Perfume in verse.

I read a book once called Perfume  it was written by Patrick Süskind. I loved it so. I have taken the liberty to have abridged and written it in verse. I hope you will enjoy. I have done this from memory and have left many of the murders and deaths out . I do not profess that this is my work, just a story reworked and written in verse. The verse is all mine


Born as an inconvenience to his hard working  mother, a fish gutter in the stinking market of 1800’s Paris he was thrown under the stall to die like many another.

He, unlike the others let out a cry he had smelt the world and refused to die! They found him there covered in blood his own and fish. They dragged his young mother off and hanged her without even a last wish.

Taken in  by a gin smelling woman for a few shillings a week. He was thrown in with all the other poor little souls not expect to live as he was so  weak.

Unlike the others  Jean-Baptiste Grenouille had no smell. they could not warm to him, the other children new he was different they could tell. The wet nurses feared him, his peers shunned him because him they could not smell. He did not care all he wanted was to inhale  the world and so he drank in the sweat, stale milk and urine he cared not for them, he was outcast , he could tell.

As he grew the trees, grass and flowers were his friends so great was his sense of smell his joy was the stink of Paris. The filth , the sweat , the foul, the living hell. As soon as she could the evil child keeper sold him on as she could not bear him near. He was a strange child the only emotion he evoked was fear.

Labouring in the abattoir at the docks, he love the work, he could drink in the fear of the cattle the death, he slept under the counter and was never one to shirk. As he grew he was taken on the rounds he loved the smells about him he was oblivious to sight and sounds.

He was bought by the old Tanner who worked him hard the other lads disliked him but he never cared . He learned quickly to dye the leather, soon he was tasked  , as he did not reek like the others, to deliver.

Out delivering the suede’s and leathers  one day. He nose found an amazing scent, a young girl passed his way. He knew at once he had to capture here essence and then for ever he could carry it. As she passed him he drank her in and leaned forward to sniff her pale velvet  skin.

From that day on he became of one purpose to make that scent and carry it with him to please his nose. He found employment with a perfumer, he had visited the shop for a while and worshipped from afar. He had stood outside  the door and each time it opened he discovered  new smells more and more.

He craved knowledge in this art and begged for a job, he’d work so hard ,when could he start. The  perfumer was loosing his skill  his  business was failing and he was ill.The boy was keen and ready to learn. Yet there was something about him he could not discern.

Jean-Baptiste  was quick to learn his nose was second to none. He made fabulous scents that were the currant rage and even better ones of his own design not even the old man could match for all his age. He taught the boy all he knew and soon his business was improving and with the rest, his health was too.

Then came the day that changed Jean-Baptiste’s life again, he found the scent of a young girl, it was like a refrain. He watch her as she left the square and found her in an alley combing her hair. She smiled at him on his approach and moved to one side. As he neared her he reach out his hand and felt her damp skin, tiny jewels of sweat, that fascinated him.  He breathed in her scent and then she started to shake and to move,his hand, still did her make. As her voice rose he silenced her, he held her throat until she breathed no more air. He then sniffed every inch of her body and her hair.

He new the scent he need to make  and sorted through the essences in the workshop in vain so he it could recreate. He use some of her sweat and a lock of her hair that he had taken when he murdered  her. His misery was abject and he then spent his time searching for the scent he craved, while the Gendarmerie searched for who had committed his crime.

As time went by he, like an animal stalked the streets. Upsetting both ladies and prostitutes he would meet. Finally he caught the scent as through a leafy suburb he went . He found  some stones to stand upon and then his nose drank in the scent as a lovely sight his eyes hit upon. A pure young maiden in her room sewing with her maid it was enough to make him swoon.

Gentle maiden

When he awoke it was dark but the scent was strong and it found it’s mark. The light from her window fell and every inch of her he could smell. His mind was set he wanted her essence to make the scent to announce his presence.

From afar he watched her movements he did not need to see her he could follow the trail of scent that escaped her. In his endeavours to perfect his scent he unfortunately killed a few young maids on his project he was hell bent.

One unlucky prostitute came his way and went with him without delay, he covered her with oil and creams at first she did delight  but when he wrapped her in muslins she soon took fright. Sadly, to stop her screams he smothered her.He took his muslins smeared with creams and prayed her scent was captured. He hid her in a shallow grave, this would undo him. This was the mistake he made .

The scent still eluded him he craved it day and night they only rest he received was when, the merchants daughter’s scent reached him and his soul took flight. Soon Paris was talking of the murders, young women of both stations cut down in full flight it was the talk of the nation.

The father of the young girl feared for her life he insisted they were to leave Paris with out ado and under cover of night. The night before they went Jean- Baptiste unaware of their planned escape stood in her room sniffing her body and her hair.

When he learned of their retreat he wailed inside pain filled his body he was consumed with heat. He told the old perfumer he was to leave and that made the old man grieve. The perfumer  made the young man write down all his recipes for the famous scents the old man did not want to loose his crown. So with his dues all paid Jean- Baptiste left Paris following her scent his way he made.

He spent some time in the wild , he lived in a cave to relearn the scent of nature, was what he craved. Finally he tracked the merchant father and his treasured daughter down. To an island isolated and quiet .

To make a long tale short our perfumer took his young girl and did consume her. He boiled her essence down and his perfect scent he found. He did not see his sin to find the scent perfect, was what was driving him.

The merchant full of grief and vengeance,  avowed  he would find who his darling daughter took. He would drag the culprit through the streets and courts and bring them to book. Again to shorten this tale the prostitute was found in her shallow grave with evidence that could be at Jean-Baptist’s feet laid.

At length he was found he was hunted and he had gone to ground.  The gendarmes  made his arrest he manage to secrete his perfume in his vest. On the day of his trial priests, and lords and ladies and commoners into the court did file to hear each and every juicy,  sexy  detail of what had happen no matter how vile.

They found him guilty and they were to remove his head the merchant wanted to see him dead. The day dawned bright for his execution. Attended by the Holy, the good and the poor all baying for him no absolution. They dragged him out into the sun he saw the huge crowed out for their ghoulish fun.

they came to witness

Just as he was about to be dispensed he broke the vial in his vest and let forth his scent. Within seconds the crowed was hushed they called for Jean- Baptised  release no one who’s scent was so beautiful could be such a beast.

The executioner wept tears and he had become so hardened over the years. The priest and lords called for the prisoner to be let go , only the grief stricken merchant begged NO NO! but even he let Jean- Baptiste  go.

As he left his scent spread around and all the folk fell to the ground , teacher, farmer bishop , lord, woman man all began, an orgy of sex spread around . The perfume was more than they could stand and they all fell on one another in Ecstasy. Such inventive and wide spread sex you would  never again see.

Jean- Baptiste left them all writhing and moaning  man with woman, man with man all together no one saw him leave as was his plan. He made his way to Paris.

As he approached the city walls the smell of the city his nostrils appalled. He made his way to his birth place, the market. The beggars of the city  saw him and gathered round . Slowly he use the last drops of his perfume. The crowd began to desire him so they ripped his clothes and then his flesh so orgasmic where they  his bones were stripped until in the dawns light all that was left were rags and bones and a forgotten night.

Of  Jean-Baptiste Grenouille  nothing was left save a faint but fabulous scent.

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