Back when I was single, I would buy candles (and by candles I mean expensive, fancy, and SCENTED candles) mainly because I knew it was the safest way to make my apartment smell NOT like a cat potty.

After years of trying room deodorizers, plug-ins, perfume, etc. I always seemed to use either too much or too little (or at least told that my apartment smelled like a cheap attempt to cover something up…which I wasn’t!). But candles (and regular cleaning of the litter box of course) seemed to be the difference between friends wanting to come over to my place to watch that movie or coercing me to go to their house.

Strangely though, my burning candles started to make friends comment more on the smell of my apartment (after all, who would walk into someone’s house and say first thing “Oh, your apartment smells like cat poop!”; however, saying “Oh wow, your apartment smells just like pumpkin pie!” is socially more acceptable). After a while, I started to notice strange trends. For example, a candle to one friend would be perfectly pleasant, while to another would smell awful. I think this more than anything else started my fascination with smells. Also, the combination of different candles, (I soon learned), was very important. Apparently, there are certain smell combos that just shouldn’t be.

On the list of candles I don’t burn because they are offensive to friends:

  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Gardenia
  • Seaside Mist
  • Orchid
  • Caramel
  • Mint

The above list is interesting to me, yet I’m not sure why. What I do find interesting, is that the majority of the above fragrances are mainly floral. How could someone love the smell of flowers, yet hate the smell of flower-scented candles? I’ve never really had any complaints about any fruit-scented candles. Maybe I’ve just befriended “fruity” people. Ha!

There is one candle, which was a Partylite candle, that everyone across the board seemed to love the smell of…a candle called “Zen,” which I’m not sure if Partylite still makes. But, I’ve always been curious as to what “Zen” smells like. I still have a few votives that I have yet to burn in case anyone else wants to have a go at describing it for me.