3 December 2020
Scented candles are the latest victim of COVID
Online retailers are at the mercy of their customers at the best of times, with even the slightest disappointments leading to savage comments being eternally displayed in the public shopping malls of Amazon and eBay.
In pandemic times, customers are not holding back… SARS-CoV-2, which often robs its hosts of their sense of smell, appears to have caused a dip in the customer satisfaction around scented candles, according to a story in The Washington Post.
This gossip about the sudden downturn in star ratings for candles took off on Twitter recently, and prompted Kate Petrova, a research assistant with the Harvard Study of Adult Development at Bryn Mawr College, to nail down the facts by scraping around 20,000 reviews of scented candles from Amazon.
Her results showed that the reviews of the most popular scented candles were around 4 and 4½ stars every year but dropped a star in 2020 – possibly thanks to unrecognised COVID infections depriving reviewers of their olfactory powers.
The star rating of unscented candles, however, was unscathed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I couldn’t just walk past this Tweet, so here is some fun #dataviz
— Kate Petrova (@kate_ptrv) November 27, 2020
“Horrible candles, no scent at all,” one reviewer wrote.
“I literally had to bring my nose to the rim of the jar to notice any scent,” said another.
“This is one of the weakest Yankee Candle scents I’ve ever had the displeasure of purchasing.”
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