It’s not often that surprises are audibly expressed in the newsroom. (Blame it on the profession and the daily goings-on of a journalist/editor’s job.) Regardless, over the course of several days, a candle has been getting so much play on social media that it sparked an actual gasp of surprise from newsroom colleagues.

The reason?

Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words …

Hmm. Where to start? After you stop clutching your pearls, here’s a little info.

It’s a candle from Heretic Parfum (a natural fragrance brand with smells of nature at its core) sold on its website as well as on Gwenyth Paltrow’s lifestyle platform Goop. Paltrow and Little (also the founder behind D.L. & Co.) collaborated on signature scents for Goop; according to Heretic creator and perfumer Douglas Little’s website, he and “GP” working together “was a revelation.”

“Nature is terrifying and mysterious and wildly sexual and seductive and spiritual,” Little says on his site. “It’s feral and raw and wild. That rawness is what’s beautiful to me.”

According to, the product got its name “as a joke” between Little and Paltrow when they were working on scents together. The pair were testing smells when she blurted out, “Uhhh … this smells like a vagina.” And a candle was born.

The candle costs $75 on both retail sites and is described on Goop’s site as “a funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent.” It is made with geranium, citrusy bergamot and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed. On Heretic’s site, the product is described as a limited edition work that “evokes sensuality, warmth, and intrigue,” or to put it another way: “imagine a bundle of roses wrapped in suede.” The candle was released on Nov. 6 at the Goop Summit, according to a Heretic spokesperson, and at the moment, both retailers are sold out. But more candles are on order and expected around Jan. 20, per the spokesperson.

Between the cost and the name, of course, the pricey votive sparked all sorts of theories and conversations. But don’t take our word for it. If social media had hills, the hills were alive, not with the sound of music, but the sounds of commenters.

And some people have tried it.

And you can count on Stephen Colbert to weigh in.

As you can imagine, there are many more comments that can’t be repeated about the 10.5 ounce candle. However, many questions still remain.

We hope to get some of them answered by Little this week (a phone interview is already on the books). The feedback, however, is not all bad. Accolades for the candle are there too. Some are calling the marketing ingenious.

What say you?


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