France in the 18th Century: A young man in chains in the French city of Grasse from his prison cell to the balcony of the town hall dragged before the furious urban population at the bottom of the market place hateful to the announcement of his death sentence for multiple murder waits. The announcement of the execution bestialischer triggers widespread jubilation in the schaulustigen weight.
A flashback takes on the fish market in Paris, where on 17 In July 1738, one of the hottest days of the year, a fish seller aufschreit and then her fifth child, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, in a sudden fall release birth. The newborn arrives in the midst of stinking fish waste. His mother does not care about him and suspected that he was a "half" or stillbirth, as in previous years, their four other children. As the baby from physical forces began to scream, so that it is behind the state Fish discovered, Jean-Baptistes mother tried in vain before the surrounding crowd to flee, from which they attempted Kindesmords accused. Shortly afterwards, they executed by the strand.
The child arrives at Madame Gaillard, the food children against payment records. A few older children watch the baby with suspicion. A boy approaching him, when the baby takes his index finger to find him intensively to snuffle. Now suspicious, adopt the children, the baby to suffocate. Madame Gaillard this crime can be prevented by accident and the boy with a whip. Grenouille is getting older and the world opens up about his sense of smell. He sniffs his environment, even a dead rat explored it in this way. He will soon realize his great talent, fragrances with his extremely sensitive nose up and to remember. With six years, he has already given its environs olfactory fully tapped.
With 13 years sold Madame Gaillard Grenouille in the Gerber Grimal. In Grimal Grenouille has a very hard life. Every day he must up to 16 hours work, and he is one of the few that survive long periods Fron. As he rises within Grimals operation, he may goods in the city-installed. In the streets of Paris, he meets a universe of fragrances. Especially pleased to have him two ladies, in a carriage on his passing. He follows them to a perfumery, and through the window, he stares into the shop inside, where different scents are issued. Grenouilles smell has been refined, and he should finally discover that the scent of a young, red-haired girl, Mirabelle sold, it has particularly impressed. When he intensively on their hands snuffles, the girl is so frightened of them that it is fleeing. Grenouille follows her, however, she cries, and as a loving couple in the vicinity vorbeischlendert, he expresses his hand on her mouth to prevent that they are discovered. As the couple disappeared again, Grenouille noticed that the girl he accidentally asphyxiated. It tears her clothes and smells intensely on her entire body, but without them to abuse.
As Grenouille a cargo leather when Hussein Giuseppe Baldini wish, so he called in his shop. Baldini was once one of the most directors of Paris perfume, but now is his fame faded. Hardly anyone lost in his shop on the houses built with Pont au Change. A competitor has a perfume called "Amor and Psyche" on the market, after the elegant Paris. Baldini is mandated by a customer, a new fragrance to create, as well as to be "Amor and Psyche". Baldinis assistant, a bottle worried, but Baldini has for the fragrance only concerns comments left. Baldini stretches back to his laboratory, in order to copy the scent. Inspired, he is of "Amor and Psyche", of which he himself another bottle in a drawer lie. He tries to fathom what essences in "Amor and Psyche" are hidden and writes for a list. Well, when Grenouille in the laboratory, this is, "Amor and Psyche" to know and to know exactly what it is. Baldini is angry, but Grenouille searches all essences in essence Baldinis collection, which consists of the scent. Baldini not believe it, and offers him Grenouille, with a mix of essences to prove that he is right. And actually succeed him, the scent nachzuschöpfen exactly, he is not mistaken in the quantitative composition. These he purely emotionally, it must be the share of essences not measure, but she pours so, as he feels that it is right. Baldini has astonished recognize that Grenouille actually "Amor and Psyche" could imitate. Not only that, he even offers the perfumer, the Imitation of a really good perfume to refine. As Grenouille, he asks Baldini, in the teaching him to go. Baldini says, you will see, but after he tested Grenouilles perfume, it appears soon Grimal and buys him Grenouille for 50 francs. The Gerber Grimal stumbles into riffs condition is reflected on the head and falls into the Seine, shortly after the trade was perfect.
Grenouille, helping the unprofitable fragrance act Baldinis with its perfumes created with a new gloss, which will soon beyond the borders of France also known. Grenouille learned at Baldini many procedures and techniques for the production of perfumes, including the distillation. But he soon must the boundaries of teaching Baldinis recognize, as it does not succeed in glass or copper scents to distill. As his failures seriously ill, he told Baldini of the French town of Grasse, the perfume your best in the world perform their work, and where he is a further procedure for the preservation of odor could learn, the ration. Grenouille is recovering quickly from his illness and is leaving with his journeyman Paris. Baldini allowed under the condition that he previously Grenouille 100 recipes for perfumes creating perfumes that never again in Paris or anywhere else manufactures and he never with anyone speaks about these conditions. While the young man pulls the south, the house collapses in the Baldinis night in the Seine, and Hussein can no longer recipes.
Grenouille decides on its march towards the south, villages and cities and to avoid its journey across. On the Plomb du Cantal, a volcanic mountain in the central massif, he discovered a cave, in which he set up in complete isolation. Seven years he has lived at this location, fills in the scents, which he noted in his locked inside. As Grenouille comes to the realization that he does not own smell, he relies on the spot the Plomb du Cantal.
On the way to Grasse Grenouille discovered a scent, the more delicious than that of the murdered girl in Paris; A young girl, also with bright red hair runs in their carriage over. Grenouille follows the carriage after Grasse and follows the scent of the girl to her house. Grenouille manage to work as a journeyman in the small atelier Hussein's widow and her Arnulfi journeyman Dominique Druot to find both secretly maintained a relationship with each other. Here succeeds Grenouille, the ration to learn, and soon, it is the desire, methods for preservation of the flavor of the red-haired girl to elaborate.
For this purpose Grenouille roams the area around Grasse. Several beautiful girls are slain by him, and finally with naked and shaved bald heads found. He brews from the lessons of the girls smells a perfume and the scent will of the red-haired girl as the 13th Essence win, "the perfect perfume." As a curfew the murders may not halt, a bishop summoned to the murderers excommunicated. As if by a miracle, during the ceremony of taking the alleged murderer in a nearby town. " Antoine Richis, a wealthy widowed businessman, the second consul of the town of Grasse and the father of the beautiful, red-haired Laure, dares to peace is not. Richis puts itself in the position of the murderer (s.a. Profiler), and comes to the conclusion that his daughter Laure lacked the criminals still in its collection. Hastily Richis a break early in the morning and staged a license to travel to Grenoble, Laure, in a few days, contrary to its noble desire to be married, on a island off the coast monastery to safety. Grenouille follows father and daughter to the South. It succeeds him, in spite of all precautions of Laures father, Laure sleeping in a hotel on the coast to kill and their fragrance with the help of ration to steal. Shortly after the crime, Grenouille captured.
The subject of torture despite Parfümeurgesellen remains in the dark. He said only that he "had the girls used." He will soon be sentenced on 17 and April 1766 to a wooden cross bound and with a full awareness of 12 shots with an iron rod, which he all of his body joints break. In addition, he held until his death on the cross aufgeknüpft wood. The execution initiated for the public ceremony is changing, however, rendered in a sexual orgy. Grenouille has managed, through its scents from the women he murdered created perfume tenderness and love for others to stimulate. With just a drop of this perfume succeed him off his execution. Even Antoine Richis by the scent feels deceived and finally fatherly feelings for Grenouille. The perfume diffusing as much love among the crowd and stunned their senses so much that there will be a mass. Grenouille escapes one day after his execution thwarted from Grasse. The population of Grasse forgotten in the collective shame and common agreement in the supernatural event. As Grenouille meanwhile escaped, and they still need a guilty to the curse of Grenouille perpetrated the crimes to an end, they enforce the death sentence on the innocent Dominique Druot Hussein, the former journeyman of Madame Arnulfi, which shed there by Grenouille buried clothes and hair killed the girl had been found.
Grenouille returns to his birthplace, the fish market in Paris, where he dealt with his perfume spills. The people are so inflamed Grenouilles perfume that it is on him and topple him in a cannibal act completely eliminate (eat). Only a bundle of clothes remains Grenouille left. No one, it shall notify the Off-Erzähler, was guilty of a crime - they have felt for the first time in their lives, how they thought, something done out of pure love. The camera runs on the stone floor of the market place, to be in close-up look Grenouilles perfume bottles, which a recent drop out.