Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest candle smells like her vagina and it’s already sold out

Image via Goop
Words by Mariah Papadopoulos

Goop controversy, 2020 edition. 

Celebrities-turned-CEOs are a strange breed. Nothing against them personally, but somewhere along the way between showbiz and big business, they develop a magnetic field that attracts controversy.

Gwyneth Paltrow is one such celebrity who has endured the highest highs and lowest lows of the public’s love-hate relationship with the rich and famous. Earlier this month, the actress-slash-wellness icon’s lifestyle brand ‘Goop’ started selling a candle called ‘This Smells Like My Vagina’, which sold out within hours.

The candle’s name was born when Paltrow made a comment to collaborator Douglas Little (of Heretic Parfum), that a potential fragrance sample smelled “like a vagina”.

With further development, the fragrance “evolved into a funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent”. Whether the name was somehow intended to encompass all of these things, and whether the scent itself is even capable of doing so, are yet to be confirmed.

Paltrow’s Goop already walks a thin line between informative, inspirational feminism and pretentious elitism. At first glance, Goop’s Instagram account is all aesthetic photography, enlightening quotes and clear skin. Looking deeper, though, it’s a myriad of face creams that cost $181, Paltrow touting herself as some kind of sex guru and one too many mentions of the words ‘detox’ and ‘crystal’.

Deeper on the internet, Goop comes under the banner of alternative & pseudo-medicine. Paltrow’s references to the vagina seem less cheeky, outspoken feminist and more attention-grabbing and misinformed.

Goop’s obsession with ‘wellness’ stems from Paltrow’s health agenda, but controversially seems equally propelled by money. It is typified by its rise from a kitchen-based newsletter in 2008 to a company worth $250 million.

So somewhere along the line, making controversial lifestyle tips like encouraging women to steam their vaginas and to place jade eggs inside them so as to ‘empower themselves’, has been incredibly lucrative.

No matter that the company was later liable for $145,000 in civil penalties for deceptive marketing, because surely the many mentions of ‘Goop’ in articles and headlines the world over resulted in publicity that garnered many more hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And though it has crossed our minds that posting yet another article about Goop’s questionable gynaecological tips only adds fuel to the fire, we just can’t help it.

You can see the product listing here.

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