The Sickest Candle In The League
I was never much of a candle man.
I found the smell sweet, sickly, overpowering. Most of the candles I'd smelled as a boy burned in the houses of families who also pumped chemical air freshener into their world; who kept bowls of potpourri above the toilets, and sprayed Febreze on their cats. Their cars smelled like the perfume floor at Macy's, all these overpowering smells blending together, with the little perfumed bottles that would cling to the heating vents we had to blast to de-fog the car such that visibility came at the cost of neutral, clean air.
Somewhere recently, perhaps when we introduced a puppy that continues to devour its own excrement simply for the taste, our home began to smell. I'm told the older you get, the more you have to cover up the smell of yourself. Excuse me—nobody told me that, I just wrote it and attributed it to someone else because that felt profound. But if you found those words profound, just know that I actually wrote it. And then you can quote me. Don't say somebody once told you. Say, "Francis said…" and then do the quote. I smell a perfumed merch opportunity.
Point is, I finally saw the light of candles. But when I tried to add my own two scents, the wife shunned my flavor choices. "Not quite my tempo," she said, quoting JK Simmons from the 2014 Jazz drama Whiplash, but then taking the candle and holding it just inches below my wrist and locking my gaze and my arm, like that scene from Dune where the head witch holds Chalamet's hand in the box, daring me to show weakness.
Not all candles are created equal. Some candles are elite. If a candle company has a french name, that's a good start. Dyptique, Le Labo, Jo Malone. Not sure if Jo Malone is french actually. Sounds a bit more like the wife of Karl Malone, and I'll bet she hunts deer with her hands and just her hands. Maybe the smell on her hands from unplugging deer jugulars made her start a hand soap company. It would make for a good episode of Gary V's podcast.
Today I learned that the Lamborghini of candles is the Le Labo Santal 26 White Concrete candle.
Here are some nose-tingling facts about this fucking fire keg:
-Burns for 150 hours when you actually trim the wicks like you fucking should, even though the flame rises higher when you don't, which looks a lot cooler.
-Comes in an industrial wooden crate. Seriously, a gigantic wooden shipping crate that you gotta use a crowbar to open.
-Weighs almost three pounds. Just gigantic. Truly an insane candle. This thing will definitely burn your house down.
Only problem: they don't come cheap. The Concrete Candle costs $510 on their website and $723 on Amazon. And that doesn't even include the shipping costs, which I assume go towards paying the team of Budweiser horses you gotta hire to get this puppy to your fucking doorstep.
I've never actually seen one of these monsters in the wild. But I'm pretty sure they lit these on top of the Great Wall in Mulan to let China know the Hun were coming. So they hold historical significance.
It's bonus season. Treat yourself.