Perfume

Perfume

Perfume Part 3, Chapter 45 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the stall in the barn, Grenouille begins spreading oily paste over fine linen, making it thicker in places where it will pick up the most scent. When he finishes, he folds the cloth, gathers his other supplies, and leaves the barn. He finds a ladder, props it against Laure's open window, and climbs up.
The use of animal fat to extract scent adds to the visceral, grotesque feeling that the novel cultivates.
Themes
Power and Control Theme Icon
Creative Genius vs. Convention and Assimilation Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
Grenouille watches Laure sleep for a minute and then clubs her on the back of her head. He hates the sound, but when it's over the room is completely quiet, since Laure has stopped breathing. Grenouille opens his cloth, cuts Laure's nightgown off, and rolls her up in the oiled linen. Only her hair sticks out.
This murder is easy, practically speaking, for Grenouille. We see how little regard he has for Laure or her body in his rough handling of her, indicating again how little he thinks of people apart from their scents.
Themes
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
For six hours, Grenouille stays awake and watches Laure from an armchair, covered with her dress. He congratulates himself on how well things are going. Grenouille doesn't think of the future; rather, he thinks of his past with satisfaction. He decides that fate certainly smiled on him to allow him to harvest Laure's scent, and he thanks himself for being what he is. He closes his eyes, and at one point touches Laure's swaddled foot with his own foot.
Grenouille's process is entirely unveiled for the reader, making for a reading experience that is repulsive and fascinating at the same time. Again, the language Grenouille uses (particularly "harvest") indicates that he thinks of his victims as nothing more than ingredients, not as valuable people.
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