In 18th Century France a baby is born who lacks any scent. He does, however, have a deep and strong survival urge. Although he is treated as a pariah by many for his condition, he possesses a parallel condition, a heightened sensitivity to aroma. It is his quest to experience life through smell, and he does so. He is also a cold-hearted sociopath who seizes opportunities where he can to advance his particular desires. It ends badly for him, but that is a good thing. This is a very interesting book. I was rapt. Until I was done it was an unhappy thing to have to put it down unfinished, due to interruptions like work, sleep and eating. Thankfully I was able to complete it. Perfume
is an odd story, perhaps, but also very interesting, providing some payload in depictions of 18th Century Europe and information about aroma in general and perfumery in particular. Much recommended but not for all tastes.