The book, Scent and Subversion, by Barbara Herman
Barbara Herman, author of the book Scent and Subversion and blog YesterdaysPerfume.com, has launched a new Luxury fragrance brand Eris Parfums. The brand launch with a collection called La Belle et la Bête: a trio of vintage-inspired, animalic floral Perfumes: Belle de Jour, Night Flower And Ma Bête. The three fragrances were composed by perfumer Antoine Lie.

"Antoine Lie and I have reimagined the intensity and eros of perfumes of the past for a contemporary audience. We wanted to bring back the emotion of animalic perfumes," says Barbara Herman.

Barbara Herman

“Animalic perfumes create a feeling of intimacy and danger. The feeling of someone or something close. Of boundaries crossed and heart-racing desire. At the end of the 1946 premiere of Jean Cocteau's "La Belle et la Bête," when the Beast transforms into the handsome prince, Greta Garbo is said to have cried out from the audience, "Give me back my Beast (ma Bête)!"

"This anecdote encapsulates the inspiration for this collection. It's an allegory for my discovery that vintage perfumes had this dark, erotic, emotional element that I felt was missing in most contemporary perfumes and that I wanted to put back in," says Barbara Herman. "After decades of its virtual extinction, ERIS PARFUMS' first collection 'brings back the beast' in perfume."


BELLE DE JOUR blooms with notes of orange flower and jasmine accented with coriander. It dries down to a sensuous base of incense, musks, and the depth of a surprising seaweed absolute note. Antoine Lie adds ”Belle de Jour is a study in contrasts: a very luminous floral that is salty, sexy and dirty."

NIGHT FLOWER opens with a blast of fresh, aromatic cardamom. Animalic leather and suede wrap around a narcotic Indian tuberose, drying down to a cozy base of birch tar, patchouli, cinnamon and tonka. Perfumer Antoine Lie says, ”Night Flower is a leathery, animalic floral. Spellbinding, sexual and addictive."

MA BÊTE (My Beast) caresses you with the suggestiveness of perfumed fur. A collision of the floral and the animal, MA BÊTE combines a regalTunisian Neroli with spices and a 50 percent overdose of Antoine Lie's own animalic cocktail. "Ma Bête is fiercely beasty with a raunchy elegance." says Lie.

The packaging is described as “vintage-modern”:

The column-like bottle evokes the modernist chic simplicity of the 1930s, while its glossy, patent leather-like label perched on the bottle's edge hints at the daringly erotic contents inside. Its minimalist white box is slashed with a glossy, fetishistic black band, reminiscent of a lover's blindfold.

The three fragrances will be available in 50 ml / 1.7 fl. oz. atomizer bottles at eau de parfum concentration (RRP US $150), exclusively retailing in-store at Scent Bar in Los Angeles and online at www.LuckyScent.com until the end of this month. As of April 1, the fragrances will also retail online at www.ErisParfums.com and at select US boutiques.

You can read our 2012 interview with Barbara Herman about vintage perfumes here.