Grasse Stains

Finalist wins: Paris Prix Royale; Big Apple Film Fest; Story Pros International; WeScreenplay


Perfume smells like sex, love—and death?? Actually, yeah it does.

Jules grows flowers for haute couture perfumes in Grasse, France, the perfume capital of the world. Her farm is known for its jasmine flowers, which actually release a scent similar to that of a decaying body. That scent comes in handy when an American businessman, in town to close a top secret deal, ends up dead in his hotel.

His death opens the door for Jules to finally realize her dream of making her own perfume. So she conspires with Anne, the dead businessman’s much younger wife, and Alianor, her sharp-tongued octogenarian grandmother, to keep Bob’s death a secret and his body hidden until they can conclude the deal for their own benefit.

But their efforts are complicated by several arrivals–first, Bob’s mistress, who becomes suspicious when Bob suddenly disappears. Then an American Venture Capitalist who wants in on the deal (and in on Anne); and finally an American State Department rep who arrives to help Bob manage the locals, but who loses control when he falls for Jules. Their arrivals set in motion of comedy of errors as the women keep moving the body, racing to stay one step ahead of the men as they work to close the deal for their benefit.

Grasse Stains is a black comedy and a screwball farce about love, sex, death and perfume.

Why I wrote “Grasse Stains”

I always wanted to set a screenplay in Grasse, France because who wouldn’t want to make a film in the perfume capital of the world? I’m also a devotee of screwball films and French comedies. And once I learned that the infamous Grasse jasmine flower releases the same scent as a decaying body, I knew what the storyline would be.

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