Seo Yi Do is a top designer. Although he appears to be the perfect man on the outside, his personality leaves something to be desired. On top of that, he has about 52 phobias and 35 allergies. Min Jae Hee is a middle-aged housewife, who has devoted her life to her family only to see it fall apart before her eyes. She discovers a miracle perfume that makes her look young again. After recovering her youth, she ends up walking the runway in one of Seo Yi Do’s fashion shows and signs with a top modeling agency to become a celebrity. Both of them get a second chance at romance in what is described as a fantasy romantic comedy. (Source: Soompi) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
So yeah, I have an issue where I constantly drop dramas if they get the slightest bit boring or do something I don't like. But I came back to this one religiously and watched it every day a new episode came out. I know it's not perfect, but it was just good enough and fun enough I can't fault its faults (if that makes any sense).
Primary issues for me are in this section of rating (the story) but I won't spoil anything (hopefully) so read on.
First off, don't worry; fat shaming isn't really an issue in this drama. The first episode might feel a bit wonky, but things get better and it's essential to the whole rest of the plot. This story has got comedic romance, potential love triangles, hidden identities, and crazy exes. It's got the whole gambit, but it seems to take most of them and add its own spin on them so they don't feel crazy. Case in point the main storyline "hidden identity". Sure it's not the first of its kind, but it certainly didn't feel like an overused trope (plus hidden identity tag is one of my favorites).
I think the flaws that detract from the story for me are mostly some underwhelming resolution (mostly in character developments) and throughout there were a few character actions that didn't feel inline with the characters. Also, the number of times the main character faints or is somehow in terrible danger might be a record...
Let me just say that this drama wouldn't be the same without Shin Sung Rok. There are few other actors I can imagine playing this role. He's hilarious and literally the best part of the drama.
At first I was hesitant about Go Won Hee but she showed me wrong and this pairing was a lot of fun to watch.
I can't point at a bad actor in this drama really. I'll never look at Jo Han Chul the same (I didn't think he had it in him to be that crazy), and was pleasantly surprised with Kim Jin Kyung (as the daughter).
Oh, and you can't forget about Kim Min Kyu. Literal puppy dog. That's the only way I can describe him.
Lots of fun tracks in this one and some might go onto some of my playlists. That perfume melody will always cause me to listen for thunder lol.
Rewatch Value (8.0):
Never a fan of rewatching much, I've already rewatched parts of this drama. Lots of fun to be had.
While I can't say it was groundbreaking, a top favorite, or something I'll remember nostalgically, Perfume will be one of those dramas I remember as generating a lot of laughs watching and one that didn't give me much of a headache or worry that it would go horribly wrong. Perfect drama to sit back and relax to.
Take a chance, and you might be surprisedWhen this drama first started, there was a lot of talk about fat shaming and how larger body sizes were negatively represented in the show. I have to admit in the first few episodes of this drama it will really seem like that, and it will definitely turn some viewers off into dropping the show but I say give it a chance and you might find yourself with quite a funny and beautiful drama on your hands. The drama quickly matures and revolves around how a woman is able to grow to find the self-agency to act on her own and personal confidence, not by being skinny but by support and love from others.
This is not to say this is a super nuanced story and deserves endless critical acclaim. At certain times the story can get a little absurd, whether it be the mythology of the magical perfume or the "love triangle". Also if you're looking for some Sismance, you will definitely not find it here lol. However, I went along with the ride and was entertained throughout the series from start to end.
Shin Sung Rok is really the star of this drama, and it would definitely would not be the same without him. I've heard of him before but this was the first thing I've ever seen him in, now I fully understand all the love for him and he's become one of my new favourites. He can range from being cute, enraged, heartfelt, to distraught. Go Won Hee was just as good, and I was impressed how despite her age she was able to perfectly embody a woman who is in her 40s. Between the two leads, I really felt the connection and emotions between the two. Ha Jae Sook who plays the real Jae Hee also does a nice job. In the beginning, I wasn't really feeling Kim Min Kyu but he definitely won me over.
If you're considering this drama but are concerned about the low ratings from others or the fat shaming controversy, then I say take a chance with the first few episodes to judge for yourself. You might be find yourself enjoying this drama as much as I did.