I thought it might be funny to write an account of a date I had on Valentine’s Day - a date with myself and a bottle of Vulva. It would have been a silly thing, you understand. I was going to pretend that I had someone over for a cosy dinner. I would tidy the house and cook a meal - fish pie maybe, or a nice New England clam bake. And then I was going to make a clumsy lunge at myself after the coffee and hopefully go all the way. But not necessarily.
There is every chance I might not have put out at all. After all, I’m a sensitive not to say needy individual and it might very well have taken a good deal more than the scent of synthetic nethers to bring me to fruition. More important still, I feared that if I got into that whole self-love thing again, there was every possibility I might actually disappear right inside my own bottom.
Thankfully, the Vulva didn’t come till Monday. (I would normally have used the word arrive in that sentence, but I am a sucker for a vagina gag.) (!)
So, in order to fulfil my end of the bargain – to wit an honest review in exchange for a free sample of the product – I was forced to go to the hustings. Is that what I mean? Let’s say yes.
On Monday night, I held my first woefully unstructured focus group, telling my guinea pigs exactly what I was smearing on their hands. I asked them to score the product out of ten for vulvacity, arousal and overall pleasantness. The results were not good.
For vulvacity, Vulva was found distinctly lacking. Which is not a good sign. A product called Vulva, describing itself as a vaginal fragrance really ought to smell like vagina. If not, it can only be considered a failure. But then again, as a few of the people with whom I have engaged on the subject have pointed out, surely not all vulvae smell alike. Well, in my limited experience, I would say yes and no. Of course every foo-foo has a different odour, just as every Johnson has a different odour, just as every human being has a different odour. However, it's surely also true to say that there is definitely a ball-park smell.
Anyhow, here are a bunch of thoughts from the first session:
'It smells like wee.'
'It's a bit toilet.'
'It smells a bit like fish and chips. A bit musky … It's not unpleasant. I wouldn't want to smell of it but I wouldn't be really upset if I did ... It doesn't smell of my vulva, but does my vulva smell of everybody's vulva? Is my vulva everyvulva? … That doesn't smell anything like a vulva. Oh, maaaaaaybe – maybe there's a tiny hint. It's too perfumey though. It's got that kind of Copydex quality … I feel like it's burning my wrist. It feels simultaneously hot and cold … It smells a bit of honey as well.'
'So you put this on and masturbate? And it's meant to help, is it?'
'It smells a bit like cardboard.'
So there you go. 'Not unpleasant' is about as good as it gets. Personally, I don't agree. I think it's very unpleasant. For me, it does smell of vulva, but it smells of a vulva that's been trapped in a chemical toilet for six days. It has ammonia front bottom notes, reminiscent of those awful pineapple chunks you find it men's urinals.
Anyhow, on Tuesday night, I did a blind test in a pub with three new rugged male friends. They weren't impressed. The best quote came from Paul, a 45-year-old man from Macclesfield. 'It smells like old man,' he said.
That's not good.
So there it is. Vulva is basically a novelty item that no one in their right brain would ever buy twice.
And let that be an end to it.
In other news, I'm almost finished my first week of proper work, and yesterday, I got an iPhone.
I feel like an adult.
I'm not though.
Have a super weekend.