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Auntie SparkNotes: Is My Junk Supposed To Smell?

Auntie SparkNotes: Is My Junk Supposed To Smell?

Dear Auntie,

I don’t know if other girls have this problem (it’s a little embarrassing and not really something one would make vocal).

I am generally, unless I spill something on me, a clean person. I bathe every night and sometimes shower in the morning in addition to this if there is time. However, I’ve noticed as the day goes by that I don’t really remain fresh ‘down there’. It’s not that I don’t wash these areas, I honestly do! But I just need any more tips or advice to remaining as fresh as a daisy?

Only if you promise to never, ever again use the phrase "fresh as a daisy" to describe the desired state of your nether-parts. There are few things that truly terrify me, but feeling like I just woke up in a commercial for Summer's Eve is one of them. SHUDDER.

And I know this isn't the response you're looking for, Sparkler, but it has to be said: expecting your va-jay to smell like roses from dawn til dusk is not a realistic or healthy proposition. You might want to be fresh as a daisy, but... uh, that's not a daisy. It's an orifice, and even at its cleanest, it's going to have an aroma—particularly after several hours spent in the warm, close confines of your pants.

Which is totally okay! Normal! Healthy! Sweat and secretions and various other goos are all part and parcel of being a fully-functioning human. Your body needs them to keep working, and it especially needs them in the self-cleaning and complex ecosystem of "down there." In fact, the one thing that can cause a strong odor is washing too much with scented soaps, which can throw off the delicate balance that your body otherwise maintains naturally. (For more on the natural state of bodily afffairs, please check out this post from the excellent people at Scarleteen, the go-to destination for solving any and all vaginal mysteries.)

Of course, if there's a foul smell or unusual discharge emanating from your ladyparts, that's different. You could have a yeast or bacterial infection—and if you're concerned about that, you should have things checked out by your doctor. But if all this concern about staying fresh stems from the idea that a clean body equals an odorless body, please know: it doesn't. And anyone who tells you that your junk should smell like flowers, dryer sheets, or a mountain stream is a douche.


Got something to add? Go for it! Comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at

Topics: Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, advice, hygiene, body issues, body odor, ladyparts

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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