Yankee Candle Reviews Trend Downward For Disturbing Reason

By Kristi Eckert | 3 weeks ago

Yankee Candles have a long-standing reputation for being of top-notch quality. And given that the company has been in business for over 50 years it’s safe to say that they know what they are doing in terms of crafting candles. However, in recent weeks Yankee Candle product reviews have been plummeting due to people complaining that they are unable to smell any aromas wafting from the candle. Negative reviews, for any business, are not something so out of the ordinary. However, according to Protocol the reason for Yankee Candle’s uptick in negative reviews could potentially be due to a very disturbing reason. 

The increase in negative Yankee Candle reviews first became noticeable last month. Reviewers were flooding Amazon with comments pointing to the minimal or non-existent fragrances coming from the candles. In fact, the rise in customer dissatisfaction became so apparent that it quickly became somewhat of a running gag on social media with people joking that the reviewers couldn’t smell anything because they had COVID. However, what was said in jest could actually have some truth to it. As unsettling as it is to think, the increase in the number of people who were dissatisfied that they were unable to smell their Yankee candle could be indicative of the larger trend of surmounting COVID cases as both the Omicron and Delta variants surge. 

yankee candle

Nick Beauchamp who is a professor at Northeastern University and specializes in both natural-language processing and machine learning thought that there might be some merit behind this proposed correlation, albeit from some astute social media observers. In an attempt to scientifically identify a correlation between the seemingly simultaneous rise in negative Yankee Candle reviews and COVID cases he used an online tool to collect data from the reviews pertaining to the top 3 best-selling Yankee Candles that contained the key phrases “no smell” or “no scent.” 

Beauchamp plotted his findings in a graph that he published on Twitter and what he found was outright bewildering. The rise and fall of reviews containing the aforementioned key phrases from the period between January 2020 and December 2021 showed an almost identical, save for a few outliers, correlation to the increase and decrease of COVID-19 cases. His findings, although somewhat unconventional, point to how closely tied the virus has become to even the most innocuous of purchases.

In addition to plotting the data from the number of cases and Yankee Candle reviews containing the key phrases, he also plotted on a different graph the percentages of each. Both data points on that graph too showed a similar alignment trend. Beauchamp’s research reflects his larger interest in using alternative data to track the abundance, or lack thereof, of COVID cases at any given time. Take a look at his findings below.

At present, Protocol detailed that Beauchamp is “…conducting ongoing, grant-funded research on using Twitter data to track COVID-19 trends.” What’s also interesting, is that as unique as Beauchamp’s Yankee Candle work might be, a similar study was done at Bryn Mawr College who’s findings yielded results not unlike Beauchamp’s. Should more qualified researchers become aware of the work being done by Beauchamp and Bryn Mawr College, it would be interesting to see how alternative data such as this could be further used in analyzing the overarching social studies to come out of COVID-19.