Yesterday, I was the recipient of a scented candle Christmas gift. Apparently, when ignited this wax fragrance enhancer apparently emits an odour of wild mint. A welcome change from the usual cinnamon aroma which’s ordinarily the family’s festive season candle scent of choice.

As yet I’ve not lit the candle; consequently, at this juncture am unable to evaluate the beauty, or otherwise, of the redolence it’ll bequeath the lounge/diner. I’m hoping, though, it’ll emit the fresh fragrances of a wild meadow’ not providing the living room with the scent of a 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 calming sensory contributor to the overall ambience of a room.

That being said, regardless of what fragrance it eventually emits, the reason I raised the topic of this gift was I felt the wording on the lid of the glass jar in which it was housed was worthy of record.

Call me cynical but ‘Ensure you remove lid to light the candle’ is surely unnecessary consumer advice prior to lighting the wick. After all, if the lid’s not removed surely it’s impossible to ignite the fragrant waxwork; making the advocacy pretty obvious I’d submit.

A further example of how our corporate masters view public intelligence levels, and the need to avoid potential litigation with increasingly obvious risk warnings and operating instructions.

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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 are moved to include to enhance our customer 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 further evolve. Could it be we develop into such a dumbed down society our masters deem guidance as clearly evident as instructions below are 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 odious smelling so and so!’