Scented candles. Yes… I am writing an article about scented candles. They’ve become quite an industry, and as all things do when they become trendy, they have gone utterly and nonsensically out of control. We saw it happen as blue jeans made the slow trek from canvas pants worn by prospectors because they were cheap and lasted forever to flare cuffed, acid washed, pre-worn designer garments that cost a whole pay check. Frankly, I am astounded such a thing was able to happen to the simple idea of the scented candle. I mean, here we have a device conceived to solve the two chief problems a bachelor pad has when a lady will be stopping by. Not enough light, and the haunting aroma of stale beer and lonely nights. Now there are whole stores dedicated to them. Permit me to track the decline of this noble invention.
The first scent for candles was burning hog tallow. Delicious as this bouquet is, it could not really be called an improvement when you are trying to spruce up your apartment. Unless the lady you are trying to impress works at a rendering plant. Another early scent was citronella which, while it carried the benefit of keeping your bug infestation at bay, didn’t really set the mood. It was around this time that someone got the bright idea of mixing yard waste and kitchen odds and ends with bee byproducts, then lighting them on fire. Contrary to all expectations, he was on to a bone fide hit! Ladies loved the nutmeg and rose pedals, though he perhaps was a tad off target with the poison sumac/bacon candle.
Now everything under the sun has got a candle. You’ve got apple pie candles and cinnamon candles. That’s all well and good, but some places are beginning put out theoretical scents. Amber Glow for instance. What exactly does that smell like? That’s a color and an illumination. Nothing that indicates a smell. They have a Midnight Cove candle. That’s a TIME OF DAY and a LOCATION! Maybe their angle is to catch the people who sit up at night wondering what a cove would smell like at midnight. There is a candle called Storm watch. I, for one, am holding out for the Five Day Forecast candle, or at least the Flash Flood Warning Is In Effect candle.
I really think that the utter peak of this idiocy came the other day. I saw a commercial for a candle called Angel Whispers. Now, there have been age old philosophical debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Here is a company that apparently has definitive proof of what an angel’s whisper smells like. I’m skeptical. I mean, one would imagine that an angel’s whisper smells like its breath. And if commercials have taught me anything, it is that angels eat bagels with cream cheese. What if the angel just got through with a big garlic bagel before the scented candle folks did their focus test? Is that really the soothing bath time scent you’re after? Plus, if that angel is whispering to you, it means she’s gonna be right on top of you heaving her garlicky dragon breath all over your face. You’d have to say, “Back off, angel!” and light up an Angel With A TicTac candle just to even things out. The worst part is that this opens the door for all sorts of other mythological creature scents. Leprechaun Farts will be on the shelf next to Genie Pit and Groin of the Unicorn.
The time has come, I feel, to take candles back to the drawing board. Make a good bright candle that smells like something you’d WANT to smell. My first vote is cinnamon rolls. And bring that Bacon candle back. Heck, give me a whole like of scented candles from Hickory Farms. Smoked Meats, Cheese, Maple Syrup! How about a candle that smells like a campfire? Or a candle that smells fabric softener? Call it Dryer Vent. People will think you did laundry. Just so long as we keep the scents firmly grounded in reality. We’ve got to stop this slide toward madness before someone comes out with a candle called God’s Shampoo, because the next step after that is holy war.