Yankee Candle Index

Yankee Candle Index

Part of a series on COVID-19 Pandemic. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 13, 2022 at 12:39PM EDT by Adam.

Added Sep 05, 2022 at 04:24PM EDT by Autumn Able.

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About

The Yankee Candle Index is the colloquial name of a phenomenon that suggests that influxes of negative reviews for Yankee Candles and other scented candles, in which people complain the candles don't smell as strongly as they expect them to, correlate to oncoming waves of COVID-19, as one of the notable symptoms of COVID-19 is loss of smell.

Origin

On November 24th, 2020, Twitter user @TerriDrawsStuff[1] noticed, "There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candle’s site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all. I wonder if they’re feeling a little hot and nothing has much taste for the last couple days too." The tweet implies that the angry reviewers have contracted COVID-19, which likely caused the loss of their sense of smell. The tweet gained over 6,200 retweets and 57,000 likes in two years (shown below).


Terri Nelson @TerriDraws Stuff There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candle's site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all. I wonder if they're feeling a little hot and nothing has much taste for the last couple days too. 5:21 PM - Nov 24, 2020 · Twitter Web App

Spread

Three days after @TerriDrawsStuff's tweet, Twitter user @kate_ptrv[2] posted a graph analyzing reviews of Amazon's candle selection. She discovered that after the onset of the pandemic, negative reviews of scented candles that mentioned a lack of smell increased dramatically, while non-scented candles maintained a steady level of positive reviews (shown below).


Average rating (1-5) Average rating (1-5) Proportion of reviews 5 Top 3 unscented candles Amazon reviews 2017-2020 0.06 0.04 -0.02 N = 1,118 0.00 Top 3 scented candles Amazon reviews 2017-2020 04-2017 N = 11,404 04-2017 H 10-2017 January February 10-2017 04-2018 March 04-2018 10-2018 April 10-2018 Top 5 scented candles on Amazon: Proportion of reviews mentioning lack of scent by month 2020 N = 8,072 Date May Date 04-2019 June Month 04-2019 July 10-2019 10-2019 H August I 1 I I I 1 First confirmed case of COVID-19 in the US 04-2020 First confirmed case of COVID-19 in the US Joo 04-2020 10-2020 H September 10-2020 October November

On December 21st, 2021, @drewtoothpaste noticed that negative reviews for scented candles began appearing on Amazon again,[3] suggesting a COVID-19 wave was about to hit the United States. The tweet gained over 5,000 retweets and 40,000 likes in one year (shown below).


drewtoothpaste @drewtoothpaste fresh wave of bad reviews for yankee candles MAKAA Na suvily outill ivi a yaiinet Larivit Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase Very little scent. Very disappointed Helpful Report abuse Pepper ✰✰✰✰✰ No scent. Very dissapointed Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase No scent. Dissapointing One person found this helpful Helpful Report abuse Pam Warren Pennsylvania ✰✰✰✰✰ No scent very disappointed and embarrassed as this was a gift Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Home For The Holidays Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase no scent One person found this helpful Helpful Report abuse Walter McMillan ✰✰✰✰✰ Fraud-smells like wax when lit, definitely not a Yankee. Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase This candle had no scent when lit, I was highly disappointed. Helpful Report abuse 1:29 PM Dec 21, 2021 Twitter Web App . . Leah ✰✰✰✰✰ Don't like Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase Don't give off much smell... Helpful Report abuse Roberta Smith ✰✰✰✰✰ No scent Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase I have always bought Yankee candles and I have always enjoyed there strong scents.. I ordered a pine scent and a coc of them when they're lit.. I am very disappointed!! Helpful Report abuse Denise Z. ✰✰✰✰✰ very little scent Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Size: Large Jar very little scent Helpful Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase Report abuse Tammie B. Luquet ✰✰✰✰✰ Very disappointed in this product. No scent Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021 Size: Large Jar Style: Balsam & Cedar Pattern Name: Candle Verified Purchase Normally this is a very good product. Don't know if it's on sale because it was defective. Helpful Report abuse

The tweet inspired Northeastern political science professor Nicholas Beauchamp to do a proper study on the correlation between negative scented candle reviews and COVID-19 waves in June of 2022. He concluded that negative reviews tend to appear before COVID-19 waves and could be useful in the sense it may give people a "slight heads up" ahead of a wave.[4]

On October 9th, 2022, Twitter user @DataDrivenMD[5] found that negative reviews for scented candles were trending again, suggesting a COVID-19 spike could be imminent. The tweet gained over 23,000 retweets and 146,000 likes in four days (shown below).


Dr. Jorge Caballero stands with @DataDrivenMD Yankee Candle reviews indicate that COVID is about surge again Candle has almost zero scent while burning. Helpful Report SK ✰✰✰✰✰ Verified Purchase No scent whatsoever! Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2022 ✰✰✰✰✰ Verified Purchase No fragrance Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2022 Scent: Spiced Pumpkin Size: Classic Large Jar I am usually a fan of Yankee Candles but have never purchased them through Amazon. This one has no fragrance when lit, which is very unusual for Yankee Candles. My only thought is that it is old. Holnful Donort 1:37 AM - Oct 9, 2022 Twitter for iPhone Nini ✰✰✰✰✰ Verified Purchase Defective, no scent. Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2022 Scent: Sparkling Cinnamon Size: Classic Large Jar Usually Yankee candles are great. The two I was sent burn with barely a scent. Helpful Report Helpful Report Carolcat13 ... Verified Purchase This is the first Yankee candle I have ever had that has absolutely no scent at all!! Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2022 Size: Classic Large Jar Scent: Spiced Pumpkin Absolutely no scent!

The tweet led to renewed interest in the "Yankee Candle Index" phenomenon, and it was covered by outlets including The Guardian,[6] Inquirer[7] and Newsweek[8] over the following days.

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