UPDATE: Since this story was published, we spoke to Audrey Hutchinson, the actual founder of SweetPeach. Read our interview with her here.
Psst. Can I tell you something? Can I let you in on a little lady secret? Vaginas smell. Sorry. Please still be friends with us?
They don't always smell good, and they don't always smell bad, but they always have their own characteristic scent. And, as long as we've known this, society has been telling us to find a way to change it. Today, that vaginal odor "cure" comes in the form of two startup dudes who want to make our vaginas smell like peaches.
Here's the thing: Vaginal odor is totally normal. It's determined by the vagina's pH and the resulting bacteria, which naturally change over the course of your menstrual cycle. Particularly strong smells or sudden changes in scent could be indicators of infection or other issues. In general, though, thanks to the organ's self-cleaning nature, that everyday smell isn't something you need to interfere with beyond normal hygiene.
But, that hasn't stopped us from trying to find a way to wash it away.
For instance, in ancient Egypt, it's said that women used to stand over hot stones upon which medicinal herbs had been placed — so that the vapors would enter the vagina. They would also insert acacia leaves and gum (with a variety of other things) into their vaginas for contraceptive purposes, or to stop excessive discharge. (They weren't that far off; acacia does contain lactic acid, which has since been used as a spermicide.)
And, from the Victorian era, origin of all things pleasant and female-friendly, we find this vaginal washer. It was purported to look and work like an egg beater, but we're not sure if ever actually went inside anyone. Hopefully not. Scientists have also found 19th-century vaginal syringes and douches that were used for contraceptive and cleansing purposes.
Today, in addition to every kind of wipe you can think of, vaginal steaming is apparently a thing. Supposedly a riff on a Korean method (and that old Egyptian one), vaginal steaming involves sitting on top of a humidifier of hot water and herbs such as mugwort, rosemary, and basil. Enduring the steam is said to be helpful for "restoring optimum health."
So, Sweet Peach certainly isn't the first attempt to freshen up down there — and it probably won't be the last. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to be the best-smelling you that you can be, we shouldn't feel pressured to change something so fundamental in how our bodies work — especially when it's totally normal and healthy. Maybe we don't need to make our genitals smell sweeter; maybe we just need to adjust our definition of "sweet."