Mar­ian Keyes

Sud­den Wild En­thu­si­asms No: 26 Anuyou can­dle

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE -

My su­per­power is an acute sense of smell. I can de­tect and iden­tify all kinds of stuff and could do a Her­cule Poirot/ Sher­lock Holmes de­con­struc­tion of a per­son’s en­tire life sim­ply by stand­ing near them and tak­ing a sniff.

“You’re hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing, you poor thing. I’m pick­ing up traces of diphen­hy­dramine, the main in­gre­di­ent in an­ti­hys­tamines, but the hayfever season hasn’t ar­rived yet, so in­som­nia, yes? Yes!

“You stood next to a young woman on the Luas who’d washed her hair in ap­ple- flavoured sham­poo and, not so long ago, you had a rush of shame about some­thing be­cause the acrid whiff of uric acid is leak­ing from your pores. Aha! You ate half a scone, right? No, I can’t ac­tu­ally smell the scone – there are crumbs on your shirt. But you’re feel­ing guilty be­cause you’re sup­posed to be do­ing a high- protein thing. Well, the good news is that you’re still in ke­to­sis be­cause your breath reeks of nail var­nish re­mover.”

And so on. As a su­per­power, hav­ing an acute sense of smell is one of the less im­pres­sive ones. In fact, it’s a down­right im­ped­i­ment to a happy life be­cause many smells are un­pleas­ant. And strangely enough, some of the most un­pleas­ant of all are the ones that are spe­cially man­u­fac­tured to be “nice”.

I never wear perfume, I can’t take it – even if it’s “fra­grant” – it feels like an as­sault. If I’m hugged by some­one wear­ing perfume, I can smell them for the rest of the day and frankly I re­sent be­ing forced to go about my busi­ness in a cloud of David­off Cool Water or Katy Perry’s Meow! ( Yes, that’s an ac­tual perfume.)

I’m ex­tra- choosy about the smells I admit to my house be­cause a bad can­dle hang­over can linger for weeks.

Which brings me to Anuyou, an Ir­ish com­pany set up by two old school­friends. Wor­ried about all the chem­i­cals in their nip­pers’ bub­ble bath, they started home- mak­ing their own nat­u­ral, ef­fec­tive soaps. They moved on to mois­turis­ers, balms ( their night balm is es­pe­cially fa­baliss) and now can­dles.

Said can­dles are made of soy wax and the wick is made from balsa wood. These things mat­ter be­cause paraf­fin wax is toxic.

As are wicks that con­tain lead and other me­tals.

There are 12 dif­fer­ent flavours, all made with es­sen­tial oils. My favourite is White Witch, mostly be­cause of the name. ( But it also smells lovely – an unsweet, more- ish, at­trac­tively grown- up blend of camomile and sage.)

As a su­per­power, hav­ing an acute sense of smell is one of the less im­pres­sive ones

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