An Unexpected Covid Side Effect: People Leaving Bad Reviews for Scented Candles Because They Can’t Smell Them

yankee candles

Photo by Katy Warner via Flickr.

One telltale side effect of a Covid-19 infection is a loss of taste and smell, and during this pandemic year, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of complaints on shopping sites by customers unhappy that they cannot smell their scented candles.

A number of Twitter users noticed the situation, and several even analyzed the data.

Kate Petrova, a research assistant in the psychology department at Bryn Mawr College, looked at the Amazon reviews for scented and unscented candles over the past few years, and posted several tweets with the data visualization.

Petrova noticed that the reviews were relatively stable from January 2017 to January 2020, but then “there was a sharp drop between January and November 2020.”

In contrast, reviews for unscented candles didn’t show the same decline.

Petrova also found that there was a slight uptick in the number of the negative reviews mentioning a lack of scent.

London-based PhD student Moritz Wagner found a similar trend in the UK Amazon reviews for perfumes.

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