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Sex Smells

This stuff is supposed to make a man more irresistible to women than LL Cool J after bathing in a pool of Spanish fly, beaver musk, and balm of Gilead. It arrived last week, and boy does it reek.
June 2, 2009, 12:00am

By Serena Pezzato    Photos By Giorgio Di Salvo

Earlier this month we ordered up some Phiero pheromone cologne to see what all the fuss was about. This stuff is supposed to make a man more irresistible to women than LL Cool J after bathing in a pool of Spanish fly, beaver musk, and balm of Gilead. It arrived last week, and boy does it reek. Opening the box was like lifting up a mattress that had a Japanese rentboy’s corpse underneath it. We were fairly confident its supposed magic powers were marketing fabrications, but we wanted to see what would happen if we spritzed someone with half a bottle and sent him to a few of Milan’s trashiest nightclubs. The test subject was Marco Zanoni, aka Illegal Kikko: a slightly rotund, charmingly shy young man who at last count has seen every episode of

Twin Peaks

seven times. It was a complete disaster.

Vice: Tell us about your wonderful night, Marco.

Marco Zanoni:

Outside the first bar I spotted two girls leaning against a parked car. I was a bit nervous, so I had another drink before stepping out to approach them. Unfortunately, I’d had a lot of booze already, and on my way over I threw up. Violently. I leaned over some plants and puked my guts out. I puked so hard I broke a blood vessel in my nose, and by the time I got up I had blood running down my face. The girls must have seen me because they left. I headed in the direction of another girl, but as soon as I got to her a very menacing guy popped up and she said, “I have no time to waste.”

Ouch. Did you even get a word in?

I think I shouted something like, “Illegal Kikko controls Italy!” but I was still all bloodied up. Whatever. She wasn’t all that.

How did it go in the second club after you wiped the barf off your chin? Were the ladies more receptive to the powers of Phiero?

We ended up in a Latino place filled with guys in white shirts. I tried my new cologne out with two girls right by the entrance and one ran away, saying she didn’t want to be photographed because she was a professional dancer. The other looked like Shrek. I think the pheromones worked on her.

Oh, do tell.

Well, at first she said I was a clown because I told her about the experiment. She thought it was all “a plot to get a handjob” and that I had made everything up to get one from her. I called her an idiot—but, remember, I was pretty drunk. I explained: “There are ten people looking at me and a guy taking pictures. Do you think I’d set up a circus like this to get a handjob off of you? I don’t think so.” It seems that she liked the strong type, because she changed her attitude after that. And she made it clear that I could count on a handjob.

All right!

Now that I think about it, maybe it was the cologne. The girl was ready to go.

Did she end up touching your penis?

No. I told her no. For the sake of science.

There goes your only chance this year.

I saw another two girls I wanted to experiment with, so I had to let Shrek go.

So Phiero makes you bold, eh?

They were two slutty-looking girls in miniskirts and boots and other saucy accessories. They were smiley and seemed to respond to everything, but when Giorgio showed up with the camera they left in a hurry. Another fiasco.

You should’ve gone home with Shrek, stupid.

We tried another venue, but we had pretty low expectations. It was a kebab shop. I found two really pretty girls there. I started chatting them up and then asked them if they could smell anything special in the air. One of them said, “Oh yeah, it’s that pheromone perfume.” She knew about it! I don’t know if her reply meant that there are hundreds of losers who go around doused in this shit, or if she just heard about it somehow. Then their friend came out of the store and she was really attractive. Her name was Katia. I tried to be a bit of a tease and asked her about her horrible tattoo. She didn’t take it the right way. She got really offended, actually.

What was the tattoo of?

One of those shitty hand things.

Oh, sure. A shitty hand thing.

I can’t remember. I was pretty wasted at this point. I think it was a star or something. So we went to a hipster bar. I found a pretty girl with short hair. We hit it off right away. She was digging my erotic scent. But as soon as she saw the camera, she went all Cobrasnake with poses like “Yuck!” and “Whatever” and “Fuck yeah!” It was horrible.

Did you try to take her home anyway?

No. I went home alone and passed out.

So what did you learn? Did this experiment have any scientific value?

No. I think you just invented this bullshit to humiliate me.