Scent of a Woman: Part Deux

As the daughter of the late producer-writer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow could have starred in “It’s All Relative,” a film about the way so many people in show business, particularly movies and television, are all in the family. That project, not to be confused with “All Relative,” is still in development and never got made, unlike the 1996 version of “Emma.” 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance as Emma Woodhouse earned her the role of Viola in the 1998 “Shakespeare in Love,” for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Paltrow, now 47, was not up for any Oscars this year, and she recently provided evidence that her best work may be behind her. 

“A candle selling on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop online store,” People Magazine reports, “has a very unconventional scent.” The actress’ company is “currently selling a $75 votive cheekily named ‘This Smells Like My Vagina.’” It supposedly started as a joke between Paltrow and “perfumer” Douglas Little. The pair were testing a scent when the Academy Award-winning actress blurted “Uhhh, this smells like a vagina.” 

Gwyneth’s many fans might wonder if she used a different word, and whether her marketing committee had a quorum in recent meetings. It’s not likely that in the vast flyover country, or even progressive coastal enclaves, anybody was panting for a fragrance called “This Smells Like My Vagina.” 

Maybe Gwyneth is taunting some former boyfriend who never got below decks with the “tall, wafer-thin, delicate beauty,” as the actress’s IMDb description has it. Maybe the target is some famous actor who turned down Gwyneth’s offer for a date. Or perhaps the scent is some kind of payback for casting couch types, but there is another possibility.  

Maybe the marketing committee, short of a quorum, ran the perfume by Harvey Weinstein—not exactly Cary Grant, Robert Redford, or Brad Pitt, all of whom could easily score with the ladies on appearance alone. As Louise in “Being There” might say, in the looks department, Harvey was definitely “shortchanged by the Lord.” 

Still, based on experience, Weinstein is capable of comparing the fragrance to dozens of vaginas, many from delicate, wafer-thin actresses. It’s not impossible that he caught a whiff and said “yep, that’s my girl Gwyneth for sure. Go with it.” And maybe some former boyfriends came out of the closet.  

The Goop marketers might have consulted one of those professional “nose” types who rate perfumes. As one French expert might say, “je ne reconnais pas les vagins de Brigitte Bardot ou Catherine Deneuve, mais le vagin de Gwyneth Paltrow c’est pas trop mal.” (Google it.)

The films of Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly have grossed billions worldwide but “This Smells Like My Vagina” may gross in a different way. Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Nancy Pelosi have yet to come out with perfumes that smell like their vaginas. If they do, let the market decide. Also watch out for claims that these products are “unhealthy for sensitive people,” as NPR says, and somehow discriminate against transgender types, those Dave Chappelle calls the “alphabet people.”

True to form, “This Smells Like My Vagina” recalls the 1992 film “Scent of a Woman,” nominated for Best Picture, with a Best Actor Oscar for Al Pacino. As the joke had it, Ronald Reagan sent Nancy to rent “Scent of a Woman” and she came back with “A Fish Called Wanda.” For all her own fine essence, Academy Award winner Gywneth Paltrow may not have heard that one. 

Meanwhile, at this year’s Oscars, a film produced by Barack Obama—the former American president, not the Kenyan—won best documentary feature for “American Factory.” Of course, this had nothing to do with politics.

The evening’s best line came from director Julia Reichert, who told the global audience “things will be better when workers of the world unite,” a rip-off from an old script by Karl Marx. Apparently Reichert didn’t get the memo that Joseph Stalin killed millions of the workers, and that American Marxists are all elitist Gramscians now, like Pete Buttigieg’s dad

Movies and Academy Awards speeches often soar beyond satire. Perhaps the best effort comes from the Monty Python troupe. 

In one episode, John Cleese said the film “Scott of the Antarctic was “pro-humanity and anti-bad things.” In the Pythons’ “The British Show Biz Awards,” Eric Idle hails “a man who has done only more than anyone,” and the “award for the most awards award.” That’s pretty much what the Academy Awards are about. 

Move along people, nothing to see here. 

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