Thursday, July 09, 2015

M&Ms Candle VS Candy

It seems that candle industry has really taken a liking to the candy industry.  With the trend over the last few years of crazy smelling candles candy is a logical step.  Candy provides a familiar smell, and scientifically it's been proven that a smell can bring back memories. By this logic when you burn a Snickers candle you should remember all the times you've eaten a Snickers bar.  It could be a recent memory, or even a childhood memory.  Many candies are also brightly coloured, and this too works with the candle industry.
While this seems like a logical step, and it's truly something I stand behind, the question is how does that candle really compare to the real thing?  For the health conscious that don't want to eat a sweet treat, will the candle fill the gap?  Will a simple candle fill in the craving?  More importantly, can you even match the taste/smell of candy in a candle?  With the recent discovery of these M&Ms candles, I decided to put this to the test.

My first challenge was to decide which candle I would buy.  These M&Ms candles come in the same range of colours that are available in the candies.  There was one difference however, it seemed that the brightly coloured candles were not scented the same as the candies.  The red was cherry, the green was pear (I think), and so on.  This was pretty disappointing, why wouldn't you theme the smells with the various M&Ms flavours.  There's plenty to choose from, and some might make for a unique candle experience.  How about a chocolate pretzel candle, or a peanut butter and chocolate candle?  That would smell great, and keep the theme going with the M&Ms theme.  At this point it seems all we have is a bunch of scented candles with an M&Ms packaging.

Fortunately the brown candle seemed to be chocolate scented.  I considered this fortunate because the store I bought the candle in, also happened to sell plain M&Ms, so it was one stop shopping.  I gave the candle a preliminary sniff and it certainly had a chocolate smell to it.  So the only thing left to figure out is if while burning, the chocolate smell was the same, and just as satisfying as eating plain M&Ms.

That night after dinner I decided to set the mood, I lit the candle and pored my M&Ms into a bowl.  I have to say that eating candy in candle light is really nice.  It adds a certain calmness and relaxation to the whole candy experience.  It seems that the candle might actually be enhancing my experience, although not in the way I thought it would.
I decided to start by letting the candle burn for a while.  I think it's only fair to let the wax melt enough that it's giving off as much scent as possible.  My official starting point would be once more than 75% of the wax on the top of the candle was liquid.  By that point I think most candles are giving off about as much scent as possible.  It took about 10 minutes to get to a stage where I thought it was fair, so I decided to lean over the candle and take a big sniff.

It was very disappointing.  The smell of this particular candle was weak, very weak.  I had to sit over it and breath for a while just to get an idea of the smell.  While this doesn't reflect the entire candy themed candle industry, it does say something about it.  I think candy companies are more than happy to licence their candy to just about anything, even if it doesn't reflect the quality of their candy properly.  It seems that the candy marketing teams don't understand how much better it would be if the candy really came through.  Just because it's chocolate, doesn't mean it's M&Ms.

After a few minutes of sniffing, I decided that I had an idea of the chocolate scent coming off of the candle.  I decided that it was a good time to take a mouth full of M&Ms and see if the chocolate smell was at the very least comparable.  As with the strength of the smell, the comparison was also way off.  The candle smelled like a much sweeter chocolate, while the M&Ms tasted creamier.  There was also the lack of candy coating in the smell of the candle. This is a strong part of the M&Ms flavour, and the sweetness of the chocolate candy didn't match it one bit.

I think expanding the candy industry into other products is a great idea.  With their bright colours, strong flavours, and fun smells, candy has so much you could work with.  I'm not saying that all candy themed items have to fill out all three criteria, in fact my favorite mug and drinking tumbler are both candy related and neither taste or smell like their candy.  I just think that if it's appropriate to match more than one criteria you should.  Lip balm is a great example of how this often works really well.  I'm disappointed at these M&M themed candles because it's obvious that a candle company just bought the rights to use the theme, but didn't even attempt to give the user a decent experience.

If anybody else has had a positive experience with candy themed candles, let me know.  I'd like to know who's doing this right.


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