Top notes of cypress? Deep sensual base notes of Havana tobacco? Madagascar vanilla bean? Black pepper and hints of black cherry? What level of cultural sophistication can I measure myself against by being unable to detect the individual notes of fragrance in a $49 candle? I dubiously re-read the golden calligraphy (not hand written but mass produced for a chain of showrooms) that describes the candle’s pedigree. Taking it between my palms, I sniff it again, with labor and with self doubt. Does not identifying the hints of black cherry indicate my failure? Does not being able to purchase and then burn this overpriced candle once again point to my inadequacy? When have candles fallen under the realm of somaliers? How have they been classified as symbols of wealth when, since the age of electricity they had previously been relegated to the archtypes of poverty, superstition and magic? Elite little spots of light, I must turn my back on you as, despite your handpoured status and highbrow scent, it is undeniable that you are still born to burn. And I still have a few drops left of Egyptian rose oil (a true delight because it was a gift!) that I can lose my senses in.