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Gwyneth Paltrow explains meaning behind her infamous vagina-scented candles: ‘It’s amazing to be a woman’

Goop’s This Smells Like My Vagina candle retails for $75

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 25 July 2022 17:19 BST

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow reveals Goop’s ‘luxury diaper’ was a publicity stunt

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Gwyneth Paltrow opened up about the meaning behind one of Goop’s most infamous products: her vagina-scented candles.

The Iron Man star, 49, who founded her occasionally controversial lifestyle brand in 2008, discussed her This Smells Like My Vagina candles in a new interview with Today’s Willie Geist.

The candles are about “provocation” and female empowerment, Paltrow says.

“This candle is really like that provocation to say like: ‘It’s amazing to be a woman in every way. It’s amazing to have that kind of power and you deserve to have that agency’” she explained.

While Paltrow says the candle is about embracing the power of women, she previously admitted to Jimmy Kimmel in 2020 that the scent “started as a funny joke” between herself and Douglas Little, the owner of Heretic Perfume, when they were testing fragrances.

“So Douglas Little, who is the owner of Heretic Perfume, we’re very close friends and we’ve worked together a lot. He does all of our fragrances for us, and one day we were smelling different fragrances and I was joking around and I smelled something and I said…” she said, as she gestured to the Goop candle. “As a joke. But then I was like: ‘Wouldn’t that be cool if somebody actually had the guts to do that?’ What a punk rock feminist statement to have that on your table.”

Although she had been kidding, Paltrow said Little ran with the idea and made the candle for her.

“I thought he just made me one, as a joke, but then the next thing I knew, it was on my website,” she revealed at the time.

Goop describes the scent on its website as including “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar,” which is “juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed”.

Since its release in 2020, Goop has unveiled a few iterations of the popular candle, which retails for $75, including a Hands Off My Vagina candle, which benefits the ACLU Foundation’s Reproductive Freedom Project with each sale.

As for her decision to pivot from acting to a career in the wellness sphere, Paltrow said it was easy considering that it coincided with a moment in her career where “people really [want] to tear you down and take great pleasure in it”.

“I think it was probably around the time of winning the Oscar where you go from people kind of being curious about you or discovering you or rooting for you to it all being upended, and people really wanting to tear you down and take great pleasure in it,” she said. “Which ends up being a really beautiful lesson in knowing who you are. Loving the people you love. Being totally in integrity. And like f**k everybody else.”

Paltrow also acknowledged that working as the CEO of Goop, which is valued at $250m, means she is free to spend more time with her children, daughter Apple, 18, and son Moses, 16, whom she shares with ex-husband Chris Martin.

“I feel very blessed that I’ve been able to try to pursue this other career and kind of like keep hours where I’m able to be home and make them dinner and stuff like that,” she said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Paltrow told Geist that, while she really doesn’t miss her acting career “at all,” she is “sure [she] still will at some point”.

“I mean, if my husband [Brad Falchuk] was doing something and wanted me to do it. I would do it,” she said, adding that she also promised her mother that she would be in a play one day. “So, I’m going to deliver on that promise at some point.”

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