To the first big branding question of 2020: what is it about Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina that makes it so marketable for Gwyneth Paltrow? We’ve learnt about how she has (expensively) steamed it, (expensively) put jade eggs up it and (expensively) fed it a supplement called Sex Dust. I’ve no idea how it works, but Sex Dust strikes me as the oddest one. Surely the last thing you’d want to be supplying your vag with is dust? That’s a sure-fire tetchiness scenario, right there. Yet it’s $60 a jar and has sold out on her website, goop.com. So confusing.
But then everything to do with Gwyneth’s cutlery drawer is confusing. It all seems … a bit of an effort? The amount of upkeep Paltrow’s wah-wah needs makes it come across as basically ill, or faulty — the Tiny Tim of vags, barely clinging to life as it hobbles around Hollywood crying out for another mad egg. Is it possible for your vagina to die before you do? Gwyneth’s seems like it might. If not of actual illness, then exhaustion. Its schedule seems arduous. I’m happy to open a book and take bets.
The amount of upkeep Paltrow’s wah-wah needs makes it come across as basically ill, or faulty.
Given Paltrow’s apparent vulval fragility, it seems kind of weird to promote something seemingly inspired by it — but Paltrow announced this week that she is selling a candle called This Smells Like My Vagina.
This Smells Like My Vagina — I love how Catchphrase this is. Say what you see! Or, in this case, smell! The $75 candle is, according to Paltrow, a “funny, gorgeous, sexy and beautifully unexpected scent”, with “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed”.
As a feminist I’d never want to accuse another woman of lying about her vaginal aroma. I’m happy to start the hashtag #believeallwomenwhentheysaytheirvaginasmellsofcitrusybergamotandambretteseed. But if this menu is, as the title suggests, Gwyneth’s snatch game, it makes her a genital outlier. Were most women asked to describe their special waft, they’d probably stare at you then pretend to get an urgent phone call before saying, “A combo of minestrone and Febreze? Please leave me alone,” while heading for the door.
But this is possibly why no one else ever has made a candle that smells of their fanny — Gwyneth’s is a veritable Sissinghurst of floral loveliness, while ours is a well-worn mitten, left on the radiator to dry. If you genuinely have a once-in-a-generation magic minge, why wouldn’t you want to capture its radiance in, eg, a candle and share it with the world? Why am I so down on her? She’s the world’s first ventrepreneur. If she went on Dragons’ Den, she’d be selling her actual dragon’s den. The branding on Gwyneth’s wedge is so powerful that, like Google, she can probably now move into multiple spheres. Once you’ve flogged a candle that smells of your vag, you can flog a bread bin shaped like your vag, or a ringtone that sounds like it — because no one can resist giving you acres and acres of press coverage if you’re an Oscar-winning actress with the mad balls to flog your front door to the world. She’s got a marketing jackpot in her pants.
And when she’s finally maximised her ladybird? Well, logically, the next move would be to expand operations into her bumhole. We have so much to look forward to!