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I never thought the phrase, “Rosé All Day” would in any way be affiliated with vaginal scents, but here we are.

In an era where we are openly speaking about our WAPs, “feminine hygiene” brands like Summer’s Eve and Vagasil are still out here telling us that our vulvas don’t smell good enough naturally. Their fix? An array of scented products, ranging from washes to wipes to freshening sprays – all meant for use on the vulva.

These companies want women to believe their natural scent isn’t pleasant – that it needs fixing. Vagasil's “intimate washes” boast scents like “Spring Lilac,” “Peach Blossom”, “Cucumber Magnolia,” and, of course, “Rosé All Day.” Then, we have Summer’s Eve coming in hot with scents like “Blissful Escape,” “Island Splash,” and “Morning Paradise.” What any of those actually smell like, who knows? But apparently these are all scents that your vagina can – and should want to – achieve.

While every vagina is a unique flower (shout out to Georgia O'Keeffe). yours absolutely does not need to smell like one. Your vagina should smell like, well, a vagina. And yes – it’s totally normal and healthy for your vagina to have some kind of scent. Don’t believe me? Take it from a pro.

“Some odor is normal. That’s just the odor of our bodies,” says Maria Sophocles, MD, Gynecologist and Medical Director of Women's Healthcare of Princeton, NJ. Every vagina will have a slightly different aroma, and what’s “normal” may vary from person to person. Having an odor does not mean that you aren’t clean!

The key, however, is that the odor be subtle. If you have a super strong and persistent odor, Sophocles says this may be a sign of infection, and that’s something you should get checked out. (Chances are, you know what smell is normal for you, and you can identify when something might be off.)

“The most common reason I think women put [feminine hygiene products] on the vagina is they want to get rid of perceived odor, or they want to “clean” the vagina,” says Sophocles. “I'm not sure where that myth came from...but it's not only wrong, it can be dangerous.”

From the Organic Authority Files

I know what you’re thinking. “How can a Blissful Escape intimate wash be dangerous!?” Well, it’s not going to kill you, but it can kill the “good” bacteria that lives in your vagina.

When women use scented cleansers and the like on or around their vagina, this disrupts the natural balance of vaginal flora, which is a nice word for bacteria, says Sophocles. This good bacteria is helpful and protective, keeping everything in your vagina balanced. 

“When you add anything, you can disrupt that balance, which can then trigger bacterial infections, or symptoms [such as] itching or burning or discomfort,” Sophocles says, adding that it’s very common in her practice to see women come in with symptoms due to using these types of products. Seriously, when it comes to your vagina, less is more!

“Women ask me every day, ‘How am I supposed to clean the vagina? What should I use up inside the vagina to make it clean?’ And the answer is nothing,” says Sophocles. This is because the vagina is self-cleaning. It takes care of itself. A low maintenance queen!

As for the rest of the vulva, you don’t need to do much. Sophocles says best practice is to wash with water and “gentle unscented simple soaps.” After all, the skin down there is delicate! You can wash the whole pubic area, including the labia majora and the crease between the labia majora and labia minora, but leave the vaginal opening and the inside of your vagina alone.

And for the love of god, PLEASE DON’T DOUCHE!

The moral of this story? It’s okay for your vagina to smell like a vagina. Actually, it’s great if your vagina smells like a vagina. Reject the weird societal standard (likely put in place by men) that says your punani should smell like a floral arrangement. Bouquets are kind of overrated, anyway.

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