Netflix original series Perfume is designed to immerse you in a dark world of a twisted perfumer, leaving its audience hooked by the mystery.
As we draw closer to the end of 2018, I keep expecting Netflix to throw out bottom of the barrel type content to keep our hungry, useless mouths satisfied. I remembered last year, the streaming platform released absolutely anything to get the season over and done with. Not this Christmas; instead, they have well and truly delved into the international market and snagged German series Perfume, otherwise known as Parfum, a modern adaptation based on Patrick Suskind’s novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
To give you an idea of what the historical version pertains, the original tale mainly involves Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an orphan who has an exceptional sense of smell, becomes a perfumer but then gets himself involved in murder when he meets a young girl with a beautiful scent. Netflix’s Perfume is modernized, in a dark, twisted tale about a brilliant singer-songwriter who is murdered and left in a pool with certain body parts mutilated in areas where body scent is discharged.
Perfume delves into a dark membrane of character desires, grittiness and toxicity to such an extent that it becomes difficult not to be immersed in the story. From the horrific scene of finding the mutilated body, with the character’s armpits and genital areas cut out, you are tasked with untangling a world of mistrust and dullness. Each scene feels purposeful; the strained relationship between the prosecutor and the profiler is hooking, the induced paranoia of the characters appears to deepen as the story progresses, and the soundtrack engrosses the entire mood.
There is more to Perfume than just murder and a potential serial killer on the loose. The singer-songwriter’s death leads to her past; a group of friends from a nearby boarding school who are immediate suspects of the investigation. The man who found the dead woman happened to have an unspoken sexual relationship with her, opening up the true tensions with his wife in a marriage where the intimacy is gone. The group of friends from the boarding school is the crux to the story, but there is an entire plot device where the murderer uses scent to manipulate people off-course throughout the investigation.
I am not sure if Perfume directly interlinks with the consequences of the original novel, but audiences will be consumed by the mystery regardless. The German Netflix series is made with well-crafted intentions designed to persuade you to let the timer countdown to the next episode. Rather than revealing further plot points, my advice is to lay down your guard and watch the non-dubbed version of Perfume this holiday.