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We’re big candle people. We love using them to create an ambiance in our home and are always stocking up on scents ranging from fresh cotton and cashmere, to yummy pie, to fallen leaves, to...vagina?
Yes, you read that right. If you haven’t heard, Gwyneth Paltrow is pushing society’s “decency” limits even further than usual through her goop brand, having released a candle called “This Smells Like My Vagina” in early 2020. Paltrow has never been shy when it comes to vaginas and normalizing their figurative exposure, so while a provocative idea, it wasn’t one completely out of left field. In fact, her fans hopped right on it and the candle sold out in no time. Worried you missed out? Don’t be, because it’s back — for now!
So, how exactly did this unique candle come about? Paltrow is the first to admit that it all started out as a joke. She and perfumer Douglas Little of Heretic, with whom she often works, were sampling fragrances together when Paltrow was taken by surprise by one in particular, saying, “Uhhh...this smells like a vagina.” They laughed, but the rest was history!
Now, one rumor is that this candle was made to smell specifically like Paltrow’s own V, but Little actually clarified the true meaning during an interview with The Cut: “It’s called ‘This Smells Like My Vagina’ meaning the person that’s holding it,” he explained. “It’s speculative and fun.” Basically, the scent is kind of up to your own interpretation. “The idea was to do something that was voluptuous and sensual and also provocative and fun,” he said, and we think they nailed it!
While Paltrow was and is still amused by the idea of this candle, she’s proud of its message and loves that it’s “a little bit punk rock.” She explained on Late Night With Seth Meyers that “a lot of us have grown up feeling certain degrees of shame around our body,” and so she wanted to celebrate the body instead through unexpected means — showing there’s nothing to be shameful about!
While the scent of this candle is ultimately classified as vaginal, it does have specific notes that really bring out its intended allure of “fantasy, seduction, and a sophisticated warmth.” It’s made with geranium, citrusy bergamot, cedar absolutes, Damask rose and ambrette seed. The result? A “funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent.”
We have to wonder what Paltrow and Little will come up with next. Paltrow explained that when they’re together, they “sit on the floor and geek out on fragrance,” and that’s how the magic happens. “It’s an amazing process — he’s just so talented.” See what that talent smells like for yourself and grab this candle today before it’s gone again!