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The toughest of the five senses to transmit through the screen, smell compels writer-director Grégory Magne’s “Perfumes,” an enchanting journey into life’s assorted aromas. Smell is also at the center of Anne Walberg’s existence and profession as “a nose” — meaning, someone blessed with highly advanced olfactory receptors, like a sommelier, but for fragrance. A sometimes pleasant, other times sour experience for most of us, smell means a lot more, if not something entirely different, to Anne (the ever-prolific Emmanuelle Devos), who works as a freelancer, consulting different types of luxury brands on their products, following her retirement from a fruitful career as a highly sought-after perfume designer in France.

Elegantly directed and perceptively written with conventional yet feel-good notes around friendship and second chances, “Perfumes” isn’t primarily about the reserved and haughty artisan Anne, however. Rather, the lovably disheveled Guillaume (Grégory Montel of “Call My Agent”) serves as our entry point to Magne’s story, which signposts well in advance how these two polar-opposite, fraught souls would eventually enmesh to save one another, like two lush scents combined to unleash one another’s powers. It’s a predictable enough conclusion, but that doesn’t lessen the uplifting linger of the film, which feels ripe for an American remake.
- Tomris Laffly, Variety

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Directed by: 
Grégory Magne
Running Time: 
French with English Subtitles
Emmanuelle Devos, Grégory Montel, Zelie Rixhon
Screenplay by: 
Grégory Magne

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