Each one is only about 1/8th of an inch square, but if you have one on your tongue, you'll know it!

The pungent anise-flavored breath-freshener candies are "one of those items you either like or you don't," says David Daneliak of F&F Foods in Chicago, makers of Sen-Sen today. Sen-Sen is still available nationwide, though its distribution is limited. It's popular among an older generation that recalls when Sen-Sen was America's most popular breath-freshener.

The origin of the name is unknown. It was originally marketed as a "cosmetic breath perfume" in the 1890s, notably for tobacco users. Sen-Sen soon broadened its appeal.

Sen-Sen's secret ingredients were imported from Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and parts of Asia and shipped to Rochester, N.Y., home of T.B. Dunn & Co., perfume dealers. They were then mixed in a vat, rolled thin, baked for 10 hours, and broken into small pellets. Not much has changed since then - not even some of the equipment. Consumers' tastes have changed, though, Mr. Daneliak notes.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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