5 Scented Candles to Buy If You Want Out of a Relationship
They say that your sense of smell can be very strongly linked to memory. The correct odor or combination thereof can quickly transport you back to an emotionally important moment in your life, whether positive or negative. Is it because the human nose is so close to the brain that the smell goes up there and gets sucked into all the wrinkles? Scientists and doctors tell me “absolutely not.” I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree on this mystery for the ages.
What’s important is knowing that this property of the old sniffer can lead to establishing some treasured memories. The scent of sea salt bringing you back to the beach where your partner proposed, or the scent of a particularly wet hot dog bringing you back to the baseball game where your partner proposed. Powerful stuff. But here’s the thing about relationships: Sometimes, they suck ass. And instead of trying to create new memories together, you’d rather get the hell out of Dodge and forget it all ever happened. The emotional power of scent can help here too — by creating a makeshift arena of emotion that can finally behead the hydra that is your awful relationship.
Along those lines, here are five scented candles to buy if you want out of a relationship…
You might be assuming all these candles are intended as a gift — not true. Most of them are, but our first option is instead a stealthy buy, one that will only work if your partner is not aware it’s burning. I’m talking about a candle scented like fire’s old friend: natural gas. A scent as literally intoxicating as it is terrifying. A few hidden burns here and there and you’ll be able to make your kitchen, apartment or house flush with the odor of deadly gas on demand.
From here, the scent’s done all the work it can, and now it’s not the presence of the smell that will do the work, but instead pretending you have no idea it’s present. Gaslighting? Tired, overused term, referring to a 1944 film that no one remembers anymore. Gasleaking? Completely wired. Once you use this specialized wax and wick to commit a touch of emotional torture and abuse, your partner is an institution and you’re back on the apps, baby!
The Top of a Baby’s Head
It may seem the strange behavior of some sort of troll or goblin that’s in the business of riddles and stealing a firstborn, but sniffing a baby’s head is pretty much a confirmed dopamine activator. Scientists think it could be something developed to strengthen the bond between parent and child, maybe a little extra incentive for humans of old not to toss their newborns into the brush to distract a saber-toothed tiger while they make their great escape. A baby-top scented candle could fill your living space with these protective, instinctive pheromones.
The problem being, of course, that, having a child is like day-drinking: It seems fun until reality hits and somebody’s throwing up in the middle of a restaurant. Having a child is not the easiest conversation for even long-term partners to navigate. Therefore, having a candle burning that’s activating both of your baby centers at all times is almost guaranteed to draw the future of your relationship into the very near present, with likely disastrous results.
A Bad-Smelling Candle Relabeled ‘You’
Just because the first two suggestions were complex and evil mental tortures doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the power of a good old-fashioned insult. It may seem quaint in comparison, but the tried-and-true method of just generally being an asshole has ruined so many relationships it’s impossible not to give it the respect it deserves. For this option, then, we’re going schoolyard-style. Simply purchase some sort of candle that smells like shit, either literally or figuratively, and then replace the label with an unflattering picture of your partner, that implies this is what they smell like.
Now, some partners may, deservedly, find this to be a funny prank. To which I say, thank you for saying I’m funny, and also, pass along their number once you’ve busted your love to smithereens. To avoid accidentally creating something that makes your partner think you are funny, and thus creating positive feelings and likely lengthening the relationship, you have to follow one additional guideline: It also needs to be a gift for a momentous occasion that absolutely demands something better, preferably with others in attendance. Give it to them at a birthday dinner, before anyone even orders appetizers, so that the whole thing is an awkward mess and the fury has a real chance to stew (no pun intended).
The Worst Argument You Ever Had
Now back to insidious emotional manipulation. I mentioned the ability of scent to transport you mentally to a location or memory of the past. Scented candles do know and emphasize this, with many offering scents designed specifically to evoke a certain place, whether it be a home state, or a national park that you may have visited in the past. Nowhere in the candle rulebook, however, does it say you can’t use this same phenomenon to send someone back to a terrible memory.
Buy a scented candle that can turn your dwelling into a stinky phantom of a place where your relationship almost ended in the past. Spend a couple hours whiffing an odor facsimile of the IKEA where you found out they think all your friends are boring, or the pie shop where the ex they’re still in love with works, that they insist they go to every day because they “have really good coffee,” and let your memory and internal fears do the rest. You might as well be lighting the wick of an emotional powder keg.
Near the Curtains (Any Scent)
Burn it all down. Yank a couple of your less important teeth and scatter them in the ashes along with a couple bones from your least vigilant local cemetery. Drive west. Follow the sunset until you feel free. Cut your hair short. Start a bait-and-tackle shop. Think only fleetingly of what could have been.