Photo: Christopher Willard/abc Via Getty Images

It wasn’t just another sold-out product when Gwyneth Paltrow launched “This Smells Like My Vagina.” Beyond its provocative name, this candle by the Oscar-winning actress and wellness advocate was a daring statement on embracing female sexuality, body positivity, and challenging societal taboos. And yes, Paltrow proved she’s never above sharing a good laugh about it.

Taking to Instagram for a candid Q&A, Paltrow set the record straight. The aim wasn’t to capture the exact aroma of her or anyone’s intimate area. The candle was about igniting dialogue, challenging preconceived notions, and it certainly achieved that.

“For many women, especially from my generation, there’s this lingering idea that there’s something ‘off’ or ‘weird’ about their bodies. The candle was my bold, punk-rock way of saying ‘enough’ to those outdated notions,” she passionately explained in a clip, later reshared by Access Hollywood on TikTok.

To be clear, the fragrance didn’t mimic the scent of a vagina. Instead, it blended “cedar absolutes with Damask rose and ambrette seed,” a unique and aromatic mix. Paltrow lamented how some missed the point: “Many twisted its intent. In reality, it was this empowering feminist proclamation. Sadly, we’ve stopped its production.” But the legacy lived on as Paltrow later released equally buzzworthy “This Smells Like My Orgasm” and “Hands Off My Vagina” candles.

Randy Holmes
Photo: Randy Holmes/abc Via Getty Image

Revisiting the topic on Today, Paltrow shared her thoughts, “This candle stands for the beauty of being a woman. It’s a celebration of our inherent power and our right to embrace it fully.”

And, adding a touch of humor to its origin, she reminisced with Seth Meyers on how the idea began in jest. “Douglas Little and I were experimenting with scents when I jokingly remarked, ‘This smells like my vagina!’ Of course, we weren’t serious, nor were we on any psychedelics,” she laughed during her Late Night with Seth Meyers appearance.

In essence, Paltrow’s candle wasn’t just about fragrance; it was a cultural moment that sparked much-needed conversations.