Just in time for Christmas comes the heartwarming story of “Perfume,” which follows a half-dozen friends so obsessed with the possibilities of smell that the death of one of them dredges up some extremely unpleasant things about their pasts.
The new series is based on the 1985 Patrick Süskind novel “Perfume,” which was previously adapted into the 2006 Tom Tykwer film “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer,” starring a pre-Bond Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, and Dustin Hoffman. This new TV venture brings the original story into a modern context, rather than the 18th-century French environs of the novel.
In updating the historical story, this six-part season also gets a detective show twist, with a group of investigators looking into the death of a singer. What they find is a group of one-time school friends, at least one of whom stumbled into the practice of using human scents as the basis for making a one-of-a-kind fragrance. An unexplained death quickly turns into a psychological dive down the rabbit hole of an obsessive killer. (There’s even an evidence board with everyone’s faces and a menacing shot of handcuffs. Hooray for genre conventions that transcend continental boundaries!)
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Directed by Philipp Kadelbach (who was also behind all three installments of the 2013 drama “Generation War”), the “Perfume” ensemble includes August Diehl, Ken Duken, Friederike Becht, Susanne Wuest, Marc Hosemann, Natalia Belitski, Trystan Pütter, and Wotan Wilke Möhring. “Perfume” joins a growing roster of (often bleak) Netflix dramas from Germany, including “Dark,” “Babylon Berlin” (also directed by Tykwer) and the upcoming “Dogs of Berlin,” which is also set to premiere next month. Netflix also distributed the medical historical drama “Charité” earlier this year.
Watch the full trailer (including a terrifying-looking body cast project) below:
“Perfume” premieres December 21 on Netflix.