I lent in, closed my eyes, and breathed them in; and in that moment, I knew – this was the armpit I was going to marry. It was love at first smell.
That’s what you’ll be saying this week.
The world’s first armpit sniffing date night will be coming to London this week, courtesy of Bompas and Parr, the trailblazing duo of multisensory flavour experiences.
Called ‘Romancing the Armpit’, the event will see the pair play cupid for an evening – but instead of shooting arrows, they’ll be wafting bodily odour.
“We’re into bodily fluids, intense interactions, surprising moments, embracing awkwardness, base activity colliding with decadent experience. This rather wonderfully captures the lot,” they exclusively told Essex Journalism.
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr first hit the food scene as self-proclaimed jellymongers and have since become fully fledged Willy Wonkas. An inhabitable cloud of gin and tonic, multi-sensory fireworks and anatomical whiskey tasting are but a few of the immersive flavour-based adventures for which the pair are famous. They head a team of creatives, cooks, designers, and technicians and regularly work with artists, musicians, and scientists to give “people emotionally compelling” experiences with their food. And as if that isn’t enough to keep them busy, they’re also the proud authors of four books.
In their latest event, the duo are welcoming noses of all sexual preferences to sip perspiration cocktails, listen to a lecture on the power of the pheromone, engage in a sniffing ritual, and enjoy an ego boost of post-ritual compliments and conversation.
They describe the novel night as their “small-scale revolt against a highly deodorized world,” wherein pheromones – the airborne compounds secreted in sweat – will be given the floor to show that they are just as important in sexual attraction as physical appearance.
And boy, are they! Our unique odours are influenced by genetically determined molecules called Major Histocompatibility Complexes. When it comes to choosing sexual partners, people tend to be drawn to those who have different MHCs compositions to their own. If that isn’t proof enough that the nose is the organ of love, MHC is also linked to sexual preference – so differences in body odour are detected and responded to on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
So be sure to keep your nose on high alert and your ring finger at the ready because these two have a pretty big wish for the evening – marriage.
“In these armpit engagements we hope that people will find togetherness via scent and through the strangeness of the moment shared.”
The best thing about the event is that there is no pressure to groom yourself. Braided, permed, shaved, perfumed, or due for a shower – there are no rules on cleanliness or style. In fact, they insist you “let your hairs express themselves openly.”
All that matters on the night is that love will prevail “where dubious scents, biological instincts and romance collide.”
Be sure to get your ticket because they’re smelling out quick!
Romancing the Armpit takes place on Wednesday April 27th at Alcoholic Architecture near Borough Market. Tickets are £10.