Mmm… Bacon!

Mmm… Bacon. Those succulent, crispy, salty, addictive little strips of staple breakfast meat heaven. They are the potato chips of the breakfast world: you can’t eat just one.

Over the past few years there has been an exponential increase in the interest in bacon. Check what’s on the Food Network for example: Cupcake Wars, Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, etc. There is at least one episode in each of these shows during which bacon has appeared as one of the main ingredients: Bacon-topped cupcakes; making a meal with squid, pomegranate, watercress, and bacon; Guy Fieri drooling over a bacon-cheddar cheeseburger. Bacon has sizzled its way from our home kitchen to five star restaurants. I recently ate chocolate-covered bacon atop maple-glazed crème brulee at a fine-dining establishment. Yes, it was delicious. And that’s exactly what we expect from bacon: to be delicious. But I must warn you – it’s only delicious in its original food form.

I want to talk about candles for a moment. As a member of the female species, I absolutely adore candles as much as the next woman; in fact, I’m burning one right now. I can’t walk by a candle store without smelling at least five (okay, twenty) of these little jars of goodness. Yankee Candle specifically has the largest variety of scents—as if we all needed a reminder.

So there I was at my local mall dragging my reluctant boyfriend around trying to figure out what to get my family for Christmas when we passed a Yankee Candle store. Obviously, I had to stop in. After smelling the peppermint, mistletoe, gingerbread, and the rest of their featured Christmas scents, I started to wander over to the shelves while my boyfriend muttered behind me “okay, just three more.”

And that’s when I saw it, right there, at the end of the shelf shared with the “Movie Night” and the “Man Cave” scent: “Mmm… Bacon.” If I can only smell three more candles, I am saving the bacon one for last (as I would on my breakfast plate). As I picked up the first jar, I wondered what society deems “Movie Night” to smell like. I took a whiff. As expected: popcorn-smelling with a hint of sugar mixed in; overall a very subtle scent. That wasn’t too bad—I was expecting an overdose of faux-butter smell to invade my nostrils. But what if my movie nights don’t involve popcorn or sweet things? I picked up the “Man Cave” scent, joking around with my boyfriend that maybe it will smell like his used soccer shorts and that distinctive scent whirling computer towers and cable cords tend to give off. No avail. Instead it smelled like some generic men’s cologne. Is that really what a “Man Cave” smells like?

Replicating certain olfactory memories and confining them to a little glass jar is, I’ll admit, genius. But at the same time it could be detrimental to how we view future movie nights or how we remember past ones. For the most part, candles do an excellent job with recalling fond memories we’ve built around our sense of smell. But now am I expected to have my movie nights smell like that candle? Should my boyfriend’s man cave always give off an aura of masculine freshness? If they don’t, should I then purchase that candle to make sure they do?

I saved the best for last: the bacon. Now, as an American and as a fan of this delectable breakfast food, who wouldn’t pick that candle up? So I opened the top…

Now at this moment I’m about to do what most other people in a candle store would do, which is to give that wax a good, long, deep sniff.

That candle was the most vile, disgustingly artificial smelling scent I’ve ever encountered. In no way did that little glass jar fulfill my expectations of what bacon was supposed to smell like. It smelt like some burnt thing that had previously been left to rot in the back of someone’s refrigerator, rediscovered, deemed acceptable to eat if cooked, and accidentally (or perhaps purposely?) burned to mask the detestable stench of the original mildew. And it was labeled “Mmm… Bacon”!?

What has pushed our society’s culture to the point that bacon is so “in” right now that it deserves its own scented candle? This familiar taste and scent has already been a staple breakfast food and now, all the sudden, it has tipped the scale into the realm of superstardom? Now someone’s house can smell like bacon even when they aren’t cooking it. I can’t decide whether that’s cruel and unusual punishment to one’s stomach or to one’s wallet (one large Yankee Candle jar would buy at least six packs of bacon). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fabreeze hopping on the bacon bandwagon.

Clearly, the phrase “everything’s better with bacon” doesn’t quite make the stretch into the non-edible objects realm. It’s strange how our culture has decided to jar scents that just simply can’t be pinned down into a wax mold. Don’t get me wrong, I love candles, but sometimes at Yankee Headquarters they just don’t get things right.

Audrey Strasenburgh

Audrey Strasenburgh

Associate Editor at The Chiefly
Born and raised in Rochester, NY, a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a passion for the sport of rowing. A current rowing coach, avid hiker and skier with the lifetime goal of sampling every beer ever made.
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh
Audrey Strasenburgh

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