The Sniff Kiss

February 2013
3 months after the divorce, I’ve been dating again, and there was this girl who I felt a connection with. As I was pretty nervous (the last time I dated, we still used the payphone, so go figure), I asked my buddy Anthony, who’s a  Harvard grad, reads a lot of social dynamics, charismatic around women, personal growth enthusiast, so I figured he can give me a tip or two on the date.

At the end of the date, hug her, smell/sniff her hair and give her a kiss on the cheek.

I can tell you even now most Malaysian dudes (Anthony is Malaysian-born but grew up in the land down under. No, not Singapore you idiot, Australia!) will cringe at that suggestion, and said what I said “That’s stupid!”

So, at the end of the date, I didn’t do the “sniff kiss”. I eventually got on with the girl and we were together for like two and a half years, but rest assured we didn’t end the relationship due to the absence of the sniff kiss. A kiss could make (good place to start something good, really, as you’ll find out further down) or break (especially when you kissed someone you’re not supposed to) a relationship, but I didn’t give the sniff kiss that much of a credit.

But shit as it is, somehow the idea of sniff kiss got planted into my subconscious, Inception-style!


September 2015
So a couple of girl friends and I just finished a leg of travel in Bangkok, and they had to leave for the airport. One of the girls, who I’ve met like 3 weeks earlier, was entering the cab and she leaned in to give me a hug. It has the first time for us, and later when I asked why she hugged me, she said she felt appreciative of the trip (I sponsored it).

Anyway, what happened next was kinda unplanned, almost as if it’s an automatic response, and yet something I had never done before (unless the person is already my partner or my 7-year-old son).

I gave her a sniff kiss. I breathed in the scent of her hair, and gave her a kiss just slight above her left cheek.

Now, I wished I could say we hit it off immediately, or that I was suave/cool about the gesture, or even that she gave me a hard slap across the face. None of that happened. She just got into the cab, waved goodbye and I walked to the nearest 7-E.

Ok, some subsequent parts I would omit, but I could say it involved me yelling into a pillow, texting close friends to seek justification that it was ok (other than Anthony, everyone said I was an idiot/jerk/creep/dick), beating myself up in the shower, blah blah blah. Over-dramatization and the whole works.

For what it felt like an eternity, she texted me when she was safely back home, and I thought that would be the last time I talk to her after the sniff-kiss dick move.

Interestingly though, she continued texting as we did before (and she started most of the conversations but that was mainly because I was attempting to enter isolation mode. This we will cover in another blog post). She didn’t bring up the kiss, and I thought maybe she was to blur to realised it has happened.

Until, 3 days later, out of the blue, she asked about it. I gave her my honest answer.

And 2 days after, we went on our first date, held hands, hugged and shared our first kiss. Fast? Well, please know I omitted a lot of what happened, but then again, time is irrelevant when epic shit happens, eh? Things are working out very well for us (day #44 as of this writing) , but I don’t wanna jinx it now by saying sappy shit like “best GF ever” or happily ever after or that kinda crap. Just taking it one good day at a time.

So did the sniff kiss work? Did that dumb stupid idea from Anthony really make good sense? Did I just get a lucky shot, or the stars are aligned, or the fates were shining upon us?

That’s for you to find out, bros.

But I’m not gonna be a total dick and end this here. If you are attempting the sniff kiss, here are a couple of tips. Both my girlfriend and I discussed it (we’re both hyper-analytical so we kinda broke down the experience, put it under a microscope, slapped on some Google Analytics codes in the header file and prod it with every chemical compound we could retrieve from my piss-poor excuse of a kitchen) and here you go, chief. Good luck!

  • A certain level of rapport must have been established prior to the sniff kiss, or else most girls would recoil, snap, slap or just made a mental note to block you on Facebook, Whatsapp and any other IM in the Appstore.
  • How do you know you achieved that level of rapport? Well, I’m not gonna be an ass and said “what does your gut feel tell you?”, but there are a couple of signs you can look out for:
    + Are you guys texting/chatting “healthily” (1)
    + During the date did you mirror, match, pace and successfully lead her?
    + Is her body language, word choices, hand gestures, pupils or shoulder stiffness indicating a green light?
  • If your guts say No, don’t go for it. You’ll be too nervous and it will show. Go back to rapport building and attempt another time.
  • If your guts say Yes, then go for it lar. Haiyo (2), like that also need us to tell you ah?
  • If your guts is like 50-50, then go for it. There are many forms of regrets, but usually you’ll regret things you didn’t do rather than those you did.
  • If she recoiled or reacted negatively to the sniff kiss, sorry lar bro. But in our defence, please check if you don’t have a bulging hard-on at the time. Girls pick up on little things like that (no, not saying you have a small penis, but if you do, well, let’s just say it’s not the size but rather how well you use it that matters lar, k?)
  • If things really hit of between the two of you, we call dibs on naming your first born. ;p



  1. Texting/Chatting healthily – take a look at your chat screen and if the amount of texts coming from both you and her are pretty even, that’s healthy. If you are texting more or starting most of the conversations or spamming her, you need help.
  2. Haiyo – an expression which is a mix of frustration and irritation, and 83% accompanied with a facepalm.


Co-Founder of KICKSTART by night, Talent Development Consultant, organising workshops and conferences by day, and full-time single dad in between, Maverick is pretty much a renegade. An ex-monk who's always first to ask "why not?", Mav enjoys hacking the way things are done, and pretty much happy with the success rate of 50% (coz sometimes mom is right after all...). When it comes to business, give him a million bucks and he'll most probably get a new set of gadgets, drive home an Audi R8 and reload his Starbucks card. But give him little to nothing, and see how he starts switching on the little brain-matter between his ears. Challenge ACCEPTED!

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