Everyone knows that a damn good, chunky hunk of chocolate is capable of inducing a euphoric state of mind—a feeling, for many women, like they're in love. But I've recently discovered a whole new effect.
The sensation starts around the inner corners of my eyes, tickles the sides of my nose, flaring my nostrils with a deep inhale and then, then—achoo! This is often freakishly repeated, once or twice moreover. There are no other apparent allergic reactions, yet every time I have a piece with at least 70 percent cacao, I need a tissue. In fact, the Universal College of Reflexology has quite bluntly dubbed this non-allergy-related sneeze an "orgasm of the face," which can also be attributed to other welcome stimulants such as bright lights (most common), mint or other strong flavors, a cold breeze, and even loved ones.
Yes, even loved ones, proves Wendy Miller Stopperich, a realtor based in Pennsylvania, who's pretty sure the love-struck sneeze has been with her consistently for years and who can pinpoint her realization to a trip she took with her husband in 1994. I asked her, Are you sure it's not just some cologne he wears? No, they've been married for 17 years, and just rolling over, waking up next to him, thinking of him lovingly, produces a sneeze. "My friends think I'm crazy!" she said. "But it just happened again the other day." She surmises that extreme pheromones are at play with her strong sense of smell; nothing else makes her sneeze quite like her husband. Like a misunderstood sister of the blush, her sneeze displays her heart on her face and gives it all away.