Les Parfums

France, 2019
100 minutes, Color
Official website

Perfumes delicately treads the line between comedy and social realism as filmmaker Grégory Magne crafts an enchanting story with reflective commentary on social class and vocation while providing fascinating insight into the mysterious work of a professional "nose." Guillaume, a professional chauffeur trying to gain custody of his daughter after a recent divorce, lands a new job driving for the haughty Anne Walberg, a master perfumer having trouble with her sense of smell. Walberg is a fallen star whose olfactory talents are now expended on recreating the odor of a prehistoric cave for a replica reconstruction, masking a factory's foul-smelling emissions, and creating deodorants. She's withdrawn, impossibly demanding, obsessed with her work, and in denial about her loneliness. After initial antagonistic skirmishes between the odd-couple, a budding friendship teaches them how to mend their lives. Call this charmingly fragrant French drama Driving Mademoiselle D'Aisy.—Various sources

In French with English subtitles

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Q&A with director Grégory Magne, interviewed by Tony Gittens

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