Candle Review: Literie’s ‘Real Housewives’ Candles

They’re actually better than you’d assume.

Literie
smells like hospital

If you could smell a TV show, which would you pick? I bet you’d pick … ugh, probably a cooking show. That is so you. “OMG that looks so good … I wish we had smell-o-vision,” you’re always saying. I’d pick American Body Shop or something else that took place in a garage, or at a gas station. Or — remember the show Brotherly Love, with the Lawrence brothers? (From 1995?) (I don’t remember it, I’m too young.) They were mechanics, which would be pretty good. Alternatively, I’d love to smell a TV show that took place inside of a Payless shoe store.

Anyway, candle brand Literie launched a line of Real Housewives-scented (or really, -themed) candles this month, all $45, in collaboration with Bravo. Of course we love our wives and would die for them if given the chance, and we love our candles and would self-immolate if it were their will, so “we” (I) had to try them out. Are they any good, or are they a garbage whore? (Or a prostitution whore?) What is MY OPINION!!!!!!!!? Let’s see.

“Flipping Tables”

Scent: “cedar + suede”

Does it smell good: It smells like a normal candle one might own, which I think is high praise for a Real Housewives-themed candle. I’ve been lighting it on cold mornings and burning it for a few hours at a time, and I’ll tell you these things: it burns slowly, and the scent (cedar and suede, sure, but more like “cold-weather candle in general”) (like the kind of candle you would buy at a store that does not exclusively sell candles, but is decent enough that the candles it chooses to stock aren’t terrible) (not Anthropologie; their candles are the worst) is acceptable. And the vessel is beautiful — squat and frosted, professional, glowing with the Housewives flame of eternal love.

Does it smell like Real Housewives: I have to imagine the table-flipping scene smelled more like department store perfume and a carafe of sour red wine, so I’m glad for this interpretation even though it is incorrect.

“September, Spring, Summer”

Scent: “grass + juniper”

Does it smell good: Well, it reminds me of the non-burger elements of the Shake Shack “Burger in the Park” candle so much that I can barely smell it without barfing, but that is hardly the fault of “September, Spring, Summer.”

For those without the traumatically embedded scent memory of a synthetic burger-and-grass novelty candle, it might just smell like the idea of outdoors and sweetness, which isn’t bad. It could be an okay method to scent the house on a bright spring or summer day. Plus, it’s sort of nice that each of these candles (this one and the burger one) aimed for a grass smell and reached the same scent conclusion. Like when you and a school friend get a math problem wrong, but in the same way.

Does it smell like Real Housewives: I’m trying to remember the Housewives ever being outdoors when they weren’t on a girls’ trip, exercising, or doing a snow activity in Salt Lake City. I guess the ladies of Potomac sometimes have picnics, so it could smell like that. But it does not smell like Shereé’s hypothetical lifestyle joggers, no.

“Go to Sleep!”

Scent: “fresh lavender”

Does it smell good: I actually really like this candle. Sometimes lavender candles can be too soapy or too sweet or too strong, but this one is just right. Not like you’re actually smelling lavender, but somehow not synthetic either. Perfect for bedtime, or for watching TV at night if you aren’t having any snacks. (The scent doesn’t go with snacks.)

If you want to buy one of these candles for someone who you know likes Real Housewives but whom you do not know that much else about, either because they’re an acquaintance or because you’re dating them but aren’t particularly curious about them or invested in who they are as a person, buy them this one.

Does it smell like Real Housewives: To smell like the scene the appropriate scent would have been jelly beans. So, no, but also: good.

“Nine Lemons in a Bowl”

Scent: “citrus + ivy”

Does it smell good: Sure. It smells like a muted, floral perfumed version of lemons. The scent is fine for all sorts of things — a bathroom, something to light after you’ve cleaned and want your home to smell like you’ve cleaned but also you want it to smell like perfume for some reason. Maybe you’re taking a bath, but it’s a “wake up” bath and not a “wind down” bath. With a few tweaks (alcohol scent instead of floral scent), they could have called it “carcass out.”

Does it smell like Real Housewives: Sure. Again, it smells like perfumed lemons. “When life gives you lemons … put nine in a bowl!” is I think my all-time favorite Housewives tagline, and this does indeed smell, in part, like the eponymous lemons.

***

Overall, they’re better than you would expect from a line of Bravo candles. Literie plans to add a few extra Housewives candles for the holidays (“Sprinkle Cookies” and “Snowing in Pasadena”), so I thought of a few additional scents they might want to add, maybe for my birthday in February.

“Little Family Van”

This one would smell like gasoline.

“Multiple Partners”

I’VE NEVER SLEPT WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!! This one would be latex scented.

“I’m Being Nailed to the Cross Like Jesus Was — and He Did Nothing Wrong!”

This one would be beautiful and very holy — frankincense, myrrh, resin. They could actually do this for the holiday season.

“Love Tank”

This one is also gasoline.

Pretty good, hm? (They’re all Vicki Gunvalson.)