Discussion Leader

1. Richis, the dad, thinks long and hard over the deaths that have occurred in Grasse. He decided that the murderer is a “careful collector” rather than a “destructive personality”. He thinks that the murderer is looking for young beautiful perfection which is exactly what Grenouille is doing. (But Grenouille is obviously doing it for odor reasons) Do you think Grenouille is a “careful collector” or a “destructive personality”?

2. Why do you think Grenouille feels absolutely no remorse or guilt for killing Laure now? He debated it before because he didn’t want to lose her scent forever, but now he has no problem killing her. On page 218 he even says that he is content and happy just waiting six hours for her scent to soak up. What made make up his mind?

3. Why do you think Grenouille chose the way to die that he did. He knew that putting that much of his perfume on was going to kill him, but do you think he knew they would eat him? I feel like that was a too personal way for him to die because he was such a lonesome person. What do you think?

Passage Person

In this final section everything pretty much just goes crazy. As if the hanging turned orgy, the father begging for his daughter’s murderer to be his son, the apparent mass amnesia in the town by far the part that truly shocked me was Grenouille’s demise. Grenouille bathed himself in his ultimate perfume, of which it only took one drop to send the whole city ready to hang him into a frenzy, a group of about 20 or 30 people, that were indeed all murders, killed and ate him. 

“The angel was decided into thirty pieces, and every animal in the pack snatched a piece for itself, and then driven by voluptuous lust, dropped back to devour it.” 

“All of a sudden there were delightful, bright flutterings in their dark souls. And on their faces was a delicate, virginal glow of happiness.”

“For the first time they had done something out of love.”

Do you think that Grenouille giving others this virginal glow brings the story almost full circle? Why do you think that Grenouille is referred to as an angel? Is it just because of the amount of perfume, or a broader reference? How do you think that love is represented throughout this novel? I think that it debases societies notion of love to a biological response, between all types of relationships: parent to child, friend to friend, lust, and even self in the final chapter. 

Connections

I found an article that I found very interesting that basically said that scent can influence a person to do things they would not normally do, such as buy a certain product or return to certain hotels or resort due to the ambient-like smells they incorporate to the environment (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smell-life/201101/smell-manipulation). I thought that that was interesting considering that Grenuoille’s scent basically was the ultimate persuader. I find is easy to imagine that the influence his perfume had on people was highly fictional, but it is weird to know that scent is actually a huge manipulator, and many people don’t even know it. What do you guys think?

-Riley

Questions

1. Why do you think that the author wanted to make a personal connection to Laure? We don’t know much about the other girls that Grenuoille killed, but the author gives us more information on her. Why do you think that is?

2. At one point in the story, Grenuoille contemplates suicide. I thought that this was very ironic because he has survived just about everything up to this point. What is the significance of his thoughts of taking his own life?

3. People in the beginning of the story were immediately wary of Grenuoille and avoided him if possible and it seems as if this has changed. Do you think that Grenuoille has changed much since the beginning of the story to elicit this response?

-Riley

Passages

“It was really true- Grenouille, the solitary tick, the abomination, Grenouille the Monster, who had never felt love and would never be able to inspire it, stood there beside the city wall of Grasse on that day in March and loved and was profoundly happy in his love” 190
“He was overcome with desire to abandon his plans, to walk out into the night and disappear. He would wander across the snow-covered mountains, not pausing to rest, hundreds of miles into the Auvergne, and there creep into his old cave and die.” 191
We are finally seeing real emotion in Grenouille! When he finds the scent of the little red haired girl he is truly in love with it. Although he is not feeling true love for a person he is feeling love for a scent like he did for the first girl that he killed. This time he knows the consequences if he were to kill her and is torn between having her scent by killing her or not killing her so the scent will live on. He is so emotional about this that he considers committing suicide. I really like seeing this much emotion in his because it shows that he is actually a human, but it is still so creepy that he falls in love with a young girls smell. Do you think these emotions are what push him to kill all the other girls or does he just want their scent?

Nique

Connections

Okay so, in this section we finally reach what we have all been anticipating: murder! (and a lot of them!) Grenouille has now killed 24 virgin girls in order to hone his distilling before getting the girl he really wants to distill, the Red-head. I found it really weird how Grenouille became almost suicidal when he thought about the red-head’s scent fading after he made the perfume and that he didn’t even care about looking at her dead body once he had her smell. My (and Riley’s!) public speech teacher had said that odor was the strongest link to memory. In this article (http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/perception/smell3.htm) it breaks down how, since the womb smell is the strongest persuader and trigger for memory. I wonder if this makes Grenouille’s memory even stronger, because his memory trigger is so drastically more advanced? Additionally, this could further fuel his obsession, because he has an addiction to the olfactory stimulation. 

Also, while I was looking for college scholarships I found this one!

Smells like college debt. The Fragrance Research Fund makes a scholarship of up to $50,000 available to clinical psychologists who are completing post-graduate research in aromachology. I always knew my fantastic sense of smell might come in handy, alas, I’m not studying anything at the post-graduate level. If you are, you can get in touch with the Fragrance Research Fund – 145 East 32nd St., New York, N.Y. 10016-6002.
Grenouille would defiantly get the 50K!

-Carolyn

Passage

Grenuoille sat at his ease on his bench in the cathedral of Saint-Pierre and smiled. his mood was not euphoric as he formed his plans to rule humankind. There were no mad flashings of the ey, no lunatic grimace passed over his face. He was not out of his mind, which was so clear and buoyant that he asked himself why he wanted to do it at all.  And he said to himself that he wanted to do it because he was evil, thoroughly evil. And he smiled as he said it and was content. He looked quite innocent, like any happy person. (Pg 155)

I kind of got a shiver reading this passage. It freaked me out. Before the most recent chapters, I perceived Grenuoille as more of a beast than a man. He acted instinctually with no conscious or emotion. But now we see him in a new light. He acknowledges his evil and he is purposefully manipulating those around him, which I did not think he would do. What do you think about his shift in character??

-Riley