Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yes/No but Mostly Yes: Scented Candles

I like scented candles.  I go for the warm, holiday scents like Macintosh Apple, Autumn Harvest and Buttercream.  When I lived in Illinois, 1000 miles away from my family in Connecticut, I'd light my Pumpkin Pie candle and swear I was in my mom's kitchen on Christmas day.

The problem with scented candles, however, is some of them trigger allergies I didn't even know I had or just plain make me sick.  You'd think, with that holiday jones I got going on, I'd be all over a Christmas Wreath scented candle.  My sister fired one of these up a few years back, however, and I instantly got a sore throat and felt nauseous.

It seems any candle with any kind of strong or perfume-like scent makes me ill so I avoid any floral or heavy smells like lavender, pine or eucalyptus.  But candles don't list ingredients and therefore, you can't be sure of anything.  I once bought a candle called Beach Walk because I like the beach.  The test smell I gave it in the store was pleasant and I detected no potential harm in Beach Walk.  I got it home and set it aflame and 15 minutes later, sore throat. Some beach walk.

Then too, there's other people's allergies to consider.  Last winter, a friend and I made plans to spend an evening together at my house.  In preparation, I kept a Blueberry Scone candle burning all afternoon so the house would smell nice.  When my friend arrived, she took one whiff and instantly begged me to open all the windows. Blueberry Scone assaulted her the way Christmas Wreath tore into me.  These things are unpredictable allergy bombs and thus carry a huge No factor.

There is, however, one candle that pushes scented candles firmly into the Yes category for me: Yankee Candle's Whoopie Pie.

Last December, I went with my sister to the Yankee Candle Store in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Having recently purchased a Red Velvet candle that may as well as been called Ass Cake by the way it went over with everyone who smelled it but me, I was looking to purchase a new holiday scent. I don't know what the hell was wrong with everyone. Red Velvet smelled just like a red velvet cake and who doesn't love that? Tell you the truth, I've never had red velvet cake but it looks good:

The Yankee Candle Store is crazytown, by the way.  There's food, mechanical men playing mechanical instruments, dark rooms with icy-looking castles and snow falling from the ceiling.  It's nutsville and you'd best be prepared if you visit this place in December.  I was okay with all this stimuli overload, it being the very beginning of the holiday season and thus, weathered it with aplomb. Still,  I was anxious to get to the SUPER GIANT ROOM OF CANDLES to find my new scent.

I walked around that room, lifting lids and smelling.  At one point, my sister began grabbing strangely-named candles and while hiding the label from me, would challenge me to name the scent.

"Guess this one!" she'd say.
"Um, I don't know ... pea soup?" I'd reply.
"Nope! Treehouse Memories!" she'd sing, triumphantly.

Seriously? Who even has a "treehouse memory?"

Finally, I see a deep brown colored candle.  A deep brown color somewhere else could be an ominous sign, but at Yankee Candle, deep brown probably means chocolate so I move towards it. The label reads Whoopie Pie and has a nice picture of a precious little sandwich cookie cream thing on it.

I've never had a Whoopie Pie. Apparently, I've missed out on a great deal of good stuff: no red velvet cake, no Whoopie Pie, no treehouse memory. Tell you what, however, I damn near ate the candle because that's how good Whoopie Pie smelled.

Here's where it gets weird:

1. I bought Whoopie Pie, of course.  To date, I haven't lit it because I don't want to it to get all black and drippy.  I do walk by it on a regular basis, pick it up and inhale deeply.

2. I had brought ol' Red Velvet with me to the store, planning to exchange it for a new scent.  I couldn't, though and do you know why?  Because I felt bad for Red Velvet.  I felt bad for an inanimate object.  That's the kind of of thing that can happen to you at the Yankee Candle Store.

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