The Perfumier ending explained – what was the essence of love?

September 22, 2022
Lori C. 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
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This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film The Perfumier and will contain spoilers.

Loosely based on the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, The Perfumier (directed by Nils Willbrandt) tells the story of a police detective, Sunny, who lacks a sense of smell. She’s tasked with solving a string of murders committed by Dorian and his accomplice Max, so they can extract the essence of love. Sunny wants Dorian to teach her how to smell so she can keep a hold of her married lover. The two embark on an unlikely journey of self-discovery and scents. Here’s what happened at the end. 

Netflix film The Perfumier ending explained

By the end of The Perfumier, we learn that Sunny, who’s been using the essence of murder victims to keep her married lover with her, wants to end the strange relationship she’s been harboring with serial killer, Dorian. We get a bit of insight into Dorian’s abusive childhood and it becomes clear that his final goal is to recreate love in a pretty glass bottle by using something he calls “the pearl.” Sunny, however, realized that using the lust perfume to trick her boyfriend into leaving his wife was wrong. She is also ready to put the unfortunate events surrounding her friendship with a serial killer behind her.

After spending the night with another perfumier who shows him a machine meant to extract the scent without needing to cut out the victim’s glands, Dorian kidnaps Sunny’s teenage neighbor and new girlfriend, who happen to be staying with her for some unknown reason. Of course, Sunny runs to their rescue but she’s too late as Dorian has already murdered the two teens. Or, at least knocked them out. He then reveals what “the pearl” was all along. Not the scent of women. No, as that only creates lust. According to Dorian, the true essence of love can only be extracted from a newborn. Not just any newborn, but Sunny’s. Horrified, Sunny decides to use the mysterious toxin she alluded to during her narration when she was still smell training with Dorian. As it turns out, the substance was a magical potion able to remove the killer perfumier’s sense of smell for good. And it did. 

The film ends with some more of Sunny’s voice-over, which was revealed to be a letter to her newborn son. We also learn that no one at the police department suspected her involvement with the smells-obsessed serial killer. She had her baby, and we can only assume she’s happily co-parenting with her ex, who went back to his wife. It’s also implied that Dorian, while arrested and convicted of murder, kept Sunny’s secret because… the movie script said so. 

What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film The Perfumier? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.