Some might be disappointed with the influx of new adaptations of old movies and books, but the new series for Netflix Perfume is bound to change minds. Joining the ranks of other dark German programs on Netflix, Perfume premieres Friday, December 21st. The series is based on Patrick Süskind’s 1985 novel of the same name, in which a killer with an uncanny ability to twist and manipulate people through his own crafted perfumes.
The book was previously adapted by Tom Tykwer for his 2006 film Perfume: The Story of A Murderer, starring Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman. In a surprising twist, the series delves into modernity rather than 18th century France. But it is safe to say, rather than an adaptation this is more of an inspiration. Produced by the makers of the eerie time-travel hit Dark, the six part series will instead focus on the detectives’ journey through madness rather than the killers’.
The death of a singer brings the investigation to a group of old school friends and their secretive ‘perfume club’ where the intoxicating fragrances seem to be created from something far more sinister than elegant notes of roses and lilacs. The trailer begins with eerie shots paired with almost uncomfortably close sounds of inhales, gasps, and audible breathing. Through a crescendo of flashing imagery and winding orchestral music until the final shot, we see: lone perfume bottles. The trailer is quick, and with a “blink and you’ll miss it” reveal that the murders are indeed influenced by the classic novel.
The series features a heavy hitting artillery of German actors featuring Ken Duken (Inglorious Basterds), Friederike Becht (The Reader), August Diehl (Inglorious Basterds), Susanne Wuest (Goodnight Mommy), and more. At the helm is director Philipp Kadelbach, a prominent German director whose work features the recent Naked Among Wolves and Auf Kurz Distanz (Point Blank).