What to look at? Our information to olfactory-themed exhibits, movies & documentaries

When you’ve had your fill of Christmas TV, have principally accomplished Netflix, or end up desperately flicking via the channels to seek out one thing price watching – we’ve received a fab checklist of fragrantly-themed issues to contemplate including to your viewing over this festive interval…

Fragrance in standard tradition used be represented as one thing of a frippery, a topic to sneer at, however extra not too long ago, this eye-rolling perspective seems to be altering for the higher. Actually it appears to be (albeit slowly) in case you solid a look at some collection, movies and a few of the most-loved tv exhibits we’ve been streaming of late.

We couldn’t assist noticing the topic of perfume – perfumery and bottles as an artwork kind, and our sense of scent usually – is developing extra regularly.  It’s the right method to fill the bizarre hinterland between festive or new 12 months celebrations and the return to actual life.

Right here’s a variety field of aromatic objects which are both scent-centric of include main perfumery mentions which we have now noticed, with direct hyperlinks to click on and watch. Ditch the TV information and observe your noses, this manner…!



Perfume: Story of a Murderer Amazon Prime: lease for £3.49

‘Together with his unbelievable expertise for discerning scents, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) is one in all 18th-century France’s best perfumers. He turns into obsessive about capturing an elusive aroma: the scent of younger womanhood. His search takes a lethal flip, and when the our bodies of 12 younger females are discovered, panic breaks out, with households speeding to lock up their daughters.’

Primarily based on the best-selling, and now notorious, novel by Patrick Süskind, that is one each fragrance-lover ought to watch. It’s outstanding not just for being filmed in any respect (many stated the guide may by no means be made in to a display screen drama), however for altering the way in which perfume was talked about within the media. Stunningly shot, completely gripping, we after all urge you to learn the guide first, however do then see this and marvel.

When you’ve already seen the movie, have a gander on the made for TV drama loosely based mostly on the premise of the novel, however in a modern-day setting: Perfume (collection) Netflix.




Merely put, Nostril is a feast for the senses, and a much-needed method for us to feed the wanderlust we’re all experiencing. Attractive, swooping pictures of panorama and opulent close-ups of dew-speckled flowers accompany this portrait, that goes past the work of Demachy, and invitations the viewer to fall as passionately in love with the world of perfumery as he and all of the individuals behind the scenes so clearly are…

Nostril is now out there to lease (from £3.99) or purchase on Amazon Prime VideoApple TV and Google Play.





Scent of a Woman Netflix

Telling the story of a preparatory faculty pupil who woefully takes a job as an assistant to an irritable, blind, medically retired Military officer, Frank, (magnificently performed by Al Paccino) that is a kind of movies that helped spotlight the significance of our sense of scent. In a single memorable scene, Frank approaches the desk the place a girl sits alone, ready for date. ‘You already know, I detect a perfume within the air,’ he says, ‘Don’t inform me what it’s… Ogleby Sisters Cleaning soap?’ So, though not a film about fragrance per se, it’s a incredible efficiency, and enjoyable to look out for some well-known perfume names he additionally detects alongside his adventures…





Perfumes (Les ParfumsAmazon Prime: lease for £4.49

We reviewed this charming movie in full, right here, however principally it’s the story of a reclusive, once-feared French perfumer and her new chauffeur. Although a mild comedy, Les Parfums takes a critical (and really effectively introduced) have a look at the lifetime of a perfumer, and now this subtitled movie has a wider launch with Amazon, we hope many extra of it is possible for you to to see it. Actually it’s a deal with for the senses, and sadly such a rarity to see perfumery explored on display screen on this method. We notably liked the scene during which Guillaume, the chauffeur, is discovering his newly-acquired appreciation for scent –  within the grocery store, sniffing numerous bathe gels, underneath the watchful gaze of a bemused safety guard. ‘One thing fairly mellow…’ he says, because the guard shuffles nearer, clearly unused to such behaviour in Aisle 5. Pleasant from begin to end.




Love Blossoms free with Amazon Prime

After a perfumer’s demise, his daughter works to satisfy the manufacturing deadline for his firm’s newest scent, which is difficult by the dearth of an elusive ingredient.‘ Now we should always actually begin by saying this a Hallmark film, and as such has a sure feel and look to it that earlier viewers of their oeuvre will recognise. That being stated, that is the form of whimsical movie that one can fortunately curl up on the couch with whereas consuming your method via a whole tub of ice cream. Simply don’t count on Süskind ranges of olfactory element, settle for that everybody wears pastel and has good hair, and all will likely be positive.




The Perfume of The Lady in Black free with Amazon Prime

We should admit to not having watched this one but, however it actually appears like an antidote to extreme Christmas schmaltz, if that’s what you’re searching for. ‘After her mom dies, a chemist begins to have unusual visions of a mysterious lady in black making use of fragrance in a mirror, and of strangers who observe her all over the place.’ That’s the synopsis briefly, however additional critiques reveal that it’s a surrealistic movie, additionally described as an ‘incoherent and inconsistent slice of psychological horror.’ Nonetheless, it’s a plot that sounds intriguing sufficient to seize our curiosity, and we very a lot we get to seek out out what the mysterious lady in black’s fragrance truly is!




The Women (1939) Amazon Prime: lease for £3.49

‘Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) can’t imagine her husband’s having an affair with salesgirl Crystal (Joan Crawford). However when Sylvia (Rosalind Russell) and Edith (Phyllis Povah) ship the gossip firsthand, Mary heads to Reno for a divorce. En route she meets Countess de Lave (Mary Boland) and Miriam (Paulette Goddard), who coincidentally is having an affair with Sylvia’s husband. As soon as in Reno, the Countess finds one other beau, Sylvia exhibits up for a divorce and Mary plots to win again her man.’

Despite the fact that this actually solely has one perfume-related scene, we’re recommending this one primarily as a result of it’s one in all our favorite movies EVER. And what a scent scene that’s – set within the perfume division of a cultured division retailer, and that includes magnificently catty traces with Crawford because the predatory fragrance counter gal. A stellar solid – made up totally of girls (virtually exceptional even at this time, not to mention within the Nineteen Thirties!) – magnificent costumes and a gasp-inducing sudden change to full-colour movie throughout the vogue present sequence, make this greater than price your watching (on repeat).




Some years in the past, the BBC made a captivating doccumentary collection in regards to the fragrance enterprise, taking a deep dive into the creation of a perfume, the revival of a fragrance home (Grossmith) and interviewing fragrance personalities equivalent to Roja Dove and perfumers together with Guerlain’s Thierry Wasser. Sadly the episiodes are not out there on the BBC iPlayer web site, although they’re now out there to look at on YouTube: Perfume (BBC Documentary series).




Emily in Paris (collection) Netflix

When it initially aired, the primary season of Emily in Paris noticed equal components love and hate within the many critiques that adopted its launch. By season two, extra had succumbed, and with a brand new season now out there, whichever camp you fall in, you can not deny it’s a love-song to Paris. And you understand what? Within the first season there’s truly not a nasty have a look at the creation and advertising and marketing of a fragrance, as we observe Emily’s hapless adventures as she’s ‘tasked with bringing an American perspective to a venerable French advertising and marketing agency.’ Time to catch-up and binge watch!




Birth of a Perfume (British Pathé, 1967) YouTube

YouTube is a treasure trove for archival perfume adverts and great little gems like this Pathé documentary on how perfume is made. We would chuckle on the Stiff Higher Lip ‘Obtained Pronunciation’ of the voiceover, however it makes for a nonetheless very attention-grabbing have a look at Grasse, French perfumery and the technical facet of perfumery nonetheless not usually proven in such element to this present day. Click on above to look at it now!




The Legend of Fragrance free with Amazon Prime

One other nonetheless on our ‘to look at’ checklist, this collection actually sounds prefer it ticks many (fragrance) bins for us… ‘Through the Republican period, a household empire well-known for making the very best fragrances and incense should guard towards those that are out to steal their secret recipes. Ning Zhi Yuan is the candy younger grasp of his household’s perfume empire. An Le Yan is a decided younger lady who’s out for revenge towards the Ning household. Zhi Yuan falls in love with Le Yan, however she solely desires to infiltrate Zhi Yuan’s household to steal a invaluable fragrance formulation. Le Yan’s true coronary heart is drawn towards An Yi Chen, an inspector. However Xiao Hui, the daughter of a Japanese imperialist, is decided to seize Yi Chen’s coronary heart in any respect prices. Can Zhi Yuan defend his household’s livelihood and his personal coronary heart?




Tee & Mo BBC iPlayer

One thing for the little ones – maybe inspiring a brand new ‘nostril’ in your loved ones? – this cheeky little cartoon follows the story of  Mo, who’s ‘…upset when Tee by accident breaks her favorite fragrance.’ And certainly she would possibly is perhaps upset! ‘Tee is now decided to cheer her up by making her some new fragrance from components discovered round the home. Fortunate Mo!’ Hmm. Properly we’re positive that’s all whimsically pleasant, but when Tee tried whipping up a batch of classic Mitsouko from stuff he discovered round our home, we’re very a lot afraid he’d be out on his ear (having changed the bottle and cleaned the carpet, thanks very a lot!)




Blown Away: Series 2, Episode 6: Scents & Sensibility [Netflix]
In the identical form of secure as profitable actuality collection like Bake Off, Stitching Bee and The Nice Pottery Throwdown; ‘Blown Away’ proved an enormous hit for Netflix a few years in the past. The newest season as soon as once more showcases the artistry and immense ability in glass blowing, and naturally we LOVED the deal with fragrance bottles on this episode. We’ll even forgive the much-overused fragrance pun title.

Katherine Grey, professor on the California State College and resident evaulator describes the problem to the contestants, saying that: ‘Over the course of the final 5,000 years, fragrance flacons have remodeled from actually easy containers to elaborate and ornate artworks.‘ On this episode, they need to design and hand-blow their very own glass bottles, whereas preserving in thoughts, as fragrance designer and visitor decide, Michel Germain says: ‘A profitable fragrance is extra than simply the scent. The bottle has to attract individuals in, spark curiosity and inform a narrative.’ And the outcomes? They’ll positively blow you away…





Antiques Roadshow: Christchurch Mansion 2 [BBC1]
All the time a soothing heat bathtub of a present, our ears pricked up at point out of a particular fragrance bottle a member of the general public needed one in all their resident vintage specialists, Judith Miller, to check out. A mom and daughter duo clarify how they got here to personal this valuable aromatic household heirloom. ‘I received it a few years in the past from my mum and pa for Christmas,’  the daughter begins, recounting the historical past and the way her dad went buying ‘forty or fifty years in the past’ to seek out the right current for his spouse, when he got here throughout the exqusite piece and ‘liked it a lot that he purchased it for my mum.’

Miller reveals the beautiful little scent bottle was in all probability made round 1760 and stated it was presumably the work of well-known engraver and porcelain decorator James Giles, who was ‘completely high of the tree.’ It’s at all times attention-grabbing to have a look at the faces of the individuals after they’re informed how a lot the piece is price, and we’re questioning if it crossed the mom’s thoughts she would possibly prefer to reclaim the fragrance bottle reward she so generously handed on to her daughter… We gained’t spoil the present by saying how a lot it may promote for, right here, however suffice to say Father Christmas was VERY beneficiant that 12 months. The daughter, it seems, has ‘a lot of scent bottles’ on show in her dwelling, and this one will likely be saved within the centre ‘because the pièce de résistance!’


And in case you’re after much more perfume speak filling the airwaves, take a look at a few of the Fragrance Themed Podcasts we rounded up not too long ago. Fragrance in standard tradition: a aromatic renaissance, can we dare hope…?

By Suzy Nightingale