On neutralising the odour of my period

On neutralising the odour of my period

I’m menstruating.

I adore my moon cup to the point of evangelism. However, I do infrequently use sanitary pads as well. I’ll spare you the details as to why, because as much as I’m willing and able to discuss the finer details of my period, it’s not entirely relevant to my point. All you need to know is that I use them infrequently, and I tend to buy in bulk, so I’ve not had cause to buy any for years.

This changed yesterday, and I asked my partner to buy me some from our local shop. He came back with these:


Actually, I asked for panty liners, and he looked a bit confused when I said they were a bit different, but what you see pictured seemed like the best of the available options, he reported. (Something to do with weight, apparently. Anyway I blame Always, not him for what unfolds.)

I barely looked at the packaging, but yesterday evening when I came to unravel that slinky green wrapper, the strangest thing happened. There I was sat on the toilet and my olfactory system was assailed with a most outrageous freshness. I was shocked and confused. It took me more than few seconds to register what was happening. Then I cautiously sniffed at the ever more complicated sanitary towel technology I’d just stuck into the gusset of my pants. My suspicions were confirmed.

My first thought was thrush. My second thought was UTIs. I have no idea how manufacturers infuse the humble sanitary pad with the scent of whatever the hell I smelt before me (eau de toilet cleaner?), but I don’t like the lovely bacteria in an around my vagina to be messed with too much lest some sort of pathogen take hold. That’s not to say that any evidence exists that using such a product would cause a UTI or thrush, I don’t know if that’s the case, but the general medical advice is to steer clear of perfumed bubble bath/talc/soap etc. to try and prevent these conditions so that’s the reason why these were my first two thoughts.

My third thought (obviously my thoughts work like this – neat and in order, rather than a mass of jumbled confusion) was simply…WHY?

I guess in my moon cup smugness I’ve had my head half buried in the sand, I’ve been vaguely aware of such products for a while but it’s taken direct contact with a scented sanitary towel to make me really wonder this.

I’m sorry if I’m overlooking the experiences of others and presumably there are lots of women who think this product is fantastic idea else why would it exist, but I just dislike the whole idea of it.

Heaven forbid, I don’t want to judge anyone by their choice of feminine hygiene product, but it makes me sad that this product exists.

I just don’t need “odour-neutralising ActiPearls” in my life.

If you feel the odour of your genitals is so strong it needs to be neutralised I think maybe you need to see a doctor.

Anything else is just NORMAL. That is what I dislike about this product. In saying to women that the “odour” of their menstrual blood needs to be neutralised, it is verging on saying that periods are unclean, disgusting. The only way to create the need for this product is to create the idea that there is something deeply unpleasant about periods and their “odour”, to plant the seed in a woman’s mind that the odour is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Fair enough, give period blood some air and some time and it does create a certain smell. But this is NORMAL. Change the pads frequently and take your bins out. On top of these basic actions I don’t see what purpose this product serves. I doubt it even does much anyway, beyond the initial freshness you experience when you open the wrapper, but then, like I say, I really don’t understand what the product is trying to achieve. If it creates a feeling of confidence whilst wearing it, then it is only by knocking confidence in the first place, in order to create the desire to buy it. Let’s invent a problem that doesn’t exist and then convince people they need our product to fix it! Nice one, Always.

If I’ve missed the obvious benefits of this product please let me know! I’m only really going off my own experience of periods here, so please enlighten me if I’ve got it all wrong.

3 Responses »

  1. Quote: “Let’s invent a problem that doesn’t exist and then convince people they need our product to fix it! Nice one, Always.”

    Those marketing bastards have been doing it for years, but over the past decade or so they’ve really stuck it to you ladies and have now started on us blerks too…

    As has been said, if you really do have pongy downstairs then there’s probably either a medical condition or you’re a bit of a soapdodger. Scented fairy hammocks will not solve either problem and certainly offer no long term benefits over medical intervention or good ol’ soap and water. I guess there are some women who might have problems (or issues) accessing regular soap and water, but would also guess these are NOT the target demographic the marketing men have invented this product for.

  2. They are ridiculous!
    I have the contraceptive implant so rarely have periods so my fella made the same mistake of buying me scented pads too…My first thought was ‘What?’ lol I gave them a try and they left me very sore and itchy….Not good at all!

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