Actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow is in news, for yet again bestowing humanity with a product that no one needed. Paltrow’s wellness company Goop is now selling candles that apparently smell like the Iron Man actor’s vagina. This isn’t the first time Goop has churned out products that have something to do with her or other women’s vagina. We wouldn’t have been complaining if these products actually promoted vaginal health in a clinically tested and approved way. But when the products in question are vaginal jade eggs or sex dust moon juice or advocating practices like vaginal steaming, the only thing Goop incurs is an eye roll.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Goop is selling candles that smell like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina.
  • The candles, priced at $75 each, have already sold out.
  • Is Goop trying to set the weirdest body standard for women possible?
  • A smelly vagina maybe a sign of poor health or hygiene “down there” but even at its healthiest no way is it going to smell of citrus or roses.

Do we really need to know what Paltrow’s vagina smells like? Is Goop trying to set the weirdest body standard for women possible?

So, what does Paltrow’s vagina smell like, one instantly begins to wonder (out of sheer curiosity, nothing else) since the above-mentioned candle is priced at $75 (over 5300 rupees)? Well, the description available online says that the candle’s smell is “funny, gorgeous, sexy and beautifully unexpected scent,” being a mixture of “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with damask rose and ambrette seed.”

Also Read: Why Do Women Fall For Products Like Vaginal Detox Pearl?

I can tell from personal experience, and so can every woman who is not Gwyneth Paltrow, that vaginas do not smell naturally of germaniums, citrusy bergamot, cedar or rose, even at their cleanest. These smells do not belong naturally to our body, be it vagina or armpits or any other fold of skin. Which is why it seems misplaced on Goop’s part to tell us this is how Gwyneth’s vagina smell, unless she is treating it with soaps, jade eggs, steaming and all other things that this very business sells. So basically this is a sham of a product that seems to be telling women that this is how your vagina can smell too if you use other products we are selling.

My real problem with these vagina-scented candles is that they set a false standard for women, normalising an artificial scent. This candle is already sold out, which tells us that there are numerous takers to whatever Goop sells in the name of holistic wellness.

Vaginal smell is a matter of insecurity for most women, as there is a sense of shame regarding its natural scent since it may be unpleasant. This entire circus of inserting things and washings your privates with fragrance is a result of those crass jokes that compare the vaginal smell to everything from rotten fish (see the tweets trolling Paltrow’s candle) to other unpleasant odours. A smelly vagina may be a sign of poor health or hygiene “down there” but even at its healthiest no way is it going to smell of citrus or roses. But a candle will tell those who have bought it just that. It could lead to insecurities among women regarding personal odour. Or manipulate people’s understanding of how a female vagina smells, ideally and naturally.

Holistic wellbeing cannot be endorsed at the cost of twisting the truth about something so basic and biological.

Image Credit: The Cut

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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