Thursday, 14 January 2010

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz And The Parallel Universe Of Perfume Acronyms

Last night Mr Bonkers and I were having one of our disputes over who owns Charlie, our cat. These regularly arise following any kind of misdemeanour committed by the cat, in this case vicious leg kicks to my hand as I tried to administer her ear drops. "Look what your cat has done!" I yelped, startled by the sharp pain of her frantic clawing. Later, once I had calmed down and dabbed some TCP on the scratches, for some reason we got to wondering about whether the cat was listed in her vet's record book as belonging to one or other of us.

The cat's entry clearly showed that she was mine, registered at my former address. But suddenly my eye strayed to the topline information about her:

Name: Charlie
Date of Birth: 1995
Sex: F
Breed: DSH

Breed: DSH??? DSH can mean one and only one thing to me, namely DAWN SPENCER HURWITZ Perfumes, the niche label with a bias towards natural ingredients based in Colorado. So what on earth did DSH mean in the context of a veterinary record? And then the penny dropped......DOMESTIC SHORT HAIR....

I laughed and laughed at the incongruity of this alternative version of the acronym, and it wasn't long before I started to think of other abbreviations of perfume house names that had very different "mainstream" meanings.

So here we go - it was harder than I thought, and I am still stumped with lots of them, also the two character ones don't offer such rich pickings. Please feel free to chip in with your suggestions.

Maitre Parfumeur & Gantier (MPG) - Miles Per Gallon

Strange Invisible Perfumes (SIP) - Self Invested Pension

Etat Libre d'Orange (ELO) - Electric Light Orchestra

Parfumerie Generale (PG) - Parental Guidance

Serge Lutens (SL) - Service Level / Second Life (the game)

Ormonde Jayne (OJ) - Orange Juice / "OJ" (Simpson)

Frederic Malle (FM) - FM (radio wavelength)

Keiko Mecheri (KM) - KM (kilometre!)

Lorenzo Villoresi (LV) - Loan to Value (slight cheat!)

Black Phoenix Academy Lab (BPAL) - very, but not quite BOPAL in India (not an acronym, admittedly, but I reserve the right to make up the rules as I go along!)

Estee Lauder Private Collection (ELPC) - Entry Level People Carrier (okay, okay, I know I am getting silly now...)

Parfums MDCI (don't know what the MDCI stands for!) - Management Development Centre International (first outright cheat through googling - this is a centre of postgraduate learning in the Gulf, apparently).

Any more for any more?


  1. This had me in stitches,firstly because my partner and I have exactly the same argument over our scallywag of a cat and secondly because of the hilarious acrobyms. May I also suggest;

    Thierry Mugler (TM) - Trademark

    I can't think of any others.

  2. Hey Libertine, Thanks for looking in and I must say "acrobyms" are even funnier! : - )

    Nice one on the Thierry Mugler - it is quite hard, isn't it? I am still wrestling with Parfums de Rosine and Nicolai, Miller Harris and Jo Malone - to no avail!

  3. I always wondered if MDCI stood for 1601 in roman numerals? When I first saw the abbreviations ELO, OJ and PG, the same thoughts crossed through my mind as you have listed!

    One more crosses my mind:
    By Killian - BK - Burger King

  4. You could be on to something with your roman numeral theory... I did think of checking the Parfums MDCI site, but couldn't wait for all that intro business to load.

    Burger King is excellent, and a bit of an ironic counterpoint! Good job the house is not called By Thomas Kilian, as that would instantly make me think of the famous US serial killer who went by the name of "BTK" (Bind, Torture & Kill). I know some of those By Kilians give me a headache, but still...

  5. MDCI is clearly roman numerals.

    Funny idea!

  6. Glad you like it! Also now working on Humiecki & Graef, can do H & B, but am not feeling it with H & G...

  7. PdN: Public data network

    MH: Men's health

    SSS(Sonoma Scent Studio): Social security system

    CD (Christian Dior): compact disk!

    As for your Humecki and Graff, HG, what about HG TV? Or is that cheating??

  8. Well done you! HG TV might be allowable if you live in Canada, which you do...

    The PdN and SSS are particularly impressive. A three character acronym here is worth a 6 letter word in Scrabble, I'd say, and how I could have missed CD is beyond me!

  9. I now think that DSH should do one of those gently sweaty-animalic, happy cat sleeping in the sun fragrances, like Bandit smells to me (except Bandit is a bigger cat), and name it DSH DSH.

  10. Hahaha! With a little tweaking, DSH also stands for Daft Sense of Humour...

    Hey - Bandit is a puma, in over the thigh boots.

  11. You got me laughing so hard. :) Great!

  12. Thanks! And am I right in thinking that if you were a DSH cat, you would be a ginger one (approximately)?

    : - )

  13. Um-- I know I'm working backwards on this one (this is a super fun game, BTW-- sorry I came in late...) I always read MDCI as a short-hand for "Medici." Right? (combined with the Roman numeral thing...)

  14. Medici - aha! Straight out of The Lost Symbol...

    : - )

  15. Lorenzo Villoresi (LV) - Luncheon Vouchers!

  16. Riannon from Basenotes has come to our aid about the true meaning of MDCI:

    "Marchal Design & Créations Indépendantes. Claude Marchal is the owner."

    Thanks for that!

  17. Jean Paul Gaultier (JPG) - .jpg ie Jpeg, as in one of those file thingies!

  18. Comptoir Sud Pacifique (CSP) - Civil Service Pension / Compulsive Skin Picking

  19. No, I never! : - )

    Compulsive Skin Picking is especially common after an application of CSP Caramel Sunset.

  20. Here you go!

  21. Acqua di Parma (AdP) - Aeroports de Paris. A bit more obscure, admittedly...