23 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 663 (2014)
Odor in the Courts - Extending Copyright Protection to Perfumes May Not Be So Nonscentsical: An Investigation of the Legal Bulwarks Available for Fine Fragrances amid Advancing Reverse Engineering Technology

handle is hein.journals/scid23 and id is 699 raw text is: ODOR IN THE COURTS! EXTENDING
COPYRIGHT PROTECTION TO
PERFUMES MAY NOT BE SO
NONSCENTSICAL: AN INVESTIGATION
OF THE LEGAL BULWARKS AVAILABLE
FOR FINE FRAGRANCES AMID
ADVANCING REVERSE ENGINEERING
TECHNOLOGY
OLIVIA SU*
I. INTRODUCTION
In the first scene of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, a figure
enshrouded in darkness ever so cautiously leans forward into a ray of light,
casting only a prominent nose out of the safety of the shadows.' The
nostrils flare as the hidden figure inhales.2 This is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille,
a man gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell; given just a passing
whiff of perfume, he is not only able to identify every single ingredient
used-a splash of orange blossom, a touch of lime, and so forth-he can
also determine, with incredible accuracy, the quantities of each substance
that make up the final scent.3 Ultimately, Grenouille plays the role of
kryptonite to the perfume industry, which relies heavily on secrecy and the
intrinsic difficulty in extracting a substance's compositional information to
keep the trade competitive and profitable.4
Now, of course, Grenouille is a fictional character, and an audience of
perfumers can be granted some degree of relief knowing that, in real life,
someone with such an abnormally heightened sense of smell would get a
*  J.D. Candidate, 2014, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; B.F.A., 2010,
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
I. PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER (Constantin Film Produktion 2006).
2.  Id.
3.  Id.
4. CHANDLER BURR, THE PERFECT SCENT 129 (2007) (explaining that twenty-first century
companies [are] operating under medieval business practices [by solely relying on the secrecy of
perfume formulas], the emperor has no clothes, everyone knows it, and no one will admit it).
663

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