Perfumes is a “feel good” French comedy drama with the fragrance of an interesting and well researched glimpse into an industry which covers a broad range of smells from personal perfume to factories and the environment.
Anne Walberg (Emmanuelle Devos, Read My Lips) was a celebrity in the world of perfumes, selling her talents to major perfume manufacturers until she lost her sense of smell and tried to fake it, using her memory. She had become selfish and withdrawn from pleasantries, relying on her agent (Pauline Moulene) for employment in jobs which brought little kudos or pleasure.
Guillaume (Gregory Montel, Call My Agent) becomes her chauffeur. He has troubles of his own – he is divorced and trying to earn enough money to move to a larger apartment so that he have his ten year old daughter (Zedie Rixton) in joint custody. He can’t afford to lose his driving licence and has lost most of his points for speeding.
Anne is a difficult customer. She expects him to drive, not smoke, plus deal with a large amount of luggage, change her sheets in hotels, and take notes as she analyses smells. After their first antagonistic encounter they gradually become friends. Guillaume admires her talent and becomes a great help eventually developing his own “nose”.
The unlikely friendship thrives, and the film does not end in the way you might expect – and it is a solution to both their problems.
Christine Nagel (who formally worked for Jo Malone, and now for Hermes) acted as perfume advisor and the film was directed by Gregory Magne.
The cast is uniformly good in this quietly delightful and rather amusing film, and there are some lovely scenes of the French countryside.
French language with English subtitles.
Showing at Luna Leederville, Luna SX Fremantle and Windsor Nedlands from 1 July.
Watch the trailer…