It may be a hoax, a sly artistic commentary, a vanity project or simply the greatest thing ever known to man.

A Harvard professor has come up with what he call "Le Whif" — inhalable chocolate with zero calories.

"Over the centuries we've been eating smaller and smaller quantities at shorter and shorter intervals," says Edwards on the product's official Web site. "It seemed to us that eating was tending toward breathing, so, with a mix of culinary art and aerosol science, we've helped move eating habits to their logical conclusion. We call it whiffing."

Each Le Whif dispenser — a box of 24 will cost 40 euro, or about $53 — looks like a blend of an asthma inhaler, a tube of lipstick and a shotgun shell.

You can buy them for 1.80 euro apiece, about $2.40, at "Le Laboratoire," Edwards' shop/consultancy/club/"art and science innovation center" located smack-dab in the middle of Paris, where Edwards spends part of the year.

A video of randomly stylish people trying it Le Whif on the Parisian streets makes one think of "one-hit wonder" marijuana pipes, though with presumably milder effects.

Le Whif comes in "four luscious flavors: mint chocolate, raspberry chocolate, mango chocolate, and plain chocolate," and will be introduced at a gala party in Paris on April 29, followed by 10 days at the Cannes Film Festival and then later a "surprising" appearance in Chicago.

To make things even more bewildering, Edwards, whose Harvard Web page describes him as the "Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering," has a graphic novel coming out, written under a pseudonym, illustrated by a Japanese manga artist and entitled simply "Whiff."

• Click here for the Le Whif official Web site.

• Click here for Edwards' Harvard page.

• Click here to read about his book.

• Click here for the Le Laboratoire Web site (mostly in French).