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A package of Sen-Sen breath fresheners

Sen-Sen was a type of breath freshener originally marketed as a "breath perfume" in the late 19th century by the T. B. Dunn Company and then produced by F&F Foods until the product's discontinuation in July 2013. Sen-Sen bore a strong resemblance to Vigroids, a liquorice sweet made by Ernest Jackson & Company, Ltd.

Sen-Sens were available in small packets or cardboard boxes. Similar to a matchbox of the time, an inner box slid out from a cardboard sleeve revealing a small hole from which the tiny Sen-Sen squares would fall when the box was shaken.

Sen-Sen's ingredients were licorice, gum arabic, maltodextrin, sugar, and natural and artificial flavors.

Popular cultureEdit

Sen-Sen's distinctive, strong scent, its nostalgic association with earlier time periods (particularly the 1930s through the 1950s), and its frequent use in covering up the odoriferous evidence of perceived vices such as drinking and cigarette smoking has led to many references in multiple forms of media.

  • A brief reference occurs in the 2004 Martin Scorsese major motion picture The Aviator. Howard Hughes and his press agent Johnny Meyer are speaking to each other at a "hip" Hollywood club. The pair are interrupted by a cigarette girl with the line: "Cigar, cigarettes, Sen-Sen?"
  • Another brief reference is in The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck, Chapter 7.

Robert Culp in the 1959 CBS TV show "Trackdown" (Texas Rangers)lists items including Sen-Sen in the pocket of a dead man, Manny Brock, found shot in a hotel room.

  • IRS Agent Reginald Lawrence eats Sen-Sens in Walter Mosley's second Easy Rawlins novel, A Red Death (1991).[1]
  • W. Somerset Maugham has a character in his 1934 novel Of Human Bondage called Miss Bennett, a buyer of petticoats in a department store, who chews Sen-Sens.
  • Robert Asprin has a character called "The Sen-Sen Ante Kid" in his novel Little Myth Marker.[2] The character plays Dragon Poker and always starts the game by adding a Sen-Sen to the ante.
  • Robert Penn Warren references a character named Sen-Sen Puckett "who chewed Sen-Sen to keep his breath sweet".[3] Character Marvin Frey is also described as having "...breath sweetly flavored with Sen-Sen and red-eye" in Warren's novel All the King's Men.[4]
  • In Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Damned" sen-sen and other less desirable candies are scattered around Hell.
  • They are referenced in the song "Ya Got Trouble" from the 1957 musical comedy The Music Man as a way to cover up the smell of cigarettes.[5]
  • They are referenced in the song "Keeping the Faith" from Billy Joel's 1983 album An Innocent Man.
  • Yogi Yorgesson (a stage name for comic Harry Stewart) recorded a parody of "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" entitled "My Little Old Shack in Minneapolis, Minnesota". One line says, "Got a pocketful of Sen-Sen for my sweetheart Hedy Jensen".
  • In Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God", chapter 9, it is told about Hezekia who works in Janie's store that "His sense of ownership made him honest too, except for an occasional jaw-breaker, or a packet of sen-sen. The sen-sen was to let on to the other boys and the pullet-size girls that he had a liquor breath to cover."
  • Zippy the Pinhead mentions Sen-Sen from time to time.[6][7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mosley, Walter, A Red Death, in The Walter Mosley Omnibus (London: Picador, 1996): 220.
  2. ^ Asprin, Robert, and Jody Lynn Nye, Little Myth Marker, mythadventures.net.
  3. ^ Gale, A Study Guide for Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, Cengage Learning via Google.com. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  4. ^ Warren, Robert Penn. All The King's Men. Foreword by Joseph Blotner. 1946. San Diego: Harvest, 1996. 73.
  5. ^ (Ya Got) Trouble" lyrics
  6. ^ "The Happy Couple", 2012-09-08.
  7. ^ "Whip it", zippythepinhead.com, 1996-11-02.