The song "Scentless Apprentice" was inspired by "Perfume" - Patrick Süskind's first novel. It appears on Nirvana's 1993 album In Utero.

Kurt often described the novel as one of his favorite books which tells the horrific story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an orphan born in Paris in 1738.  When Grenouille's abandoned body is found in the garbage, he is taken to an orphanage, where everyone who comes into contact with him finds something about him to be revulsive.   What they are unaware of is that Grenouille's body does not have any aroma, a distinction which is so subtle that nobody can place their finger on it, but which colors Grenouille's entire life.  Grenouille's strange relationship to odors is further highlighted by his own extremely sharp sense of smell, caused, perhaps, by the lack of necessity to sense past his own smell.  When he comes of age, Grenouille manages to apprentice himself to a perfumer and shows a strong aptitude for mixing strange and exotic perfumes.  This skill leads him to his desire to cover his own lack of smell and a quest to create the most unique perfume the world has ever known.  By following Grenouille from his birth, when his mother abandoned him to death among the discarded fish guts through his childhood when he discovered how different he was to his apprenticeship, Süskind is able to evoke several different emotions from the reader, ranging from sympathy for the young orphan to curiosity to disgust and hatred.   Grenouille's lack of aroma can be seen as representative of his lack of morals in a world in which the amoral and the ethical were struggling to find a new common ground.