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A hamburger. Photograph: Oleksiy Maksymenko/Alamy Stock Photo

A hot new merch line? A cynical marketing ploy? Why not both! One Guardian staffer asked another to explain it … quickly

Oh my gad McDonald’s is launching a range of candles that combine to smell like a Quarter Pounder – pass the sick bag … why is humanity doing this to ourselves?

Perhaps it’s because they noticed all the attention this independently made, quite probably trademark-skirting ‘Maccas Run’ scented candle scored last year; or this KFC candle from 2016. Get with the game, McDonald’s marketing department! Viral scented candles weren’t pulled out of Gwynny’s birth canal yesterday.

As for why we’re doing this to ourselves – I can’t think of a better passive-aggressive gift for the slob who has everything.

Well, you could just remove the 100% beef scented candle and the cheese scented candle and go with the onion, pickle and burger bun aromas. The marketing team at McDonald’s really has thought of it all.

So you’re telling me this is just a cynical PR exercise? McDonald’s isn’t really expanding into homewares? I’m scandalised.
They’ve released an entire new line of merchandise – so it’s both a cynical marketing exercise and an expansion. As for the candle itself, the newly-minted Quarter Pounder Fan Club website says “coming soon”, and the only product shots are very photoshopped, so who can say how many they intend to sell, and for how much. One thing is certain, it is working. We’re talking about it – like moths to a burger-scented flame.

Quarter-pounder scented candle set from McDonalds
Quarter-pounder scented candle set from McDonalds Photograph: McDonalds

Oh, a new fan club! Six candles that combine to smell like a burger! Could it be that Mickey D’s are trying to distract us from something else?
Maybe. Or maybe they were just jealous of the KFC x Crocs collab.

So it’s only a matter of time before we get candles that smell like Nike trainers? Or Amazon warehouses? Or that special scent of despair you get from looking at Facebook?
Oh, my dear sweet innocent, you can already buy a Nike candle! Unauthorised, but still. Personally, I’d like to see a Westpac-branded candle that smells like freshly laundered money.

Whatever happened to just plain old lavender and jasmine?
That’s your grandmother’s candle – now jasmine only comes with lichen. Challenging the ubiquity of OG fancy candle brand Diptyque, indie perfumeries have been selling edgy candles for about a decade now, and the mass market caught up in the last few years. These days if it’s unironic, un-Instagrammable or under-$80, it’s barely worth lighting.

What next though?
Well, millennials are really leading the charge on this trend, perhaps because scent is the only say we have over our forever-rented houses. On that basis, I’m predicting the climate crisis as the next big trend in home fragrance. Oh wait, that already exists too.

Source: Why is McDonald’s selling burger-scented candles? | Life and style | The Guardian

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