New TikTok Trend Explained: Vabbing01.09.2022
Imagine this: You are getting ready to go out on a night. You have your hair done, you are flawlessly makeup, and you’re ready to rock the look. What’s the final touch? A little perfume! You’re not going to get your signature scent in a fancy jar. Instead, you want something more natural.
This is the idea behind vabbing, which has been viralized on TikTok to help you find a partner. Vabbing is a combination of “dabbing”, and “vagina”. To vab, your body fluids, specifically vaginal secretions and discharge, are used as perfume. You apply it behind your ears and around your wrists, where you would normally wear fragrance.
TikTok users claim that vabbing with your own natural aroma can create romantic magic. A quick search for the hashtags #vabbingtrend and #vabbingfirsthand will reveal both stitch videos and videos from other users who are amazed at the possibility. User jewlieah uploaded one of the most popular videos. She tried vabbing at the gym, claimed it worked, and has since created many other videos about the phenomenon.
Is this a legitimate and safe way to use a popular fragrance? Dr. Mona Gohara is a Connecticut-certified dermatologist and an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. She says there is no scientific evidence to support these seductive claims. She explains that there is no scientific basis for the idea of vaginal secretions being used as a perfume to attract a partner. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, agrees. Dr. Ingleton says that there is not much scientific evidence that pheromones can attract humans in the same way as they have for animals. She also shares that “vabbing” has not been thoroughly studied.
Although Dr. Gohara does not recommend that you use your vaginal fluids for fragrance, she suggests following a few best practices if you do decide to go ahead. She says, “I would recommend that one ensures that their vaginal health has been checked before they do this to prevent any infection.” To avoid spreading the wealth, she suggests washing your hands after and before the “harvesting” process. Dr. Gohara recommends that you avoid vabbing if your STI is known. She also suggests that others not come into contact with “vabbed” parts of your body.
Dr. Ingleton stresses the importance of hygiene. Wash your hands after each use and don’t use your bodily fluids for scent if you have an infection. She also recommends that you avoid any skin irritations. “It’s not something I would recommend, but it is safe as long as you maintain good hygiene.”
Marissa Zappas, a New York City-based perfumer, says that vabbing can make you feel good. She shares that she believes vabbing makes people feel more confident and sensual. It doesn’t seem to be harmful. If it empowers the wearer, then why not? Zappas believes that some of the hostile opposition to vabbing might be coming from misogyny. “We give power to become powerful. It’s up to us to make that choice, whether it’s vabbing or a sultry fragrance.”
Vabbing may not be your style but you like the idea of it in theory, but there are ways to make it work in practice. Zappas recommends instead that you look for fragrances that truly capture the feeling. It is possible to achieve the same effect with animalic notes such as musk (Glossier you and Le Labo Another 13, respectively) or cumin seed (Byredo tobacco Mandarin or Femme By Rochas).