Vintage Perfumes: A Photo for Black Friday

Vogue Perfume 1934 .png

It’s Black Friday—are you out shopping? I might be doing a little online shopping for scented treats later today.

I just wanted to share this glamorous photograph from VOGUE, dated December 15, 1934 (the middle of the Great Depression, no less!). The photographers were Peter Nyholm and John Phillips and the image was titled “A Collection of Christmas Gifts.”

I can see perfumes and other fragranced indulgences from Chanel, Guerlain (Jicky soap!), Millot, Lucien LeLong, Jean Patou, Lenthéric, Molinelle, Weil, Richard Hudnut, and others. Something for everyone on even the fanciest Christmas list of 1934!


  1. Traveling back from SLC to IND after a family visit; picked up an Atelier Cafe Tuberosa rollerball at Sephora. Very nice, and maybe it will liven up a two hour layover!

    Have a happy rest of the holiday weekend!


  2. Hello Jessica-

    Lovely photo! I could spend all of my days looking through vintage magazines. Like you, I am always taken aback by the luxury on display during the depths of the Depression, both in the ads as well as in the editorial copy. Department stores in now-impoverished industrial cities such as Wilkes Barre, PA would advertise bottles of perfume selling for the equivalent of $1500 today. I believe that social inequality is almost as great now as it was in the1930’s (note to self: need to check if this lazy overgeneralization is actually true) and we certainly have perfumes priced at $1500 (Roja Dove’s blinged bottles, JAR, Guerlain limited edition flacons and the like) but you don’t see bland ads for these bottles in Vogue. I guess ostentation is a little more self conscious today, but Mrs. Mnuchin’s antics would suggest otherwise.

    Hope you are back on your feet…


    • Oh my goodness…Mrs. Mnuchin…if she didn’t exist, we’d have to invent her. The quintessential villainess for these “end of empire” times…?

      I’m not sure who the market was for these elegant goods, either! Perhaps they were primarily “aspirational,” and real-life readers would instead purchase a more affordable dusting powder or small bottle of eau de toilette from these brands?


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