Not only does Netflix house some of the most binge-worthy crime dramas to ever hit television, they're constantly importing fresh new shows from around the world. Perfume — Netflix's latest addition — is no exception. This German gem has loads of style, horror, and sensuality for a show about murder and the removal of scent glands.
Inspired by the popular novel Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind, Netflix's rendition isn't as faithful of an adaptation as the 2006 movie starring the able Ben Whishaw. Instead, what we have here is a tale about people who have taken the book a little too seriously — people who actually try to make perfume from human oils. Disturbing, yet true to the overall essence of what Suskind created, this show will have you absolutely hooked. When it comes to Netflix's Perfume, here are the five things we're obsessing over.
1. The Haunting Murder of "K"
We open with murder, and it doesn't stop there.
Katharina (or "K," as she's referred to throughout the show) is found dead, floating in her pool. The person who finds K's body is Roman, K's childhood friend and secret lover! Roman learns about K's murder through the sudden appearance of her young son at his doorstep. When K's son offers Roman a bloody lock of her red hair, Roman immediately rushes over to the house, knowing he'll find her dead.
When Roman finally fishes K's body out of the pool, he notices this isn't a simple case of drowning but rather something more meticulous, even methodical. K is found with her head shaved, and every area of her body with prominent sweat glands and hair — armpits, pelvis region, etc. — has been removed through deep, precise incisions. The scariest part of all? Though Roman can't believe his eyes, he immediately recognizes the method through which K was murdered.
2. The Brat Pack's Dark Secret
Some bonds last a lifetime.
Roman and his wife, Elena, organize K's funeral, inviting over three of their closest friends since childhood ⏤ particularly, their days at boarding school. Everyone, including Elena, can't believe K's dead. Not only was she a singer, she was admired by everyone she came across and loved by many. In fact, each of the four men have their own "love story" with K, and they fondly recall her exquisite beauty.
All this sentimentality shifts when Roman reveals the way in which K's body was found. He lifts the top of the casket, exposing K's embalmed corpse to the rest of the group. As each member of the pack examines her body, they, too, recognize the way in which K has been murdered. But how could this be? This tight-knit group of friends (as far as they know) are the only ones who have practiced this type of "extraction." Does this mean that one of them did it? We soon realize the one true thing that bonds these friends is fear — the fear each holds knowing what the other is capable of.
3. Young Minds And A Novel Idea
The root of all madness starts with an idea.
As we move back and forth in time, we catch glimpses of these friends as teens. We witness how they first meet each other, and how the group came to bond over a summer they'll never forget. It was a summer of sexual exploration, romance, and disturbing, despicable behavior. It was also the time Elena was reading Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. Elena introduces the book to the group, reading an excerpt to them. Though they each come away with their own interpretation of the text, one thing remains clear: each one of them is obsessed with it.
Soon enough, the group starts practicing enfleurage — the art of using fats to capture scent. It starts off innocent enough with just flowers. But as their skills grow, the friends starts practicing on each other. Oddly enough, K is their first attempt at capturing the human scent because they want to produce a perfume out of it. So, is it a coincident that K is also the first of them to die?
4. Detecting The Undetectable
Just because you are right, doesn't mean you can't be wrong.
Nadja is the detective assigned to K's astounding case. Though Nadja is having an affair with the lead Prosector she is working under, she is never distracted. She has an innate ability to successfully compartmentalize difficult aspects of her life. This enables her to see things that others might over look, details even the Prosector is quick to brush off.
Eventually, Nadja's careful investigation links K's murder to an incident that occurred with a missing boy during the group's infamous school days. This link not only reopens a decade's old case, but it brings in more suspects than intended. As the entire group is questioned, Nadja learns about the group's twisted history with this type of "extraction." Is it possible that Nadja will solve two cases at once? Or, has her investigation lead her astray?
5. Bottling Teen Spirit
Someone else knows the craft of perfuming. But is this perfumer responsible for K's death?
There's someone else out there who knows how to extract human scent and bottle it up. In fact, he's even got clients ready to pay for his product. And as he charismatically rounds up his own victims before our eyes, we can't help but question how this ties back to our group. If he's not part of the original six, then how did he learn the craft of perfuming? Did he figure it out on his own, or through other means? What was his connection to K?
Herein lies the true mystery of the show.
You can watch Perfume on Netflix right now!