The news of Laure's death spreads through Grasse. The fear from the summer before returns with a vengeance, and is more terrifying this time because the bishop's excommunication evidently didn't work. It's decided that the murderer must be in league with the devil. People pray in church, others in occult groups band together, and learned men employ science. Everyone awaits the murderer's next victim.
The town begins to question their faith in God and religion, as Grenouille proved to them that God and the church actually had no sway or control over the murderer. Laure's murder is even more terrifying, as it's not just God's power that was nullified, but also that of a very powerful man.
The authorities, however, don't get swept up in the hysteria; rather, the neighboring towns band together to catch the killer. They fear a civil uprising, especially since the killer had been sighted this time. Several individuals are arrested following the posting of arrest warrants, and the offer of a reward is made on Richis's behalf. Grenouille is not one of the original suspects. Finally, however, Grenouille is arrested. The police search his cabin and find Laure's and the other girls' hair and dresses, as well as Grenouille's club.
Grenouille's quick capture is suspicious to the reader, as it's obvious that Grenouille is capable of leaving town unnoticed and escaping justice. This makes the reader question what Grenouille's plan possibly is, now that he has his final scent for his beautiful perfume.