When you think of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, your mind probably doesn't immediately leap to Yankee Candle, unless you're somehow in the pocket of Big Yankee of course. However, a group of Internet investigators have taken a look into the data and it would appear that Yankee Candle has been hit hard, and probably in the exact way you're thinking.
A while back, a Twitter user noticed that recent reviews of the scented candles had gone a little downhill, sort of around the time a lot of people got a disease where losing your sense of smell is a symptom.
The reviews themselves are somewhat sublime.
"While others are stating that the scent of this candle is quite faint, I believe mine has very little to absolutely no smell at all," one user wrote in a review. "I would have more function using it as a light than I do to fill my room with any type of aroma."
"This had no fragrance," another possible infected patient added. "I was very disappointed and I will return it to a store and switch it with another scent."
While Yankee Candle have been tiptoeing around the subject, since this observation went viral people have been responding to customers quite bluntly. "You've got the rona, Karen" one read.
While this is as funny as COVID-19 is likely to get, it still required further investigation. Enter Internet sleuth Kate Petrova, and she's carrying graphs.
Petrova decided to do some digging into the reviews of scented candles to see if there was any sort of pattern to the negative feedback. Wouldn't you know it, immediately there emerged a steady decline of reviews from the beginning of 2020 until now.
Yes, we know, correlation doesn't equal causation. There's a chance people forced to stay at home decided they were absolutely sick of looking at candles all day, or decided to take out some of their pent up anger on candles rather than the people they are stuck at home with.
However, there does seem to be something in this. When Petrova compared reviews of scented candles to unscented candles, the drop-off in ratings was far steeper for scented candles.
When you look at the data from the start of 2020, the contrast is even starker.
Still not done sleuthing, Petrova decided to take into account reviews that specifically mention a lack of scent, and quantify the data. Since not enough people sit there writing full reviews of candles, she broadened it out to include the top five scented candles from four different brands.
The trend has continued right into the end of 2021, with bad reviews of candles for having no smell still corresponding quite closely with COVID waves.
As you can see from the data, it certainly looks like people are complaining about diminished scent in candles when they should really be booking an appointment for a COVID-19 test, like a person who needs an eye test complaining about their HDTV being all fuzzy.
While enjoyable (as far as Covid-19 news goes) it must be said that sales of candles go up in winter, corresponding with the holidays. However, even accounting for this, there is a correlation to be seen, if slightly weaker.
Nevertheless, if you find you can't smell your candle, it might be best to book a test before sending your disappointing review.