Perfume

Perfume

Perfume Part 3, Chapter 50 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Grenouille wakes, he finds himself in Laure Richis's bed. Richis himself sits next to the bed. Before even opening his eyes, Grenouille smells the room and finds that Laure's scent is coming splendidly out of the perfume. When he opens his eyes, Richis explains that the verdict was overturned, and he asks Grenouille to stay in Grasse and be his son. Grenouille agrees and then pretends to fall asleep again.
Finally, Grenouille has achieved control over the man most like himself in his distaste for other people. This scene continues to push the limits of magical realism and absurdity in the novel, as Grenouille’s perfume seems to have no limits in its power to affect people’s emotions and actions.
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
Grenouille pretends to sleep until he smells nobody else in the house, and then gets up and leaves through the terrace. He passes through the parade grounds and takes in the forms of drunk, sleeping people, half exposed from their festivities the day before. When the people wake, they all feel hung over and disentangle themselves from their intimate embraces with their neighbors. Everyone returns home and they don't leave home until evening or the following day.
It's unclear what Grenouille is going to do now that he's become disillusioned even with his perfume. The entire town is still imprisoned by the perfume, however, but they experience intense shame once they realize what's happened—they’ve acted purely out of instinct and passion, totally casting aside their usual social mores.
Themes
Power and Control Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
The town council meets and decides to dismantle the scaffold and grandstand. The judges and magistrates meet and shut Grenouille's file, and the next day they arrest Druot, since he owns the cabin where the hair and clothing of the victims were found. He confesses after 14 hours of torture and they hang him the next day. Grasse returns to normal and everyone forgets that the incident ever happened.
Druot is the last person to be touched by Grenouille's curse. It's of course obvious to the reader that Druot is innocent, but the crowds thirst for bloody justice must still be appeased. Like all the others, Druot's death is gruesome, untimely, and tied to his social climbing—had he not married Madame Arnulfi, it would be her instead.
Themes
Upward Mobility and Social Movement Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon