Yesterday I was the recipient of a scented candle Christmas gift. When ignited, this wax fragrance enhancer apparently emits an odour of wild mint. A welcome change from the usual cinnamon aroma that is generally the ‘go to’ candle scent chosen during the festive season.

As yet I’ve not lit the candle; as a result I’m currently unable to evaluate the beauty, or otherwise, of it’s odour. Consequently, I’ve no idea of the pleasantness of smell it’ll bestow to my lounge/diner. I’m hoping, though, it’ll emit the fresh fragrances of a wild meadow, not that the living room scent becomes that of a chuffing huge polo mint.

I’ve nothing against the odour of polo mints per sa. However, as much as it’s an effective hallitosis inhibitor, the jury’s out on whether it’s a suitable sensory contributor to the overall ambience of a room.

Anyhow, regardless of what fragrance it eventually emits, the reason I raised the topic of this gift was due to the wording on the lid of the glass jar in which it was housed.

Call me cynical but ‘Ensure you remove lid to light the candle’ is surely advice the consumer does really need prior to lighting the wick. I mean, if the lids not removed it’s not even possible to ignite the fragrant waxwork making the advocacy pretty obvious I’d moot. These lid posted words just another example of how our corporate masters view public intelligence levels.

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In this litigious society I totally get a company’s nervousness around health and safety issues. Reputational damage and big fines are huge risks should their product cause harm to employees or public. Some warnings/advice are totally necessary, however I can’t feel a little saddened the occasional levels of ‘stating the obvious’ manufacturers of goods feel they need to go to enhance our experience.

Regardless of how well-meaning the intentions of this innocuous enough label it set me pondering about how far advocacies of that nature will evolve. Could it be we develop into such a dumbed down society our masters deem guidance as clearly evident as that below is required for users of their products?:-

‘Don’t light this product while stood (or sitting) in the fast lane of the M1 (or any indeed other motorway). If absolutely necessary, though, wear a high visibilty jacket and hard hat.

‘Avoid tight-rope walking across the Grand Canyon when igniting the wick of this product.’

‘Ensure you’re NOT completely dowsed in petroleum when lighting this candle…….. Actually, to be on the safe side, being completely bereft of any flammable liquids would be preferable.’

‘This candle is suitable for those with nut allergies. Although, if you are afflicted with that medical disorder, it’s advisable not to eat a Snickers bar whilst enjoying this products fragrance.’

‘Avoid the use of flamethrower when igniting this candle.’

‘Product not suitable for use in a working car wash.’

‘Using this candle while watching Britain’s Got Talent will enhance the ambience of your room, but is unlikely to improve the quality of the TV show.’

‘This product (even when lit) doesn’t emit enough heat to be used as a suitable replacement for a central heating system.’

‘If you took better care of your personal hygiene you wouldn’t need a fragrant candle, you scruffy so and so!’