I haven’t posted over past the week or two, for a few reasons: I’ve been working on back-to-back fragrance talks, coping with a strange eye/skin allergy, and feeling work-related burnout. Also, hey, it’s been one year since NYC shut down due to Covid-19. There are signs of good things to come, finally, but I was happy to bid farewell to March 2021.
So, rather than sit down again at the keyboard after dinner lately, I’ve been watching the French tv show “Call My Agent” (“Dix Pour Cent”) on Netflix. This show takes place in and around a talent agency based in Paris and it’s a lively iteration on the classic workplace-comedy formula. Since I’m not familiar with French film and television, it’s all feels fresh and engrossing to me—I don’t recognize any of the actors playing the talent agents and their staff, or even the famous actors playing themselves (with one or two exceptions). And, to state the semi-obvious, there’s also something nostalgic and comforting about watching a show set in an office when many of us haven’t worked in an office since last March.
I took a few screen caps of this scene in the first episode of the first season, when newcomer Camille is receiving a tour of the office from another assistant, Hervé. He brings her to a room at the end of the corridor and explains that it’s the press office, nicknamed “the store”—a space to hold all the swag sent by PR firms to the stars represented by this agency.
Best of all, as Hervé explains, if a star doesn’t show up to claim their complimentary Champagne, Prada dress, or upscale espresso maker, the agency staff can claim it. I shared Camille’s delight at the sight of these products; I wouldn’t mind some free Christophe Robin haircare (or other beauty products), myself.
And what’s that on the shelf to the left of the doorway? An unboxed bottle of Lancôme La Vie Est Belle, a perfume developed by Jacques Polges, Anne Flipo, and Dominique Ropion and launched in 2012. It’s reportedly been one of the top-selling perfumes in France ever since, although I can’t say I’m crazy about it, personally. (I wrote a review for Now Smell This and called it “Angel with Botox and a blow-out.”)
In “Call My Agent,” this bottle of La Vie Est Belle is earmarked for the actress Laura Smet, who appears as herself in episode 3—although she’s never shown claiming her freebie. Did it stay put and gather dust for a few more weeks, until Camille or another staff member could grab it for herself?
Actually, La Vie Est Belle seems more like something Noémie, the agency’s third assistant, would wear…
In any case, I can recommend “Call My Agent” for evenings when you need a distraction. Perfume optional, of course, although I always recommend that too.
Note: For fragrance moments in film and tv, the best source ever is World Wide Aura — bookmark it and visit often. I’m always amazed by their ability to spot and identify perfumes and beauty products!