The main character of the novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. The novel also contains several other characters which can be considered secondary. The rest of the characters are important only in how they relate to Grenouille.

In the novel, almost all the other characters have to measure up to the brilliant Grenouille. They play certain roles in the action, but in the end they are all left behind by Grenouille, who often sees other people as merely a means to an end.

For example, Madame Gaillard and Father Terrier take care of Grenouille during his childhood. Giuseppe Baldiniand the Marquis de la Taillade-Espinasse both make use of Grenouille’s skills at different points in the plot. Antoine Richis suffers from Grenouille’s actions, but ultimately he is influenced into forgiving him. 

Other characters include Grimal, form whom Grenouille works for a while, Grenouille’s mother, who wants to get rid of him at birth, Jeanne Bussie, Grenouille’s wet-nurse, and Laurie Richis, who is the last of Grenouille’s victims.

Character' map

Both sides of the character contribute to Grenouille becoming the figure he is in the end. The left side is especially significant for Grenouille's development from a child to an adult perfumer who knows artisanal processes.

On the other side is Laure, whom he needs in order to perfect his superhuman perfume. When her father, Antoine Richis, asks Grenouille to be his son, Richis’ actions remind Grenouille how much he dislikes other people.

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