Great Britain

Negative reviews of scented candles surge after increase in Covid infections

An enterprising student has found a correlation between negative reviews for scented candles and a rise in coronavirus infections.

Kate Petrova, who studies neurology and social psychology at Harvard, posted a fun data thread on Twitter on the "unexpected victims" of the pandemic.

It seems that negative reviews of the top three scented candles on Amazon increased as rates of Covid-19 grew.

She said : "First, I downloaded a random subsample of US-based customer reviews of the 3 most popular scented candles on Amazon. 

"Could it be because of the COVID-related loss of smell? To investigate, I plotted the reviews of the 3 most popular unscented candles on Amazon*, and the difference was quite striking."

Ms Petrova found that since the beginning of 2020 customer satisfaction for scented candles was dropping much faster than for unscented ones.

She expanded her dataset to include the top five scented candles and found that ‘no scent’ reviews grew from less than two per cent in January to six per cent in November.

The scholar added: "So, if you are doing any virtual Black Friday shopping today, and if you still have your sense of smell, maybe buy a scented candle and leave a nice review. 

“And no, I don't work for a candle company. I just like looking at data.”

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