Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Inc. sells its “This Smells Like My Vagina” candles even though it knows the $75 candles are prone to bursting into flames, a Texas man has alleged in a putative class action, but the wellness company fired back by calling the claims a “frivolous” money grab.
Texas resident Colby Watson said that he wants the court to require Goop to recall its “defective and dangerous vagina-scented candles,” arguing that the candle he purchased burst into flames on his nightstand the first time he burned it and that other consumers must not be put in danger. He says that he purchased the vagina candle on Goop’s website for $75 in January, and when he placed the candle on his nightstand and lit it for the first time on Feb. 6, it burned for about three hours, at which point it “exploded.”
The candle became “engulfed in flames” and smoke filled the bedroom. Afterwards, he said, the glass jar containing the candle was charred and his nightstand had a black ring on it.
Goop knew its customers had experienced problems with the candles yet failed to warn him and other consumers, Watson says, pointing to a January news report out of England in which a London woman claimed her Goop vagina candle also burst into flames.
Watson acknowledges that there is an extensive warning on Goop’s “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle, instructing the burner to, among other instructions, keep the candle in sight when burning and not to burn the candle for more than two hours at a time.
The candles “are inherently dangerous” and that instructing consumers to keep the candle in sight could cause serious injury “when the candle explodes,” Watson says.
“They are putting a hand grenade into your house. They are telling you it’s OK to pull the pin but don’t let go of it,” Watson’s attorney, Bill Federman of Federman & Sherwood, said.
The candle’s name, “This Smells Like My Vagina,” is the remark that Paltrow jokingly made upon smelling the candle for the first time.
Goop, which Paltrow founded in 2008 and sells a wide range of products, has also been sued for using unsubstantiated claims to advertise its products.
In 2018, Goop agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force, which is composed of prosecutors from 10 California county district attorneys’ offices.
The California task force accused Goop of making unsubstantiated health claims regarding its jade egg and rose quartz egg — small stones inserted into the vagina supposedly capable of regulating menstrual cycles, balancing hormones and preventing uterine prolapse — as well as its inner judge flower essence blend product — essential oils to be taken orally or added to a bath to supposedly prevent depression.