Scented Candles Will Kill You Just Like Cigarettes

Scented CandlesThere are a lot of stereotypically feminine gifts I will toss back if I fish ‘em up. Box of chocolates? My tush is big enough, thanks. Bath products? At this point, I only take baths when one of the kids says “I don’t want to! Will you come with me?” (Which is lovely, but not conducive to relaxation.) A spa day? I would seriously sooner have a root canal.

And scented candles? The bane of my existence. A fire hazard that stinks like a flower threw up? No, thanks.

And now I've been given the best argument against scented candles ever: They’re as bad as cigarettes. So if you’re the type to flap your hand across your face when you exit a building past a crowd of smokers, well, get flapping in the Yankee Candle store, too. And prepare yourself, scented-candle-burners: I'm bringing a jumbo-sized hand-fan to your sickly-sweet-smelling home.

So what’s so bad about scented candles?


Products like cosmetics aren’t subject to the same regulations that foods are, so even lipstick can contain toxins. Here's just a fraction of what the EPA and researchers at South Carolina University say is emitted those scented candles:

  • Carcinogens and athma-triggers like toluene and benzene
  • Lead, which is used as a wick-coating in many candles manufactured outside the US
  • Formaldehyde
  • Soot

Hi, Aunt Agnes, I really don’t want to live in a vanilla-scented coal mine. As for those imported candles ... the biggest importer to the U.S.? China. You know, where the tainted formula, cadmium-laced kids' jewelry and poisoned pet food comes from?

EEEYUW! Though I did find one bright spot in the EPA report: they call scented candles and incense “Odiferous Preparations Which Operate By Burning,” which I think is kinda catchy, no?

Anyway, here's what I'll be doing to you polluting little candle-burners, now that I'm armed with this new and useful information:

When I walk into a restaurant, I will specify that I need the "unscented candles" section. If I am seated next to a scented candle, I will light up a cigarette and blow it directly at the candle to put it out.

Spa visits are going to be a lot more fun. I'm going to run from room to room dousing scented candles with cucumber-infused water, shouting "Candle cancer! CANDLE CANCER!"

I'm going to print up tickets, similar to ones given out by police officers to people who smoke in public, fining stores that sell scented candles. The penalty will be one lip balm for every smelly candle.

You know those overflowing cigarette-butt-filled ashtrays outside of office buildings? I'm going to stuff them full of all the scented candles clueless guys have given me over the years.

I predict that the biggest effect from this discovery is that date nights will get a lot more interesting. Becuase I have a private, entirely unproven pet theory that no matter what they smell like, stinky girly candles are a massive turn-off -- and if they were banished from the bedroom, guys would feel a lot friendlier. Hm, maybe that was the point...

Do you love scented candles? Will these studies stop you from using them?

Image via righteous harmony/Flickr

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