Welcome to Yesterday’s Perfume, a blog for vintage perfumaniacs and those on their way to falling down
the perfume rabbit hole.
We know what the past looks and sounds like, but do we know what it smells like? After years of sniffing vintage perfume — from Houbigant’s Fougère Royale (1882), to Guerlain’s Djedi (1926) and beyond — I have a pretty good idea.
Yesterday’s Perfume has been a place for me to discover the scents of the past, and to decipher how perfume reflects the zeitgeist, but it’s also been a place for me to explore the complex way we enjoy scents. Perfume is sensual, but it’s also cerebral. We have a gut reaction to it, but as any perfume-lover will tell you, we also want to figure out how perfumers produce that reaction with the language of perfume notes.
My name is Barbara Herman, and I got into perfume-collecting and writing about five years ago. I was the editor of a women’s pop culture blog around the time the “perfumista” subculture was just beginning to go mainstream, in 2008. I became obsessed with obtaining perfume decants and bottles — big and small — of just about any vintage perfume I could get my hands on.
Prior to that, I studied English lit and Rhetoric at NYU and UC Berkeley respectively, and some of my writing on Yesterday's Perfume is informed by my academic training, but mostly, I’m writing about swooning…
Drop me a line if you have questions, comments or just want to chat perfume. My email is YesterdaysPerfume@gmail.com
I’m also on Twitter.com/Parfumaniac and Facebook.com/YesterdaysPerfume, and I have a new book coming out, Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume (Lyons Press, November 2013). You can read clips of my other writing at BarbaraHerman.com.