Suskind Patrick – Perfume 2of3

side six you would have loved then and there to have left for the south where he could learn the new techniques the old man had told him about but that was of course out of the question he was after all only an apprentice which was to say a nobody strictly speaking as Baldini explained to him this was after he had overcome his initial joy at cranly’s resurrection strictly speaking he was less than a nobody since a proper apprentice needed to be a faultless ie legitimate birth to have relatives of the like standing and to have a certificate of indenture all of which he lacked should he Baldini nevertheless decide one day to help him obtain his journeyman’s papers that would happen only on the basis of granese uncommon talents is faultless behavior from then on and his Bellinis own infinite kindness which though it often had worked to his own disadvantage he would forever be incapable of denying to be sure it was a good while before he fulfilled his promise kindness just a little under three years during that period and with Grenouilles help Baldini realized his high-flying dreams he built his factory in the four books on hunt one succeeded in his scheme for exclusive perfumes at court received a royal patent his fine fragrances were sold as far office in Petersburg as Palermo as Copenhagen a musk impregnated item was much sought-after even in Constantinople where God knows they already had enough sense of their own valdine his perfumes could be smelled both in elegant offices in the City of London and at the court of Parma both in the Royal Castle at Warsaw and in the little schloss at the gruff phone ensue lipid Detmold having reconciled himself to living out his old age in bitterest poverty near Messina Baldini was now at the age of seventy indisputably Europe’s greatest perfumer and one of the richest citizens of Paris early in 1756 he had in the meantime acquired the adjoining building on the Ponto shown using it solely as a residence since the old building was literally stuffed full the Attic with scents and spices he informed when we that he was now willing to release him but only on three conditions first he would not be allowed to produce in the future any of the perfumes now on the balconies roof nor sell their formulas to third parties second he must leave Paris and not enter it again for as long as Baldini lived and third he was to keep the first two conditions absolutely secret he was to swear to this by all the saints by the poor soul of his mother and on his own honor govern we who neither had any honour nor believed in any sense or in the poor soul of his mother swore it he would have sworn to anything he would have accepted any condition Baldini might propose because he wanted those silly journeyman’s papers that would make it possible for him to live an inconspicuous life to travel undisturbed and to find a job everything else was unimportant him what kind of conditions were those anyway not enter Paris again what did he need Paris for he knew it down to its last stinking cranny he took it with him wherever he went he had owned Paris for years now not produce any of Baldy knees top-selling perfumes not pass on their formulas as if he could not invent a thousand others just as good and better as and when he wanted to but he didn’t want to at all he did not in the least intend to go into competition with Baldini or any other bourgeois perfumer he was not out to make his fortune with his art he didn’t even want to live from it if he could find another way to make a living he wanted to empty himself of his innermost being of nothing less than his innermost being which he considered more wonderful than anything else the world had to offer and thus Baldy knees conditions were no conditions at all for granny he set out in spring early one May morning Baldini had given him a little rucksack a second shirt two pairs of stockings a large sausage a horse blanket and 25 francs that was far more than he was obliged to do Baldini said considering that gran we had not paid a soul in fees for the profound education he had received he was obliged to pay two francs in severance nothing more but he could no more deny his own currently nature than he could the deep sympathy for Jean Baptiste that had accumulated in his heart over the years he wished him good luck in his wanderings and once more warned him emphatically not to forget his oath with that he accompanied him to the servants entrance where he had once taken him in and let him go he did not give him his hand his sympathy did not reach quite that far he had never shaken hands with him he had always avoided so

much as touching him out of some kind of sanctimonious loathing as if there were some danger that he could be infected or contaminated he merely said a brief adieu and groan Lee nodded and ducked away and was gone the street was empty Baldini watched him go shuffling across the bridge to the island small bent bearing his rucksack like a hunchback looking from the rear like an old man on the far side where the street made a dog’s leg at the Palais de Palermo he lost sight of him and felt extraordinarily relieved he had never liked the fella he could finally admit it now he had never felt comfortable the whole time he had housed him under his roof and plundered him he felt much as would a man of spotless character who does some forbidden deed for the first time who uses underhand tricks when playing a game true the risk that people might catch up with him was small and the prospects for success had been great but even so his nervousness and bad conscience were equally great in fact not a day had passed in all those years when he had not been haunted by the notion that in some way or other he would have to pay for having got involved with this man if only it turns out all right that had been his continual anxious prayer if only I succeed in reaping the profits of this risky adventure without having to pay the piper if only I succeed what I’m doing is not right but God will wink his eye I’m sure he will he has punished me hard enough many times in my life without any calls so that it would be only just if he would deal graciously with me this time what wrong have I actually done if there has been around at the worst I am operating somewhat outside guild regulations by exploiting the wonderful gifts of an unskilled worker and passing off his talent as my own at the worst I have wandered a bit of the traditional path of guild virtue at the very worst I am doing today what I myself have condemned in the past is that a crime other people cheat their whole life long I have only fudged a little for a couple of years and only because by purest chance I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity perhaps it wasn’t chance at all but God Himself who sent this wizard into my house to make up for the days of humiliation by policier and his cohorts perhaps divine providence was not directing himself at me at all but against policier that’s perfectly possible how else would God have been able to punish policier other than by raising me up my luck in that case would be the means by which divine justice has achieved its end and thus I not only ought to accept it but I must without shame and without the least regret such had often been Val Dainius thoughts during those years mornings when he would descend the narrow stairway to his shop evenings when he would climb back up carrying the contents of the cash box to count the heavy gold and silver coins and at night when he lay next to the snoring bag of bones that was his wife unable to sleep for fear of his good fortune but now such sinister thoughts come to an end his uncanny guest was gone and would never return again yet the riches remained and was secure far into the future Baldini laid a hand to his chest and felt beneath the cloth of his coat that little book beside his beating heart six hundred formulas were recorded there more than a whole generation of perfumers would ever be able to implement if he were to lose everything today he could with just this wonderful look book be a rich man once again within a year truly he could not ask for more over the Gables of the houses across the way The Morning Sun fell golden and warm on his face Bellini was still looking to the south down the street in the direction of the Palais de Palermo it was simply too delightful not to see anything more of grun we as washed over by a sense of gratitude he decided to make that pilgrimage to not four down today to cast a gold coin in the arms box to light three candles and on his knees to thank his Lord for having EEP such good fortune on him and having spared him from retribution but then that same afternoon just as he was about to head for the church something absurd happened a rumor surfaced that the English had declared war on France this was of itself hardly disquieting but since Paul Dini had planned to send a shipment of perfume to London that very day he postponed his visit to not wordham and instead went into the city to make inquiries and from there to go

out to his Factory in the Faubourg saint-antoine and cancel the shipment to London for the present that night in bed just before falling asleep he had a brilliant idea in the light of the hostilities about to break out over the colonies in the new world he would launch a perfume under the name of prestige de Becque heroic resinous scent whose success this much was certain would more than repay him for the loss of business with England with this 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 meta Baldini fell asleep and awoke no more in this life for that night a minor catastrophe occurred which with appropriate delays resulted in a royal decree requiring that little by little all the buildings on all the bridges of Paris be torn down for with no apparent reason the west side of the ponte longe between the third and fourth piers collapsed two buildings were held into the river so completely and suddenly that none of their occupants could be rescued fortunately it was a matter of only two persons – it Josefa Baldini and his wife Teresa the servants had gone out either with or without permission jin-yi who first returned home in the smaller slightly drunk or rather intended to return home since there was no home left suffered a nervous breakdown he had sacrificed 30 long years of his life in hopes of being named heir in Baldy knees will for the old man had neither children nor relatives and now had one blow the entire inheritance was gone everything how’s business raw materials laboratory Baldini himself indeed even the will which perhaps might have offered him a chance of becoming owner of the factory nothing was found not the bodies not the safe not the little book with its 600 formulas only one thing remained of Giuseppe Baldini Europe’s greatest perfumer a very motley odor of musk cinnamon vinegar lavender and a thousand other things that for several weeks floated high above the same from Paris to la earth when the house of Giuseppe Baldini collapsed grana was already on the road to oliel he had left the enveloping haze of the city behind him and with every step he took away from it the air about him grew clearer purer and cleaner it became thinner as well gone was the roiling of hundreds thousands of changing odors at every pace instead the few odors there were of the Sandy road meadows the earth plants water extended across the countryside in long currents swelling slowly abating slowly with hardly an abrupt break for grow away this simplicity seemed to deliverance the leisurely odours coaxed his nose for the first time in his life he did not have to prepare himself to catch the scent of something new unexpected hostile or to lose a pleasant smell with every breath for the first time he could almost breathe freely did not constantly have to be on the olfactory lookout we say almost for of course nothing ever passed truly freely through Bradley’s nose even when there was not the least reason for it he was always alert to always wary of everything that came from outside and had to be let inside his whole life long even in those few moments when he had experienced some inkling of satisfaction contentment and perhaps even happiness he had preferred exhaling to inhaling just as he had begun life not with a hopeful gasp for air but with a blood-curdling scream but except for that one proviso which for him was simply a constitutional limitation the further groan we got in Paris the better he felt the more easily he breathed the lighter his step until he even managed sporadically to carry himself erect so that when seen from a distance he looked almost like an ordinary itinerant journeyman like a perfectly normal human being most liberating for him was the fact that other people were so far away more people live more densely packed in Paris than in any other city in the world six seven hundred thousand people lived in Paris it streets and squares teamed with them and the houses were crammed full of them from cellars – attics there was hardly a corner of Paris that was not paralyzed with people not a stone not a patch of Earth that did not reek of humans as he began to withdraw from them it became clear to run away for the

first time that for eighteen years there compacted human effluvium had oppressed him like air heavy with an imminent thunderstorm until now he had thought that it was the world in general he had wanted to squirm away from but it was not the world it was the people in it you could live so it seemed in this world in this world devoid of humanity on the third day of his journey he found himself under the influence of the olfactory gravity of oliel long before any visible sign indicated that he was in the the diversity grenouille sensed a condensation of human stuff in the air and reversing his original plan decided to avoid Oleum he did not want to have his newfound respiratory freedom ruined so soon by the sultry climate of humans he circled the city in a giant arc came upon the Loire at Chateau neuf and crossed it at Sully his sausage lasted that far he bought himself a new one and leaving the river behind pushed on to the interior he now avoided not just cities but villages as well he was almost intoxicated by air that grew ever more rarefied ever more devoid of humankind he would approach a settlement or some isolated farm only to get new supplies buying his bread and disappearing again into the woods after a few weeks even those few travelers he met on out-of-the-way paths proved too much for him he could no longer bear the concentrated odour that appeared punctually with farmers out to mow the first day on the meadows he nervously skirted every herd of sheep not because of the sheep but to get away from the odor of the Shepherd’s he headed straight across country and put up with mile-long detours whenever he caught the scent of a troop of riders still several hours distant not because like other itinerant journeyman and vagabonds he feared being stalked and asked for his papers and then perhaps pressed into military service he didn’t even know there was a war on but solely because he was disgusted by the human smell of the horsemen and so it happened quite naturally and as the result of no particular decision that his plan to take the fastest road the grass gradually faded the plan unraveled in freedom so to speak as did all his other plans and intentions guerrilla we no longer wanted to go somewhere but only to go away away from human beings finally he travelled only by night during the day he crept into thickets slept under bushes in the undergrowth in the most inaccessible spots rolled up in a ball like an animal his earthen colored horse blanket pulled over his body and head his nose wedged in the crook of an elbow so that not the faintest foreign odor could disturb his dreams he awoke at sunset sniffed in all directions and only when he could smell that the last farmer had left his fields and the most daring wanderer had sought shelter from the descending darkness only when light and it’s presumed dangers had swept the countryside clean of people did growingly creep out of hiding and set out again on his journey he did not need light to see by even before when he was travelling by day he had often closed his eyes for hours on end and merely followed his nose the gaudy landscape the dazzling abrupt definition of sight hurt his eyes he was delighted only by moonlight moonlight knew no colours and traced the contours of the terrain only very softly it covered the land with a dirty grey strangling life all night long this world moulded in lead where nothing moved but the wind that fell sometimes like a shadow over the gray forests and where nothing lived but the scent of the naked earth was the only world that he accepted for it was much like the world of his soul he headed south approximately south for he did not steer by magnetic compass but only by the compass of his nose which sent him skirting every city every village every settlement for weeks he met not a single person and he might have been able to cradle himself in the soothing belief that he was alone in a world bathed in darkness or the cold light of the moon and his delicate compass not taught him better humans existed by night as well and there were humans in the most remote regions they had only pulled back like rats into their lairs to sleep the earth was not cleaned of them for even in sleep they exude their odour which then forced its way out between the cracks of their dwellings and into the open air poisoning a natural world only apparently left to its own devices the more grown we had become accustomed to pure air the more sensitive he was to human odour which suddenly quite unexpectedly would come floating by in

the night ghastly as the of manure betraying the presence of some Shepherd’s hut or charcoal burners cottage or thieves den and then he would flee further increasingly sensitive to the increasingly infrequent smell of humankind thus his nose led him to ever more remote regions of the country ever further from human beings driving him on ever more insistently towards the magnetic pole of the greatest possible solitude that pole the point of the kingdom most distant from humankind was located in the massive central of the oval about five days journey south of Claremore on the peak of a 6,000 foot high volcano named blown Dukan tal the mountain consisted of a giant cone of blue grey rock and was surrounded by an endless barren highland studded with a few trees charred by fire and overgrown with grey moths and gray brush out of which here and there brown boulders jutted up like rotten teeth even by light of day the region was so dismal and dreary that the poorest Shepherd in this poverty-stricken province would not have driven his animals here and by night by the bleaching light of the moon it was such a godforsaken wilderness that it seemed not of this world even liberal the Bandit of the ozone though pursued from all sides had referred to fight his way through to the seven and there be captured drawn and quartered rather than to hide out on the plan to control we’re certainly no one would have sought or found him but we’re likewise he would certainly have died a solitary living death that it seemed to him were still for miles around the mountain they lived not one human being nor even a respectable mammal at best a few bats and a few beetles and adders no one had scaled the peak for decades brownie we reached the mountain one August night in the year 1756 as dawn broke he was standing on the peak he did not yet know that his journey was at an end he thought that this was only a stopping place on the way to ever pure air and he turned full circle and let his nose move across the vast panorama of the volcanic wilderness to the east where the broad high plane of South floor and the marshes of the river lay to the north to the region from which he had come and where he had wandered for days through pitted limestone mountains to the west from where the soft wind of morning brought him nothing but the smells of stone and tough grass finally to the south where the foothills of the plong stretched for miles to the dark gorges of the tree air everywhere in every direction humanity lay equally remote from him and a step in any direction would have meant closer proximity to human beings the compass spun about it no longer provided orientation grow no II was at his goal and at the same time he was taken captive as the Sun rose he was still standing on the same spot his nose held up to the air with a desperate effort he tried to get a whiff of the direction from which threatening humanity came and of the opposite direction to which he could flee still further he assumed that in whatever direction he turned he ought to detect some latent scrap of human odor there was nothing here there was only peace all factory peace if it can be put that way spread all about as if softly rustling lay nothing but the drifting a modernist odor of dead stones of gray Legion and of withered grasses nothing else granny we needed a very long time to believe that he was not smelling he was not prepared for his good luck his mistrust fought against his good sense for quite a while he even used his eyes to aid him as the Sun rose and he scanned the horizon for the least sign of human presence for the roof of the hut the smoke of a fire a fence a bridge a herd he held his hands to his ears and listened for a side being wetted for the bark of a dog or the cry of a child that whole day he stood fast in the blazing heat on the peak of the blown to cantar and waited in vain for the slightest evidence only as the son it did his mistrust gradually fade before an ever-increasing sense of euphoria he had escaped the abhorrent taint he was truly completely alone he was the only human being in the world he erupted did with thundering jubilation like a shipwrecked sailor ecstatically greeting the site of an inhabited Island after weeks of aimless drifting Gwen we celebrated his arrival at the mountain of solitude he shouted for joy he cast

aside his rucksack blanket and walking stick and stamped his feet on the ground through his arms to the sky danced in circles roared his own name to the four winds clenched his fists shaking them triumphantly at the great wide country lying below him and at the Setting Sun triumphantly as if he personally had chased it from the sky he carried on like a madman until late into the night he spent the next few days settling in on the mountain for he had made up his mind that he would not be leaving this blessed region all that soon first he sniffed around for water and in a crevasse a little below the top found it running across the rock in a thin film it was not much but if he patiently licked at it for an hour he could quench his daily need for liquids yosef on nourishment in the form of small salamanders and ring snakes he pinched off their heads then devoured them whole he also add dry lichens and grass and moss berries such a diet although totally unacceptable by bourgeois standards did not disgust him in the least in the past weeks and months he had no longer fed himself with food processed by human hands bread sausage cheese but instead whenever he felt hungry had wolf done anything vaguely edible that had crossed his path he was anything but a gourmet he had no use for sensual gratification unless that gratification consisted of pure incorporeal odours he had no use for creature comforts either and would have been quite content set up camp on bare stone but he found something better near his watering spot he discovered a natural tunnel leading back into the mountain by many twists and turns until after a hundred feet or so it came to an end in a rock slide the back of the tunnel was so narrow that groin we shoulders touched the rock and so low that he could walk only hunch done but he could sit and if he curled up could even lie down this completely satisfied his requirements for comfort for the spot had incalculable advantages at the end of the tunnel it was pitch-black night even during the day it was deathly quiet and the air he breathed was moist salty cool groin we could smell at once that no living creature had ever entered the place as he took possession of it he was overcome by a sense of something like sacred or he carefully spread his horse blanket on the ground as if dressing an altar and laid down on it he felt blessedly wonderful he was lying a hundred and fifty feet below the earth inside the loneliest mountain in France as if in his own grave never in his life had he felt so secure certainly not in his mother’s belly the world could go up in flames out there but here he would not even notice it he began to cry softly he did not know whom to thank for such good fortune in the days that followed he went into the open only to look at his watering spot quickly to relieve himself of his urine and excrement and to hunt lizards and snakes they were easy to bag at night when they retreated under flood stones or into little holes where he could trace them with his nose he climbed back up to the peak a few more times during the first weeks to sniff out the horizon but soon that had become more aware of ‘some habit than a necessity for he had not once scented the least threat and so he finally gave up these excursions and concerned himself only with getting back into his crypt as quickly as possible once he had taken care of the most basic chores necessary for simple survival for here inside the crypt was where he truly lived which is to say for well over 20 hours a day in total darkness and in total silence and in total immobility he sat on his horse blanket at the end of the Stoney corridor is back resting on the rockslide he shoulders wedged between the rocks and enjoyed himself we are familiar with people who seek out solitude penitence failures saints or prophets they retreat the deserts preferably where they live on locusts and honey others however live in caves ourselves on remote islands some more spectacularly squatting cages mounted high atop pole swaying in the breeze they do this to be nearer to God their solitude is a self-mortification by which they do penance they act in the belief that they are living a life pleasing to God or they wait months years for their solitude to be broken by some divine message that they hope then speedily to broadcast among mankind groan Louise case was nothing of the

sort there was not the least notion of God in his head he was not doing penance nor waiting for some supernatural inspiration he had withdrawn solely for his own personal pleasure only to be nearer to himself no longer distracted by anything external he basked in his own existence and found it splendid he lay in his stony crypt like his own corpse hardly breathing his heart hardly beating and he had lived as intensively and dissolute ly as ever a rake had lived in the world outside the setting for these debaucheries was how could it be otherwise the innermost Empire where he had buried the husks of every odor encountered since birth to enhance the mood he first conjured up those that were earliest and most remote the hostile steaming vapors of Madame Gaia’s bedroom the bone dry leathery bouquet of her hands the vinegary breath of father tarry a the hysterical hot to maternal sweat of busi the witness the carrion stench of a symmetry of this Anna song the homicidal odor of his mother and he wallowed in disgust and loathing and his hair stood on end at the delicious horror sometimes if this repulsive aperitif did not quite get him into stride he would allow himself a brief odoriferous detour to grima’s for a whiff of the stench of raw meaty skins and tanning broths or he imagined the collective effluvium of 600,000 Parisians in the sultry oppressive heat of late summer and then all at once the pent-up hate would erupt with orgasmic force that was after all the point of the exercise like a thunderstorm he ruled across these odors that had dare defend his patrician nose he thrashed at them as hail thrash is a grain field like a hurricane he scattered the rabble and drowned them in a grand purifying deluge of distilled water and how just was his anger how great his revenge ah what a sublime moment groin we the little man quivered with excitement his body writhed with voluptuous delight and arched so high that he slammed his head against the roof of the tunnel only to sink back slowly and lie there lolling in satiation it really was too pleasant this volcanic act that extinguished all obnoxious odors really too-hoo Pleasant this was almost his favorite routine in the whole repertoire of his innermost Universal theatre for it imparted to him the wonderful sense of righteous exhaustion that comes after only truly grand heroic deeds now he could rest a while in good conscience he stretched out to the extent that his body fitted within the narrow stony quarters deep inside however on the cleanly swept mats of his soul he stretched out comfortably to the fullest and dozed away letting delicate sense play about his nose a spicy gust for instance as if born here from springtime meadows a mild May wind wafting through the first green leaves of Beach a Seabreeze with the bitterness of salted almonds it was late afternoon when he arose something like late afternoon for naturally there was no afternoon nor for noon or evening or morning there was neither light nor darkness nor were there Spring Meadows nor Green Beach leaves there were no real things at all in Gregory’s innermost universe only the odors of things which is why they fuss on the papillae speaks of that universe as a landscape and no more than adequate expression to be sure but the only possible one since our language is of no use when it comes to describing the smellable world it was then late afternoon that is a condition at the moment within gran wheeze soul such as reigns over the South when the siesta is done and the paralysis of midday slowly recedes and life’s urge begins again after such constraint the heat kindled by rage the enemy of sublime sense had fled the pack of demons was annihilated the fields within him lay soft and burnished beneath the lascivious piece of his Awakening and they waited for the will of their Lord to come upon them and groan we arose up as noted and shook the sleep from his limbs he stood up the great innermost groan we like a giant he planted himself in all his glory and grandeur splendid to look upon damn shame that no one saw him and looked about him proud and majestic yes

this was his empire the incomparable empire of burn we created and ruled over by him the incomparable gruhn we laid waste by him if he so chose and then raised up again made boundless by him and defended with a flaming sword against every intruder here there was naught but his will the will of the great splendid incomparable run away and now that the evil stench of the past had been swept away he desired that his empire be fragrant and with mighty strides he passed the fallow fields and sowed fragrance of all kinds wastefully here sparingly there in plantations of endless dimension and in small intimate parcels strewing seeds by the fistful or tucking them in one by one in selected spots to the furthermost regions of his empire groin we the great the frantic gardener hurried and soon there was not a cranny left into which he had not thrown a seed of fragrance and when he saw that it was good and that the whole earth was saturated with his divine green weed seeds then run away the great let descend a shower of rectified spirit soft and steady and everywhere and over all the seeds began to germinate and sprout bringing forth shoots to gladden his heart on the plantations it rolled in luxurious waves and in the hidden gardens the stem stood full with SAP the blossoms all but exploded from their buds then run away the great commanded the rain to stop and it was so and he sent the gentle son of his smile upon the land whereupon to a bud the hosts of blossoms unfolded their glory from one end of his Empire unto the other creating a single rainbowed carpet woven from myriad precious capsules of fragrance and grown we the great saw that it was good very very good and he caused the wind of his breath to blow across the land and the blossoms thus caressed spilled over with scent and intermingled their teeming sense into one constantly changing scent that in all its variety was nevertheless merged into the odour of universal homage to him grenouille the breaked the incomparable the magnificent who enthroned upon his gold scented cloud sniffed his breath back in again and the sweet savour of the sacrifice was pleasing unto him and he deign to bless his creation several times over from whom came Thanksgiving with songs of praise and rejoicing and yet further pourings of glorious fragrance meanwhile evening was come and the scent spilled over still and United with the blue of night to form ever more fantastic airs a veritable gala of scent awaited with one gigantic burst of fragrant diamond studded fireworks grown we the great however had tired a little onion and spoke behold I have done a great thing and I am well pleased but as with all works once finished it begins to bore me I shall withdraw and to cram this strenuous day I shall allow myself yet one more delectation in the chambers of my heart so Spoke Gwen we the great and while the peasantry of scent danced and celebrated beneath him he’d lie dead with wide stretched wings down from his golden cloud across the nocturnal fields of his soul and home to his heart ah returning home was pleasant the double role of Avenger and creator of worlds was not a little taxing and then to be celebrated afterwards for hours on end by one’s own offspring was not the perfect way to relax either weary of the duties of divine creator and official host Brumley the great long for some small domestic bliss his heart was a purple castle it lay in a rock-strewn desert concealed by dunes surrounded by a marshy oasis and set behind stone walls it could be reached only from the air it had a thousand private rooms and a thousand underground chambers and a thousand elegant salons among them one with a purple sofa where gran we no longer grown we the great but only the quite private runway or simply dear little Jean batiste would recover from

the labors of the day the castles private rooms however were shelved from floor to ceiling and on those shelves were all the odors that grown we had collected in the course of his life several million of them and in the castles cellars the best sense of his life were stored in casks when properly aged they were drawn off into bottles that lay in miles of damp cool corridors and were arranged by vintage and estate there were so many that they could not all be drunk in a single lifetime once dear little jean-baptiste had finally returned to his ships were lying on his simple cozy sofa in his purples along his boots finally pulled off so to speak he clapped his hands and called his servants who were invisible intangible inaudible and above all in odorless and thus utterly imaginary servants and ordered them to go to the private rooms and get this or that volume from the great library of elders and to the cellars to fetch something for him to drink the imaginary servants hurried off and grown his stomach cramped in tormented expectation he suddenly felt like a drunkard who is afraid that the shot of brandy he has ordered that the bar will for some reason or other be denied him what if the cellar or the library was suddenly empty if the wine in the casks gone sour why were they keeping him waiting why did they not come he needed the stuff now he needed it desperately he was addicted he would die on the spot if he did not get it come yourself jean-baptiste calm yourself my friend they’re coming they’re coming they’re bringing what you crave the servants are winging their way here with it they are carrying the book of odours on an invisible tray and in their white gloved invisible hands they are carrying those precious bottles they set them down ever so carefully they bow and they disappear and then left alone at last once again left alone jean-baptiste witches for the odours he craves opens the first bottle pours a glass full to the rim puts it to his lips and drinks drinks the glass of kugel sent down in one draft and it is luscious it is so refreshing ly good that dear jean baptiste eyes filled with tears of bliss and he immediately pours himself a second glass assent from the year 1750 to sniffed up in spring before sunrise on the pole while his nose directed to the west from where a light breeze bore the blended odours of sea and forest and the touch of the khari smell of the barges tied up at the bank it was the scent from the end of his first night spent roaming about Paris without grimas permission it was the fresh odour of the approaching day of the first daybreak that he had ever known in freedom that odor had deemed the pledge of freedom it had been the pledge of a different life the odour of that morning was for only the odour of Hope he guarded it carefully and he drank of it daily once he had emptied the second glass all his nervousness or his doubt and insecurity fell away from him and he was filled with glorious contentment he pressed his back against the soft cushions of his sofa opened a book and began to read from his memoirs he read about the odours of his childhood of his school days about the odours of the broad streets and hidden nooks of the city about human odors and a pleasant shudder washed over him for the odours he now called up or indeed those that he despised but he had exterminated with sickened interest to groan we read from the book of revolting odours and when his disgust outweighed his interest he simply slammed the book shut laid it aside and picked up another all the while he drank without pause from his noble sense after the bottle of Hope he uncorked one from the Year 1744 filled with warm scent of the wood outside Madame Gaia’s house and after that he drank a bottle of the scent of a summer evening imbued with perfume and heavy with blossoms gleaned from the edge of a park in Saruman they play dated 1753 side seven he was now sent loved his arms and legs grew heavier and heavier as they pressed into the cushions his mind was wonderfully fogged but it was not yet the end of his Deportes his eyes could read no more true the book had long since fallen from his hand but he did not want to call an end to the evening

without having emptied one last bottle the most splendid of all the scent of the girl from the rue de Maui he drank it reverently and he sat upright on the sofa to do so although this was difficult and the purple sullen world and swayed with every move like a schoolboy his knees pressed together his feet side by side his left hand resting on his left thigh that was how little gran we drank the most precious scent from the cellars of his heart glass after glass and grew sadder and sadder as he drank he knew that he was drinking too much he knew that he could not handle so much good scent and yet he drank till the bottle was empty he walked along the dark passage from the street into the rear courtyard he made for the glow of light the girl was sitting there pitting yellow plums far in the distance the rockets and Picard’s of the fireworks were booney it was the glass down and sat there for a while yet several minutes stiff with sentimentality and guzzling until the last aftertaste had vanished from his palate he stared vacantly ahead his head was suddenly as empty as the bottle then he toppled sideways onto the purple sofa and from one moment to the next sank into a numbed at the same time the other groan we fell asleep on his horse blanket and his sleep was just as fathomless as that of the innermost grimly for the Herculean deeds and excesses of the one had more than exhausted the other they were after all one and the same person when he awoke however he did not awaken in the purple salon of his purple castle behind the seven walls not upon the vernal fields of scent within his soul but most decidedly in his Stoney dungeon at the end of a tunnel on hard ground in the dark and he was nauseated with hunger and thirst and was chilled and miserable as a drunkard after a night of carousing he crept on all fours out of his tunnel outside it would be some time of day or another usually towards the beginning or end of night but even at midnight the brightness of the starlight pricked his eyes like needles the air seemed dusty to him acrid searing his lungs the landscape was brittle he bumped against the stones and even the most delicate odours came sharp and caustic into a nose unaccustomed to the world when we the tick a groan as touchy as a hermit crab that has left its shell to wander naked through the sea he went to his watering spot licked the moisture from the wall for an hour for two it was pure torture time would not end time in which the real world scorched his skin he ripped a few scraps of moss from the stones chugged them down squatted as he ate it must all be done quickly quickly quickly and as if he were a hunted creature a little soft fleshed animal and the Hawks were already circling in the sky overhead he ran back to his cave to the end of the tunnel where his horse blanket was spread there he was safe at last he leaned back against the stony debris stretched out his legs and waited he had to hold his body very still very still like some vessel about to slosh over from too much motion gradually he managed to gain control of his breathing his excited heart beat more steadily the pounding of the waves inside him subsided slowly and suddenly a solitude fell across his heart like a dusky reflection he closed his eyes the dark doors within him opened and he entered the next performance in the theatre of grun we his soul was beginning and so it went day in day out week in week out month in month out so it went for seven long years meanwhile war raged in the world outside a world war men fought in Silesia and Saxony in Hanover and the Low Countries Bohemia and Pomerania the Kings troops died in his and Westphalia on the Balearic Islands in India on the Mississippi and in Canada if they had not already succumbed to typhoid on the journey the war robbed a million people of their lives France of its colonial empire and all the warring nations of so much money that they finally decided with heavy hearts to end it one winter during this period Grundy almost froze to death without ever noticing it for five days he lay in

his purple salon and when he awoke in his tunnel he was so cold he could not move he closed his eyes again and would have slept himself to death but then the weather turned around there was a Thor and he was saved once the snow was so deep that he did not have the strength to borrow down to the legend he fed himself on the stiff carcasses of frozen bats once a dead Raven lay at the mouth of the cave he ate it these were the only events in the outside world of which he took notice for seven years otherwise he lived only within his Mountain only within the self-made Empire of his soul and he would have remained there until his death since he lacked for nothing if catastrophe had not struck driving him from his Mountain vomiting him back out into the world if the catastrophe was not an earthquake nor a forest fire nor an avalanche nor a cave him it was not an external catastrophe at all but an internal one and as such particularly distressing because it blocked the girl Louise favorite means of escape it happened in his sleep or rather in his dreams or better still in a dream while he slept in the heart of his fantasies he lay on his sofa in the purple salon and slept the empty bottles all about him he had drunk an enormous amount with two whole bottles of the scent of the red haired girl for a nightcap apparently it had been too much for his sleep though deepest death itself was not dreamless this time but threaded with ghostly whisper dreams these wisps were clearly recognizable as scraps of odors at first they merely floated in thin threads past granese nose but then they grew thicker more cloud-like and now it seemed as if he was standing in the middle of a moor from which fog was rising the fog slowly climbed higher soon Gregory was completely wrapped in fog saturated with fog and it seemed that he could not get his breath for the foggy vapor if he did not want to suffocate he would have to breathe the fog in and the fog was as noted an odour and groan we knew what kind of odor the fog was his own odour his granny’s own body odor was the fog and the awful thing was that groan we although he knew that this odor was his odour could not smell it virtually drowning in himself he could not for the life of him smell himself as this became clear to him he gave a scream as dreadful and loved as if he were being burned alive the scream smashed through the walls of the purple salon through the walls of the castle and sped away from his heart across the ditches and swamps and deserts hurtled across the nocturnal landscape of his soul like a fire storm howled its way out of his mouth down the winding tunnel out into the world and are across the high plains of sound flew as if the mountain itself was screaming and groan we awoke at his own scream in waking he thrashed about as if he had to drive off the odorless fog trying to suffocate him he was deathly afraid his whole body shook with the raw fear of death at his scream not ripped open the fog he would have drowned in himself a gruesome death he shuddered as he recalled and as he sat there shivering and trying to gather his confused terrified thoughts he knew one thing for sure he would change his life if only because he did not want to dream such a frightening dream a second time he would not survive it a second time he threw his horse blanket over his shoulders and crept out into the open it was already morning outside a late February morning the Sun was shining the earth smelled of moist stones moss and water on the wing there already lay a light bouquet of anemones he squatted on the ground before his cave the sunlight warmed him he breathed in the fresh air whenever he thought of the fog that he had escaped a shudder would pass over him and he shuddered too from the pleasure of the warmth he felt on his back it was good really that this external world still existed if only as a place of refuge nor could he bear the awful thought of how it would have been not to find a world at the entrance of the tunnel no light no odor no nothing

only that ghastly fog in sight outside everywhere gradually the shock subsided gradually the grip of anxiety loosened and groan we began to feel safer towards noon here was his old cold-blooded self he laid the index and middle fingers of his left hand under his nose and breathed along the backs of his fingers he smelled the moist spring air spiced with anemones he did not smell anything of his fingers he turned his hand over and sniffed at the palm he sensed the warmth of his hand but smelled nothing then he rolled up the ragged sleeve of his shirt buried his nose in the crook of his elbow he knew that this was the spot where all humans smell like themselves but he could smell nothing he could not smell anything in his armpits nor on his feet nor around his genitals when he bent down to them as far as he possibly could it was grotesque he groin we who could smell other people miles away was incapable of smelling his own genitals not a hand Spanaway nevertheless he did not panic but considered it all coolly and spoke to himself as follows it is not that I do not smell for everything smells it is rather that I cannot smell that I smell because I have smelled myself day in day out since my birth and my nose is therefore dulled against my own smell if I could separate my own smell or at least a part of it from me and then return to it after being weaned from it for a while then I would most certainly be able to smell it and there for me he laid the horse blanket aside and took off his clothes or at least what remained of them rags and tatters were what he took off for seven years he had not removed them from his body they had to be fully saturated with his own odour he tossed them into a pile at the cave entrance and walked away then for the first time in seven years he once again climbed to the top of the mountain there he stood on the same spot where he had stood on the day of his arrival held his nose to the west and let the wind whistling his naked body his intention was thoroughly to air himself to be pumped so full of the west wind and that meant with the odour of the sea and wet Meadows that this odor would counterbalance his own body odor creating a gradient of odours betwee self and his clothes which he would then be in a position to smell and to prevent his nose from taking in the least bit of his own odor he bent his body forwards stretching his neck out as far as he could against the wind with his arms stretched behind him he looked like a swimmer just before he dives into the water he held this quite ridiculous pose for several hours and even by such pale sunlight his skin maggot white from lack of Sun was turned a lobster red towards evening he climbed back down to the cave from far off he could see his clothes lying in a pile the last few yards he held his nose closed and opened it again only when he had lowered it right down onto the pile he made the sniffing test he had learned from Baldini snatching up the air and then letting it out again in spurts and to catch the odor he used both hands to form a bell around his clothes with his nose stuck into it at the clapper he did everything possible to extract his own odor from his clothes but there was no odour in them it was most definitely not there there were a thousand other odors the odor of stone sand moss resin Ravens blood even the odour of the sausage that he had bought years before near Sully was clearly perceptible those clothes contained an olfactory diary of the last seven eight years only one lauder was not there his own odor the odour of the person who had worn them continuously all that time and now he began to be truly alarmed the son had said he was standing naked at the entrance to the tunnel where he had lived in darkness for seven years the wind blew cold and he was freezing but he did not notice that he was freezing for within him was a counter frost fear it was not the same fear that he had felt in his dream the ghastly fear of suffocating on himself which he had had to shake off and flee whatever the cost what he now felt was the fear of not knowing much of any about himself it was the opposite pole

of that other fear he could not flee it but had to move towards it he had to know for certain even if that knowledge proved too terrible whether he had an odor or not and he had to know now at once he went back into the tunnel within a few yards he was fully engulfed in darkness but found his way as if by brightest daylight he had gone down this path many thousands of times knew every step and every turn could smell every low-hanging jot of rock and every tiny protruding stone it was not hard to find the way what was hard was fighting back the memory of the claustrophobic dream rising higher and higher within him like a flood tide with every step he took but he was brave that is to say he fought the fear of knowing with the fear of not knowing and he won the battle because he knew he had no choice when he had reached the end of the tunnel there where the rockslide slanted upwards both fears fell away from him he felt calm his mind was quite clear and his nose sharp as a scalpel he squatted down laid his hands over his eyes and smelled here on this spot in this remote stony grave he had lain for seven years there must be some smell of him here if anywhere in this world he breathed slowly he analyzed exactly he allowed himself time to come to a judgment he squatted there for a quarter of an hour his memory was infallible and he knew precisely how this spotted smelled seven years before stony and moist salty cool and so pure that no living creature man or beast could ever have entered the place which was exactly how it smelled now he continued to squat there for a while quite calm simply nodding his head gently then he turned around and walked at first hunched down but when the height of the tunnel allowed it erect out into the open air outside he pulled on his rags issues had rotted off him years before through the horse blanket over his shoulders and that same night left the blown two cont’d al heading south he looked awful his hair reached down to the hollows of his knees his scraggly beard to his navel his nails were like talons and the skin on his arms and legs wear the rags no longer covered his body was peeling off in shreds the first people he met farmers in a field near the town of pf4 ran off screaming at the sight of him but in the town itself he caused a sensation by the hundreds people came running to gape at him many of them believed he was an escaped galley slave others said he was not really a human being but some mixture of man and bear some kind of forest creature one fellow who had been to sea claimed that he looked like a member of a wild Indian tribe in cayenne which lay on the other side of the great ocean they led him before the mayor there to the astonishment of the assembly he produced his journeyman’s papers opened his mouth and related in a few gabbled but sufficiently comprehensible words for these were the first words that he had uttered in seven years how he had been attacked by robbers dragged off and held captive in a cave for seven years he had seen neither daylight nor another human being during that time had been fed by an invisible hand that let down a basket in the dark and finally set free by a ladder without his ever knowing why and without ever having seen his captors or his rescuer he had thought this story up since it seemed to him more believable than the truth and so it was for similar attacks by robbers occurred not infrequently in the mountains of the other’ man longer duck and in this event at least the mayor recorded it all without protest and passed his report on to the Makeda Latoya s penis leash Lord of the town and Member of Parliament in Toulouse at the age of 40 the Marquis had turned his back on life at the court of Versailles and retired to his estates where he lived for science alone from his pen had come an important work concerning dynamic political economy in it he had proposed the abolition of all taxes on real estate and agricultural products as well as the introduction of an upside-down progressive income tax which would hit the poorest citizens the hardest and so forced them to a more vigorous development of their economic

activities encouraged by the success of his little book he wrote a tract on the raising of boys and girls between the ages of five and ten then he turned to experimental agriculture by spreading the semen of Bulls over various grasses he attempted to juice a milk yielding animal vegetable hybrid a sort of other flower after initial successes what enabled him to produce a cheese from his milk grass described by the Academy of Sciences of Lyon as tasting of goat though slightly bitter he had to abandon his experiments because of the enormous cost of spewing bull semen by the hundreds of courts across his fields in any case he’s concerned with matters agro biological had awakened his interest not only in the plowed clod so to speak but in the earth in general and its relationship to the biosphere in particular he had barely concluded his work with the milk yielding utter flour when he threw himself with great along into unflagging research for a grand treatise on the relationship between proximity to the earth and vital energy his thesis was that life could develop only at a certain distance from the earth since the earth itself constantly emits a corrupting gas a so-called fluid omelet a lane which lanes vital energies and sooner or later utterly extinguishes them all living creatures therefore endeavour to distance themselves from the earth by growing that is they grow away from it and not for instance into it which is why their most valuable parts are lifted heavenwards the years of grain the blossoms of flowers the head of man and therefore as they begin to bend and buckle back towards the earth in old age they will inevitably fall victim to the lethal gas into which they are in turn finally changed once they have decomposed after death when the Marquis the Latoya is been us received word that in peer for an individual had been found word dwelt in a cave for seven years that is completely encapsulated by the corrupting element of the earth he was beside himself with delight and immediately had grown we brought to his laboratory where he subjected him to a thorough examination he found his theory is confirmed most graphically the fluid Amla tally had already so assaulted Khurana that his 25 year old body clearly showed the marks of senile deterioration all that had prevented his death tired espionage declared was the during his imprisonment Khurana we had been given earth removed plants presumably bread and fruits for nourishment and now his former healthy condition could only be restored by the wholesale expulsion of the fluid him using a vital ventilation machine devised by Thai odd espionage himself he had such an apparatus standing in his Manor in Montpellier and if granny was willing to make himself available as the object of a scientific demonstration he was willing not only to free him from hopeless contamination by earth gas but he would also provide him with a handsome sum of money two hours later they were sitting in the carriage although the roads were in miserable condition they travelled the 64 miles to Montpellier in just under two days for despite his advanced age the Marquis would not be denied his right personally to wit both driver and horses and to lend a hand whenever as frequently happened an axle or spring broke so excited was he by his find so eager to present it to an educated audience as soon as possible run away however was not allowed to leave the carriage even once he was forced to sit there all wrapped up his rags and a blanket drenched with earth and play during the trip he was given raw vegetable roots to eat the Maquis hoped these procedures would preserve the contamination by Earth’s fluid him in its ideal state for a while yet upon their arrival in Montpellier he had grown we taken at once to the cellar of his mansion and sent out invitations to all the members of the medical faculty the Botanical Association the agricultural school the chemo physical Club the Free Masons Lodge and other assorted learning societies of which the city had no fewer than a dozen and several days later exactly one week after he had left his mountain solitude grown we found himself on a dais in the Great Hall of the University of Montpellier and was presented as the scientific sensation of the year to a crowd of several hundred people in his lecture triad s penis described him as living proof of the validity of his theory of Earth’s fluid omelet all a while he stripped grown weary of his rags piece-by-piece he explained the devastating effect that the corruptive gas had perpetrated on Crowley’s body one could see the

pustules and scars caused by the corrosive gas there on his breast a giant shiny red gas cancer a general disintegration of the skin and even clear evidence of fluid ill deformation of the bone structure the visible indications being a clubfoot and a hunchback the internal organs as well had been damaged by the gas pancreas liver lungs gold ladder and intestinal tract as the analysis of a stool sample accessible to the public in a basement at the feet of the exhibit had proved beyond doubt in summary it could be said that the paralysis of the vital energy is caused by a seven-year contamination with fluid omlette al a dyad had progressed so far that the exhibit whose external appearance by the way already displayed significant moonlight trades could be described as a creature more disposed towards death than life nevertheless the lecturer pledged that within eight days using ventilation therapy in combination with a vital diet he would restore this doomed creature to the point where the signs of a complete recovery would be self-evident to everyone and he invited those present to return in one week to satisfy themselves of the success of this prognosis which of course would then have to be seen as valid proof that his theory concerning Earth’s fluid ‘im was likewise correct the lecture was an immense success the learning audience applauded the lecturer vigorously and lined up to pass the days where grenouille was standing in his state of preserved deterioration and with all his old scars and deformities he did indeed look so impressively dreadful that everyone considered him beyond recovery and already half decayed although he himself felt quite healthy and robust many of the gentlemen tapped him up and down in a professional manner measured him looked into his mouth and eyes several of them addressed him directly and inquired about his life in the cave and his present state of health but he kept strictly to the instructions the Marquis had given him beforehand and answered all such questions with nothing more than a strange death rattle making helpless gestures with his hands to his larynx as if to indicate that that too was already rotted away by the fluid amla collie dyad at the end of the demonstration dyad s penis packed him back up and transported him home to the storage room of his Manor there in the presence of several selected doctors from the Medical Faculty he locked grow new e in his vital ventilation machine a box made of tightly jointed pine boards which by means of a suction flue extending far above the house roof could be flooded with air extracted from the higher regions and thus free of lethal gas the air could then escape through a leather flap valve placed in the floor the apparatus was kept in operation by a staff of servants who tended it day and night so the ventilators inside the flue never stopped pumping and so surrounded by the constant purifying stream of air Grenaa was fed a diet of foods earth removed regions dove booyah lock pie ragu of wild duck preserves of fruit picked from trees bread made from a special weed to grown in high altitudes wine from the Pyrenees chamois milk and frozen frothy meringue from hens kept in the Attic of a mansion all of which was presented at hourly intervals through the door of a double walled airlock built into the side of the chamber this combined treatment of decontamination and revitalization lasted for five days then the Marquis had the ventilator stopped and grown we brought to a washroom where he was softened for several hours in baths of lukewarm rainwater and finally waxed from head to toe with nut oil soap from potosi in the Andes his finger and toenails were trimmed his teeth cleaned with pulverized lime from the Dolomites he was shaved his hair cotton combed quaffed and powdered a tailor the cobbler was sent for and run away was fitted out in a silk shirt with white jabo and white ruffles of the cuffs silk stockings frock coat trousers and vest of blue velvet and handsome buckled shoes of black leather the right one cleverly elevated for his crippled foot the Marquis personally applied white talcum makeup to grow nice scarred face dad his lips and cheeks with crimson and gave a truly noble arch to his eyebrows with the aid of a soft stick of London charcoal then he dusted him with his own personal perfume a rather simple violet fragrance took a few steps back and took some time to find words for his delight Monsieur he began at last I am thrilled with

myself I am overwhelmed at my own genius I have to be sure never doubted the correctness of my fluid old theory of course not but to find it so gloriously confirmed by an applied therapy overwhelms me you were a beast and I have made a man of you a veritable divine hack do forgive me I am so touched stand in front of that mirror then regard yourself you will realize for the first time in your life that you are a human being not a particularly extraordinary or in any fashion distinguished one but nevertheless a perfectly acceptable human being go on Monsieur regards also and admire the miracle that I have accomplished with you it was the first time that anyone’s ever said Monsieur to grown we he walked over to the mirror and looked into it before that day he had never seen himself in a mirror he saw a gentleman in a handsome blue outfit with a white shirt and silk stockings and instinctively he ducked as he had always ducked before such fine gentlemen the fine gentleman however ducked as well and when grown we stood up straight again the fine gentleman did the same and then they both stared straight into each other’s eyes what dumbfounded groan we most was the fact that he looked so unbelievably normal the Marquis was right there was nothing special about his looks nothing handsome but then nothing especially ugly either he was a little short of stature his posture was a little awkward his face little expressionless in short he looked like a thousand other people if he were now to go walking down the street not one person would turn around to look at him a man such as he now was should he chance to meet him would not even strike him as in any way unusual unless of course he smelled that the man except for a hint of violets had as little odor as the gentleman in the mirror or himself standing there in front of it and yet only ten days before farmers had run away screaming at the sight of him he had not felt any different from the way he did now and now if he closed his eyes he felt not one bit different from then he inhaled the air that rose up from his own body and smelled the bad perfume and the velvet and the freshly glued leather of his shoes he smelled the silk cloth the powder the makeup the faint scent of the soap from Potosi and suddenly he knew that it had not been the Dove booyah nor the ventilation hocus-pocus that had made a normal person out of him but solely these few clothes the haircut and the little masquerade with cosmetics he blinked as he opened his eyes and so how the gentleman in the mirror blinked back at him and how a little smile played about his calming lips as if signalling to him that he did not find him totally unattractive and growing he himself found that the gentleman in the mirror is odorless thicker dressed and made up like a man was not all that bad either at least it seemed to him as if the figure once its costume had been perfected might have an effect on the world outside that he grew and we would never have expected of himself he nodded to the figure and saw that in nodding back it flared its nostrils surreptitiously the following day the Marquis was just about to instruct him in the basic poses gestures and dance steps he would need for his coming social debut grin we faked a fainting spell and as if totally exhausted and in imminent danger of suffocation collapsed onto a sofa the Marquis was beside himself he screamed for servant screamed for fan bearers and portable ventilators and while the servants colored about he knelt down a grown wheeze side falling in with a handkerchief soaked in bouquet of violets and appeal to him literally begged him to get to his feet and please not to breathe his last just yet but to wait if at all possible until the day after tomorrow since the survival of the theory of the fluid Amla Kali would otherwise be in utmost jeopardy Gregory twisted and turned coughed groan thrashed of a handkerchief with his arms and finally after falling from the sofa in a highly dramatic fashion crept to the most distant corner of the room not that perfume he cried with his last bit of energy not that perfume it will kill me and only when tired Espina had tossed the handkerchief out of the window and his violet scented jacket into the next room he’d run away allow his attack to ebb and in a voice that

slowly grew Carla explained that as a perfumer he had an occupational sensitive nose and it always reacted very strongly to certain perfumes especially so during this period of recuperation and his only explanation for the fact the percent of violets in particular a lovely flower in its own right should so oppress him was that the Marcus’s perfume contained a high percentage of violet root extract which being of subterranean origin must have a pernicious effect on a person like himself suffering from the influence of fluid omelet Olli yesterday at the first application of the scent he had felt quite queasy and today as he had once again perceived the odor of roots it had been as if someone had pushed him back into that dreadful suffocating hole where he had vegetated for seven years his very nature had risen up against it that was all he could say and now that his grace the Marquis had used his art to restore him to a life free of fluido air he would rather die on the spot than once again be at the mercy of the dreaded fluid him at the mere thought of a perfume extracted from roots he could feel his whole body cramping up he was firmly convinced however that he would recover in an instant if the Marquis would permit him to design a perfume of his own one that would completely drive out the scent of violence he had in mind an especially light airy fragrance consisting primarily of earth removed ingredients like o of almond and orange blossom eucalyptus pine and Cypress oils a splash of such a scent on his clothes a few drops on his neck and cheeks and he would be permanently immune to any repetition of the embarrassing seizure that had just overwhelmed him for clarity’s sake the proper forms of reported speech have been used here but in reality this was a verbal eruption of uninterrupted blubbering ‘he’s accompanied by numerous coughs and gasps and struggles for breath all of which groan we accented with quivering x’ and fidget and Rowling’s of the eyes the maquis was deeply impressed it was however not so much his ward symptoms of suffering as the deft argumentation presented totally under the aegis of the theory of fluid omelet alley that convinced him of course it was the violet perfume a lab noxious earthbound indeed subterranean product he himself was probably infected by it after years of use had no idea that day in day out he had been bringing himself ever near as a death by using that scent he’s got the stiffness in his neck the ennovation of his member his hemorrhoids the pressure in his ears he’s rotten tooth all of it doubtless came from the contagious fluid all stench of violet roots and that stupid little man that lump of misery there in the corner of the room had given him the idea he was touched he would have loved to a call over to him lifted him up and pressed him to his enlightened heart but he feared that he still smelled too much of violets and so he screamed for his servants yet again and ordered that all the violet perfume be removed from the house the whole mansion aired his clothes disinfected in the vital air ventilator and that groan we at once be conveyed in his sedan chair to the best perfumer in the city and of course this was precisely what granny had intended his seizure to accomplish the science of perfumery was an old tradition in Montpellier and although in more recent times it had lost ground to its competitor the town of Grasse there were still several good perfumers and brothers residing in the city the most prestigious of them a certain Rennell well aware of the trade he enjoyed with the house of the Marquis de Tejada s penis as its purveyor of soaps oils and scents declared himself prepared to take the unusual step of surrendering his studio for an hour to the strange journeyman perfumer from Paris who had been conveyed with a in a sedan chair the latter refused all instructions did not even want to know where things were he knew his way around he said would manage well enough and he locked himself in the laboratory and stayed there for a good hour while Rennell joined the Marcus’s major over a couple of glasses of wine in a tavern where he was to learn why his violet cologne was no longer a cent worth smelling runo’s laboratory and shop fell short of being so grandly equipped as Balinese perfume shop in Paris had been in its day an average perfumer would not have made any great progress with its few floral oils colognes and spices grown we however recognized with the first inhale sniff that the ingredients on hand would be quite sufficient for his purposes he did not want to create a great scent he did not want to create a prestigious cologne such as he had once made for Baldini one that stood out amid a sea of mediocrity and tamed the masses no was even the

simple orange blossom scent that he had promised the Marcus his true goal the customary essences of neroli eucalyptus and cypress were meant only as a cover for the actual scent that he intended to produce that was the scent of humaneness he wanted to acquire the human being odor if only in the form of an inferior temporary surrogate that he did not possess himself true the odour of human being did not exist any more than the human countenance every human being smelled differently no one knew that better than gran we who recognized thousands upon thousands of individual odors and could sniff out the difference of each human being from birth on and yet there was a basic perfume Ettrick theme to the odour of humanity a rather simple one incidentally a sweaty oily sour cheesy quite richly repulsive basic theme that clung to all humans equally and above which each individual’s aura hovered only as a small cloud of more refined particularity that aura however the highly complex unmistakable code of a personal odor was not perceptible for most people in any case most people did not know that they even had such a thing and moreover did everything they could to disguise it under clothes or fashionable artificial odors only that basic outta the primitive human effluvium was truly familiar to them they lived exclusively within it and it made them feel sick pure and only a person who gave off that standard vile vapor was ever considered one of their own side eight it was a strange perfume that granny created that day there had never before been a stranger one on earth it did not smell like a scent but like a human being who gives off scent if one had smelled this perfume in a dark room one would have thought a second person was standing there and if a human being who smelled like a human being had applied it that person would have seemed to have the smell of two people or worse still to be a monstrous double creature like some figure that you can no longer clearly pinpoint because it looks blurred and out of focus like something at the bottom of a lake beneath the shiver of waves and to imitate this human odor quite unsatisfactory as he himself knew but cleverly enough to deceive others Grenn we gathered up his most striking ingredients in roon Elle’s workshop there was a little pile of cat behind the threshold of the door leading out to the courtyard still quite fresh he took half a teaspoon of it and placed it together with several drops of vinegar and finely ground salt in a mixing bottle under the work table he found a thumbnail sized piece of cheese apparently from one of rune ELLs lunches it was already quite old and began to decompose and gave off a biting pungent odour from the lid of a sardine tub that stood at the back of the shop he scratched off a rancid Shi something or other mixed it with rotten egg and castoreum ammonia nutmeg corn shavings and singed pork rind finely ground to this he added a relatively large amount of civet mixed these ghastly ingredients with alcohol let it digest and filtered it into a second bottle the bilge smelled revolting its stink was putrid like a sewer and if you found it the vapor just once to mix it with fresh air It was as if you were standing in Paris on a hot summer day at the corner of the roof on the ruler jewelry where the others from Leal the symmetry of this Anna saw and the overcrowded tenements converged on top of this disgusting vase which smelled more like a cadaver than a human being when we spread a layer of fresh oily scents peppermint lavender turpentine lime eucalyptus which he then simultaneously disguised and tamed with the pleasant bouquet of fine floral oils geranium rose orange blossom and jasmine after a second dilution with alcohol and a splash of vinegar there was nothing left of the disgusting basic odor on which the mixture was built the latent stench lay lost and unnoticeable under the fresh ingredients the nausea sparked tampered by the scent of flowers had become almost interesting and strangely enough there was no putrefaction left to smell not the least on the contrary the perfume seemed to exhale the robust vivacious scent of life brynlee filled to flak homes with it stopped at them and stuck them in his pockets then he washed the bottles mortars funnels and spoons carefully with water rub them down with bitter almond oil to remove

all traces of odor and picked up a second mixing bottle in it he quickly composed another perfume a sort of copy of the first likewise consisting of fresh and floral elements but containing nothing of the witch’s brew as a base but rather a totally conventional one of musk ambergris a tiny bit of civet and cedarwood oil by itself it smelled totally different from the first flattered more innocent detoxified for it lacked the components of the imitation human odor but once a normal human being applied it and married it to his own odor it could no longer be distinguished from the one that grown we had created exclusively for himself after he had filled the second perfume into flock homes he stripped and sprinkled his clothes with the first then he dabbed himself in the armpits between the toes on the genitals on the chest neck ears and hair put his clothes back on and left the laboratory as he came out on the street he was suddenly afraid but he knew that for the first time in his life he was giving off a human odor he found that he stank stank quite disgustingly and because he could not imagine that other people would not also perceive his odour as a stench he did not dare go directly into the tavern where une L and the Marcus’s majordomo were waiting for him it seemed less risky to him first to try out his new aura in an anonymous environment he slipped down towards the river through the darkest and narrowest alleyways where tanners and dyers had their workshops and carried on their stinking business when someone approached or if he passed an entryway where children were playing or women were sitting he forced himself to walk more slowly bringing his oder with him in a large compact cloud from his youth on he had been accustomed to people passing him and taking no notice of him whatever not out of contempt as he had once believed but because they were quite unaware of his existence there was no space surrounding him no waves broke from him into the atmosphere as with other people he had no shadows so to speak to cast across another’s face only if he ran right into someone in a crowd or in a street corner collision would there be a brief moment of discernment and the person encountered would bounce off and stare at him for a few seconds as if gazing at a creature that ought not even to exist a creature that although undeniably there in some way or other was not present and would take to his heels and have forgotten him run away a moment later but now in the streets of Montpellier grown we sensed and saw with his own eyes and each time he saw it anew a powerful sense of pride washed over him that he exerted an effect on people as he passed a woman who stood bent down over the edge or well he noticed how she raised her head for a moment to see who was there and then apparently satisfied turned back to her bucket a man who was standing with his back to him turned around and gazed after him with curiosity for a good while children he met scooted to one side not out of fear but to make room for him and even when they came hurtling out of a side doorway right at him they were not frightened but simply slipped naturally past him as if they had anticipated an approaching person several such meetings taught him to assess more precisely the power and effect of his new order and he grew more self-assured and cocky he moved more rapidly towards people passed by them more closely even stretched out one arm a little raising the arm of a passerby as if by chance once he jostled a man as if by accident while moving to pass around him he stopped apologized and the man who only yesterday would have reacted to grown his sudden appearance as if to a thunderbolt behaved as though nothing had happened accepted the apology even smiled briefly and clapped grun way on the shoulder he left the back streets and entered the square before the cathedral of Sam pierre the bells were ringing there was a crush of people at both sides of the portal a wedding had just ended people wanted to see the bride grown away hurried over and mingled with the crowd he shoved bored his way in to where he wanted to be where people were packed together most densely where he could be cheek-by-jowl with them rubbing his own scent directly under their noses and in the thick of the crush he spread his arms spread his legs and opened his collar so that the odor could flow unimpeded from his body and his joy was boundless when he noticed that the others noticed nothing nothing whatever that all these men women and children standing pressed about him could be so easily duped that they could inhale his

concoction of catshit cheese and vinegar as an odor just like their own and accept him growing the Cuckoo’s egg in their midst as a human being amongst human beings he felt a child against his knee a little girl standing wedged in among the adults he lifted her up with hypocritical concern and held her with one arm so that she could see better the mother not tolerated this she thanked him as well and the child yelled with delight when we stood there like that in the bosom of the crowd for a good quarter of an hour a strange child pressed sanctimoniously to his chest and while the wedding party passed by to the accompaniment of the booming bells and the cheers of the masses and the pelting shot of coins bran we broke out in a different jubilation a black jubilation a wicked feeling of triumph that set him quivering and excited him like an attack of lechery and he had trouble to keep from spurting it like venom and spleen over all these people and screaming exultant lee in their faces that he was not afraid of them that he hardly hated them anymore but that his contempt for them was profound and total because they were so stupid they stank because they could be deceived by him let themselves be deceived because they were nothing and he was everything and as if to mock them he pressed the child still closer to him bursting out and shouting in chorus with the others hurrah for the bride long live the bride long live the glorious couple when the wedding party had departed and the crowd had begun to disperse he gave the child back to its mother and went into the church to recover from his excitement and rest a little inside the cathedral the air was still filled with incense billowing up in cold clouds from two sensors at each side of the altar and lying in a suffocating layer above the fainter odours of the people who had just been sitting there grenouille hunched down on the bench behind the choir all at once great contentment came over him not a drunken one as in the days when he had celebrated his lonely orgies in the bowels of the mountain but a very cold and sober contentment as befits awareness of one’s own power he now knew what he was capable of thanks to his own genius with a minimum of contrivance he had imitated the odor of human beings that one stroke had matched it so well that even a child had been deceived he now knew that he could do much more he knew that he could improve on this scent he would be able to create a scent that was not merely human but superhuman an angel scent so indescribable good and vital that whoever smelled it would be enchanted and with his whole heart would have to love him when we the bearer of that scent yes that was what he wanted they would love him as they stood under the spell of his scent not just accept him as one of them but love him to the point of insanity of self-abandonment they would quiver with delight scream weep for bliss they would sink to their knees as if under God’s cold incense merely to be able to smell him go away he would be the omnipotent God of scent just as he had been in his fantasies but this time in the real world and over real people and he knew that all this was within his power for people could close their eyes to greatness to horrors to beauty and their ears to melodies or receiving words but they could not escape cent percent was a brother of breath together with breath it entered human beings who could not defend themselves against it not if they wanted to live and scent entered into their very core went directly to their hearts and decided for good and all between affection and contempt disgust and lust love and hate he who ruled sent ruled the hearts of men groan we sat at his ease on his bench in the Cathedral of San Pierre and smiled his mood was not euphoric as he formed his plans to rule humankind there were nomads flashings of the I know lunatic grimace passed over his face he was not out of his mind which was so clear and buoyant that he asked himself why he wanted to do it at all and he said to himself that he wanted to it because he was evil thoroughly evil and he smiled as he said it and was content he looked quite innocent like

any happy person he sat there for a while with an air of de vocht tranquility and took deep breaths inhaling the incense Laden air and yet another cheerful grin crossed his face how miserable this God smelled how ridiculously bad the scent that this God let spill from him it was not even genuine frankincense fuming up out of those parables a bad substitute adulterated with Linden and cinnamon dust and saltpeter God stank God was a poor little stinker he had been swindled this God had or was himself a swindler no different from grenouille only a considerably worse one the Marquis de Luca had s penis was thrilled with his new perfume it was staggering he said even for the discoverer of the fluid omelette allay to note what a striking influence on the general condition of an individual such a trivial and ephemeral item as perfume could have as a result of its being either earthbound or earth removed in origin Bruno II who but a few hours before had lain pale and near swooning now appeared as fresh and rosy as any healthy man his age could why even with all the qualifications appropriate to a man of his rank and limited education one might almost say that he had gained something very like a personality in any case he tired s penis would discuss the case in the chapter on vital Dietetics in his soon-to-be published treatise on the theory of the fluid omelette Ali but first he wished to anoint his own body with this new perfume when we handed him both freken’s of conventional floral scent and the mark was sprinkled himself with it he seemed highly gratified by the effect he confessed that after years of being oppressed by the leaden scent of violets a mere dab of this made him feel as if he had sprouted floor wings and if he was not mistaken the beastly pain in his knee was already subsided likewise the buzzing in his ears all in all he felt by n’t revitalized and several years younger he approached when we embraced him and called him my fluid old brother adding that this was in no way a form of social address but rather a purely spiritual one in con spec to universally TARDIS QED late Alice before which and before which alone all n were equal also and this he said as he disengaged himself from when we in the most friendly disengagement without the least revulsion almost as if he were disengaging himself from an equal he was planning soon to found an international lodge that stood above all social rank and the goal of which would be utterly to vanquish the fluid Hamlet alley and replace it in the shortest possible time with purest fluid on Vitale and even now he promised to windgren we over as the first proselyte then he had him write the formula for the floral perfume on a slip of paper pocketed it and presented grin we with fifty Louie door precisely one week after the first lecture the Marquis de la triad s penis once again presented his ward in the Great Hall of the University the crush was monstrous all Montpellier had come not just scientific Montpellier but also and in particular social Montpellier among whom were many ladies desirous of seeing the fabled caveman and all the tired enemies primarily the champions of the Friends of the University Botanical Gardens and members of the Society for the Advancement of Agriculture had mobilized all their supporters the exhibition was a scintillating success in order to remind his audience of granese condition of only the week before tired s penis first circulated drawings depicting the caveman in all his ugliness and depravity he then had them lead in the new Grand we dressed in a handsome velvet blue coat and silk shirt rused powdered and quaffed and merely by the way he walked so erect and with dentist steps and an elegant of the hips by the way he climbed to the days without anyone’s assistance bowing deeply and nodding with a smile now to one side now to the other he silenced every skeptic and critic even the friends of the university’s Botanical Garden were embarrassedly speechless the change was too egregious the apparent miracle too overwhelming we’re but a week ago had card a Drudge a brutalized beast there now stood a truly civilized properly proportioned human being an almost prayerful mood spread through the hall and the sky a day spinasse commenced his lecture perfect silence

reigned he once again set forth is all too familiar theory about Earth’s fluid omelette alley explained how and with what mechanical and Dietetic means he had driven it from the body of his exhibit replacing it with fluid mV tally finally he demanded of all’s present friend and foe alike that in the face of such overwhelming evidence they abandoned their opposition to this new doctrine and make common cause with him tired s penis against the evil fluid him and opened themselves to the beneficial fluid MV Tali at this he spread his arms wide cast his high as heaven woods and many learned men did likewise and women wept Grenaa we stood at the dais but did not listen he watched with great satisfaction the effect of a totally different fluid a much more real one he’s owned as was appropriate for the size of the Great Hall he had dust himself with perfume and no sooner had he climbed the dais than the order of his scent began to radiate powerfully from him he saw literally saw with his own eyes how it captured the spectators sitting closest was transmitted to those further back and finally reached the last rose and the gallery and whomever it captured and runways heart leaped for joy within him was visibly change under the sway of the odor but without their being aware of it people’s facial expressions theirs their emotions were altered those who had first had gorked at him out of pure amazement now gazed at him with a mild eye those who had made a point of leaning back in their seats with furrowed critical brows and mouths markedly turned down at the corners now lean forward more relaxed and with the look of childlike ease on their faces and as his odor reached them even the faces of the timorous frightened and hypersensitive souls who had borne the sight of his former self with horror and beheld his present state with due misgiving now showed traces of Amity indeed of sympathy at the lectures end the entire assemblage rose to its feet and broke into frenetic cheering long live the fluid MV tal a long-lived tired s penis hurrah for the fluid l theory down with orthodox medicine such were the cries of the learning folk of Montpellier the most important university town in the south of france and the marquis de la tía dis penis experience the greatest hour of his life roii however having climbed down from the dais to mingle among the crowd knew that these ovations were in reality meant for him for him alone jean-baptiste grenouille although not one of those cheering in the hall suspected anything of the sort he stayed on in Montpellier for several weeks he had achieved a certain fame and was invited to the salons where he was asked about his life in the cave and about how the Marquis had cured him he had to tell the tale of the robbers over and over how they had dragged him off and how the basket was let down and about the ladder and every time he added more striking embellishments and invented new details and so he gained some facility in speaking admittedly only a very limited one since he had never in all his life handled speech well and what was even more important to him a practiced routine for lying in essence he could tell people whatever he wanted once they had gained confidence in him and with the first breath they gain confidence in him for they were inhaling his artificial odor they believed everything and in time he gained a certain self assurance in social situations such as he had never known before this was apparent even in his body It was as if he had grown his hump seemed to disappear he walked almost completely erect and when someone spoke to him he no longer hunched over but remained erect and returned the look directed at him granted in this short time he did not become a man of the world no dandy about town no peerless social lion but his cringing clumsy manner fell visibly from him making way for a bearing that was taken for natural modesty or at worst for a slight inborn shyness that made a sympathetic impression on many gentlemen and many ladies sophisticated circles in those days had a weakness for everything natural and for a certain unpolished charm when March came he packed his things and was off secretly so early in the morning that the city gates had only just been opened he was wearing an inconspicuous brown coat that he had bought secondhand at the market the day

before and a shabby hat that covered half his face no one recognized him no one saw or noticed him for he had intentionally gone without his perfume that day and when around noon the Marquis had inquiries made the watchman swore by all that’s holy that they had seen all kinds of people leaving the city but not the caveman whom they knew and would most certainly have noticed the mark was then had word spread that with his permission grown we had left Montpellier to look after family matters in Paris privately he was dreadfully annoyed for he had intended to take runway on a tour through the whole kingdom recruiting adherents to his fluid old theory after a while he calmed down again for his own fame had spread without any such tour almost without any action on his part a long article about the fluid omelette a late I ad appeared in the journal discover and even in the curry a Deluca and fluidly contaminated patients came from far and wide for him to cure them in the summer of 1760 or he founded the first Lodge of the vital fluid ‘m with 120 members in Montpelier and established branches in Marseille and Lyon then he decided to dare the move to Paris and from there to conquer the entire civilized world with his teachings but first he wanted to provide a propaganda base for his crusade by accomplishing some heroic feat one that would overshadow the cure of the caveman indeed all other experiments and in early December he had a company of fearless disciples join him on an expedition to the canoe which was on the same longitude with Paris and was considered the highest mountain in the Pyrenees though on the threshold of senescence the man wanted to be borne to the summit at 9,000 feet and left there in the sheerest finest vital air for three whole weeks whereupon he announced he would descend from the mountain precisely on Christmas Eve as a strapping lad of 20 the disciples gave up shortly beyond Vionnet the last human settlement at the foot of the fearsome mountain but nothing daunted the Marquess casting his garments from him in the icy cold and whooping in exultation he began the climb alone the last that was seen of him was his silhouette hands lifted ecstatically to heaven and vice raised in song he disappeared into the blizzard his followers waited in vain at Christmas Eve for the return of the marquis de la calle his penis he returned neither as an old man nor a young one nor when early summer came the next year and the most audacious of them went in search of him scaling the still snow bond summit of a big dog an ego did they find any trace of him no clothes no body parts no bones his teachings however suffered no damage at all on the contrary soon the legend was abroad that there on the mountain peak he had wedded himself to the eternal fluid mV Tali merging with it and it with him and now forever floated invisible but eternally young above the peaks of the Pyrenees and who ever climbed up to him would encounter him there and remain untouched by sickness or the process of aging for one full year well into the 19th century dyads fluido theory was advocated from many a chair at faculties of Medicine and put into therapeutic practice by many a knock out society and even today on both sides of the Pyrenees particularly in Peppino and Figueres there are secret chaotic lodges that meet once a year to climb the big Duke enugu there they light a great bonfire ostensibly for the summer solstice and in honor of Saint John but in reality it is to pay homage to their master dyad s penis and his grand fluid them and to seek eternal life whereas groan we had needed seven years for the first stage of his journey through France he put the second behind him in less than seven days he no longer avoided busy roads and cities he made no detours he had an odor he had money he had self-confidence and he had no time to lose by evening of the day he left Montpellier he had arrived at LaGrone WA a small harbour town southwest of eggnog where he boarded a merchant ship for Marseilles in Marseilles he did not even leave the harbour but immediately sought out a ship that brought him further along the coast to the east two days later he was in too long in three more in can the rest of the way he travelled on foot he followed the back road that led up into the hills North Woods into the interior two hours later he was standing on a rise and before him was spread a valley several miles wide a kind of basin in

the landscape its surrounding rim made up of gently rising hills and a ridge of steep mountains its broad bowl covered with fields gardens and olive groves the basin had its own special intimate climate although the sea was so near that one could see it from the tops of the hills there was nothing maritime nothing salty and sandy nothing expensive about this climate indeed it possessed a secluded tranquillity as if you were many days journey distant from the coast and although to the north the high mountains were covered with snow that would remain for a good while yet it was not in the least raw or barren and no cold wind blew spring was further advanced than in Montpelier a mild haze lay like a glass Bell over the fields apricot and almond trees were in bloom and the warm air was infused with the scent of junk winds at the other end of the wide basin perhaps two miles off a town lay among or better clung to the rising mountains from a distance it did not make a particularly grand impression there was no mighty cathedral towering above the houses just a little stump of a church steeple no commanding fortress no magnificent edifice of note the walls appeared anything but defiant here in the other houses spilled out from their limits especially in the direction of the plain lending the odd skirts of somewhat disheveled look it was as if the place had been overrun and then retaken so often that it was weary of offering serious resistance to any future intruders not out of weakness but out of indolence or maybe even out of a sense of its own strength it looked as if it had no need to flaunt itself it rained above the fragrant basin at its feet and that seemed to suffice this equally homely and self-confident place was the town of Grasse for decades now the uncontested center for production of and Commerce in cents perfume soaps and oils to sette Baldini had always added the name with enraptured delight the town was the Rome of scents the promised land of perfumers and the man who had not earned his Spurs here did not rightfully bear the title of perfumer when we gazed very coolly at the town of Grasse he was not seeking the promised land of perfumers and his heart did not leap at the sight of this small town clinging to the vast lopes he had come because he knew that he could learn about several techniques for production of since they’re better than elsewhere and he wanted to acquire them though he needed them for his own purposes he pulled the flock own with his perfume his pocket dabbed himself likely and continued on his way an hour and a half later around noon he was in grass he ate at an inn near the top of the town on the plus or zaire the square was divided lengthwise by a Brook where tanners washed their hides and afterwards spread them out to dry the odor was so pungent that many a guest lost his appetite for his meal but not grown away it was a familiar odor to him it gave him a sense of security in every city he always sought out the tanning district first and then emerging from that region of stench to explore the other parts of the place he no longer felt a stranger he spent all that afternoon wandering about the town it was unbelievably filthy despite of ABS directly because of all the water that gushed from Springs and wells gurgling down through the town in unch an old rivulet sand Brooks undermining the streets are flooding them with muck in some neighborhoods the houses stood so close together that only a yard wide space was left for passageways and stairs forcing pedestrians to jostle one another as they waded through the mire and even in the square and along the few broader streets vehicles could hardly get out of each other’s way nevertheless however filthy cramped and slovenly the town was bursting with the bustle of commerce during his tour Grenn we spotted no less than seven soaked works a dozen master perfumers and Glover’s countless small distilleries pommade studios and spice shops and finally some seven wholesalers incensed these were in fact merchants who completely controlled the wholesale supply of cent one would hardly know it by their houses the facades to the street looked modestly middle-class but what was stored behind them in warehouses and in gigantic cellars in kegs of oil in stacks of finest lavender soap in demijohns of floral colognes wines alcohol’s in veils of scented leather in sacks and chests and crates stuffed with spices when we smelled out every detail through the thickest walls these were riches beyond those princes and when he smelled his way more

penetratingly through the prosaic shops and storerooms fronting the streets he discovered that at the rear of these provincial family homes were buildings of the most luxurious sort around small but exquisite gardens where oleander and palm trees flourished and fountains bordered by ornamental flowers leapt extended the actual residential wings usually built in a u-shape towards the south on the upper floors bedchambers drenched in sunlight the wall was covered with silk on the ground floor when skirted salons and dining rooms sometimes with terraces built out into the open air we’re just as Baldini had said people ate from porcelain with golden cutlery the gentleman who lived behind these modest sham facades wreaked of gold and power of carefully secured riches and they wreaked of it more strongly than anything run we had smelled thus far on his journey through the provinces he stopped and stood for a good while in front of one of these camouflaged palazzi the house was at the beginning of the rue droite a main artery that traversed the whole length of the city from east to west it was nothing extraordinary to look at perhaps the front was a little wider and ampler than its neighbors but certainly not imposing at the gateways to the wagon from which kegs were being unloaded down a ramp a second vehicle stood waiting a man with some papers went into the office came back out with another man both of them disappeared through the Gateway grello he stood on the opposite side of the street and watched the comings and goings he was not interested in what was happening and yet he stood there something else was holding him fast he closed his eyes and concentrated on the odours that came floating to him from the building across the way there were the odours of the kegs vinegar and wine then the hundredfold heavy odours of the wares then the odours of wealth that the walls exude I’d like a fine golden sweat and finally the odours of a garden that had to lie on the far side of the building it was not easy to catch the delicate sense of the garden but they came only in thin ribbons from over the houses Gables and down into the street Grenda we discerned Magnolia as in Daphne and rhododendron but there seemed to be something else besides something in the garden that gave off a fatally wonderful scent a scent so exquisite that in all his life his nose had never before encountered one like it or indeed only once before he had to get closer to that scent he considered whether he ought simply to force his way through the gate and onto the premises but meanwhile so many people had become involved in unloading and inventory the kegs that he was sure to be noticed he decided to walk back down the street and find an ally or passageway that would perhaps lead him along the far side of Alice within a few yards he had reached the city gate at the start of the rue droite he walked through it took a sharp left and followed the town wall down the mountain he had not gone far before he smelled the garden faintly at first blended with the air from the fields but then ever more strongly finally he knew that he was very close the garden bordered on the town wall it was directly beside him if he moved back a bit he could see the top branches of the orange trees just over the wall again he closed his eyes the sense of the garden descended upon him their contours as precise and clear as the colored bands of a rainbow and that one that precious one the one that mattered above all else was among them when we turned hot with rapture and cold with fear blood rushed to his head as if he were a little boy caught red-handed and then it retreated to his solar plexus and then rushed up again and retreated again and he could do nothing to stop it this attack of scent had come on too suddenly for a moment for a breath for an eternity it seemed to him time was doubled or it disappeared completely for he no longer knew whether now was now and he was here or whether now was not in fact then and here there that is the Ruby Marais in Paris September 17 53 the scent floating out of the garden was the scent of the red-headed girl he had murdered that night to have found that scent in this world again brought tears of bliss to his eyes and to know that it could not possibly be true frightened him today he was dizzy he tottered a little and had to support himself against the wall sinking slowly down against it in a crouch collecting himself and gaining control of his

senses he began to inhale the fatal scent in short less dangerous breaths and he established that while the scent from behind the wall bore an extreme resemblance to the scent of the redheaded girl it was not completely the same to be sure it also came from a redheaded girl there was no doubt of that in his olfactory imagination when we saw this girl as if in a picture she was not sitting still she was jumping about warming up and then cooling off apparently playing some game in which she had to move quickly and then just as quickly stand still with a second person by the way someone with a quite insignificant odor she had dazzlingly white skin she had green eyes she had freckles on her face neck and breasts that is angren his breath stopped for a moment then he sniffed more vigorously and tried to suppress the memory of the scent of the girl from the rude a male that is this girl did not even have breasts in the true sense of the word she barely had the rudimentary beginnings of breasts infinitely tender and with hardly any fragrance sprinkled with freckles just beginning to expand perhaps only in the last few days perhaps in the last few hours perhaps only just at this moment such were the little cupped breast of this girl in a word the girl was still a child but what a child the sweat stood out on when we is fired he knew the children did not have an exceptional scent any more than green buds of flowers before they blossom this child behind the wall however this bud still almost closed tight which only just now was sending out its first fragrant tips unnoticed by anyone except by him run we this child already had a sense so terrifyingly celestial that once it had unfolded its total glory it would unleash a perfume such as the world had never smelled before she already smells better now briella we thought then that girl did back then in the Rue de Marais not as robust not as voluminous but more refined more richly NU’EST and at the same time more natural in a year or two this scent will be ripened and take on a gravity but no one man or woman will be able to escape people will be overwhelmed disarmed helpless before the magic of this girl and they will not know why and because people are stupid and use their noses only for blowing but believe absolutely anything they see with their eyes they will say it is because this is a girl with beauty and grace and charm in air obtuseness they will praise the evenness of her features a slender figure her for CLIs breasts and her eyes they will say are like emeralds and her teeth like pearls and her limbs smooth as ivory and all those other idiotic comparisons and they will elect her Queen of the Jasmine and she will be painted by stupid portraitists her picture will be ogled and people will say that she is the most beautiful woman in France and to the strains of mandolins youths will howl a night’s away sitting beneath her window which fat old men will skid about on their knees begging her father for her hand and women of every age will sigh at the sight of her and in their sleep dream of looking as alluring as she for just one day and none of them will know that it is truly not how she looks that has captured them nor her reputed unblemished external beauty but solely her incomparable splendid scent only he would know that only currently he alone I knew it already in fact ah he wanted to have that sent not in the useless clumsy fashion by which he had had the scent of the girl in the world a male for he had merely sucked that into himself and destroyed it in the process no he wanted truly to possess the scent of this girl behind the wall to peel it from her like skin and to make her scent his own how that was to be done he did not know yet but he had two years in which to learn ultimately it ought to be no more difficult than robbing a rare flower of its perfume he stood up almost reverently as if leaving behind something sacred or someone in deep sleep he moved on softly hunched over so that no one might see him no one might hear him no one might be made aware of his precious discovery and so he fled along the wall to the opposite end of the town where he finally lost the girl sent and re-entered by way of the port if a male he stood in the shadow of the buildings the stinking vapors of the streets made

him feel secure and helped him to tame the passions that had overcome him within 15 minutes he had grown perfectly calm again to start with he thought he would not again approach the vicinity of the garden behind the wall that was not necessary it excited him too much the flower would flourish there without his aid and he knew already in what manner it would flourish he dared not intoxicate himself with that scent prematurely he had to throw himself into his work he had to broaden his knowledge and perfect the techniques of his craft in order to be equipped for the time of harvest he had a good two years side nine not far from the pot Tiffania in a rude lalu grin we discovered a small perfumers workshop and asked for a job it turned out that the proprietor make a female on her way Arnel she had died the winter before and that Widow a lively black-haired woman of perhaps thirty was managing the business alone with the help of a journeyman after complaining at length about the bad times and her own precarious financial situation madam our Lucy declared that she really could not afford a second journeyman but on the other hand she needed one for all the upcoming work that she could not possibly put up a second journeyman here in the house but on the other hand she did have at our disposal a small cabin in an olive grove behind the franciscan cloister not ten minutes away in which a young man of modest needs could sleep at a pinch further that as an honest mistress she certainly knew that she was responsible for the physical well-being of her journeyman but that on the other hand she did not see herself in a position to provide to warm meals a day in short as grown we had of course smelled for some time already Madame our nullfier was a woman of solid prosperity and sound business sense and since he was not concerned about money and declared himself satisfied with a salary of two francs a week and with the other niggardly provisions they quickly came to an agreement the first journeyman was called in a giant of a man named drew when we at once guessed that he regularly shared Madame’s bed and that she apparently did not make certain decisions without first consulting him with legs spread wide and exuding a cloud of spermy odour he planted himself before grun we who look ridiculously frail in the presence of this hon and inspected him looked him straight in the eye as if this technique would allow him to recognize any improper intentions or a possible rival finally grinned patronizingly and signaled his agreement with a nod that settled it bran we got a handshake a cold evening snack a blanket and a key to the cabin a windowless Shack that smelled pleasantly of old sheep dung and hay where he made himself at home as well as he could the next day he began work for madam our Lukey it was jonquils season Madame Arnold he had the flowers grown on small parcels of land that she owned in the broad basin below the city or she bought them from farmers with whom she had fiercely over every the blossoms were delivered very early in the morning emptied out in the workshop by the basketful into massive but lightweight and fragrant piles meanwhile in a large cauldron drool melted pork lard and beef tallow to make a creamy soup into which he pitched shovel fulls of fresh blossoms while grown we constantly had to stir it all with a spatula as long as a broom they lay on the surface for a moment like eyes facing instant death and lost all color the moment the spatula pushed them down into the warm oily embrace and it almost the same moment they wilted and withered and death apparently came so rapidly upon them that they had no choice but to exhale their last fragrant sighs into the very medium that drowned them for and Grenn we observed this with indescribable fascination the more blossoms he stirred under into the cauldron the sweeter the scent of the oil and it was not that the dead blossoms continued to give off scent there in the oil no the oil itself had appropriated the scent of the blossoms now and then the soup got too thick and they had to pour it quickly through a sieve freeing it of macerated cadavers to make room for fresh blossoms then they dumped and mixed and saved some more all day long without pause for the procedure allowed no delays until as evening approached all the piles of blossoms had passed through the cauldron of oil then so that nothing might be wasted the refuse was steeped in boiling water and wrung out to the last drop in a screw press yielding still more mildly fragrant oil the majority of the scent however the sole of the sea of blossoms

had remained in the cauldron trapped and preserved in an unsightly slowly congealing greyish white grease the following day the maceration as this procedure was called continued the cauldron was heated once again the oil melted and fed with new blossoms this went on for several days from morning till evening it was tiring work Grenn we had arms of lead calluses on his hands and pains in his back as he staggered to his cabin in evening although drew was at least three times as strong as he he did not once take a turn at stirring but was quite content to pour in more feather-light blossoms to tend the fire and now and then because of the heat to go out for a drink but grun we did not mutiny he stirred the blossoms into the oil without complaint from morning till night and hardly noticed the exertion of stirring for he was continually fascinated by the process taking place before his eyes and under his nose the subtle withering of the blossoms and the absorption of their scent after a while drew would decide that the oil was finally saturated and could absorb no more scent he would extinguish the fire save the viscous soup one last time and pour it into stoneware crocks were almost immediately it solidified to a wonderfully fragrant poem and this was the moment for madam aloof II who came to us a the precious product to label it and to record in her books the exact quality and quantity of the yield after she had personally kept the crocks had sealed them and borne them to the cool depths of the cellar she donned her black dress to cut her widows veil and made the runs of the city’s wholesalers and vendors of perfume in touching phrases she described to these gentlemen her situation as a woman left all on her own let them make their offers compared the prices side and finally sold or did not sell perfume paw mods when stored in a cool place keep for a long time and when the price leaves something to be desired who knows perhaps it will climb again come winter or next spring also you had to consider whether instead of selling to these hucksters she wore not to join with other small producers and together ship a load of Palma to Genoa or share in a convoy to the autumn fair in BO care risky enterprises to be sure but extremely profitable when successful Madame Arnold fee carefully weighed these various possibilities against one another and sometimes she would indeed sign a contract selling a portion of her treasure but hold another portion of it in reserve and risk negotiating for a third part all of her own but if during her inquiry she had got the impression that there was a blot on the Pommard market and that in the foreseeable future there would be no scarcity to her advantage she would hurry back home a veil wafting behind her and give drew instructions to subject the whole yield to a lavage and transform it into an essence absolute and the pommade would be brought up again from the cellar carefully warmed in tightly covered pots diluted with rectified spirits and thoroughly blended and washed with the help of a built-in stirring apparatus but gran we operated returned to the cellar this mixture quickly cooled the alcohol separated from the congealed oil of the pommade and could be drained off into a bottle a kind of perfume had been produced but one of enormous intensity while the pommade that was left behind that lost most of its fragrance thus the fragrance of the blossoms had been transferred to yet another medium but the operation was still not at an end after carefully filtering the perfumed alcohol through girls that retain the least little lump of oil drew a filled a small Olympic and distilled it slowly over a minimum flame what remained in the mattress was a tiny quantity of a pale hewed liquid that grown we knew quite well but had never smelled in such quality and purity either at baldi knees or o Nels the finest oil of the blossom its polished scent concentrated a hundred times over to a little puddle of a sauce absolu this essence no longer had a sweet fragrance its smell was almost painfully intense pungent and acrid and yet one single drop when dissolved in a quart of alcohol sufficed to revitalize it and resurrect a whole field of flowers the yield was frightfully small the liquid from the mattress filled three little flak holes and no more nothing was left from the scent of hundreds of thousands of blossoms except those three flak homes but they were worth a fortune even here in grass and worth how much more once delivered to Paris or Lyon to Grenoble Anwar Omar say madam on Ulfius glance

was suffused with beauty when she looked at the little bottles she caressed them with her eyes and when she picked them up and stopped at them with snugly fitting glass stoppers she held her breath to prevent even the least bit of the precious contents from being blown away and to make sure that after stopping now the tiniest atom would evaporate and escape she sealed them with wax and encapsulated them in a fish bladder tightly tied around the neck of the bottle then she placed them in a crate stuffed with wadded cotton and put them under lock and key in the cellar in April they macerated Brune with orange blossoms in May a sea of roses the scent from which submerged the city in a creamy sweet invisible fog for a whole month grenouille worked like a horse self-effacing in those acquiescent as a slave he did every menial Chaudron to him but all the while he stirred spatulate ‘add washed out tubs cleaned the workshop or lugged firewood with apparent mindlessness nothing of the essential business nothing of the metamorphosis of scent escaped his notice Gwen we used his nose to observe and monitor more closely than drool ever could have the migration of scent of the flower petals through the oil and then via alcohol to the precious little slackens long before drew or noticed it he would smell when the oil was overheated smell when the blossoms were exhausted when the broth was impregnated with scent he could smell what was happening in the interior of the mixing pots and the precise moment when the distilling had to be stopped and occasionally he let this be known of course quite unassumingly and without abandoning his submissive demeanour it seemed to him he said that the oil might possibly be getting too hot he almost thought that they could filter shortly he summer had the feeling that the alcohol in the Alembic had evaporated now and in time drool who was not fabulously intelligent but not a complete idiot either came to realize that his decisions turned out for the best when he did or ordered to be done whatever grin we almost thought or somehow had a feeling about and since grin we was never cocky or know-it-all when he said what he thought or felt and because he never particularly never in the presence of madam ROC cast Drew’s authority and superior position of first journeyman in Doug not even ironically drew a saw no reason not to follow Gregory’s advice or as time went on not to leave more and more decisions entirely to his discretion it was increasingly the case that Grenaa we did not just do the stirring but also the feeding the heating of the sitting while Drew’s step round to the cat would offer for a glass of wine or went upstairs to discover how things were with madam he knew that he could depend on when we and although it meant twice the work Gwen we enjoyed being alone affecting himself in these new arts and trying an occasional experiment and with malicious delight he discovered that the poem odds he made were in comparably finer that his essence absolu was several percent pure than those he produced together with drool Jasmine season began at the end of July August was for tuberoses the perfume of these two flowers was both so exquisite and so fragile that not only did the blossoms have to be picked before sunrise but they also demanded the most gentle and special handling warmth diminished their scent suddenly to plunge them into hot macerating oil would have completely destroyed it the souls of these noblest of blossoms could not be simply ripped from them they had to be methodically coaxed away in a special impregnating room the flowers were strewn on glass plates smeared with cool oil or wrapped in oil-soaked cloths there they would die slowly in their sleep it took three or four days for them to wither and exhale they’re sent into the adhering oil then they were carefully plucked off a new blossom spread out this procedure was repeated a good 1020 times and it was September before pommade and drunkards Phil and the fragrant oil could be pressed from the cloths the yield was considerably less than with maceration but in purity and verisimilitude the quality of the Jasmine paste of the wheel on de bellas won by such a cold entourage exceeded that of any other product of the perfumers art but ticularly with jasmine it seemed as if the oils surface were a mirror image that radiated the sticky sweet erotic scent of the blossom with lifelike fidelity come grano Salis of course the Grande’s nose obviously

recognized the difference between the odor of the blossoms and they’re preserved scent the specific odor of the oil no matter how pure lay like a gossamer veil over the fragrant tableau of the original softening it gently diluting its bravado and perhaps only then making its beauty bearable for normal people but in any case cold all flourish was the most refined and effective method to capture delicate sense there was no better and even if the method was not good enough completely to satisfy granny’s nose in you quite well that it would satisfy a thousand times over for duping a world of numbed noses just as with maceration after only a brief time he had likewise surpassed his tutored rule in the art of cold perfumery and had made this clear to him in the approved discreet and groveling fashion drool gladly left it to him to go to the slaughterhouse and buy the most suitable fats to purify and render them to filter them and adjust their proportions a terribly difficult task that drew himself was always skittish about performing since an adulterated or rancid fat or one that smelled too much of pig sheep baa cow but ruin the most expensive pommade he let grin we decide how to arrange the oiled plates in the impregnating room when to rotate the blossoms and whether the pommade was sufficiently impregnated drew a soon let groan we make all the delicate decisions that he just as Baldini before him could only approximate with rules of thumb but which grin we made by employing the wisdom of his nose something drool of course did not suspect he’s got a fine touch said rural he’s got a good feel of things and sometimes he also thought really and truly he is more talented than me a hundred times a better perfumer and all the while he considered him to be a total nitwit because Grilli or so he believed did not cash in at all on his talent whereas he drool even with his more modest gifts would soon become a master perfumer and grown away encouraged him in this opinion displaying doltish drudgery and not a hint of ambition acting as if he comprehended nothing of his own genius and were merely executing the orders of the more experienced ruler without whom he would be a cipher after their fashion they got along quite well then came autumn and winter things were quieter in the workshop the floral scents lay captive in their crocks and flattens in the cellar and if Madame did not wish some pommade or other to be washed or for a sack of dried spices to be distilled there was not all that much to do there were still the olives a couple of basketfuls every week they pressed the virgin oil from them and put what was left through the oil mill and wine some of which grown we distilled two rectified spirit rule made himself more and more scarce he did his duty in Madame’s bed and when he did appear stinking of sweat and semen it was only to head off at once for the cat food or fire nor did Madame come downstairs often she was busy with her investments and with converting her wardrobe for the period that would follow her year of mourning four days gwenna we might often see no one except the maid who fixed his midday soup and his evening bread and olives he hardly went out at all he took part in corporate life in the regular meetings and processions of the journeyman only just often enough as to be conspicuous neither by his absence nor by his presence he had no friends or close acquaintances but took careful pains not to be considered arrogant or a misfit he left it to the other journeyman to find his society dull and unprofitable he was a master in the art of spreading boredom and playing the clumsy fool though never so egregiously that people might enjoy making fun of him or use him as the part of some crude practical joke inside the guild he succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting people left him alone and that was all he wanted he spent his time in the workshop he explained to drawer that he was trying to invent a formula for a new Cologne in reality however he was experimenting with scents of a very different sort although he had used it very sparingly the perfume that he had mixed in montpellier was slowly running out he created a new one but this time he was not content simply to imitate basic human odor by hastily tossing together some ingredients he made it a matter of pride to acquire personal anger or better yet a number of personal odors first he made an odor for in conspicuousness a mousy workday outfit of odors with bizarre cheesy smell of

humankind still present but only as if exude it into the outside world through a layer of linen and wool garments covering an old man’s dry skin bearing this smell he could move easily among people the perfume was robust enough to establish the olfactory existence of a human being but at the same time so discreet that it bothered no one using it Grinnell was not actually present and yet his presence was justified in the most modest sort of way a bastard state that was very handy both in the unhealthy household and on his occasional outings in the turn on certain occasions to be sure this modest scent proved inconvenient when he had errands to run furred rule or wanted to buy his own civet or a few musk pods from a merchant he might prove to be so perfectly inconspicuous that he was either ignored and no one waited on him or was given the wrong item or forgotten while being waited on for such occasions he had blended a somewhat more redolent slightly sweaty perfume one with a few olfactory edges and hooks that lent him a coarser appearance and made people believe he was in a hurry and urgent business he also had good success with a deceptive imitation of doers or a semi nollies which he learned to produce by impregnating a piece of oily linen with a paste of fresh duck eggs and fermented wheat flour and used whenever he needed to arouse a certain amount of notice another perfume in his arsenal was a scent for a rousing sympathy that proved effective with middle-aged and elderly women it smelled of watery milk and fresh soft wood the effect grown we created with it even when he went out unshaved scowling and wrapped in a heavy coat was of a poor pale lad in a frayed jacket who simply had to be helped once they caught a whiff of him the market women filled his pockets with nuts and dried pears because he seemed to them so hungry and helpless and the butcher’s wife Ann implacably callous old hag if there ever was one let him pick out for free smelly old scraps of meat and bone for his odour of innocence touched her mother’s heart he then took these scraps digested them directly in alcohol and used them as the main component for an odor that he applied when he wanted to be avoided and left completely alone it surrounded him with a slightly nauseating order like the rancid breath of an old slatterns mutt when she awakens it was so effective that even drool hardly a squeamish sort would automatically turn aside and go in search of fresh air without any clear knowledge of course of what had actually driven him away and sprinkling a few drops of the repellent on the threshold of his cabin was enough to keep every intruder human or animal at a distance protected by these various odors which he changed like clothes as the situation demanded and which permitted him to move undisturbed in the world of men and to keep his true nature from them guerrilla we diverted himself to his real passion the subtle pursuit of scent and because he had a great goal right under his nose and over a year still led to him he not only went about the task with burning zeal but he also systematically planned how to sharpen his weapons polish his techniques and gradually perfect his methods he began where he had left off at Baldy knees with extracting the scent from inert objects stone metal glass wood salt water air what before had failed so miserably using the crude process of distillation succeeded now thanks to the strong absorptive powers of oil when we took a brass doorknob whose cool musty brawny smell he liked and wrapped it in beef tallow for a few days and sure enough when he peeled off the tallow and examined it it smelled quite clearly like the doorknob though very faintly and even after a lavage in alcohol the odor was still there infinitely delicate distant overshadowed by the vapor of the spirits and in this world probably perceptible only to grow new eyes nose but it was certainly there and that meant in principle at least at his disposal if he had 10,000 door lobs and wrapped them in tallow for a thousand days he could produce a tiny drop of brass doorknob essence absolute strong enough for anyone to have the indisputable illusion of the original under his nose he likewise succeeded with the porous chalky dust from a stone he found in the olive grove before his cabin he macerated it and extracted a dollop of stone pommade whose infinitesimal odor gave him indescribable delight he combined it with other odors taken from all kinds of objects lying around his cabin and painstakingly reproduced a miniature olfactory model of the olive grove behind the franciscan cloister carrying

it about with him bottled up in a tiny flacco he could resurrect the Grove whenever he felt like it these were virtuozzo odours executed as wonderful little trifles that of course no one but he could admire or would ever take note of he was enchanted by their meaningless perfection and at no time in his life either before or after were there moments of such truly innocent happiness as in those days when he playfully and eagerly set about creating fragrant landscapes still likes and studies of individual objects for he soon moved on to living subjects he hunted for winter flies for maggots rats small cats and drowned them in warm oil at night he crept into stores to drape cows goats and piglets for a few hours in cloths smeared with oil or to wrap them in greasy bandages or he sneaked into sheep foals and stealthily sheared a lamb and then washed the redolent woolen rectified spirit at first the results were not very satisfactory for in contrast to the patient things doorknobs and stones animals yielded up there odor only under protest the pig scraped off the bandages by rubbing against the posts of their size the sheep bleat it when he approached them by night with a knife the cows obstinately shook the greasy cloths from their udders some of the beetles that he caught gave off Fowley stinking secretions while he was trying to work with them and the rats and probably out of fear would in the olfactory sensitive pramod’s unlike flowers the animals he tried to macerate would not yield up their scent without complaints or with only a mute sigh they fought desperately against death absolutely did not want to be stirred under but kicked and struggled and in their fear of death created large quantities of sweat whose acidity ruined the warm oil you could not of course do sir and work under such conditions the objects would have to be quieted down and so suddenly that they would have no time to become afraid or to resist he would have to kill them he first tried it with a puppy he enticed it away from its mother with a piece of meat all the way from the slaughterhouse to the laboratory and as the animal panted excitedly and lunged joyfully for the meeting grunty his left hand he gave one quick hard blow to the back of its head with a piece of wood he held in his right death descended on the puppy so suddenly that the expression of happiness was still on its mirth and in its eyes long after gren we had bedded it down in the impregnating room on a grate between two greased plates where it exude pure doggy scent unadulterated by the sweat of fear to be sure one had to be careful carcasses just as plucked blossoms spoiled quickly and so Gregory stood guard over his victim for about twelve hours until he noticed that the first wisps of carrion sent not really unpleasant but adulterating nevertheless rose up from the dog’s body he stopped the entourage at once got rid of the carcass and put the impregnated oil in a pot where he carefully rinsed it it is still the alcohol down to about a thimbleful and filled a tiny glass tube with these few remaining drops the perfume smelled clearly of dog moist fresh tallowy and a bit pungent it smelled amazingly like dog and when when we let the old bitch of the slaughterhouse sniff added she broke out in yelps of joy and whimpered and would not take her nose out of the glass tube run we closed it up tight and put it in his pocket and bore it with him for a long time as a souvenir of his day of triumph when for the first time he had succeeded in robbing a living creature of its aromatic soul then very gradually and without most caution he went to work on human beings at first he stoked them from a safe distance with a wide mesh net so he was less concerned with bagging large game than with testing his hunting methods disguised by his faint perfume for in conspicuousness he mingled with the evenings guests to the cat would offer in and stuck tiny scraps of cloth drenched in oil and grease under the benches and tables and in hidden nooks a few days later he collected them and put them to the test and indeed along with all sorts of kitchen odors tobacco smoke and wine smells they exhaled a little human odor but it remained very vague and masked was more of a suggestion of general exhalation than a personal odour a similar mass aura though purer and more sublimely sweaty could be gleaned from the Cathedral where on the 24th of December grana we hung his experimental flags under the pews and gathered them again on the 26th after no less than seven masses had been sat through just above them a ghastly conglomerate of odor was reproduced on the impress

in swatches anal sweat menstrual blood moist hollows of knees and clenched hands mixed with the exhaled breath of thousands of him singing and Ave Maria mumbling throats and the oppressive fumes of incense and myrrh a horrible concentration of nebulous amorphous nauseating odors and yet unmistakably human Gregory garnered his first individual odor in yo Patel de leche re de he managed to pilfer sheets that was supposed to be burned because the journeyman sac maker would lane wrapped in him for two months a just died of consumption the cloth was so drenched in the ex editions of the sack maker that it had absorbed them like an entourage paste and could be directly subjected to lavage the result was eerie right under granny’s nose the sack maker Rose all factually from the dead ascending from the alcohol solution hovering there the phantom slightly distorted by the peculiar methods of reproduction and the countless miasmas of his disease but perfectly recognizable in space as an olfactory personage a small man of about 30 blonde with a bulbous nose short limbs flat cheesy feet swollen genitalia choleric temperament and a stale mouth odor not a handsome man automatically speaking this sack maker not worth being held onto for any length of time like the puppy and yet for one whole night grown we let the scent Spectre flutter about his cabin while he sniffed at him again and again happy and deeply satisfied with a sense of power that he had won over the order of another human being he poured it away the next day he tried one more experiment during these winter days he discovered a deaf-mute beggar woman wandering through Bhutan and paid her one franc to wear several different sets of rags smeared with oils and fats against her naked skin it turned out that lamb suet pork lard and beef tallow rendered many times over combined in a ratio of two to five to three with the addition of a smaller virgin oil was best for absorbing human odor Grenn we let it go at that he refrain from overpowering some whole live person and processing him or her perfumer totally that sort of thing would have meant risks and would have resulted in no new knowledge in you he now was master of the techniques needed to rob a human of his or her scent and knew it was unnecessary to prove this fact in you indeed human odor was of no importance to him whatever he could imitate human odor quite well enough with surrogates what he coveted was the odor of certain human beings that is those rare humans who inspire love these were his victims in January the widow annual fee married her first journeyman Dominic drool it was thus promoted to make her Gontier a parfum ale there was a great banquet for the guild masters and a more modest one for the journeyman madam bought a new mattress for her bed which she now shared officially with Bruhl and took her gay finery from the armoire otherwise everything remained as it was she retained the final name of our no-fee and retained her fortune for herself as well as the management of the finances and the keys to the cellar drool fulfilled his sexual duties daily and refreshed himself afterwards with wine and although he was now the one and only journeyman Grenaa we took care of most of the work at hand in return for the same small salary frugal board and cramped quarters the year began with a yellow flood of Casias then hyacinths violet petals and narcotic narcissus one Sunday in March it was about a year since his arrival in Grasse when we set out to see how things stood in the garden behind the wall at the other end of the town he was ready for the scent this time knew more or less exactly what awaited him and nevertheless as he caught a whiff of it at the poke nerve no more than halfway to the spot beside the wall his heart beat more loudly and he felt the blood in his veins tingle with pleasure she was still there the incomparably beautiful flower she had survived the winter unblemished her SAP was running she was growing expanding driving forth the most exquisite ranks of buds her scent had grown stronger just as he had expected without losing any of its delicacy what a year before I’ve been sprinkled and dappled about was now blended into a faint smooth stream of scent but shimmered with a thousand colors and yet bound each color to it and did not break and this stream grown we recognized

blissfully was fed by a spring that grew ever fuller another year just one more year just twelve more months and that spring would gush over and he could come to cap it and imprisoned the wild flow of its scent he walked along the wall to the spot behind which he knew the garden was located although the girl was apparently not in the garden but in the house air room behind closed windows her scent floated down to him like a steady gentle breeze granny stood quite still he was not intoxicated or dizzy as he had been the first time he had smelled it he was filled with the happiness of a lover who has heard or seen his darling from afar and knows that he will bring her home within the year it was really true growl we the solitary tick the abomination run we the monster who had never felt love and would never be able to inspire it stood there beside the city wall of grass on that day in March and loved and was profoundly happy in his love true he did not love another human being certainly not the girl who lived in ours beyond the wall he loved her scent that alone nothing else and only in as much as it would one day be his alone he would bring it home within the year he swore it by his very life and after this strange oath or betrothal this promise of loyalty given to himself and to his future sent he left the place light of heart and return to town through the portico that night as he lay in his cabin he conjured up the memory of the scent he could not resist the temptation and immersed himself in it caressed it and let it caress him so near to it as fabulously close as if he possessed it already in reality his scent he’s owned scent and he made love to it and to himself through it for an intoxicating Li deliciously long time he wanted this self loved feeling to accompany him in his sleep but at the very instant when he closed his eyes in the moment of the single breath it takes to fall asleep it deserted him was suddenly gone and in its place the room was filled with the cold acrid smell of goats tall Bruna was terrified what happens he thought if the scent once I possess it what happens if it runs out it’s not the same as it is in your memory we’re all scents are indestructible 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 and I will be as naked as before and we’ll have to get along with surrogates just like before no it will be even less than before but in the meantime I will have known it and possessed it my own splendid scent and I will not be able to forget it because I never forget a scent and for the rest of my life I will feed on it in my memory just as I was feeding right now from the premonition of what I will possess what do I need it for at all this was a most unpleasant thought for grun we it frightened him beyond measure to think that once he did possess the scent but he did not yet possess he must inevitably lose it how long could he keep it a few days a few weeks perhaps all month if he perfumed himself very sparingly with it and then he saw himself shaking the last drops from the bottle rinsing the flagon with alcohol so that the last little bit would not be lost and then he saw smelled how his beloved scent would vanish in the air irrevocably forever it would be like a long slow death a kind of suffocation in Reverse an agonizing gradual self evaporation into the wretched world he felt chilled he was overcome with a desire to abandon his plans to walk out into the night and disappear he would wander across the snow-covered mountains not pausing to rest hundreds of miles into the oval and there creep into his old cave and fall asleep and die but he did not do it he sat there and did not yield gaze desire although it was strong he did not yield because that desire was an old one of his to run away and hide in a cave he knew about that already what he did not yet know was what it was like to possess a human scent to splendid as the scent of the girl behind the wall and even knowing that to possess the sentence pay the terrible price losing it again the very possession and the loss seemed to him more desirable than a prosaic

renunciation of birth for he had renounced things all his life but never once had he possessed and lost gradually the Dougs receded and with them the chill he sensed how the warmth of his blood revitalized him and how the will to do what he had intended to do again took possession of him even more powerfully than before in fact for that will no longer originated from simple lust but equally from a well-considered decision when we the tick presented with the choice between drying up inside himself or letting himself drop had decided for the latter knowing full well that this drop would be his last he lay back on his makeshift bed cozy in his straw cozy under his blanket and thought himself very heroic Grenaa we would not have been Gregory however if he had long been content with the fatalists heroic feelings his will to survive and conquer was too tough his nature too cunning his spirit too crafty for that well and good he had decided to possess the scent of the girl behind the wall and if he lost it again after a few weeks and died of a loss that was well and good too but better yet would be not to die and still possess the scent or at least delay its loss as long as humanly possible one simply had to preserve it better one must subdue its Evanescence without robbing it of its character a problem of the perfumers art there are cents that linger for decades a cupboard rubbed with Musk a piece of leather drenched with cinnamon oil a blob of ambergris a cedar chest they all possess virtually eternal all factory life while other things lime oil bergamot jonquil and tuberose extracts and many floral scents evaporate within a few hours if they are exposed to the air in a pure unbound form the perfumer counteracts this fatal circumstance by binding scents but a too volatile by putting them in Chains so to speak taming their urge for freedom Delhi’s art consists of leaving enough slack in the chains for the odor seemingly to preserve its freedom even when it is tied so deftly that it cannot flee Grenaa we had once succeeded in performing this feat perfectly with some tuberose oil who is ephemeral sent he had chained with tiny quantities of civet vanilla labdanum and cypress only then did it truly come into its own why should not something similar be possible with the scent of this girl why should he have to use to waste this most precious and fragile of all scents in pure form how crude how extraordinarily unsophisticated did one leave diamonds uncut did one wear golden nuggets around ones neck was he brawny a primitive pillager of sense like draw or these other macerated distillers and blossom crushes or was he not rather the greatest perfumer in the world he banged his fist against his brow to think he had not realized this before but of course this unique scent could not be used in a raw state he must set it the most precious gemstone he must design a diadem of scent and at its sublime Acme intertwined with the other sense and yet ruling over them his scent would gleam he would make a perfume using all the precepts of the art and the scent of the girl behind the wall would be the very soul of it as the adjuvant as bass tenor and soprano as Zenith and as fixative musk and civet Attar of roses or narrowly were inappropriate that was certain for such a perfume for a human perfume he had need of other ingredients