Hey, Is That Snowflake I Smell?by John Gephart
October 5, 2002
In the copier room at work there is a tiny microwave. It's not the best model I've used, or the fastest, but it gets the job done, albeit a little slowly. That means I always have plenty of free time to fill while heating up my lunch.
Today I brought in some lasagna, which unlike your basic pasta takes quite a while to warm up. I filled up my tiny water mug for the fifth time, but that left a lot of time on the clock. So I loitered in the copier room, glancing at all of the various trash on the bulletin boards.
That's when I noticed a particular announcement. Someone was selling some "double-wick candles" to help out some random organization. I'm perplexed when confronted with a product that is designed specifically to use itself up faster, but that's another story.
What really caught my eye about these candles was the list of available scents. There must be over a hundred different types on the piece of paper. With plenty of time to spare, I did what any sarcastic slacker would do: I made myself a copy for later.
Here are a few of the oddball scents that I take issue with, in no particular order:
Indian Summer - What exactly does an indian summer smell like? First off, I'm going to need some clarification before resorting to simple stereotypes. Are we talking about people from India, in which case a reference to some sort of curry is appropriate? Or do they mean Native American indians, allowing me to joke about buffalo scents and casinos.
Memories of Home - Personal experience really plays a role here, so they're making a huge assumption if they plan on mass-producing one scent under this description. What if your parents were axe-murders and your house always smelled like copper? What if you lived next to a hog-fat rendering plant, or had a brother than refused to shower?
Nag Champa - Look, I'm buying a candle, not a word puzzle. Save your jumbles for someone else.
Ocean - Sure, everyone loves to spend a weekend at the shore, complete with a wafting ocean breeze. But try filling a bucket with random sand and sea creatures and let me know how that smells in a week or two. If I wanted that smell coming from my kitchen table, I know where to find it, thanks.
Heaven Scent - No one has been to Heaven and come back for a visit, period. This is simply false advertising.
Hearts & Flowers - Flowers? Good. Rotting hearts? I don't know if they came from a cow or a monkey, but they're just not intended for nasal contact.
Smoke Eater - Here's one for idiots to purchase. Who ever heard of getting rid of smoke by ADDING MORE SMOKE?
Orient - Don't get me wrong, I love chinese food and japanese steakhouses amuse the heck out of me. Countries like China, however, are known from their extreme population density, and every time you increase the number of people, you get a few more that haven't bothered to bathe for a month of two. Why not market a Fortune cookie scent instead? Those things are great.
Sex On The Beach - If you think you're going to get anything approaching the title from an $8 candle, you're one desperate soul indeed.
Water Fantasy - I like water. It's fun to swim in and makes a tasty beverage when cold. What I don't equate water to, however, is fantasies. You have to be one boring person if you dream about water.
Wine - For $8, I'd rather drink wine than have a room that smells like it. An entire bottle of real wine also makes you an excellent singer, while wax does not.
Sandlewood - Have you ever had the urge to smell the padding on a well-worn sandal? Then this candle is perfect for you, my friend. I'll be in the back room, vomiting as quietly as possible.
Eternity - The box says that it will burn for 12-14 hours. The description promises a never-ending unit of time and space. I don't think I need to tell you which one of them is a liar.
Fig Melon - Be honest, when's the last time you were hungry and thought, "Hey, do we have any figs and melons in the refrigerator?" Show of hands? That's right: NEVER.
Fireside - So it smells like a fire. That's some sort of selling point? I can light a multitude of objects within arms reach aflame right here if I wanted to achieve that effect.
Amazon Rain Forest - As if these weren't disappearing at staggering rates already, now someone has to go and cut them down just to bottle them. If you buy this you have made a certain family of neon tree frogs very sad.
Mountain Lake - Ever climb a mountain? It gets very cold at the top. Especially if you were foolish enough to strip off your clothes and dive into a lake. Now you can recreate this painful, near death frostbite in the privacy of your living room.
Snowflake - One, they have no scent. Two, none of them are alike, unlike most factory made candles. Three, wax snowmen suck, even if they do last well into the summer.
Baby Powder - Sprinkle it with some bleach and presto - your house now stinks like a hospital. Congratulations.
Midsummer Night - This one really depends on your location. If we're talking about a valley full of wildflowers, then bring it on. I imagine a midsummer night in a landfill isn't as sweet, though. At least with this summer variety they don't leave us guessing about indians.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. Besides, my food probably needs reheating all over again at this point.
Just remember, kids: If you're going to intentionaly fill your lungs with scented, toxin-filled smoke, be sure it's one that's easy on the sniffer.