In the open world of Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s spiritual successor to the Dark Souls games, almost every enemy players can encounter has a dramatic story, and Perfumers are no exception. At the zenith of the Golden Order, the Perfumers of Leyndell, distinguished by embroidered aprons and a cloth mask, nursed the sick and impure of the Lands Between with healing aromatics. By the time dulled player characters encounter perfumers in their game of Elden Ring, these apothecaries have fallen from their prime – some becoming crazed butchers, others poachers of living, thinking “ingredients”.
In addition to open-world exploration, a magical spirit-summoning system, and horseback combat, Elden Ring also evolved the FromSoftware RPG formula by adding an item crafting system, allowing players to use ingredients found throughout the Lands Between to craft special arrows, status-healing drugs, and even explosive grenades. The newest of Elden Ring’s consumable items are mist spray aromatics. With the right recipes and 10 collectible perfume bottles, Elden Ring players can attack players with blasts of fire and poison, turn their bodies into steel, and fortify their allies in battle, among other applications.
The aromatics of Elden Ring seem to be inspired by pre-modern medical practices
Thematically, the enemies of perfumers encountered in Elden Ring seem to be inspired by the raven-billed mask-adorned plague doctors of Renaissance Europe. Elden Ring’s notion that fragrant perfumes are used to heal or harm also seems to draw inspiration from the old pseudo-scientific theory of miasma – the old notion that bad smells or bad air can cause disease. , and that a good smell and good air can cure them. . Perfumers’ aromatic remedies are certainly effective in the world of Elden Ring, though that may have more to do with the supernatural influence of the Erdtree than with archaic notions of miasma.
During the bursting of the Elden Ring, peaceful perfumers became battlefield medics
The Traveling Perfumer’s Set, found near the heart of the Rotten Caelid Wildlands of Elden Ring, has this description:
Habit of an itinerant perfumer without renown. […] said to be in search of new aromatics and flower gardens, hoping to treat Misbegotten, Omen, and all those considered unclean.
A similar story is told by the item description of Perfumer Tricia Ashes, found in the Unsightly Catacombs dungeon in the Altus Plateau area of Elden Ring.
Tricia was once known as a healer who devoted her efforts to curing Misbegotten, Omen, and anyone deemed unclean. When her efforts failed, she was their companion as they died, watching over them to ensure they could pass peacefully, without pain.
Finally, the descriptions of each item in the Parfumeur Box share this specific line:
In the past, the role of perfumer was highly respected; an apothecary blessed in the eyes of the greatest number. But after entering the Shattering battlefields, they played no such role, trading their aromatics for poisons and explosives.
From these three elements of the game’s lore, one can get a rough idea of who the perfumers of Elden Ring were and what they eventually became. The art of perfuming was probably born in the Erdtree era, when the golden light and dew of the tree stretching across the sky imbued the land, its people and its vegetation with amazing vitality. . Early perfumers, as “blessed apothecaries” of Leyndell, the royal capital of Elden Ring, used Altus Blooms, Miranda Flowers and other miraculous herbs to create aerosol medicine, curing the sick and certain creatures considered ” impure”.
Then the Elden Ring was shattered, Queen Marika and Radagon disappeared, and the demigods of the Midlands went to war for the seat of Elden Lord. When Morgott the Omen King gathered his armies to defend Leyndell, he enlisted many of the town’s perfumers to aid in his defence. Whether they once healed the sick, the Order of Perfumers now used their aromatics to slay enemies and whip their fellow soldiers into a frenzy of battle against the armies of Elden Ring demigods they fought. Even then, there were perfumers who embraced even darker paths.
Before the Elden Ring burst, the Omenkillers decided to heal Omens with death
Some of Elden Ring’s backstory perfumers may have tended to Omens out of compassion for their painful mutations. Other perfumers likely sought to “cure” Omens because their non-human physical traits offended their religious beliefs. From this fanatical second camp of perfumers was born a man named Rollo, whose Spiritual Ashes contain the following description:
Once a famous perfumer, Rollo drank a doctor to get rid of the emotion, allowing him to do his nightmarish job, hunting the Omen.
Wielding brutal cleavers adorned with the severed horns of Omen’s victims, wearing a grotesque mask inspired by creatures seen in Omen’s nightmares, Rollo inspired a whole new sect of “twisted conscience” perfumers, united by the belief that death was the only remedy against Tragic Omens like Morgott or Mohg of Elden Ring. These Omenkillers may have seen themselves as brave monster slayers like the Hunters of Bloodborne; in practice, they’re like the sociopathic serial killers of 1980s slasher movies, violently tearing anything and anyone between them and their prey.
In the shaded area of Elden Ring Castle, depraved perfumers overdose on their own concoctions
The Omenkiller perfumers might have viewed their butchery as selfless mercy, but the depraved Elden Ring perfumers have definitely abandoned their vow to heal the sick and unclean. The depraved enemies of the Perfumers primarily occupy the Poison Shaded Castle, but can also be found slaughtering the inhabitants of the Albinauric Village. The set dropped by these depraved perfumers has this description:
Dress worn by depraved perfumers. The embroidery on the apron is itself a curse on the Erdtree. These heresy-prone perfumers infuse themselves with their own spices to alter body and mind. Their slow descent into self-destruction is what earned them their name.
The item descriptions for the aromatics Ironjar, Bloodboil, Poison Spraymist, and Acid Spraymist all describe themselves as “the forbidden art of depraved perfumers.” This shared part of the Elden Ring lore is consistent with the game’s description of depraved perfumers as magic drug/steroid abusers – addicted to the power bestowed by their own aromatics, willing to slaughter innocent Albinaurics and Living Jars in order to acquire the ingredients for their next fix. If an Elden Ring player gets into the habit of slaying certain enemies to get their hands on item ingredients, how are they different?