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Andrea Grassi on Love as a Colour: Singles Colour 004 – Vanilla Voodoo

Posted By Rebecca Eckler on February 14, 2011

Tagged: Andrea Grassi, Rave

Some believe that the smell of vanilla, for men, is an aphrodisiac – according to, it helps to even “combat sexual debilitation” (see their full list of natural aphrodisiacs here). Through preliminary Googling, I found that women consume many popular aphrodisiacs (chocolate, oysters), but the smell of some are enough to really do it for the male population. Now when speaking of vanilla’s power, I’m not sure if I totally believe that its intrinsic goodness, pleasurable smell and the popular lore that it perhaps increases desire isn’t truly what makes it attractive (i.e. Placebo effect). However, thinking back on my history, there is some curious dating data (although gathered less empirically than say, this clinical study) that favors on the side of a singles colour I like to call “Vanilla Voodoo”. (Note on a retrospective bias: All these occurrences however true, happened while I was aware of the possible powers of vanilla.)

First encounter, my ex boyfriend loved to spend time snuggling in my bed for the few weeks I used vanilla scented fabric softener – he just dove right in my down-filled and never looked back, but before hated snuggling because it was always “too sweaty”. Second encounter, vanilla scented candle which I had in my kitchen to mask the odor of fish I was making for a guy I had over — he was all over me while I was cooking it (and it was just talapia; not a sexy fish…).

Science explains the attraction to be found in its elemental sweetness, brainwaves, pheromones, etc. More interesting, the Aztecs believed the vanilla plant to be the incarnate of a lusty daughter to a Mexican fertility goddess. Unable to mar her virtue and marry, she transformed herself into the plant in order to provide happiness and pleasure for others. Cute story, Aztecs.

Bottom line — science and myth aside — a good smelling man or woman is sexy. And isn’t it all about chemistry anyways? Smelling like vanilla can’t hurt, so dab a little pure extract behind your ears… see what happens. I am seeing this guy who has been shy about making a move on me. I’m going to cover myself in vanilla scented body butter before our next date and see how it goes.

Have you ever experienced a case of Vanilla Voodoo?

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Andrea Grassi has been either a freelance writer, editor, researcher, proofreader (or all) at the following publications: The Mark NewsThis MagazineWhere Toronto, Pique News Whistler, 24hrsSoundproofCelery (defunct, but influential Toronto-based zine), Job Postings (US), Campus Life Magazine, The Medium and scripted on Rogers Cable 10, among others. Her advertising creative has been featured in campaigns for Johnson & Johnson, Windsor Salt, Leo Pharma, Trispec Communications, Dobson & Toncic Insurance, Urologi Inc., among others.
Check her out: Wesbsite: / Twitter: @andGrassi / Linkedin: Andrea Grassi

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