí Reixach
as Councillor No. 2
Montserrat Maso
as Housekeeper
Derek Smee
as Councillor No. 3
Gordon Harris
as Marquis de Montesqui...
Roger Salvany
as Guard No. 2 Dungeon
Albert Pérez
as Councillor
Richard Felix
as Chief Magistrate
Carlos Gramaje
as Police Lieutenant
Andres Herrera
as Door Guard
John Hurt
as Narrator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Critic Reviews for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (43)

Tykwer loses his cinematic grip when he tries to blend murder and piety. In his hands, the two don't emulsify.

January 11, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is another nauseous example of style over content: a toxic tale of serial homicide set in 18th-century France that creeps you out faster than it makes you think.

Full Review… | January 10, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

Hated this movie. Hated it.

January 8, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

It's a hard film to like, but it's even harder to dismiss, simply because it's never less than absolutely fascinating.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

[Its] off-the-charts screwiness obscures virtually all shortcomings.

Full Review… | November 21, 2007
Lessons of Darkness

While you might not come away from a viewing feeling entirely satisfied, you will almost certainly have lots to talk about.

Full Review… | July 20, 2007
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Some nice production design but so loathsome that hardly makes it worth looking at.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Great costumes and good acting. But the story's a bit...odd. Not a satisfying conclusion at all.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


An arthouse film involving obsession, murder, and...perfume? Odd, but intriguing. The broad concept (a man with a highly developed sense of smell, one that is so intense that it is the primary way he experiences the world strives to capture the essence of love) is kinda interesting, and has the potential to be riveting, but, with how the thigns are executed here, it's a disappointment.

I like artsy films, I do. But man, even with a potentially intriguing and involving concept, this is just a plodding, overlong bore. That, and it gets really absurd and hard to take seriously at times, especially the over the top ending. Yeah, there are some moments that are really creppy, atmospheric, thrilling and well done, but overall this is a lackluster thriller that doesn't deliver the goods often enough.

The production values are great, the film looks spectacular, and the music is quite good, but there's not a whole lot here that's really all that stunning. The cast is good, but their performances seem off, distant, and like they're jsut going through the motions. Plus, as I keep saying, the concept is potentially itneresting, but let's think about it: a sense of smell is the main driving force here. That's not an easy thing to make work, and I think they could have done a better job with the concept.

There's no shortage of talent here, but I just think that everyone went about it the wrong way a lot of times, hence why the film is the way it is. It's not a total failure, but man, this is a tough one to sit through.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Quotes

Antoine Richis: Paris is not smarter than us.
– Submitted by Reza P (2 years ago)
Antoine Richis: It's not about faith! There's a murderer out there!
– Submitted by Reza P (2 years ago)
Narrator: He still had enough perfume left to enslave the whole world if he so chose. He could walk to Versailles and have the king kiss his feet. He could write the pope a perfumed letter and reveal himself as the new Messiah. He could do all this, and more, if he wanted to. He possessed a power stronger than the power of money, or terror, or death - the invincible power to command the love of man kind. There was only one thing the perfume could not do. It could not turn him into a person who could love and be loved like everyone else. So, to hell with it he thought. To hell with the world. With the perfume. With himself.
– Submitted by Anastasia B (5 years ago)

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