Another day, another close call for Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina-scented candle. Texas resident Colby Watson is seeking a jury trial and damages of $5m (£3.5m) after an incident in which he claims one of Goop’s This Smells Like My Vagina candles exploded on his bedside table.
Watson alleges he burned it for around three hours before the candle “exploded” and became “engulfed in high flames”, according to court documents. The table was left with a “black burn ring”, and the candle jar was “charred and black”. No injuries were reported, but representatives for Watson are seeking compensation for their client and others who “through no fault of their own, bought defective and dangerous vagina-scented candles”.
Goop have rejected the claim, calling it “frivolous” and “an attempt to secure an outsized payout from a press-heavy product”. “We stand behind the brands we carry and the safety of the products we sell,” a Goop spokesperson told NBC News. “Here, Heretic – the brand that supplies the candle – has substantiated the product’s performance and safety through industry standard testing.”
Last month, a similar experience was reported in the Guardian by Jody Thompson, who won a candle in a work quiz and, the second evening she used it, watched as “all hell was unleashed”.
“A few minutes after I lit the candle, it exploded. Flames roared half a metre out of the jar and bits of molten wax flew out as it fizzed and spat. We couldn’t get near it to blow it out as the flames were so ferocious, and we didn’t want to throw water on it for fear of splashing molten wax everywhere. Luckily, I had placed it on concrete, at the base of what was once a fireplace.
“Thankfully, after what seemed like an age, but was probably no more than five minutes, the flames subsided and I could blow the candle out. The charred jar and melted label were testament to how hot it had become.”
Thompson reported that a concerned spokesperson for Goop had contacted her offering free products. At the time a representative for the company told People: “We’re in touch with the woman to see if she followed the specific fire safety instructions included with the candle, such as trimming the wick and not burning it for more than two hours.”
Watson acknowledged there was a “limited warning” on the website, but alleged Goop “knew the candles were defective”.
Currently out of stock, the candle is described on Goop’s site as having “a funny, gorgeous, sexy, and beautifully unexpected scent … to put us in mind of fantasy, seduction, and a sophisticated warmth”.
A caps lock coda currently follows the listing: WARNING: BURN CANDLE WITHIN SIGHT. KEEP AWAY FROM THINGS THAT CATCH FIRE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS. TRIM WICK TO 1/8” BEFORE EVERY LIGHTING. PLACE ON A STABLE, HEAT RESISTANT SURFACE. KEEP WAX POOL FREE OF DEBRIS. DO NOT BURN FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS AT A TIME. ALLOW GLASS TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE HANDLING.