Week 4: Passages

“He assumed that in whatever direction he turned he ought to detect some latent scrap of human odor. But there was nothing. Here there was only peace, olfactory peace, if it can be put that way.” (120)
“He shouted for joy…He carried on like a madman until late into the night” (121)

Grenouille is at least eighteen now and he has finally gained his freedom. As soon as he gained this freedom he found exactly what he wants. He noticed quickly after leaving Baldini how much he hates the human scent. He is repulsed by it. He became so accustomed to the clear fresh air on his odd journey to the mountain that when he he smelled a human he was disgusted. He found and quickly climbed to the top of this mountain and found peace that he has never experienced before. This is the first time that Grenouille has been described in such an upbeat positive way. He has always been weird and uncomfortable, but now that he is completely alone without even a trace of a scent he is normal. Do you think he will try to live like this forever? The lack of humanity makes it hard to find the essentials of living, but from previous experiences we know that his life is pretty much indestructible.
Knowing that he will use women to create the “perfect perfume”, how do you think his life will transition from this olfactory peace to brutal murders?



2 thoughts on “Week 4: Passages

  1. I was confused by this section. Grenouille, over a time lapse of ten years now, has moved from an obsession with particular human’s scent to a hatred of all human scent. Because we know that he will eventually murder people, I thought that perhaps this section was the sort of calm before the storm. Or being in the sprit, the Mardi Gras before Lent. I think that maybe he will stay here for a while and become accustomed to the lack of olfactory perception and them when he catches a whiff of a human (maybe particularly a beautiful young virgin) he will just go crazy for it.

  2. I agree with Carolyn. I think that Grenuoille is simply frustrated or disillusioned with humans at the moment. He is so obviously a loner and is not someone who would typically relate or interact well with other humans, so solitude seems nice to him at the time. However, he is driven by selfish instinct, and I think that that will drive him back to pursue his hunt for the perfect scent.

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