Dita is the biggest name in burlesque since Gypsy Rose Lee. She is known for revitalizing the art form, mesmerizing sold-out theaters around the world with spectacles that evoke fantasy and freedom. Born Heather Sweet in Michigan, Dita posed on the cover of Playboy in the early 2000s and soon became fashion’s “it” girl. Her book, Your Beauty Mark, is a New York Times bestseller, and her latest fragrance, Scandalwood, is a collaboration with Heretic Parfum’s Douglas Little.
This episode is split into two parts hosted by Marianne Mychaskew, who runs communications at Scentbird.
In Part 1, we immerse ourselves in Dita’s enchanting world. She shares why she believes perfume is a tool for you to become whoever you want to be. She reveals her most memorable scents, the iconic mid-century women who inspired her, and how she developed her signature look.
• “There’s never been a time in my life when I haven’t used fragrance”
• Dita’s early love for elegance and femininity
• Dita’s most memorable scents growing up in the 80s
• Dita’s first bottle of expensive perfume, which became her signature scent for years
• Smell like your French boyfriend’s mother? “Get rid of the man or get rid of the perfume”
• How Dita wears (and layers) perfume
• Good girl perfumes vs. bad girl perfumes
• Dita’s own fragrances, including Erotique, a cult classic
• Going against the grain with celebrity fragrances
• Dita’s Playboy cover and rise to fame
• Reviving the garter belt and the power of red lip stick
• “You can become whoever you want to be”
• Developing the signature Dita Von Teese look
• Inspiration from Bettie Page and first bondage photoshoot
• Being made fun of for wearing vintage clothing
• Breakthrough career moments, including biggest burlesque tours ever
• Starring in Taylor Swift’s “Bejeweled” video
• Why Dita felt attracted to past vs. present beauty icons
• Scent Connection: Scandalous Edition
• The iconic women from the Golden Age of Cinema who inspired Dita
In Part 2, we explore Dita’s collaboration with perfumer and Heretic Parfum founder, Douglas Little. Together, Douglas and Dita tell the story behind their latest fragrance, Scandalwood. They talk about their creative process, finding inspiration in vintage erotica, and why the social revolution of the 1920s made it such a rich period for perfumery.
• The story behind Dita and Douglas’ collaboration
• How the industry tends to approach celebrity fragrances
• The connection between Erotique and Scandalwood
• Why the 1920s was a fascinating time to make perfumes
• What is the fragrance of the 1920s Paris sex clubs?
• Why Douglas abandoned his 100%-naturals approach with this fragrance
• Dita’s direction: “add more champagne”
• How you know you’re finished with a fragrance
• Dita, Douglas, and a chance encounter in the elevator