My article "Vying for Vetiver" is in the Dec./Jan issue of Town & Country. In the printed magazine only.
"Fragrance Terms, Explained" in IntoTheGloss.com. Around 25 perfume categories, ingredients, and descriptors.
"It’s a sexy history of fragrance — Crepe de Chine, Jungle Gardenia, Je Reviens. It’s beautifully written — a fascinating and intriguing history of scent." Author Alan Furst, NY Post, "In My Library"
Writer and perfume-lover Miguel Matos interviewed me on Fragrantica about collecting vintage perfume and the new perfume I am creating with Antoine Lie. I am doing crowd-funding through Indiegogo to raise the seed money to get it started, and it ends July 13. Check it out!
"As the title indicates, Scent & Subversion emphasizes the sexy, transgressive side of scent. It might surprise today’s fans of light, clean perfume to learn that quite a few of the fragrances now regarded as fusty and old-fashioned were designed to be not just alluring, but frankly sexual." -- Maria Browning, "Perishable, Pleasurable Relics" in Chapter 16
"Vivid writing, vintage ads, theories of perfume as 'language' -- it’s all fascinating, and you’ll probably start tracking down old perfumes as soon as you finish the book." --Annie Tomlin, The 10 Books Every Beauty Junkie Must Read
"Herman captures the magic of the well-imagined non-fiction book. She has taken a subject that might, to the causal eye, seem a little thin in terms of content, and popped it open like a window onto remarkable insight." - JK Fox, Edinburgh Book Review
" 'Scent and Subversion' collects Herman’s reviews, but its genius lies in putting them in chronological order based on when each perfume was first produced. This allows Herman to develop a theory of perfume’s evolution in the course of the past century: review by review, evidence piles up." - Emily Gould, How to Smell: A Review of Barbara Herman's Scent and Subversion
Say It By Spraying It: What Your Perfume Says About You "Perfumes still 'say' things... but in a post-signature scent era, when women (and men) are offered upwards of 1,000 new fragrances a year to choose from, most people express different things with their perfumes, depending on their mood, the event they’re going to, what they’re wearing, or whatever they happen to grab on their dressers."
Donna Hathaway of the blog Perfume-Smellin' Things: "I predict with confidence that this book will be on everyone else's list of recommended reading from now on – it's indispensable, and more fun than should be legal."
Rebecca Kelley Writes reviews Scent and Subversion. "Scent and Subversion moves beyond—way beyond—the personal connection we have to scents and digs into the history, art, and science of perfumery."
Samantha Taylor from the blog Beauty School Drop Out: "The minute I opened the book, I was hooked. Barbara writes about perfume the way you might discuss a long lost lover..."
Scent and Subversion on BuzzFeed: 10 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Perfume
Tama Blough of Cafleurebon reviews Scent and Subversion: "Even if vintage perfume collecting isn’t your main interest, it is still an excellent treatise on perfumes of the past and can help any perfume lover to understand the roots of modern perfumery. If you do collect and appreciate vintage fragrances, it is a must-have on your fragrance bookshelf."
Jeffrey M. Barnes in Zeteo, The Journal of Interdisciplinary Writing: "Scent and Subversion is certainly an enjoyable, titillating, and engaging initiation into a world ripe with potential, both literally and literarily."
Interview in November, 2013 German Elle "Modern Retro" issue. "Alles Über Vintage-Düfte"
Interviewed by Nancy Hass in Allure for "War of the Roses," an article about modern rose scents
Now Smell This reviews Scent and Subversion
"Scent & Subversion is her guided tour of perfume history as seen through cuir-colored glasses...The main body of the book stars familiar faces, like Guerlain's Mitsouko and Etat Libre d'Orange's Sécrétions Magnifiques...But the focus here is the frontiers forged, or barriers broken..."
Publisher's Weekly reviews Scent and Subversion
"Illustrated by vintage ads, Herman’s decade-by-decade study is followed by engrossing interviews with 'scent visionaries,' and tips on boosting expertise and creating a collection of classic scents. The book will delight perfume lovers."
Fragrantica coverage of The Scent Bar's Vintage Perfume Night with Brian Pera and Andy Tauer introducing Ingrid perfume and my reading from Scent and Subversion
"Barbara Herman has written a delightful book that offers a great value to anyone interested in perfume of the past and present. She educates us without preaching...and provides a treasure trove of information, both in prose and in images, as she has included a large number of vintage advertisements that are entertaining, revealing, and often very satisfying for those of us who are interested in design and culture of decades past."
Avery Gilbert, author of What the Nose Knows and FirstNerve.com blogger reviews Scent and Subversion
"Herman is a deft and inventive writer whose talent is to make the scents come alive in your mind’s nose. To a literary genre still hung-over after an early overindulgence in bitchy snarkitude, her approach is welcome as a fresh breeze. This splendid little volume (it fits easily in the hand) is beautifully produced and generously illustrated with original color advertisements."
"Barbara's book may be one of the more informative as well as entertaining books on the subject of perfume to come out yet. She covers many aspects: why the siren song of vintage fragrances spoke to her senses, aesthetically and viscerally; how she became embroiled in the Perfumed World; her examination of trends in the 20th century, with examples/descriptions/impressions of several benchmark perfumes; the future of "scent subversives," including the more avant garde scientists/ perfumers/seers among us; a beginner's guide to animalic notes from an historical perspective—and pointers on how to start one's own vintage collection."
James St. James of WorldofWonder.net reviews Scent and Subversion
"Scent & Subversion by Barbara Herman, is an amazing source for fans of vintage perfumes. In addition to gorgeous vintage ads and dozens of essays, it profiles more than 300 iconic and vintage perfumes grouped by decade (from the 1880s to 2000), really making them come alive with the author’s quirky, often unorthodox reviews. Two or three entries actually had me scurrying off on an e-Bay scavenger hunt."
Overnights, an ABC Australian radio program with host Tim Brunero interviews me about vintage perfume
Yakima Herald "Author Barbara Herman tracked down and sniffed each of the perfumes reviewed in the book, and her sharply clever notes make up its bulk. Essays and interviews with great noses offer a welcome guide to this fascinating world. The author’s superb collection of vintage ads provides the illustrations throughout."