Perfume season 1 episode 2 recap: Skatole


As the investigation progresses it becomes clear that the school friends share darker secrets than a fetish for scent. Simon struggles to be taken seriously by her peers.

Skatole is a natural compound that is often added to perfumes to create depth. The narrator speaks of familiarity, that it is the familiar that draws us in.

While small quantities of skatole have a pleasant floral smell, it is in high concentration that skatole is revealed to be something very familiar: the fragrance of human feces.

The missing boy, Merten Brodmann, is not the only student to have disappeared from the boarding school during that time. Daniel Sluiter (aka Toothless) also disappeared without explanation for five days.

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When he returned, he claimed not to remember what happened.

Meanwhile, Simon and Köhler investigate at the boarding school and learn that the clay soil around the school keeps bodies from decaying. The old beadle is Elena’s father who doesn’t seem to know much. He’s pretty sexist and resents Katharina for knowing her own beauty and owning her sexuality. He sends them to talk to another old school friend who might know more.

This friend wrote an article about everyone at school assigning them a market value based on their charm, class, looks, intelligence, etc. He tells them about the group’s smelling club and their hangout at the castle ruins.

Simon wants to search for Merten’s body around the ruins, but Grünberg thinks it’s a waste of time and won’t approve the resources. She goes behind his back and uses some local cadaver dogs to sniff around the area.

Grünberg finds out about her insubordination, but not before they uncover the cadaver of a dog with some very shocking elements.

At the funeral, the friends continue to struggle and fight. When Roman tries to intervene, he gets backhanded in the face with Butsche’s watch.

When they realize Roman and Elena’s young daughter is watching from the back row, they stop and tell her they were just playing. When Magda asks Butsche if he hurt her dad with his watch, he tells her his watch can defeat anyone.

While everyone is still suspicious of each other, they each supply alibis and go home to drink, remember, and catch up. There is a hostile edge to their interactions. Elena is flirty with everyone but Roman, which throws him into a jealous rage. Once they go to bed, he beats and rapes her.

He says to her “why do you always make me do this?” as if it had anything to do with her. Toothless finds out the next morning after everyone else has left and offers to help her, but she refuses. She tries to leave herself later, but Roman catches her and blackmails her into staying with some mysterious secret about her past.

Back during school, the boys (Roman, Butsche, De Vries) were obsessed with Katharina, but she was fickle and manipulative. The boys would hang out together at the ruins, where they met Elena for the first time and raped her

They told her they did it because they like her. Roman became Elena’s boyfriend after that.

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Simon is constantly distracted by her affair with Grünberg and anxious about his lack of response. She is always checking her phone and leaving Köhler to do most of the investigation.

Köhler must suspect her affair, and Grünberg’s wife certainly does. Despite her distraction, she is smart and intuitive, making deductive leaps that Köhler doesn’t.