Perfume – a new Netflix series – is a modern-day adaptation of the novel by Patrick Suskind. If you liked the 2006 movie or the Netflix series Dark, you should love this as well. Season 1 is on Netflix worldwide now!

Perfume is a deliciously dark new Netflix series. It’s based on the novel by German author Patrick Süskind, but unlike both the book and the 2006 movie adaptation, this is a modern-day adaptation. 

The story also features a female profiler, Nadja Simon, who doesn’t shy away from anything. From the beginning, the events draw you in and the characters keep you interested.

If you like the style of the German Netflix series Dark – which we loved – then Perfume should be perfect for you. The story is totally different (obviously), but it does take place in several time periods. And the tone and visual style are gorgeous!

Real and flawed characters

I almost feel as if I should warn you that you won’t like many (if any) of the characters when you watch episode 1.

Most of them are very unlikable and seem either weak or downright cruel. Either that or they just annoy you because you feel like they should do better for themselves. In other words, Perfume features characters that are realistic and therefore flawed.

And I for one really like this. Otherwise, it would all be too easy. I like these huge grey areas as opposed to black and white. Let me decide for myself how I feel about these characters. 

From the very beginning, I’m especially intrigued by the Nadja Simon character portrayed by Friederike Becht. She’s a young profiler with the German police, which means she’s our guide through the search for our Perfume killer.

I also really like the police detective Matthias Köhler (Jürgen Maurer). He’s so laidback and admits this case is out of his league. Still, he gets clues by doing good old police work.

Okay, we also see him literally covered in dogs – and happy about it – when interviewing a witness. This is enough for me to judge his character. Dogs know good people!

Perfume – Season 1 – Netflix review

Very interesting cast

While the characters might challenge you, it all works thanks to a brilliant cast. We get to know these characters and while we might not grow to like them more, we do understand them better.

The cast includes August Diehl and Ken Duken who were both in Inglourious Basterds. Also, we have Christian Friedel (The White Ribbon) and Wotan Wilke Mohring (Valkyrie).

For horror fans, Susanne Wuest should be familiar. She played the title role of the creepily brilliant Goodnight Mommy. She’s also in an episode of Prime Video’s Lore.

Also read: Our Season 2 review of the Prime Video horror anthology Lore here >

The earlier mentioned Friederike Becht, who portrays the profiler (Nadja Simon), was in The Reader. Yes, this cast is full of actors who have already been in major international productions.

And of course, we have the young Carlotta von Falkenhayn as Elsie. She will definitely be familiar to you, if you’ve watched the German Netflix series Dark. She portrayed the character Elizabeth Doppler and was the young Camilla Salander in the recent The Girl in the Spider’s Web movie adaptation.

Go watch season 1 of Perfume on Netflix now!

Philipp Kadelbach directed all 6 episodes of Perfume. He was also a director on the International Emmy-winning series Generation War and BBC espionage drama SS-GB.

Please don’t be discouraged by the fact that it’s a German produced series. Perfume (org. title Parfum) is a brilliant horror thriller. Also, the original novel is written by a German author, Patrick Süskind, so it’s very fitting.

Hopefully, the German Netflix series Dark proved that once and for all. Dark will be out with a Season 2 next year. Season 1 was first shown in Germany on ZDFneo and Netflix has already picked up second-window streaming rights for Perfume.

If the originally ZDF produced series becomes a hit, we can look forward to a season 2. And really, it should be a success!

Season 1 of Perfume is available on Netflix worldwide (except Germany) from December 21, 2018.

If you’re feeling confused after watching the ending of season 1, you can read our explanation of the ending here >


Director: Philipp Kadelbach
Writers: Eva Kranenburg, Patrick Süskind
Cast: August Diehl, Ken Duken, Friederike Becht, Susanne Wuest, Marc Hosemann, Natalia Belitski, Trystan Pütter, Wotan Wilke Möhring


A perfumer with a superhuman sense of smell begins killing female students at a boarding school to distill their essence and create the perfect scent.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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