One Man’s Hesitant Dive Into The Intimidating World Of Scented Candles

I'm Going All-In On Being A Scented Candle Guy

Plain and simple, candles are hot right now. Just like “MAGA” hats in Mississippi, candles are everywhere you look. You see them on the edge of the bathtub in every girl’s “relaxation time” Snap story. Candles are as common in a Scaries Panic Room as red wine or Netflix. They’re even being made into “Apple Product” and “KFC” scents. Candles are the trendiest aesthetic around.

Just being honest with myself, I’m usually more of a follower than a leader, so I’m diving all in on this. I’m all about becoming a candle guy.

Now this wasn’t just a spur of the moment lifestyle decision. I’d probably place the origin of my potential candle addiction in line with visiting my girlfriend’s apartment. She treats her apartment with candles like the pharmaceutical industry treats West Virginia with opioids; extremely overstocked. She’s a connoisseur, and I’m hopping on the same train. Maybe it’s natural maturation, but sometimes life just seems a bit better with 1-3 wicks of a delicious scent smoldering in your room of choice.

Things started off slow; a couple classic 3-wick winter scents from Bath and Body Works found their way into my domain. More and more I found myself enjoying the double whammy of fresh smells and visually pleasing candle flicker as I went about my business at home.

Maybe the masses on Twitter had a point, as the Netflix I was binging just seemed to go down smoother with “Fresh Balsam” burning strong in the corner of the room. Inhaling B&BW’s “Dashing Through The Snow” while I plug away at my desk doesn’t make the workday nearly as brutal. Hell, even indulging in some Lemongrass & Coriander in a basic candle I picked up from HEB heightens the senses and relaxes me in a way that I didn’t know was possible beforehand.

Slowly but surely I’ve become accustomed to a flickering flame within eyesight when I relax at home. No longer is a candle simply a way to mask one of my kid’s old diapers that I accidentally left in the inside trash can. On the contrary, a constant burning candle is a lifestyle and brand that I’m suddenly all about.

This enthusiasm for candles has slowly started to consume me, especially since I’ve discovered that there’s a bigger and more craft-oriented candle world outside of your standard B&BW’s. What started as an innocent jaunt through my local Saturday “Market Days” event turned into a 10-minute stop at the booth of a local company smelling their product like a fiend, ending with giving them a follow on Instagram and being a very satisfied owner of their “Orange Vanilla” scent.

Naturally, I’ve used this as a springboard to following more craft (is that even the term for these local niche candle companies?) candle accounts on Instagram. Now suddenly a filtered picture of a fresh poured soy masterpiece with a citrus scent is like visual crack to me. I mean, just look at this:

Nose boner.

So where do I go from here? When I was discussing this piece with Will deFries he said “I know way too much about scented candles from my last job so I may judge the shit out of you.” Frankly, he’d be well within his rights to do that. I’m as rookie as they come in the candle game; I’m yearning to reach that connoisseur level. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to walk in a room and be able to say, “I need to smell some Lavender Vanilla in here like I need air to breathe.”

What’re my options? Can you go candle sniffing like you do wine tasting? Do I have to hound local markets and search far and wide? Should I just get a B&BW rewards card and burn my way through their entire stock? I guess only time will tell. All I know is, I’m clearly really enjoying the vibes of being a candle guy.

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Kyle Bandujo

The artist formerly known as Crash Davis. My kid doesn't think I'm funny.

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