Come with me on this journey of smells.
If you need me, I’ll be in the grocery store candle section. JK
For me, mentally surviving this pandemic has been all about the smells. And weed. Maybe it has something to do with the sticky, funky, diesel-y, smoky stank of weed flower. Or the fact that my ability to smell means I probably don’t have COVID. Either way, I can’t stop buying shit to burn and sniff while stoned during this pandemic.
At the start of the stay-at-home orders, being confined primarily to my bedroom (and being furloughed) made me keenly aware of: my own smell, the smell of my room, what I thought my room should smell like, and what I could do to make my room smell different. It goes without saying that I was perma-stoned throughout most of this—puffing on a cheeky joint or getting popcorn lung from my favorite vape.
With nothing better to do, I’ve embarked on a smell journey over the past year to find the best pairing of weed and scents. Here’s some of what I found:
GAS STATION INCENSE
One time this cute girl told me that rose incense always reminded her of going to church with her mom, so now whenever I light rose incense I think of her and her mom. Hi Catherine. JK
I picked up two or three of these boxes while getting gas in the Central District. I loved the idea of getting my incense from the gas station, as if it’s an essential good like milk, condoms, or Hot Cheetos. When I got home, I promptly lit one of the rose-scented babies up and started to suck on my vape pen.
As I got higher and higher, the weed paranoia set in. *suck* Why was I allowing myself to sit in a smoky room? *suck* What was I doing lighting incense, with no windows open *suck* DURING A PANDEMIC!?!??!?!??!?!?? *suck* Doesn’t smoke scratch up your lungs?
I was convinced I would die by incense smoke, not considering that my lungs were filled with weed smoke.
I didn’t die, but I did stab the stick out and open a window, gasping for fresh air.
This bad boy gave me a headache. JK
I usually sail past the candle section at the grocery store, but the section became a regular stop for me over the past few months. As someone who gets stoned before grocery shopping (yes, it’s stressful, yes, I don’t know what’s wrong with me), I love ritualistically blocking the aisle with my giant cart, carefully deciding which candle jar I’ll touch, sniff through my mask, and take home.
On one stoned grocery trip, I tossed an on-sale-for-$10 candle into my cart, excited for the peony smells to mix with the smoke from my favorite pre-roll in my bedroom.
After lighting the candle, puffing a bit on my joint, and trying to float off while watching a Gregg Araki movie, I felt ILL. Being high, I thought it was COVID. But I could still smell the sickly sweet candle, so I figured that wasn’t it. Only when I blew the candle out did I connect that cheap-ish scent to my pounding headache.
I made my friend Pierce take a picture of this candle I gave him because I don’t have one of my own right now. Pierce Adler
Fucking Instagram ads got us here. I used some of my last Trump Bux to buy two $32 candles from Boy Smells I saw advertised online, believing I was the height of excess.
The balance of sandalwood and clay, kush and white amber, is heady but not overpowering and the right companion scent for weed smoking. I delighted in toking on my boobie bowl, cleaning my room, while one of these candles burned in the background. I soon became an annoying candle person, gifting different scents from this company to different friends, like some insistent PR person giving free samples.
Throughout this journey of smells, I found solace in the way that scent can transform a space, especially one that I’ve spent so much time in during the pandemic. I’ve moved furniture around, gotten rid of things, placed some plants in the window, but lighting a nice candle or getting a whiff of incense brings me to a heightened state of being in my room. It makes the daily slog of news a bit more bearable. But maybe that’s just the weed talking.
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