If you had to design tie-in merchandise for a hardcore first-person shooter game like Destiny 2, there’s an obvious starting point. And then there’s what I got in the mail a few days ago in a thin black box: scented candles.
It’s true. An official, Bungie-branded line of Destiny scented candles is a real thing that exists, courtesy of online retailer Numskull. I’ve held them in my hands. I’ve smelled them with my own two nostrils.
Numskull’s site describes these candles as a “must-have fragrant set” that allows you to “light up your room and fill the air with the phenomenal scents captured by infamous [sic] Destiny gameplay.”
Each one has a scent designed to invoke the overall experience of the places you visit in Destiny: Earth, the moon, Mars, Venus and the Dreadnaught (a big, scary, alien warship). These are all locations from the first Destiny, which came out in 2014, and not Destiny 2, which came out this month. This seems odd, especially since they seem to have been included in a press release of other Destiny 2 merchandise, as reported by GameSpot.
I thought maybe Numskull was just trying to move some leftover merchandise from the launch of the first Destiny, but a representative from the company assured me via email that these candles were “brand-new” and had “never been released before.” Regardless, I asked a few of my co-workers to go on a scent journey with me, sampling each candle and having them write down their thoughts. Here’s what they said.
• “Spooky, like Halloween.”
• “Smells like rocks and pepper.”
• “It reminds me of a gravel driveway at a cabin in the Poconos, where my aunt and uncle use to live.”
• “This one smells like a candle made for a man. Like it would be marketed towards men who are afraid to like candles.” (Which is a thing that definitely exists, by the way.)
• “Deep and rich. Spicy. Sexual.”
• “Smells like grass.”
• “I don’t really know what this is, but I don’t like it.”
• “Smoky, a little spicy. Woodsy.”
• “Nope, nope, nope.”
• “Refreshing dirt.”
• “It smells like a nursing home I worked in one summer.”
• “This one smells minty. It reminds me of gum.”
• “This smells like soap.”
• “Mostly floral, fresh and light.”
• “The smells very fresh and herbal. It reminds me of Christmas.”
• “Burning? Smoke?”
• “Earthy, mild.”
So, should you buy these candles for the Destiny lover in your life? My co-workers seemed pleasantly surprised with the way they smelled, but then I told them how much the set cost: $39.99. Responses to the price ranged from “Not for me” to “Fuck no.”
Numskull’s willingness to shake up the branded-merch game is appreciated, but if you’re on the hunt for some Destiny 2 swag, it might be better to get a regular, old-fashioned coffee mug, or maybe this branded onesie. But hey — at least my desk smells nice.