Smells like…. a burger?

Hey, Posse!  How do you feel about your home smelling like … a burger (or some other chow)?  I’m not talking about vanilla or citrus smells – what I call ‘food-adjacent’ smells – rather, it’s actual food items we’re going to discuss here.  And even more specific, food items connected to specific restaurants.

Before we begin (okay, we’re already in it, sorry!) I am doing some scent-memory research.  One of my favorite restaurants is Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago and I can conjure the smell in a nanosecond – it’s a combination of fish & shellfish (mostly raw) wafting from the kitchen.  Butter, garlic.  Chopped parsley.  Beeswax (or an equivalent) and crisp table linens.  Citrus.  Hints of spirits from the adjoining bar.  It’s a luxe, lovely smell – and it’s perfect for the restaurant.

For my home?  Not so much.  Raw fish is fabulous – until it isn’t.

This sorta takes us back to the post on Frites, where so many of you chimed in about the idea of fried potatoes (or, indeed, fried anything) being best left to the experience, since it’s that alchemy of hot oil and starch that is so beguiling but after the fact, it’s the smell that fast-food workers try their hardest to get off themselves!  Ditto seafood – what smells divine whilst sitting in the dining room awaiting your swordfish is the very smell Susan Sarandon used allll those lemons to get off her skin. (for the record, ‘Frites’ does not smell anything at all like the fryer oil – it’s just a charming nod to the idea of french fries – for which I am grateful).

This came up (and is now the subject of this post) because Eater just posted about new candles being made to smell like specific foods – think a Shake Shack burger (Apotheke created the candle and …um… well, you should read the article/review… I’m not going to spoil it here).  Katz’s egg cream is another (I’m not a fan of egg creams but I know what they smell like – and I dunno…)

These are not ‘generic food-scent’ candles… rather, they’re designed to replicate the smell of actual dishes offered by specific restaurants.  Another ‘I dunno’ – the idea of a french fry dipped in milkshake is weird enough to imagine eating…. my house smelling like that mashup?

Well!  What do y’all think about this?  Folks this side of the equator are heading into Autumn, so I expect to see a lot of pumpkin spice candles and vanilla incense… but a candle that smells persackly like a Shake Shack vanilla milkshake?

A candle that smells like Shaw’s tuna tartare?  Oysters on the half shell?


I dunno.  Read the article and let me know what you think.

all photos:  Pexels (and thank you!)

all ‘I dunno’s’:  mine

  • Alityke says:

    Since reading this it got me wondering. I struggle to eat a meal when I’ve spent hours in the kitchen, prepping & cooking it. Things like Sunday roasts & special occasion meals.
    I wonder how much this is caused by being immersed in the cooking smells for a long time before the meal itself? Others just get tantalising whiffs to whet their appetite.
    I’m fine with slow cooked food that just prepped, put in the pot, oven or slow cooker tuned on & then it’s left to its own devices.
    Anyone else get this?

  • Portia says:

    No thanks to the candle but YES PLEASE to choc thickshake dipped McDonalds fries. My favourite!
    Portia xx

  • Maggiecat says:

    One of the main reasons I have a collection of scented candles and oils is to remove the food smells after cooking. They’re lovely in anticipation, but afterward they linger like guests I’ve grown tired of. So candles that smell like burgers…nope. Cinnamon, on the other hand – well that’s just fine.

  • Shivawoman says:

    Blech! No way. When I do go for foodie smells in my house, and I do, it’s vanilla and cinnamon, gingerbread, the occasional cherry- something, pumpkin pie fall essence, and even mocha coffee smells especially if guests are coming over and I’m creating the illusion of a domestic goddess who bakes cookies and cakes all the time instead of constantly sweeping cat hair off everthing. I create these smells using perfumes and oils in diffusers. There’s no way I’d deviate from these homey comfort scents into burgers and fries or anything seafood. Nope.

  • Dina C. says:

    Nope, nope, nope. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want to smell the scent of dinner the minute I’ve finished eating dinner. It makes me queasy. Plus, if I’m not in the mood for a burger, what then? Smelling a burger would put me off. Not a big fan of gourmand scents either. It makes way more sense to try and replicate the smell of a high end hotel lobby or gorgeous spa experience — something that actually smells good anytime.

  • cinnamon says:

    Uh, no … no, no, no. I like eating burgers every once in a long while but I do it out of the house. I cook fish at home and detest how the house smells the next day even though I have the cooktop fan going great guns for around a half hour after even if the fish was cooked in the oven (I tend to light my winter, Xmas smelling candles while cooking fish in the hope that will help a bit). Candles need to smell ‘good’. So, if they are foody, it’s vanilla, orange, spices, baked goods (I would buy the Diptyque Biscuit candle again in a heartbeat). And while I live near the ocean, and salty ocean scented air smells good outside, I don’t imagine concentrated inside it would be something I’d want to be smelling.

    • cinnamon says:

      It appears that Diptyque offers an ‘odour removing’ candle called Le Droguerie ‘with basil, mint and tomato leaf’ — ie, it replaces the unpleasant with this sort of cooling, green smell. I’m sceptical — and it costs £51 for a regular sized candles.

      • Tom says:

        For that price it should dry-clean the air.

      • Alityke says:

        When I ordered some freshly ground curry spices online the delivery came with a tinned “cooks candle” for the kitchen with instructions to burn it after the food had been served.
        I’ve never used it, I prefer to get the dishwasher going immediately & to air the house even when it’s cold.

    • Musette says:

      I’m with you – and I thought I would love that salty ocean smell… but no. Newp! That just makes me feel like I have to mop the floor, for some reason.


  • Eldarwen22 says:

    A house can smell good while you are cooking but after, it’s a nope for me. Fish and onions can be the worst for lingering smells and onion sticks to skin for days. Plain honeycrisp apple candles or the Bath and Body Works Winter candles are a yes for me.

  • Alityke says:

    A hard NO from me! I can perfume my house with my cooking. Then the dishes get washed & the leftovers get covered & go in the fridge or freezer. Smell gone.
    I don’t even like overly perfumey candles or laundry!

  • Tom says:

    I don’t even like open kitchens in the house. (I’d seriously consider having the kitchen off the garage or something) Because I hate it when my house smells of burgers or bacon or broccoli after I cook it. Vanilla candle? Sure. Cheeseburger candle? No thanks.

    • Musette says:

      Blearch! at the thought of a cheeseburger candle.
      Bacon is the most sublime smell in the world – until it isn’t.


  • Tara C says:

    Definitely not, I hate any kind of lingering food smells, unless it’s a delicious dessert.

  • Maya says:

    No, not for me. I don’t want my house to smell like any restaurant meals, unless it comes from takeout or restaurant leftovers. I would rather have a lilac candle for the nostalgia of a childhood playing under real lilacs or a night blooming jasmine one as a reminder of walking at night in the tropics. Happy thoughts, not hungry ones.

  • Kathleen says:

    Nope! I don’t want the house smelling like food. Even when cooking delicious dinner, immediately I want the smell gone. I like the house to smell perfumey!

  • March says:

    I’m willing to consider the idea, and having considered it … no. I have favorite restaurants I can conjure up the smell of, and nope, don’t want my house to smell like them. “Dessert” candles make more sense to me, as many of those smells are already incorporated into perfumes and home scents. I will say that there’s a green chile candle here that smells EXACTLY like those green chile roasters. It’s pretty fabulous but I still don’t know that I want that scenting my home via candle.

    • Musette says:

      Especially since you can just go outside if you want to smell that. I love the smell of green chiles roasting – but don’t want my house to smell like that. Ditto the smell of brisket…….. briiiisket. Brisket Tacos. Taaaacos.

      But don’t want my house to smell like that, either.