Experience: Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina candle erupted in my front room 

Flames roared half a metre out of the jar and bits of molten wax flew out as it fizzed and spat

It began as a joke with my friend Jane at our work Zoom Christmas party. We had a quiz and one question was: “What’s the name of Gwyneth Paltrow’s £68 scented candle, which she launched on her Goop website in 2020?” I knew the answer: This Smells Like My Vagina. Jane started laughing, explaining she had bought one to see what the fuss was about. I won the quiz, and the candle was my prize; Jane sent it to me the next day. The candle, made of soy wax and essential oils, is apparently so named because Paltrow was joking with Goop’s perfumer, Douglas Little. According to the marketing blurb: “The two were working on a fragrance, and she blurted out, ‘Uhhh… this smells like a vagina.’”

A few weeks later, I decided to light it. I live in a tiny one-bed flat in London with my partner, David, and our two cats. I love scented candles and throughout the latest lockdown, their warming flame and fragrance have given me a little joy in the evenings.

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