Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Allusions


Perfume is a classic novel with more than forty-eight translations in different languages. The novel was on the top of the best seller list for quite a long time period. The hidden symbols in the story revolve around the human spirit, communication, and scents human carry.


There are many allusions used in this novel which is mentioned below.


Firstly let me explain what allusions are.

Allusions: An allusion is regarded as a figure of speech; authors use to make a reference to a person, event or a place. A reference can be made to the past as well as to the current scenarios. It can refer to historical events, fiction, religious manuscripts or folklore etc.


Allusions and Analysis:

The odor of Amor and Psyche: This allusion expresses the main theme of the novel. Odors possess the power to persuade more than the words. The aggressive power of order cannot be ignored. The odor of a person affects others more than any other stimulus. It is quite necessary to consider this idea if the person reading is to agree that it was nothing but the odor of the young girls who Grenouille murdered. I was not their attitudes, personalities, voices and appearances that made them charming or desirable.


To be possessed by the devil: This was the first signal in the novel that Grenouille possessed no personal fragrance. This allusion also indicates an existing idea of the people residing in Paris at the time Grenouille was born.


Hell smelled of sulfur and paradise of incense and myrrh: This reflects Aristotelian philosophy on Father Terrier’s part. Aristotle (“The Philosopher”) described lengthily on the senses possessed by humans and animals. He determined the sense of sight the most significant of all the senses. The sense of taste and smell were deemed to incline more towards body than soul. The assertion further describes human beings in early times were not able to differentiate between colors. This assertion holds its roots in ancient literature.


The facon de parler speaks of that universe as a landscape: This is a very important element stated here, uncovering the paucity of expressions and vocabulary in the English language (and also in novel’s original German) for odors and their consequences.



Legitimate birth, to have relatives of like standing, and to have a certificate of indenture: This is a strong example, of Grenouille’s marginalized life. France in its Pre-Revolutionary times was not known for meritocracy. Even Grenouille’s genius art of making perfume could not remove the socially, morally unacceptable and ugly circumstances of his birth.


His nose made him reach to most remote areas of the country: This is the manifestation of Grenouille’s pathological slope of his mind. It depicts that his obsession is increasing at a very fast pace. After having been untied of the horrifying scent-soup of the glorious Paris, he analyses about his own self that he favors the odor of nothingness (if humanly speaking then it is just like the odor of him) to the scent of his very own kind.






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