Perfume Part 1, Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Perfume

Perfume

Perfume Part 1, Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Baldini goes to Grimal, pays for the goat leather, and invites Grimal to share wine and negotiate Baldini's purchase of Grenouille as an apprentice. He offers an enormous sum of money and Grimal accepts. When they return to the tannery, Grenouille is waiting with his clothes, and he and Baldini leave.
Grenouille's tick-like "knowing" is evident here, as he was never told that he was going to work for Baldini for sure. We also see Grenouille being treated like a slave or animal once again, as he is “sold” from one master to another—a fact that perhaps contributes to his conception of himself as something other-than-human.
Themes
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Creative Genius vs. Convention and Assimilation Theme Icon
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
Grimal, convinced he's just made the best deal of his life, continues drinking throughout the day. That night, confused, he falls face first into the river and drowns instantly. The river draws his body downstream.
This asks the reader to recall what happened to Madame Gaillard, who also died a horrific death after breaking off contact with Grenouille. Grenouille’s very presence seems to bring bad fortune and even death.
Themes
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
As Grimal's body flows under the Pont-au-Change, Grenouille is going to bed in a bunk in a corner of Baldini's laboratory. As Grenouille falls asleep, he dreams of a victorious entrance into his inner fortress where there's a banquet and an orgy with clouds of incense and myrrh held in his honor.
Grenouille's celebration in his inner fortress indicates just how important this move will be for him. Notice the specific mention of an orgy; this will be a recurring motif throughout the novel, adding to the overall sense of decadence, sin, and the grotesque.
Themes
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Creative Genius vs. Convention and Assimilation Theme Icon
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon