A probiotic making your lady parts smelling of peach like a Bath & Body Works shower gel. OK, get me the barf bag now!
The project is undertaken by scientists Austen Heinz and Gilad Gome, of the biotech startups Cambrian Genomics and Personalised Probiotics respectively. Sweet Peach will use Genomic's DNA printing technology into manipulating the odor made by micro-organisms that live in the vagina of a woman. They state the practical benefit of avoiding yeast infections but they also state this controversial claim: "The idea is personal empowerment" as "all your smells are not human. They're produced by the creatures that live on you. We think it's a fundamental human right to not only know your code of the things that live on you but also to write your own code and personalize it." And they continue by stating that "The pleasant scent is there to connect you to yourself in a better way" (but it also serves as a sort of function indicator).
Which makes me so very surprised to see that they're also partnering on Petomics, a probiotic for dogs and cats that would make their feces smell like....bananas!
Right, because pet's feces's odor and the odor of a healthy woman's vagina are on the same plane of values.
The fact that the two scientists are male did raise a feminist antenna or two. Why not focus on something more universal, dudes? Like feces? Everyone poops, after all. The explanation was that the gut micro-biome is more complex, whereas the vaginal one is stabler, being upset via the period's "interference" only once a month (Hmm, hey guys, I have news for you!).
But apparently the story is even more fucked up!
The founder of the company, a 20 year old woman (and a "ultrafeminist" as per own her claim), Audrey Hutchinson, says that the vision of the product was totally different: aiding women to manage their reproductive health without the need of doctors or clinics (or even help the microflora fight HIV, as one company envisions this whole new frontier!). The male dudes, Heinz and Gome, collaborate on Petomics, while Heinz is only a 10% share holder in the Sweet peach project, which he unveiled in a public forum at the San Jose DEMO conference without quoting Hutchinson and even without notifying her beforehand!
But the thing isn't whether the dudes made a publicity blunder and a PR screwup which had the Internet up in arms about it. They unquestionably have.
But Gome has been put into record talking about hacking the micro-biome to "make her vagina smell like roses and taste like Diet cola". And Heinz had also explained his general logic by saying "We think on an airplane you're breathing 90 percent farts, right? So it'd be good if they were good-smelling." Talk about "la negation de la mort par le fast food".
The thing is that there still are straight men out there who believe a healthy, average woman's vagina smells bad. Makes one nostalgic about the 1970s when American Cosmopolitan advised its sexually uninhibited readers to put a drop of vaginal juice behind their ears to attract a mate...
And there's this small little detail too: Nazi-odor-selection. Peach...bananas...coke. Who decided only fruity or edible scents are good smelling?
Long time readers remember our articles on Perfume Shrine which focused on how the industry shaped the market by hitting them on the head with fruity scents for at least a decade, mainly through the abomination of Bath & Body Works synth flavors incorporated into body products such as deodorants, shower gels, body lotions etc.
If perfumery has long tried to emulated the odor di femina, with all its loaded innuendo perpetuated in literature, the arts and philosophy, such as in Shocking perfume by Elsa Schiaparelli or Ambre Sultan (Lutens) technology is reversing the tables by subtracting it and adding something totally inhuman. I'd say, get these start-ups some odor specialist and call it a day.