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The Empire Of Scents

This loose documentary was shot in pale trendy tones, in a pale trendy French way that was a hugely enjoyable watch. Memorable characters such as Guido Lenssen the mystic perfumer (who has attempted to recreate the scent of the vulva), a charismatic truffle hunter and olfactory therapists discussed the various wonders and importance of our sense of smell.

A child perfumer/philosopher wisely concluded that no one wants to smell of poo, urine, garlic or onions, and some history about the importance of whales’ ambergris in perfumes was fascinating. The framing device of Molly Birnbaum losing her sense of smell felt tenuous and unresolved however, but the film was interesting and insightful nevertheless.

Duke of York’s, 16 November 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆
Joe Fuller

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