woman holding her hands over her vagina
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The smell of the vagina

How do we describe the smell of the vagina? As writers, we often have trouble with smells. But if we succeed, our readers are right in the middle of the scene. Because each of us immediately associates smells with our own experiences. Consciously or unconsciously: the mental cinema kicks in. That’s why it’s worth getting to grips with the subject.

Michelle Hartmann compiled a list of eight heart notes for the German edition of “Elle” at the end of January 2018 under the title “So unterschiedlich kann deine Vagina riechen – und das steckt dahinter” (“Your vagina can smell so different – and that’s what’s behind it”). She distinguishes between: fishy, musky, metallic, rotten, sweetish, latex-like, yeasty and oniony.

Food and the smell of the vagina

Probably the most important finding: Our diet has a strong influence on our smell. What is summarized in the article under the keywords “sweetish” and “oniony” actually reflects the whole range of our eating habits. If we want to smell of cinnamon in our pubic area, it is helpful to sprinkle cinnamon over muesli or coffee in the morning or to use products containing cinnamon. There is also no question that the consumption of onions and garlic is not necessarily beneficial to lovemaking. Not everyone likes it hearty. But not everyone is bothered by it either.

In any case, it makes sense for you as authors to think about what your protagonists like to eat. Because that has a direct influence on the smell they give off. Just as naturally on the taste during fellatio.

Sweat and the smell of the vagina

This heavy, sweetish scent, which can develop when a vagina is surrounded by sweat for a long time. Known from gyms and hot summer days. But be careful. Sweat does not smell like musk per se, even in combination with vaginal secretions. It depends again on our eating habits what the sweat smells like because it is body evaporation. However, the sweat contains pheromones that the suitable men find extremely erotic and which therefore have a similar effect as a musk-filled atmosphere.

Period and the smell of the vagina

You can smell the period. Anyone who has ever camped on an American nature reservation knows about the warnings. Even over long distances, menstruation is an invitation for bears to come over. Men also notice the metallic smell. Blood is ferrous, hence the association. However, I can’t spontaneously think of any fictional text that describes sex during menstruation. It might be a challenge at some point.

Mrs. Hartmann goes a step further for “Elle” and describes the foul odor that can arise when a tampon accidentally slipped into the vagina and was forgotten there. Well.

Auxiliary means and the smell of the vagina

Just the use of a lubricant can change the smell of a vagina. The body reacts to it so that an unnatural, latex-like exhalation can be the result. The same applies to condoms and sex toys. But probably your protagonists will not be surprised if after playing with a dildo the vagina also smells a little bit like latex.

Diseases and the smell of the vagina

I don’t want to imagine a sex scene where the main character suffers from chlamydia. The categories “fishy”, “foul” and “yeasty”, which all suggest a visit to the gynecologist, I will therefore only briefly summarize here. The cause of the odor can be an infection, an accumulation of bacteria or a change in the pH value in the vaginal duct.

Sprays, oils and the smell of the vagina

In the article mentioned above, only the “natural” odors of a vagina are described. For your stories, you can also use the whole range of artificial odors. Some women use intimate deodorants, essential oils or spices to influence the smell of their vagina. That you should be careful not to mess up the fragile pH of their vaginal flora is another story.

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