Smells Like Sadness


I’ve never really understood scented candles. I mean, there have got to be tons of people who love them…there are entire stores that sell nothing but scented candles, never mind shelves and shelves in Cracker Barrels and Hallmark stores. But all those cleverly named scents seem to only fall into a couple of broad categories, with really very little differentiation, like wax Froot Loops.

Some time ago, I heard about Homesick Candles, a company that creates and sells candles for every state. Now, I grew up in Southwest Florida. The homesick candle for my home state is described as “a hint of orange, a touch of sea mist, and a bit of driftwood.” Now, Florida is a big state, so I can’t speak to the experiences of other Floridians. But to me, the scent that tells me I’m “home” is swamp. That heavy, salty smell of standing water and decomposing detritus, with hints of sulfur and ozone. How do you get that in a candle?

The folks at Flicking Candles might be up to the job. The name of the company is due to the fact that if you’re not careful with your font choice, the L and I in the word FLICKING can look like one letter. Their candles are equally irreverent. In their catalog you can find such interesting scents as Dentist Office Waiting Room (“boring magazines and tile floors that will instantly remind you of all the times you should have flossed”),  Freshly Signed Divorce Papers (“the rich parchment of a legal document declaring an end to your failed marriage”) and College Rejection Letter (“the same crisp smell of a freshly folded letter from the college of your choice, proudly declaring that you should look elsewhere for your education”). Many of the candles, like the Unfriend candle, don’t have specific scent descriptions. So what does “Unfriend” smell like? What do you put into a candle so that anybody will lift that rounded glass lid, breathe in deep, and say, “Ah, yes, now that’s the smell of Facebook rejection!” Maybe electronics with a hint of sharp peppermint and copper? Or maybe it smells like nothing at all, which is what your relationship with the unfriend-ee has become?

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