Candle Review: Keap, Wood Cabin
The latest edition of The Hairpin’s popular candle column.
When it comes to reviewing candles, what is “ethical”? It’s an interesting question. So far no candle reviewer has been able to come up with a definitive answer, but most of us go by a simple ten-word maxim: “If it’s kind of for a joke, whatever is fine.” That’s why I’d like to talk to you about the “Wood Cabin” candle from Keap, a Brooklyn candle company that “scent” me the candle for free in the mail. 😉
“Wood cabin.” Evocative words that make you think, “log cabin.” I’d very much like to take a trip to a wood cabin. Read a book in front of a fireplace. Wine in a cup. Blanket on. Snowy outside or maybe just fall colors. “Can you get more wood for the fire?” (Me asking someone else.) “Yes, whatever you want; you look so beautiful there, reading Missoula.” (He says this.) Anyway here are the scent notes in the “Wood Cabin” candle, according to Keap:
There’s also a hint of “breath of a smoker,” but not in a bad way.
The candle comes with a poem by Rawaan Alkhatib, which is neat because my reviews are also poems about candles. Here is the poem:
Deep in the greenwoods, a mountain rises above the trees. Water sings around you in cascades and ripples; the waterfall is edged with mossy boulders. Dried leaves crackle underfoot; a wisp of smoke curls above — you’ve reached the cabin, lit the kindling stacked waiting for you in the fireplace. Shut the door against the wilderness and welcome the night.
AHHH! Oh, sorry. It scared me at the end. But otherwise that poem makes this candle sound good as fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a lot like my cabin dream.
But is the candle good as fuck and a lot like my cabin dream? Let’s see.
DOES IT HAVE A GOOD SMELL?
Yes. In colder months, my favorite genre of candle scent is “old church with big fireplace.” This is one of those candles. There are variations of the “old church with big fireplace” scent — old church with a big fireplace at Christmastime (Frédéric Malle’s “Notre Dame”), or old church with a big fireplace and also there are oranges (Cire Trudon’s “Odalisque”), or old church with a big fireplace and your grandpa is in one of the pews, wearing his cologne (Astier de Villatte’s “Stockholm”). This candle is a combination of the grandpa and the Christmas, with less church. The smell is good. Plus, now you’re impressed with my candle knowledge. More impressed than you’ve ever been before and you’ve always been a high level of impressed.
(My favorite warmer-month candle is Diptyque’s “Tubéreuse” candle. I also like that candle in cold months but only on bright mornings.)
IS IT A WINTER CANDLE?
Yes, it is a late fall and winter candle.
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
For me this candle only cost my integrity, but for the average person it’s a slightly steeper $35.
IS IT WORTH YOUR INTEGRITY/$35?
Every person has to decide for themselves what their integrity is worth, but for me yeah sure whatever. $35 is actually a pretty good price for this candle. The scent is good, like we discussed, and it projects itself. Sometimes you get a candle and you light it and you’re like, did I even light a candle? You’re like, where’s the scent? With this one you know you lit a candle even if you’re in another room. But not in a Yankee Candle way — in a good way. Also it burns pretty slowly.
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SAY IT WASN’T A GOOD CANDLE TO PROVE THAT YOU AREN’T A SELLOUT FOR JUST ANY COMPANY WILLING TO SEND YOU A CANDLE?
Yes I’m feeling self-conscious about it but this one is good and I have to be honest please respect me.
SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE BEEN INCLUDING BURN TIME IN YOUR REVIEWS?
Yes, I was thinking about this. It might be too late now. I’ll see if I can incorporate it smoothly next time. This one says it has a 50-hour burn time, which, doing the math, is over two full days (!). It always seems to me like candles burn for fewer hours than their burn times say they will but maybe that’s just because time flies when you’re having a great time with your candle.
DOES THE CANDLE LOOK NICE?
Hmm. It looks like it knows what it’s doing, which I appreciate, but it also looks like it’s a government-issued candle in a dystopian society. Or like it’s from, and I do hate to use this reference, a Black Mirror candle company that’s supposed to teach you an overwrought lesson about candles. Also it came with a dust cover that Keap tells you to use as a drink coaster when you’re done using it as a dust cover, and look at what that looks like:
Maybe it’s because I watched the “Anonymous” episode of Black Mirror two days ago, and please believe me when I tell you it pains me to reference Black Mirror, but doesn’t this look like a coaster someone would give you in an episode of Black Mirror right before you were about to get what’s coming to you in a “cyber” way????
Maybe just me.
IS IT HEAVY?
It feels good to hold but it’s not “heavy.”
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS CANDLE TO A FRIEND?
I would. When you spend something immoral like $90 on a candle, it’s because the candle smells interesting and alive, or because you got tricked. I’m not going to tell you this candle smells as interesting and alive as an immoral $90 candle that makes you feel bad about yourself because you could’ve saved lives with that money but really you should have just saved it because you’re freelancing now and it’s difficult. But at least you know you didn’t get tricked. And an important part of life is NOT getting tricked. And this candle does smell real good in a real way. And $35 makes you feel less bad than $90. Plus they give money to some solar lamp thing, I don’t know.
- Six checks
- Two non-checks
- One you’re impressed
- One anarchy symbol
- One just me?