• Perfume

  • Penguin Modern Classics
  • By: Patrick Süskind
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (160 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A downloadable audiobook edition of the modern classic Perfume read by Sean Barrett.

Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: This is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: A sense of smell more powerful than any other human's.

Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: The scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill...

©2014 Penguin Books Limited; 2014 Patrick Suskind

What listeners say about Perfume

Average Customer Ratings
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Smell has never been so Wonderfully evil

This is probably one of the best books that I have ever read/listened to. It enthralls you from the very beginning. It takes you down a dark road and makes you experience the world in a totally different way. The characters are well thought out. The story flows and the performer Sean Barrett is exceptionally talented. He brings life to the characters, you can "see" them, or more importantly, you can smell them.

Thank you for providing such a wonderful work of literature.

2 people found this helpful

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Perfect

it is as if, the narrator was created for this very book to read.

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Opinion

Beautiful language and excellent narrative. Highly recommend. This story catches attention from beginning to end.

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marvelous

a classic, a must, an excellent story to begin reading or listen to. Do enjoy.

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finished in one sitting

loved the book from start to end, and great voices by the reader, a must read/lisen

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Amazing narration

I love the book and the narrator truly added a very nice rhythm to this audio version of it. This book is a great start for anyone looking something intriguing and kind of mysterious.

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  • Isabelle
  • 03-26-15

Stunning! The narration deserves 10 stars.

Didn't know what to expect, other than great narration as it was read by Sean Barrett. Even though I've listened to a lot of books narrated by Sean Barrett, I was surprised to find that he seems to have found yet another new voice for this book. His wonderful narration suits the beautiful language of this book.

It's not the story so much, as the beauty of the prose, the sensual descriptions and the vivid characterisations that I really enjoyed. I'm sure I wouldn't have got the same enjoyment if I'd read the book myself.

As soon as I'd finished listening, I started it again, and I listen to snippets as a treat alongside other books.

And, just like Grenouille who lives in fear of never experiencing a certain smell again, I find myself afraid that one day I won't be able to listen to this audiobook any more.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 05-05-14

Fascinating idea

No odour and an unimaginable sense of smell combine to make an intriguing story which is beautifully narrated. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel.

7 people found this helpful

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  • J. Alchemist
  • 01-22-15

Captivating story

If you could sum up Perfume in three words, what would they be?

Unusual, Fragrant, Dark

Any additional comments?

Not the traditional book I would go for but definitely no regrets here. Dark and pretty witty in places.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Solaire
  • 07-14-17

Creepy, different, and very very good!

Someone recommended this to me a while back and so glad I added this to my wishlist. A completely unexpected ending (and not a "twist" ending either) and Sean Barrett is excellent as always.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Isabel Dipper
  • 10-15-16

A beautiful, horrible classic.

I read this book years ago- and saw the film. It is absorbing, evocative and a feast for the senses. The narration of this audible version is gorgeous. I was lost in the rich descriptions of the rise and fall of this unique, fascinating and rather frightening character. Poetic prose. Worth a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rajinder Kaur Atwal
  • 05-24-16

a great book with an amazing narrator

the world of Jean Baptiste is so frightening real. this is well written with a fantastic narrator

2 people found this helpful

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  • perspective
  • 03-20-16

Outstanding!

If you could sum up Perfume in three words, what would they be?

Sensory feast

What did you like best about this story?

The characterisation is excellent. The olfactory imagery is rich. The story compelling.

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Saturate your senses!

Any additional comments?

A brilliant novel.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JayBee
  • 12-30-15

Perfume by patrick suskind

One ot the strangest stories I have ever read i thoroughly enjoyed it and have gone back over it several times a brilliant story well written and well read

2 people found this helpful

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  • Darren - UK
  • 06-25-14

WoW! what a book Im dumbfound.

What did you like most about Perfume?

This is going to be hard There are no words to describe how much I love this book. I'm not just being colorful I really don't know how to communicate what this book did for me it's nothing short of soul changing I'm not the same person I was when I started reading this is a true classic the effect this book has had on me is profound. The narration was perfect and I can't recommend this book highly enough

Any additional comments?

Just buy it!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 12-02-17

Not a single likeable character

It was very depressing. Every character was nasty. If I thought it was a true representation of the human race in the past or now I would be ashamed to be part of it! The author spent so much time describing how perfumes etc are made it became boring by the end. It seemed as if he was trying to show how well he had researched the subject. I dint realise that it was a supernatural tale or I would not have chosen it. It was not believable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clementine
  • 07-01-17

much better than the film

i have alwats really liked the film , the book is way better.
great narrator, for once a male voice actor who has the range to do other voices besides his own.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charmaine
  • 11-24-16

Such an interesting story!

I really, unexpectedly, enjoyed this book. To my surprise, Grenouille was actually very relatable. The story was also very dark and so humorous. I really enjoyed it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lilly
  • 04-19-16

Creepily enchanting

I read this book years ago and loved listening to it. Very gruesome story told beautifully. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-22

??

To me, this was just weird.
I listened to it all, but I have to say, definitely a strange and weird story line.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-19-22

Excellent!

I've read Perfume a couple of times but not for many years and I had a high bar set for this production. I wasn't disappointed. The narration was clear, well paced and the characters were perfectly rendered. Thanks Audible! Highly recommended!

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  • michael j willis
  • 05-16-22

Brilliant

A story so original..so enthralling. Many say about books 'I couldn't put it down...i say i couldn't hit the pause .

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  • Samantha
  • 04-03-21

Great book, well read

Except for the pretty stupid ending, I loved this book and performance. Have listened to it over and over! Thanks to Kurt Cobain for recommending this book :)

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  • MR DUNCAN J HAMILTON
  • 02-18-21

Amazingly Dark Story

Second time reading this story. I love how scents are so well described. The plot is amazing, dark and unique. The only dull part is the cave section in the middle.
Narrator does a brilliant job with the book.

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  • DebManning
  • 12-04-19

Boring

Boring book boring narration found it hard to listen to and finish. Supposed to be a great book but not for me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-19

A great "read".

An excellent story, extremely well narrated, yet sadly disappointing in the end. I got the feeling that the ending was rushed and perfunctory as if the author, after all the care in getting to that point, couldn't decide on how to end it and just wanted it done with.