Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DSH- Jitterbug

According to the Wikipedia article discussing jitterbug,
" By November of 1945 after the departure of the American troops following D-Day, English couples were being warned not to continue doing energetic "rude American dancing." Time Magazine reported that American troops stationed in France in 1945 jitterbugged, and by 1946, jitterbug had become a craze in England. It was already a competition dance in Australia."
I can't dance to save my life, but I watched enough old movies to be somewhat familiar with the exuberant dance that was fueled by the the end of WWII and the exhilaration that came with it. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes was inspired by the era with its swing dancing and Dior's New Look when she created Jitterbug, "a vintage-style spicy-amber-oriental perfume".

DSH had me at vintage. And also at amber. And spicy-oriental.

Jitterbug is all that and more. The perfume smells as the list of notes (see below) reads: thick and full. There's something about the way it opens that makes me think of mulled wine, a homemade confiture and exotic perfume oils of secret blends. The vintage vibe is also apparent-- there's nothing modern about the way Jitterbug smells. I'm pretty sure that someone like my sister, who loves perfume but is attracted modern and decidedly airy compositions, will not enjoy this kind of fragrance.

One of the most striking aspects of DSH's Jitterbug is how carnal and dirty it is. I don't smell any civet or other animalics, but it's the flowers and spices that create the strong indolic impression. I'm never entirely sure it's a good idea to appear in public wearing this fragrance. It might give some people a very wrong idea. But I do it anyway, because dirty or not, Jitterbug is warm and very human. It's not exactly sweaty and I don't think there's any cumin there (the husband never complained, so that's a fairly good indication), but it does make me think of a crowded ballroom where the various perfumes of the dancers get mixed together with a healthy dose of sexual innuendos.

Top notes: Bergamot, Blackberry, Lemon, Pimento Berry
Middle notes: Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Clove Bud, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Siam Benzoin
Base notes: Amber, East Indian Patchouli, Frankincense (Olibanum), Labdanum, Musk

Jitterbug by DSH Perfumes ($70, 1 oz EDP, samples and other sizes also available) can be purchased from dshperfumes.com.

Photo: retronaut.com


  1. I don't know where they got that info from. It might have been a local judgment within a small crowd. But my mum was a nurse in WWII in England, and she never mentioned anything like that. In fact, she enjoyed several American bands that came over to entertain: Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Bros., etc. Americans were welcome as long as they had good manners; which most did.

  2. I must add that England (or the whole of Great Britain) does not have a government that "warns" its people about dancing. Ridiculous.


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