Dear Always,

We need to talk. It’s about your Always Dailies panty liners which, your advert assures me, will help one achieve hitherto unknown levels of freshness, the likes of which could never be realised by simply washing, and wearing clean underwear.

I remember the first time I saw your ad, because it was such a revelatory moment for me. You see, until now, I’ve largely gone through my life accepting the need for sanitary products around about once a month, but otherwise, simply wearing underwear as normal. Imagine that! I had absolutely no idea that my completely normal, typical bodily functions were so unclean during the rest of the month!

I mean, I was of course aware that, during a period, one should use scented sanitary products to disguise any sort of hint of natural odour, and I know that I’m always delighted when, at that special time of the month, I get to choose which strong artificial scent I’d like my groin to emanate should anyone have the misfortune to accidentally sniff me, but I simply never realised that I could enjoy that little treat all month long.

I shudder to think of all the awkward situations that I’ve put friends, family, and co-workers in by not smelling of lemon, verbena, roses, and aloe-vera each and every day. Why, I can only imagine the horror they must have felt when they realised that I was “unfresh.”

Sure, some might accuse you of trying to bilk more profit from women by marketing a completely unnecessary product, with a campaign designed to instill in women an insecurity about normal bodily function that they never had before. And yes, there will be some who may accuse you of trying to make women feel ashamed of something that they have absolutely no control over. There might even be those who point out the potentially damaging impact of a message which tells young girls and women that the way a normal, healthy vagina functions is something that is the very antithesis of “fresh”, and needs to be masked, hidden, and never spoken of.

Not me though. No, I recognise the valuable public service that you are providing, and the real usefulness in making sure that women know that just using your products during their period isn’t enough to achieve real “freshness”.

I, for one, look forward to an increased range of fresh-bringing products, and would be delighted to share some ideas with you if you’d like – the completely untapped male boxer-liner market, for example, could be a real boon. Just imagine all the men out there whose genital regions don’t smell of sandalwood, old spice, and sawdust?!

I’m so sorry to have to cut this short, but I have to go and sanitise myself. It’s been a while since my shower this morning, and I think I can almost smell my skin again.

Love and freshness!