Humans have been inventing weird (and often unsavory) ways to get themselves embarrassingly drunk for centuries. But the makers of Wahh, a new inhalable alcohol mist, say their product is designed to do just the opposite.
Wahh is the invention of David Edwards, the Harvard professor whose inhalable caffeine and smokable chocolate have appeared on this site before. Edwards’s line of "breathable food sprays" (yum!) called Quantum Sensations includes Aeroshot, a vaporizing caffeine inhaler that received over $8.5 million in venture funding earlier this year. Edwards collaborated with French designer Philippe Starck to bring us the latest Quantum Sensation, Wahh, which debuted last week in Paris.
About $26 will buy you a Wahh canister, which contains around 25 "puffs" of vaporized alcohol. Hold the lipstick-sized tube up to your mouth, breath in, and a burst of Vodka-flavored mist delivers a dizzying sensation. The feeling fades within seconds, leaving you sober enough to pass a breathalyzer test.
The science behind the vaporizer is pretty simple. Each puff of vapor contains only .075 milliliters of alcohol—the equivalent of about 1/1000th of a shot of liquor. Edwards explains that by vaporizing a single drop of alcohol, Wahh "increases its surface area by approximately 1,000 times." In other words, the vapor tricks your brain into thinking that you’re inhaling a thousand droplets of alcohol, rather than one.
"Everyone has an occasional need of light-headedness, distraction, and another place," says Starck, but we tend to use alcohol as a "social placebo." The idea behind Wahh, explains the duo, is to enjoy "the sensation of lightheadedness, without the risk of utter drunkenness." And yes, if you were wondering, the name Wahh was chosen for the sound users make after using it.
The duo say that Wahh is mostly meant for use on food (there’s a spicey flavor called Demon), but the canisters will undoubtedly be popular for the "buzz" they produce. The real question, of course, is whether or not such a product perpetuates our collective misuse of alcohol.
According to their website, Wahh will appear in design stores in the U.S. sometime this summer.