It’s a tricky thing, being a dude who enjoys a pleasantly fragrant abode. According to The American Journal of Appropriate Levels of Masculinity, * men aren’t supposed care what their homes smell like. Yet, through no conscious effort, your dwelling should smell of leather, cigar smoke, rich mahogany, bourbon, and a soupçon of sweat. In fact, it’s imperative that your home smell masculine if you want to attract women.
Your cherry blossom diffuser and sugar cookie scented candle will confuse any woman into thinking another female has strategically scent marked the place. Demure women will passively leave, but a more aggressive one may throw out your loofah and vigorously rub her head on your shoulder in a territorial display. It depends.
Luckily, purveyors of fine scented wax have created products for manly men, filling the need to have a luxuriantly aromatic home while keeping one’s cojones obviously intact. Allow me to provide you a list of masculine scented candles, rated not by how great they smell, but how manly they are.
This scent gets points for the manly name. Scentsy even has a male-specific line of scented candles so there’s no doubt that Hemingway is a scent for men.
However, like the daiquiris and mojitos that Hemingway drank, this scent is fruity and sweet. Not too much mind you, there’s wood and spice in there, as well. Yet it is not emphatically masculine, and made even less so by the fact that it’s a limited-release product. If you thought owning house perfume endangered your man card, imagine what anxiously waiting to buy one would do.
I’ll allow it, but only just.
The name is just too whimsical to be the manliest scent. As we all know, a manly man is devoid of both imagination and whimsy. He doesn’t know what a Midsummer is, much less what its night would smell like.
However, the candle is a tough black, and the smell is a pleasant mixture of Barbasol shaving cream and wet cement. This is a good, masculine candle, but it’s too bad Yankee Candle didn’t name it Galvanized Steel or something.
It’s more masculine than Hemingway, but we can do better.
This candle is masculine without trying too hard, which is imperative in the art of being manly. To own this candle suggests a love of the outdoors and a Jack London sort of sensibility. The scent itself is redolent with wood, pine, spices, and whatever crisp undertone people use to convey the smell of fresh snow.
This candle is perfectly acceptable for a man to own and burn. Unfortunately, there’s a touch of femininity in the packaging what with the cute snowflake, and you know, being made by Bath & Body Works. As long as you turn the candle to the label isn’t visible, you should be fine.
Chez Monsieur (Man Cave)
This should be the top spot. This candle was made by a man for men to burn in their man caves. It has the scents of leather, rich mahogany, and tobacco smoke, just like The American Journal of Appropriate Levels of Masculinity recommends. But, it is not the top spot, dear reader, and I have not actually smelled this candle, because it’s nearly 100 frickin’ dollars.
Saving for a scented candle or making it a special treat is not manly because men aren’t supposed to have the kind of feelings to make an aspirational luxury purchase worthwhile. (For the record, you’re only allowed to feel angry, smug, or a kind of vague, wistful happiness. THAT’S IT.)
Barrel Aged Bourbon
Through my highly unscientific and biased methods, I have determined that this is the manliest candle you can purchase. It’s not too expensive, the packaging is without frills, and it smells like booze, oak, and leather. Yes, this one is a bit on the hipster side what with the soy wax and upcycled wine bottle listed as perks, but a company has to advertise their wares somehow. In fact, that they don’t say “this man-candle is manly and for men” implies a relaxed, easy relationship with masculinity, which, if need be, you can fake by buying this candle.
* Sorry if I got your hopes up, but The American Journal of Appropriate Levels of Masculinity is not a real publication… yet.