Today is National Fragrance Day and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to talk about vaginas. If that seems odd to you, it may be because you’ve forgotten that the scent of a woman was a hot topic of conversation before we began talking solely about the spread of the coronavirus.
When Heretic’s $75 candle called “This Candle Smells Like My Vagina” sold out on Goop in hours (likely because people thought that it was inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina), we thought it was a bit odd. But just weeks later, Erykah Badu’s $50 incense “Badu’s Pussy” sold out in merely 19 minutes on her site Badu World Market.
It was mind boggling to me that anyone would want to relax to the smell of another woman’s vagina. But then again, when you look at Erykah Badu’s roster of ex-lovers, it’s understandable why you might be intrigued by the potency of her pussy. If I had to imagine, I’d guess it smells like myrrh and persimmons, or red clay and jackfruit. Earthy and colorfully unique. Gwyneth Paltrow’s? Jasmine rice and privilege (you know, from all that steaming).
But, more than anything, I wondered why vagina scents were selling out like the latest drop from Supreme? Are we so obsessed with celebrity that we’re willing to pay anything to get close to them? Or, are we, as humans, naturally curious and drawn to this powerful biological organ? Is vagina truly poised to be the hottest new scent of 2020?
“Trying to bottle an essence, the scent of a certain part of the body or what that part of the body is supposed to represent is something that’s been going on in fragrance for a long time,” said Elenni Davis-Knight, Director of International at Milk Makeup, who previously worked as a fragrance marketing manager for Revlon, and sales for Givaudan, the largest fragrance house in the world. She has the type of trained nose that can easily identify what fragrance you’re wearing and can even pick up the different notes in it.
“It’s is always about engaging either the person who’s wearing it or the person who smells it, in some sort of emotion and feeling, which is why fragrance is so powerful. It brings back memory or a feeling,” she continued. “The smell of a woman, or that part of a woman, it’s always been fetishized, even outside of the fragrance industry. So to have it be something that can evoke power makes sense. Pheromones are a real thing.”