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

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer2006

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.

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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.

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Ben Whishaw
as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille
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 Grenouille at 5 Years Old
Franck Lefeuvre
as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille at 12 Years Old
Joan Serrats
as Upholsterer
Laura Gelman
as Françoise
Anna Diogene
as Tallien's Wife
Toby Harper
as Police Lieutenant
Thomas Lennox
as Messenger
Nico Baixas
as Torture Chamber Guard
Enric Arquimbau
as Executioner
Oriol Tramvia
as Land Priest
Cristina Sola
as Woman With Bishop
Laura Vidal Traver
as Hangover Girl
Reginald Wilson
as Customer Fishmarket
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 Boisgontier
as Fishmarket Woman
Núria Casas
as Fishmarket Woman No. 2
Dora Romano
as Baldini's Wife
Jaume Montané
as Pelissier
Carolina Vera
as Neapolitan Girl
Duna Jove
as Young Woman
Jerome Willis
as Councillor No. 1
Fermí Reixach
as Councillor No. 2
Montserrat Maso
as Housekeeper
Derek Smee
as Councillor No. 3
Albert Pérez
as Councillor No. 4
Gordon Harris
as Marquis de Montesquieu
Roger Salvany
as Guard No. 2 Dungeon
Richard Felix
as Chief Magistrate
Carlos Gramaje
as Police Lieutenant
Andres Herrera
as Door Guard
John Hurt
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (46)

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

November 21, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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

January 11, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

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.

January 10, 2007
Top Critic

Hated this movie. Hated it.

January 8, 2007

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never tries to make Jean-Baptiste sympathetic but he's not rendered monstrous, either: He just is a victim of a passion larger and more powerful than any one man can handle.

January 5, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

[The filmmakers] render a portrait of Paris that both delights and overwhelms the senses. This is a movie where eyes turn into noses, which may run at the many ghastly sights presented.

January 5, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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

Christian C
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
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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