Candles for Dudes: Fun Gift or Proof Manliness is Dead?

Yankee Candle

Is a lawn-scented candle sexist? And if so, is it worth letting that go to protect a man’s ego?

That’s the quirky philosophical question Boston Globe editorial writer Jennifer Graham wrestled with in a recent piece. The candles in question are sold by Yankee Candle, the premiere name in smelly fire-based products.

Along with “Riding Mower,” the company sells “Mmm, Bacon!,” “Man Town,” “Movie Night” and “First Down” scents, all geared toward a male market (or to people who buy gifts for men. The collection gets a hearty push around Father’s Day).

What, dudes can’t like the smell of lilac?

Even if considering some smells are male and some female scents are sexist, Graham thinks maybe society can spot the fellas this last gasp of traditional manliness.

“These are the last permissible acts of sexism: mowing, grilling, and piloting the family car with the wife in the passenger seat,” she wrote. “These are allowable offenses, the soft sexism that’s still okay, even in a nation that too easily bristles. They are tender bones thrown to comfort men we love.”

What do you think? Are these candles a small signal that sexism is still a real issue in our society? Or are these just fun gifts for guys? Is this just taking some clever marketing, or do small affronts like this really matter? Tell us your thoughts (and your idea for a man-friendly candle scent) in the comments below!

South End Patch