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  • Writer's pictureLilie

17 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer | Book Quotes

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17 Perfume: A Story of a Murderer | Book Quotes

He would often just stand there, leaning against a wall or crouching in a dark corner, his eyes closed, his mouth half open and nostrils flaring wide, quiet as a feeding pike in a great, dark, slowly moving current.

the purpose of perfumes was to create an intoxicating and alluring effect,

He had to have it, not simply in order to possess it, but for his heart to be at peace.

And so it happened that for the first time in his life, Grenouille did not trust his nose and had to call on his eyes for assistance if he was to believe what he smelled.

Grenouille knew for certain that unless he possessed this scent, his life would have no meaning.

She was so frozen with terror at the sight of him that he had plenty of time to put his hands to her throat.

Already he could no longer recall how the girl from the rue des Marais had looked, not her face, not her body. He had preserved the best part of her and made it his own: the principle of her scent.

he was like a cook who runs a great kitchen with a routine and good recipes, but has never created a dish of his own.

One of those battleships easily cost a good 300,000 livres, and a single cannon shot would sink it in five minutes,

a kind of artificial thunderstorm they called electricity.

and waited, quivering with impatience, for the old man to get out of the way and make room for him.

By now he was totally speechless. He didn’t even say “incredible” anymore,

With that sweet thought in his silly old head, relieved and bedded now on its pillow, beneath which the pressure of the little book of formulas was pleasantly palpable, Maître Baldini fell asleep and awoke no more in this life.

But soon that had become more a wearisome habit than a necessity,

It was not an external catastrophe at all, but an internal one, and as such particularly distressing, because it blocked Grenouille’s favorite means of escape. It happened in his sleep. Or better, in his dreams. Or better still, in a dream while he slept in the heart of his fantasies.

In waking, he thrashed about as if he had to drive off the odorless fog trying to suffocate him.

The real thing gets used up in this world. It’s transient. And by the time it has been used up, the source I took it from will no longer exist


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