Perfume

Perfume

The Tick Symbol Icon

Particularly throughout the first half of the novel, Grenouille is described as a “tick,” in that he is ugly, lies in wait without being entirely aware of what he's waiting for, and "drops" when he scents blood (or in Grenouille's case, perfume). The tick, then, represents how Grenouille is seen by the outside world (compared to how Grenouille sees himself; compare the tick to the Grenouille that exists in his inner palace). In a very literal sense, the comparison of Grenouille to a tick alludes to his vampire-like tendencies. Like a tick or a vampire, Grenouille metaphorically sucks his victims dry of their lifeblood in the form of both their scent and their lives, without any conception of morality, right, or wrong. Like a tick, robbing victims of their blood or scent is just what he does, and seemingly what he must do to survive.

The Tick Quotes in Perfume

The Perfume quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Tick. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Publisher edition of Perfume published in 0.
Part 1, Chapter 14 Quotes

The tick had scented blood. It had been dormant for years, encapsulated, and had waited. Now it let itself drop, for better or for worse, entirely without hope. And that was why he was so certain.

Related Characters: Jean-Baptise Grenouille, Giuseppe Baldini
Related Symbols: The Tick
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Tick Symbol Timeline in Perfume

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Tick appears in Perfume. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
...variety of childhood illnesses, and some physical mishaps. The narrator likens him to a contented tick, living quietly on blood drank years ago. He requires no attention or love. (full context)
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
...decision out of spite and malice. The narrator observes that Grenouille is like the aforementioned tick in a tree, hibernating and waiting for the scent of blood so it can then... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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 never resists him. The narrator states that Grenouille bottled up his defiance in a tick-like way. In the evenings, Grimal locks Grenouille in a closet to sleep on the floor,... (full context)
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Power and Control Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
...12, Grimal allows Grenouille time to himself every week to explore the city. Grenouille "the tick" feels triumphant and alive, and experiences the urge to hunt for scents in the smelly... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 14
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
...there is nothing to justify Grenouille's belonging here as a tanner's helper, but Grenouille the tick had scented blood and was letting itself drop. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 27
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
...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,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 39
Growing Up and Becoming Human Theme Icon
Scent, Sight, and the Grotesque Theme Icon
...a scent, however, is unknown, and he reasons that it seems more desirable. Grenouille "the tick," having reasoned to let himself drop one last time, lays back and thinks himself heroic. (full context)