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Let’s say you have a presentation to give. You need a quick hit of liquid courage but can’t reasonably pull out a flask. This is the type of situation where you could use WAHH Quantum Sensations, a chapstick-sized aerosol can of flavored alcohol. A single spritz into the mouth immediately delivers a light-headedness similar to that experienced while drinking. The feeling fades almost as quickly as it arrives, so you’re not going to be slurring your presentation or getting arrested.
WAHH, which started selling at Laboratoire in Paris on May 2, was developed over the last year by Harvard professor and scientist David Edwards and designer Philippe Starck, who created the sleek canister. The two recently formed Quantum Sensations, a Cambridge, Mass., joint venture, to produce and commercialize the product. A canister with two vials, each offering 20 to 25 sprays equal to 1/1,000 of a shot of alcohol, costs €20 ($26). A pack of four refills is available for €8. Hundreds were sold in the first few days after launch, says Edwards, though it is not yet available in the U.S.
While good old alcohol is far more effective for those seeking genuine inebriation, the spray is intended as a culinary-design exploration and cultural exploration. WAHH was given its name by Starck to evoke the “blessed sigh that you have when this has entered into your mouth,” Edwards explains. It currently comes in two flavors: Flash, which tastes like vodka, and Demon, which tastes like Tabasco and is intended for use on food.
“It’s relief, a little heaven in an intense, high-expectation environment,” says Edwards. And it won’t leave you with a hangover.
Other flavors, which won’t all be alcohol-based, will be added as the product expands distribution to major design stores, starting late in the summer. The mass-market opportunity lies in creating flavors that users can add to their spice racks, Edwards says.