Perfume

Perfume

Perfume Part 2, Chapter 27 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The inner Grenouille, "Grenouille the Great," is tired after his day of destruction, creation, and celebration. His heart is a purple castle, and in his private castle Grenouille simply exists as Jean-Baptiste on a purple sofa in one of the thousands of rooms. The rooms contain floor-to-ceiling shelving filled with Grenouille's collected odors. In the cellars his finest scents are kept, bottled like wine. Grenouille the Great calls his invisible (and non-smelling) servants to fetch bottles of scent for him to drink.
Grenouille's palace has scents on display rather than paintings or taxidermy animals, indicating again scent’s immense importance to him. Notice too that Grenouille's servants are invisible and scentless. He wants to be served and have others underneath him, but can't stand even the imaginary "real" person with scent and form.
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
When the servants arrive with the bottle of scent, Grenouille the Great pours himself a glass. Daily, he drinks a scent he collected while in Grimal's service, on the first night Grenouille went out to explore Paris without permission. This scent is the smell of freedom and hope.
It appears safe to assume that what got Grenouille through his years of servitude was this scent or the idea of freedom. Essentially, he's now living out that freedom in his cave, where he can control every aspect of his life.
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
After two glasses of this scent, Grenouille the Great begins to read from books of odors he finds revolting, primarily human odors. He continues to drink, making it through several bottles of pleasant scent and becoming increasingly drunk. Finally, he opens the bottle of scent of the girl from the rue de Marais, his most precious scent. When he finishes the bottle, he sits still for a minute and finally falls sideways and sleeps. The Grenouille in the real world falls asleep as well.
Grenouille has created a world for himself that is everything he ever dreamed of, where everything that he hates exists in such a way that he can pick it up and choose to engage with it, and then put it down at will (suggesting that he partly enjoys the sensation of despising something). The girl Grenouille murdered clearly remains intoxicating even in his memory.
Themes
Power and Control Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
When Grenouille wakes, he wakes up in his cave rather than in his fortress or his inner empire. He feels as miserable as if he'd truly been drinking, and crawls out of the cave for water and food. The scents of the world are overly sharp to him, and the narrator notes that Grenouille "the tick" has grown extremely touchy. When Grenouille finishes taking care of his needs outside the cave, he retreats back inside and begins the process inside his inner empire over again.
Grenouille essentially spends his days wallowing in his hate for the world and the belief, which he can entertain here, that he is a god and in total control of his world. The realities of the outside world, however, are a harsh reminder that Grenouille still is, technically, a human, and cannot entirely lose himself in his inner fortress.
Themes
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Creative Genius vs. Convention and Assimilation Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
Get the entire Perfume LitChart as a printable PDF.
Perfume.pdf.medium