Perfume season 1 episode 4 recap: The Third Substance


Simon pursues De Vries for answers when another murder is committed and Elena takes drastic steps to finally leave Roman.

It is impossible to separate two scents from each other without a third substance; for instance, perfumer uses alcohol to separate the scent of perfume from the waxy smell of skin. De Vries sits in a hotel lobby, trying to isolate an intriguing scent he’s caught.

Paula is dead, definitely murdered by the same killer. Elsie lies down next to her and falls asleep. When Butsche finds her missing he goes to look for her at home and finds her mother as well.

He carries her away from the scene as she struggles hysterically. He takes her to Elena for help, who gives her a sedative. They call the police and Elsie is taken to protective services.

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Roman gets home before Butsche can leave, so he makes sure to make a move on Elena that she can reject in front of him to protect her from Roman’s abuse. He beats her anyway, but Magda sees and starts hitting him with Butsche’s stolen watch.

He said she could defeat anyone with it, so she took it to protect her mother from her father. To get revenge on Butsche, Roman calls a reporter and tells him some secret about Butsche’s past.

Meanwhile, Merten’s autopsy reveals that he was killed by stabbing, rather than by strangulation like Katharina, but that the wounds are more or less the same minus the relative amateur surgical skills used on Merten.

If it wasn’t the same killer, they likely had the same purpose. Paula’s neighbor saw Toothless earlier in the evening, then heard Paula’s door squeak at 10:30 pm and again at 12:30 am, but didn’t see who it was coming and going.

Simon hands off an envelope to Grünberg containing her pregnancy test. Grünberg says he’ll take care of the abortion, which is obviously not what Simon hoped he would say.

She asks him what the difference is between her child and his wife’s child. He promises to pay child support if she wants to keep it, but he makes no romantic commitments and says no one can know it’s his.

Traces of the principal were found in Katharina’s bed, proving that they had a romantic relationship. He thinks he might be the father of her child and wanted to be with her regardless and would have given up his career in a heartbeat for her.

Considering Simon’s situation with Grünberg, this kind of love and dedication is almost unfathomable.

Simon conducts an experiment where she blindfolds the men in the office and has them choose from a number of bras which they find most attractive by smell. Hers and Katharina’s are among the selection, and everyone except Köhler – including Grünberg – chooses Katharina’s bra.

Köhler chooses Simon’s and clearly recognizes it as hers. While she’s disappointed and confused about Grünberg’s choice, the experiment also served to prove that there was something special about Katharina’s scent and that there might be something unique about the other victim’s too. The scent could be the murderer’s motive.

They get warrants to search the premises of all the suspects. They find perfumes at De Vries’s place that have human traces in them, which he claims come from the process of covering the subject in animal fat and scrapping the surface material from their skin.

Meanwhile, all the suspects have an alibi for Paula’s murder, but Simon suspects that De Vries has persuaded someone to commit the murders for him so that he can make the perfume.

Elena decides to leave Roman and asks for Toothless to help her. He helped her once before in some way that was important. He drugs her, makes cuts under her arms, and half strangles her, making it look like she was meant to be one of the killer’s victims.

While this is happening and Roman is looking for her, those lines from Edgar Allen Poe’s Dream-land are heard again.

Next. Perfume season 1 episode 5 recap: The Heart Notes. dark

Back in the school days, Roman is jealous of Busche’s relationship with Katharina so he sabotages him by giving him a cheat sheet full of wrong answers. He is provoked to attack Roman in the cafeteria, which gets him in trouble with the principal.

I’m guessing that De Vries is definitely involved somehow and that Simon’s theory is mostly right. But who would have motive and opportunity to kill for De Vries?