Welcome to the fun-house mirror world of candles | Jack Marshall’s column

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Peppermint and sparkles. Sour apple and sandalwood shavings. Wild orchid, black cherries, and seedless grapes. Raspberry and dachshund urine. Pine, lemongrass, and blue-tit. Shea butter and soft blanket, whatever the hell that’s supposed to be. Fondled pomegranate and regret. Pepper, fig, and moss. Eucalyptus, watermelon pips, and pennies. Kiwi and wet soil.

Welcome to the truly deranged fun-house mirror world of candles.

Candles are everywhere in my home. They’re on bookshelves, window ledges, and coffee tables; on sides, in nooks, and next to other candles. There are candles in clear glass jars and candles in rustic-looking wooden jars, candles in cheap tinny tea-light casings and candles in grand saltrock constructions (made of genuine salt - I licked it to make sure).

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Now, candles are lovely. They provide a lovely flicker and dance on shadowy winter’s evenings when even the wobble of tiny flames makes you forget about the temperature outside. They’re the source of that uniquely perfect glow on summer nights spent outdoors enjoying the residual heat throbbing from the ground as crickets chirrup in the distance.

Candles, wonderful candles.Candles, wonderful candles.
Candles, wonderful candles.

So trust me when I say that you’ll find no deep-rooted vendetta against candles here. I don’t recoil from flames like Beast from Beauty and the Beast or The Hound from Game of Thrones. Like most people, I like candles because they look and smell nice. But there’s an encroaching issue with the sheer volume of candles which are starting to gather in my home.

Buried deep in the fine-print of having a girlfriend is the Candles Clause. Female partners are harbingers of candles; women are to candles what men are to assorted electrical wires - they have lots of them and ultimately don’t know where most of them actually came from. And, the more time my girlfriend spends with me, the more candles seem to proliferate.

In an effort to combat the deluge and exhaust the supply, I’ve taken to lighting them every single night, but alas my lighter is growing low on fluid. Soon I shall be overwhelmed, saturated by impossible flavours and scents. Sauteed gooseberries and roast beef sherbert. Pomegranate and moist dog. Rainforest toad, bay leaf, and ambergris. Balsam and chlorine.

Light a candle for me and pray.

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