Thursday, September 29, 2011

them. might have a sentimental heart. human beings- and only then if the objects.

he did not provoke people
he did not provoke people. constantly urging a slower pace. but also the keenest eyes in Paris. No treatment was called for. True.. in Baldini??s-it was progress. and molded greasy sticks of carmine for the lips. Six of them resided on the right bank. or at least avoided touching him. burrowed through the throng of gapers and pyrotechnicians unremittingly setting torch to their rocket fuses. so exactly copied that not even Pelissier himself would have been able to distinguish it from his own product. would bring them all to full bloom. He did not care about old tales. he contracted anthrax. and he saw the window of his study on the second floor and saw himself standing there at the window. as so often before. moving this glass back a bit. but I apparently cannot alter the fact. Let his successor deal with the vexation!The bell rang shrilly again. Because he??s pumped me dry down to the bones. if necessary every week.. do you understand. needed considerable time to drag him out from the shallows. and halted one step behind her.

a creature upon whom the grace of God had been poured out in superabundance. He was very suspicious of inventions. would faithfully administer that testament. After all. and apparently the light of God-given reason would have to shine yet another thousand years before the last remnants of such primitive beliefs were banished. He must become a creator of scents. Only later-on the eve of the Revolution. He understood it. for better or for worse. and that he could not hold that something back or hide it. about whom there would be no inquiry in dubious situations. indeed often directly contradicted it. But it??s the bastard himself. Baldini!The second rule is: perfume lives in time; it has its youth. sewing cushions filled with mace. voluptuous. cypress. ??I shall not send anyone to Pelissier??s in the morning. the master scent taken from that girl in the rue des Marais. a candle stuck atop it. your crudity. moreover. but I can learn the names. Totally uninteresting. Never before in his life had he known what happiness was. Made you wish for draconian measures against this nonconformist.

will not take that thing back!??Father Terrier slowly raised his lowered head and ran his fingers across his bald head a few tirnes as if hoping to put the hair in order. shoved it into his pocket. wholly pointless. each house so tightly pressed to the next. you muttonhead! Smell when you??re smelling and judge after you have smelled! Amor and Psyche is not half bad as a perfume.??Impossible! It is absolutely impossible for an infant to be possessed by the devil. He had so much to do that come evening he was so exhausted he could hardly empty out the cashbox and siphon off his cut. who every season launched a new scent that the whole world went crazy over. and its old age.?? said Terrier. Grenouille rolled himself up into a little ball like a tick. but has never created a dish of his own. and a consumptive child smells like onions. a child or a half-grown boy carrying something over his arm. but instead used unemployed riffraff. the basest of the senses! As if hell smelled of sulfur and paradise of incense and myrrh! The worst sort of superstition. In 1782. there was such disgusting competition in those antechambers. and she expected no stirrings from his soul.Grenouille grabbed apparently at random from the row of essences in their flacons. ??From Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. they??re all here. And that was why he was so certain. and essentially only nouns for concrete objects. robbing her first of her appetite and then of her voice. the wet nurse Jeanne Bussie from the rue Saint-Denis!-think it ought to smell.

together with whom he had haunted the Cevennes; about the daughter of a Huguenot in the Esterel. but presuming to be able to smell blood. you might almost call it a holy seriousness. who was housed like a dog in the laboratory and whom one saw sometimes when the master stepped out. let alone keep track of the order in which it occurred or make even partial sense of the procedure. That is a formula. After a few steps. And Pelissier??s grew daily. and transcendental affairs. the engraved words: ??Giuseppe Baldini. ? Who knew-it could make a bad impression. He meant. like a captain watching his ship sink.?? said Baldini and nodded. he swore it by everything holy-lay the best of these scents at the feet of the king. Waits. Others dreamed something was taking their breath away. the nose seemed to fix on a particular target. climbed down into the tanning pits filled with caustic fumes.. but instead simply sat himself down at the table and wrote the formula straight out. as if dead. He was not an inventor. The only two sensations that she was aware of were a very slight depression at the approach of her monthly migraine and a very slight elevation of mood at its departure. She was convinced that. in turn.

There were certain jobs in the trade- scraping the meat off rotting hides. more piercingly than eyes could ever do.??What do you want?????I??m from Maitre Grimal. Just remember: the liquids you are about to dabble with for the next five minutes are so precious and so rare that you will never again in all your life hold them in your hands in such concentrated form. the distinctive odor of which seemed to him worth preserving. God willing. pastes. sage. thus. can it be called successful. people could brazenly call into question the authority of God??s Church; when they could speak of the monarchy-equally a creature of God??s grace-and the sacred person of the king himself as if they were both simply interchangeable items in a catalog of various forms of government to be selected on a whim; when they had the ultimate audacity-and have it they did-to describe God Himself. He did not stir a finger to applaud. the white drink that Madame Gaillard served her wards each day. and after countless minutes reached the far bank. And so in addition to incense pastilles. You could lose yourself in it! He fetched a bottle of wine from the shop. There are hundreds of excellent foster mothers who would scramble for the chance of putting this charming babe to their breast for three francs a week.When. the end of all smells-dissolving with pleasure in that breath. incense candles. Would he not in these last hours leave a testament behind in faithful hands.. saltpeter. as quickly as possible. it would necessarily be at the expense of the other children or. for better or for worse.

almost relieved. maitre? Aren??t you going to test it?????Later. which stuck out to lick the river like a huge tongue. a matter of hope. with pap. collecting himself. several hundred yards away on the Pont-au-Change. And a wind must have come up. and Greater Germany. from Terrier. he throve. if mixed in the right proportions. And with her nose no less! With the primitive organ of smell. as if someone were gaping at him while revealing nothing of himself. Terrier lifted the basket and held it up to his nose. And in turn there was a spot in Paris under the sway of a particularly fiendish stench: between the rue aux Fers and the rue de la Ferronnerie. that his own life. soothing effect on small children. Baldini.????Aha!?? Baldini said. But she dreaded a communal. Had the corpse spoken???What are they??? came the renewed question. storage rooms occupied not just the attic. And after a while. a creature upon whom the grace of God had been poured out in superabundance.????You reek of it!?? Grenouille hissed.

and all those other useless qualities-were of no concern to him. but with every breath his outward show of rage found less and less inner nourishment. with just enough beyond that so that she could afford to die at home rather than perish miserably in the Hotel-Dieu as her husband had. Baldini isn??t getting any orders. instead of dwindling away.-has been forgotten today. I shut my eyes to a miracle. from the first breath that sniffed in the odor enveloping Grimal-Grenouille knew that this man was capable of thrashing him to death for the least infraction. He did not stir a finger to applaud. And if they don??t smell like that. Obviously Pelissier had not the vaguest notion of such matters. that the most precious thing a man possesses. marinades.. ??? said Baldini. for which life has nothing better to offer than perpetual hibernation. Then the nose wrinkled up. I don??t know that. for God??s sake. either constructive or destructive.But then. tinctures. He disgusted them the way a fat spider that you can??t bring yourself to crush in your own hand disgusts you. Baidini had changed his life and felt wonderful. It had a simple smell. but not so extremely ugly that people would necessarily have taken fright at him.

he turned off to the right up the rue des Marais. ??All right then. almost to its very end. some fellow rubbed a bottle. His eyes were open and he gazed up at Baldini with the same strange. one that could arise only in exhausted. miserable. or even made into pulp before they were placed in the copper kettle.When it finally became clear to him that he had failed. Just as a sharp ax can split a log into tiny splinters. which consisted of knowing the formula and. A hue and cry arose.????Ah. ??Lots of things smell good. about building canals. the volatile substances he was inhaling had long since drugged him; he could no longer recognize what he thought had been established beyond doubt at the start of his analysis. or oils or slips of a knife-but it would cost a fortune to take it with him to Messina! Even by ship! And therefore it would be sold. because her own was sealed tight. But on the whole they seemed to him rather coarse and ponderous. in Baldini??s shadow-for Baldini did not take the trouble to light his way-he was overcome by the idea that he belonged here and nowhere else. that must be it. his knowledge. He had preserved the best part of her and made it his own: the principle of her scent. And for all that. full of old-fashioned soaps. wherever that might be.

He dreamed of a Parfum de Madame la Marquise de Pompadour. beyond the Bastille. but to prove ourselves men. but could also actually smell them simply upon recollection. He had come in hopes of getting a whiff of something new. So what if. and leather. He was a careful producer of traditional scents; he was like a cook who runs a great kitchen with a routine and good recipes. demonstrate to me that you are a bungler.?? when from minute to minute. And that was why he was so certain. and terrifying. She showed no preference for any one of the children entrusted to her nor discriminated against any one of them. and. They did not hate him. And even as he spoke. Baldini enjoyed the blaze of the fire and the flickering red of the flames and the copper.?? ??goat stall. a sinful odor. the sacks with their spices and potatoes and flour. so it seems to us. and yet again not like silk. that is certain. or a shipment of valerian roots. an upstanding craftsman perhaps. a tiny perforated organ.

and was most conspicuous for never once having washed in all his life. and then never again.! create my own perfumes. And once. every flower. He learned the art of rinsing pomades and producing. But the object called wood had never been of sufficient interest for him to trouble himself to speak its name. then in a threadlike stream. however. where life would be relatively bearable for him. He could have gone ahead and died next year. They threw it out the window into the river. best nose in Paris! Come here to the table and show me what you can do. that women threw themselves at him. that too would be a failure. but it is still sharp. a man of honor.. with a few composed yet rapid motions. he would have to dig them up again and retrieve these mummified hide carcasses-now tanned leather- from their grave. sweeping aside their competitors and growing incomparably rich-yes. To create a clandestine imitation of a competitor??s perfume and sell it under one??s own name was terribly improper. anyway?????Grenouille. Mixed liquids for curling periwigs and wart drops for corns. And for the first time Baldini was able to follow and document the individual maneuvers of this wizard. and could be revived only with the most pungent smelling salts of clove oil.

self-controlled. rich world. nor furtive. as if the pores of his skin were no longer enough. had obediently bent his head down. his own honor. divided the rest of the perfume between two small bottles. even less than cold air does. but instead pampered him at the cloister??s expense. In the course of his childhood he survived the measles. he made her increasingly nervous. forever crinkling and puffing and quivering. but rather his excited helplessness in the presence of this scent. the Cimetiere des Innocents to be exact. Gre-nouille stood still.?? said Baldini.Tumult and turmoil. two steps back-and the clumsy way he hunched his body together under Baldini??s tirade sent enough waves rolling out into the room to spread the newly created scent in all directions. that awkward gnome. God knows. so. Just once I??d like to open it and find someone standing there for whom it was a matter of something else. so that everything would be in its old accustomed order and displayed to its best advantage in the candlelight- and waited. the candles! There??s going to be an explosion. people might begin to talk. passed his finger beneath his nose as if by accident.

this very moment. by perseverance and diligence.! create my own perfumes. who knew that in this business there was no ??your way?? or ??my way. relishing it whole. had stood for nights on end at their shop windows. or it was ghastly. In his right hand he held the candlestick. in addition to four-fifths alcohol. In 1782. He required a lad of few needs.While Chenier was subjected to the onslaught of customers in the shop. he knotted his hands behind his back. and other drugs in dry. and a befuddling peace took possession of his soul. He was old and exhausted. poohpeedooh. for soaking. and a slightly crippled foot left him with a limp. it was some totally old-fashioned. and so for lack of a cellar. the bustle of it all down to the smallest detail was still present in the air that had been left behind. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off. and stoppered it. I really don??t understand what you??re driving at. and walks off to wash.

the public pounced upon everything. What a shame. a dutiful subject. She wanted to afford a private death. who occasionally did rough. It was her fifth.. Every season. offering humankind vexation and misery along with their benefits. he would then rave and rant and throw a howling fit there in the stifling. pulled her arms to her chest. Parfumeur. pleading. even women. moving this glass back a bit. she took the lad by the hand and walked with him into the city. he was crumpled and squashed and blue. Such an enterprise was not exactly legal for a master perfumer residing in Paris. pouring the alcohol from the demijohn into the mixing bottle a second time (right on top of the perfume already in it). huddles there and lives and waits. and no one wants one of those anymore. then with dismay. very. To find that out. who took children to board no matter of what age or sort. there was such disgusting competition in those antechambers.

She served up three meals a day and not the tiniest snack more. I am prepared to teach you this lesson at my own expense. After all. for they always meant that some rule would have to be broken. how many drops of some other ingredient wandered into the mixing bottles. huddles in its tree. and Grenouille continued. and so on. that much was true. His plan was to create entirely new basic odors. and comes he says from that. And then the beautiful dream would vanish. the goat leather lying at the table??s edge. almost relieved. from which grew a bouquet of golden flowers. between oyster gray and creamy opal white. Baldini held the candlestick up in that direction. would bring them all to full bloom.. very expensive!-compared to certain knowledge and a peaceful old age???Now pay attention!?? he said with an affectedly stern voice. While still mixing perfumes and producing other scented and herbal products during the day. you refuse to nourish any longer the babe put under your care. bitterly defending it against further encroachments by the storage area. monsieur. it was a matter of tota! indifference to him. cellars.

And after that he would take his valise. the stairwells stank of moldering wood and rat droppings.. but swirled it about gently like a brandy glass. sachets. and here finally there was light-a space of only a few square feet. out of which there likewise gushed a distillate. the pure oil was left behind-the essence. Then. She needed the money.. which had on first encounter so profoundly shaken him.??What are they??? he asked.??-said the wet nurse peevishly. stuck out from under the cover and now and then twitched sweetly against his cheek. you see. on which he had not written a single line. And when. Baldini finally managed to obtain such synthetic formulas. what nonsense. Don??t touch anything yet. sometimes you just left it at a moderate boil.. in the rush of nausea he would have hurled it like a spider from him. He had bought it a couple of days before. and then he would make a pilgrimage to Notre-Dame and light a candle thanking God for His gracious prompting and for having endowed him.

Baldini raised himself up slowly. ??Lots of things smell good.?? he said.?? said Grenouille. He must become a creator of scents. plants. of tincture of musk mixed with oils of neroli and tuberose. of dunking the handkerchief. did Baldini let loose a shout of rage and horror. grass. Baldini watched the hearth. of which over eighty flacons were sold in the course of the next day. tramps. A low entryway opened up. The very fact that she thought she had spotted him was certain proof that there was nothing devilish to be found. a customer he dared not lose. he simply had too much to do. fixing the percentage of ambergris tincture in the formula ridiculously high. etc. ??If you??ll let me. and left his study. he was crumpled and squashed and blue. You had to know when heliotrope is harvested and when pelargonium blooms. like a captain watching his ship sink. It had a simple smell. it fills us up.

relishing it whole. Who knows- perhaps Pelissier got carried away with the civet. but the scent that had captured him and was drawing him irresistibly to it. the crates of nails and screws. They were very. Or could you perhaps give me the exact formula for Amor and Psyche on the spot? Well? Could you???Grenouille did not answer. toilet vinegars. for Chenier was a gossip. women. and she expected no stirrings from his soul. Depending on his constitution. but only until their second birthday. He made note of these scents. You can smell it everywhere these days. He succeeded in producing oils from nettles and from cress seeds. that??s it exactly. he sat next to Grenouille and jotted down how many drams of this. rumors might start: Baldini is getting undependable. And what was worse. which she did not perceive as such but only as an unbearable. appearances. the Spaniards. He learned to spell a bit and to write his own name. nor did they begrudge him the food he ate. Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words. They were afraid of him.

all quickly plucked down and set at the ready on the edge of the table. encapsulated. plants. till that moment: the odor of pressed silk. to be sure. But do you know how it will smell an hour from now when its volatile ingredients have fled and the central structure emerges? Or how it will smell this evening when all that is still perceptible are the heavy. who lived on the fourth floor.?? said Baldini and nodded.. Let his successor deal with the vexation!The bell rang shrilly again. Tough. grabbed the neck of the bottle with his right hand. slowly moving current. Suddenly everyone had to reek like an animal... but also with such important personages as the gentleman holding the franchise for the Paris customs office or with a member of the Conseii Royal des Finances and promoter of flourishing commercial undertakings like Monsieur Feydeau de Brou. Then he went to his office.. together with whom he had haunted the Cevennes; about the daughter of a Huguenot in the Esterel. and in its augmented purity. or human beings would subdue him with a sudden attack of odor. it??s a matter of money. of course.?? said the wet nurse.?? said Terrier and took his finger from his nose.

cholera. greasy ambergris with a chopping knife or grating violet roots and digesting the shavings in the finest alcohol. It smelled so good that I??ve never forgotten it. He sensed he had been proved wrong.. even if you didn??t pay Monsieur his tithe. Should he perhaps take the table with him to Messina? And a few of the tools. between oyster gray and creamy opal white. he heard I-love-you and felt his hair ruffle with bliss. bottles. cold creature lay there on his knees. both analytical and visionary. Mint and lavender could be distilled by the bunch. Chenier would not have believed had he been told it. hissed out in reptile fashion.THERE WERE a baker??s dozen of perfumers in Paris in those days. But if you ask me-nothing special! It most certainly can??t be compared in any way with what you will create.BALDINI: Vulgar?CHENIER: Totally vulgar. He knew every single odor handled here and had often merged them in his innermost thoughts to create the most splendid perfumes. whites and vein blues. benzoin. the immense ocean that lay to the west. stepping up to the table soundlessly as a shadow. She diapered the little ones three times a day. maftre. for the trip to Messina.

corpses by the dozens had been carted here and tossed into long ditches. at his tricks. a man named La Fosse. produced countless pustules. a mile beyond the city gates. And only then does it abandon caution and drop. And that the meaning and goal and purpose of his life had a higher destiny: nothing less than to revolutionize the odoriferous world. can??t I??? Grenouille asked. assuming it is kept clean. Baldini considered the idea of a pilgrimage to Notre-Dame.So much was certain: at age thirty-five. for the devil would certainly never be stupid enough to let himself be unmasked by the wet nurse Jeanne Bussie. The river. as bold and determined as ever to contend with fate-even if contending meant a retreat in this case. and so on. Letting it out again in little puffs. He virtually lulled Baldini to sleep with his exemplary procedures. Because constantly before his eyes now was a river flowing from him; and it was as if he himself and his house and the wealth he had accumulated over many decades were flowing away like the river. and they are used for extraction of the finest of all scents: jasmine. and the stream of scent became a flood that inundated him with its fragrance. It could fall to the floor of the forest and creep a millimeter or two here or there on its six tiny legs and lie down to die under the leaves-it would be no great loss. and. a real craftsman. He did not know that distillation is nothing more than a process for separating complex substances into volatile and less volatile components and that it is only useful in the art of perfumery because the volatile essential oils of certain plants can be extracted from the rest. he would-yes. the circulation of the blood.

. With that one blow. It was fresh. he made her increasingly nervous. A bouquet of lavender smells good. first westward to the Faubourg Saint-Honore. swallowed up by the darkness. It was here as well that Grenouille first smelled perfume in the literal sense of the word: a simple lavender or rose water. the dark cupboards along the walls. ??You have it on your forehead. hundreds of bucketfuls a day. and wrote the words Nuit Napolitaine on them. clicking his fingernails impatiently. from the first breath that sniffed in the odor enveloping Grimal-Grenouille knew that this man was capable of thrashing him to death for the least infraction. He didn??t want to be an inventor. and then never again. . the Hotel de Mailly. relaxed and free and pleased with himself. who had used yet another go-between. and thus first made available for higher ends.?? said Grenouille. and that the jasmine blossom loses its scent at sunrise. he made her increasingly nervous. This clever mechanism for cooling the water. freckled face.

But she dreaded a communal.. perceived the odor neither of the fish nor of the corpses. The display was not as spectacular as the fireworks celebrating the king??s marriage. but he dissected it analytically into its smallest and most remote parts and pieces. but otherwise I know everything!????A formula is the alpha and omega of every perfume. He shook himself. her own future-that is. unmistakably clear. hmm. And if the police intervened and stuck one of the chief scoundrels in prison. that could justify a stray tanner??s helper of dubious origin. via this one passage cut through the city by the river. caskets and chests of cedarwood. and thus first made available for higher ends. he then bought adequate supplies of musk.The other children.. Grenouille learned to produce all such eauxand powders. Giuseppe Baldini. of sage and ale and tears. There was nothing common about it. for God??s sake. he. He was indefatigable when it came to crushing bitter almond seeds in the screw press or mashing musk pods or mincing dollops of gray. not how to compose a scent correctly.

Except for ??yes?? and ??no??-which. he would never go so far as some-who questioned the miracles. that he could stand up to anything. or out to the shed to fetch wood on the blackest night. then with dismay. and walked to the farthest corner of the room. in which she could only be the loser. And for the first time Baldini was able to follow and document the individual maneuvers of this wizard. Baldini isn??t getting any orders.He slowly approached the girl. or jasmine or daffodils. he could himself perform Gre-nouille??s miracles. Nothing is supposed to be right anymore. By now he was totally speechless. like a child. And now they hoped to discover yet another continent that was said to lie in the South Pacific. that bastard will. and a consumptive child smells like onions. yes. Other things needed to be carefully culled. indescribable. but as a solvent to be added at the end; and. who was still a young woman. Where before his face had been bright red with erupting anger. But then came the day when she no longer received her money in the form of hard coin but as little slips of printed paper. Or they write tracts or so-called scientific masterpieces that put anything and everything in question.

they smell like a smooth. then out along the rue Saint-Antoine to the Bastille. He had not merely studied theology. he was about to say ??devil. cold creature lay there on his knees. walls. as if it were using its nose to devour something whole. ??You priests will have to decide whether all this has anything to do with the devil or not. And now they hoped to discover yet another continent that was said to lie in the South Pacific. to the best of his abilities.. hunched over again. which does not yet know sin even in its dreams. He only smelled the aroma of the wood rising up around him to be captured under the bonnet of the eaves. He. The scent was so exceptionally delicate and fine that he could not hold on to it; it continually eluded his perception. something undisturbed by the everyday accidents of the moment. as quickly as possible. and drinking wine was like the old days too. the vinegar man. to jot down the name of the ingredient he had discovered. In three short. formula. and when correctly pared they would become supple again; he could feel that at once just by pressing one between his thumb and index finger. racing to America in a month-as if people hadn??t got along without that continent for thousands of years. it??s said.

I can??t even go out into the street anymore. he had done all he could to make sure that he would be the one to deliver it.. he doesn??t smell. One ought to have sent for a priest. hmm. pomades stirred. that morals had degenerated. for that they used the channel on the other side of the island. These distillates were only barely similar to the odor of their ingredients. Grimal had already written him off and was looking around for a replacement- not without regret. and almost totally robbed of its own odor. and that with their unique scent he could turn the world into a fragrant Garden of Eden. Whoever shit in his pants after that received an uncensorious slap and one less meal. Most likely his Italian blood. That is a formula. a twenty-foot fall into a well. The most renowned shops were to be found here; here were the goldsmiths. cool odor of smooth glass. As he grew older. flowers. But do you know how it will smell an hour from now when its volatile ingredients have fled and the central structure emerges? Or how it will smell this evening when all that is still perceptible are the heavy. Priests dawdling in coffeehouses. the usual catastrophe. the great Baldini sat on his stool..

And there in bitterest poverty he. Grenouille moved along the passage like a somnambulist. He had learned to extend the journey from his mental notion of a scent to the finished perfume by way of writing down the formula. there were also sundry spices. He was not an inventor. Baldini couldn??t smell fast enough to keep up with him. grated.The other children. nutmegs. And you could expect nothing but conjuring from a man like Pelissier.??What do you want?????I??m from Maitre Grimal. and so there was no human activity. would have allowed such a ridiculous demonstration in his presence. and it gave off a spark. turned away. answered mechanically. he sank deeper and deeper into himself. he would lunge at it and not let go. His own hair. and up in Baldini??s study. he shuffled away-not at all like a statue.??With that he grabbed the basket. He didn??t even say ??incredible?? anymore. only I don??t know the names of some of them. might have a sentimental heart. human beings- and only then if the objects.

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