15 Cool and Unusual Candles

PyroPet's Dreki dragon candle
PyroPet's Dreki dragon candle
PyrotPet, Amazon

Candles are a great way to add some ambiance to any room—especially when that candle smells like pancakes. The next time you're planning a special evening, with yourself or someone else, consider these options.

1. Fruit-Shaped Candles

Three candles shaped like avocado halves
WINGOFFLY, Amazon

Your favorite fruit can now be your favorite candle, too. These surprisingly lifelike avocado-shaped candles burn for five to six hours and come in a set of three. We can't guarantee that they smell like fresh avocados, though. If fruit-shaped candles are your jam, you can also find them in the shape of lemons, grapes, strawberries, peaches, and more, but we find the avocado version the most charming. (If vegetables are more your style, there are also carrot-shaped candles.)

Buy it on Amazon for $16 for three.

2. 60-Hour Coiled Candles

A candle with coiled wax
Candle by the Hour, Amazon

This long-lasting candle features a coiled design that promises 60 hours of burn time—20 minutes for every inch of wax. Simply pull the candle through the clip to burn more. The candle self-extinguishes when it burns down to the clip, allowing you to use it as a timer. It comes in vertical and horizontal coil designs, and can be refilled when you reach the end.

Buy it on Amazon or The Grommet starting at $29.

3. Skunk- and B.O.-Scented Candles

An array of candle tins
Stinky Candle Co.

If fresh pine isn’t your thing, may we suggest nacho cheese? The Stinky Candle Company specializes in candles boasting unorthodox odors. Choose from off-putting scents like chlorine, onion, skunk, and body odor, or go for some more delightful scents, like clean puppy and pizza. While we don’t recommend the fart or skunk candles, the money candle definitely has some potential.

Buy it on Amazon or the Stinky Candle Co. site for $12, or join the company's candle-of-the-month club for $120 per year.

4. Book-Scented Candles

Perfect for curling up with a good book, these candle scents were inspired by classic literature. Pick from “Sherlock’s Study,” “Oxford Library,” or “Halfling Hills,” or channel the smell of your favorite collection with scents like “Old Books” and “Reading at the Cafe.”

Buy it on Amazon for $22.

5. Cat Skeleton Candles

A pink cat candlee burns next to a melted version of the same candle
PyroPet, Amazon

These geometric cat candles—first featured on Kickstarter in 2013—hold a (slightly morbid) surprise inside. Once lit, a skeleton cat emerges, which almost makes you feel bad for setting it on fire in the first place. If the cat's not your style, the candle also comes in the form of a bird, dragon, deer, and more.

Buy it on Amazon or The Grommet for $35.

6. Roman Candles

Fred Roman Candles
Fred, Amazon

The packaging on these punny Roman-numeral-shaped candles from Fred promises they'll help you party like it's MCMXCIX.

Buy it on Amazon for $10.

7. Cactus-Shaped Candles


ornerx, Amazon

These realistic cacti candles might fool your friends—until you light them. The wax candles come in sets of six.

Buy it on Amazon for $9.

8. Pancake-Scented Candles

A Man Can flapjacks-scented candle
Beaver Creek Candle Company

Here’s another unusually scented candle for your enjoyment. Created by the Beaver Creek Candle Company, the ManCan Flapjacks candle is designed to smell like breakfast. As the name implies, it comes in a metal can. Fancy!

Buy it from Beaver Creek Candle Company starting at $4.

9. Candles With Plantable Packaging

These candles smell like a blooming garden filled with poppies and sunflowers. If the floral candles make you long for the real deal, simply soak the seed-infused boxes in water and plant them in the ground.

Buy it on UncommonGoods for $28.

10. Chocolate Egg Cream-Scented Candles


Katz's Deli, Amazon

You may know that Katz’s Deli has its own beer, but did you know it sells a candle, too? Made in New York City, these wax creations evoke the restaurant’s famous chocolate egg creams. Light one and be transported to the Lower East Side, no matter how far away you actually are.

Buy it from Katz's Deli or on Amazon for $25 plus shipping.

11. Crackling Fire Candles

The next best thing to a real fireplace? These candles, which boast wooden wicks that crackle as though you'd thrown another log on the pile. Inspired by the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," the candle smells like vanilla, cinnamon, and clove—the scents of a long winter's nap, according to the creators.

Buy it on UncommonGoods for $30.

12. Edible Candles

These birthday candles are designed to both adorn your dessert and be your dessert. Available in dark or milk chocolate and five different designs, Let Them Eat Candles feature a wick that you can remove after the singing ends, allowing you to eat the delicious chocolate sticks.

Buy it on The Grommet for $12 for three.

13. Terrarium Candles

Hand-made by Canadian designer Zoe Tang, these terrarium candles contain incredibly detailed plants made out of wax. The candles come in two varieties: either jasmine-scented poppy on a white-tea-scented base or pine-scented cactus on a vanilla base. They’re so beautiful, you probably won’t even want to light them.

Buy it from UncommonGoods for $20.

14. Hatching Dinosaur Candle

This is one candle you’ll be excited to finish. The egg-shaped candle melts down to reveal a delightful surprise—a tiny porcelain raptor.

Buy it from ThinkGeek or Firebox for $30 and up.

15. Glacier-Shaped Candles

Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson's creations have a message behind them: Global warming can only be ignored for so long. Just like real ice, these wax designs melt when they get hot—and just like real glaciers, they're increasingly rare. Since their creation in 2015, they've sold out at most retailers, but you can still get them (albeit for a higher price) from Pamono.

Buy it from Pamono for $82.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A version of this article first ran in 2015. It has been updated to reflect current availability.

This Convenient, Comfortable Travel Pillow Doesn’t Wrap Around Your Neck

Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images
Manuel-F-O/iStock via Getty Images

If an angry bit of airplane turbulence has recently whammed your forehead into the window, you probably have the bruises to prove that sleeping on the go can be a dangerous game. Though neck pillows can offer some security, not everyone’s a fan—some people can’t sleep totally upright, some don’t think it provides enough support, and others simply don’t like the feeling of a plush toilet seat curled around their necks.

For those people, there’s the Ostrich Pillow Mini, a tiny, oblong pillow into which you slip your hand, forearm, or elbow, depending on what’s most comfortable for you. It will stay in place and protect your head from airplane turbulence in a way that no balled-up, threadbare hoodie ever could, but it’s not just for those lucky winners (or purchasers) of window seats. You can use the pillow wherever you might be inclined to rest your head on top of your arms, including plane or train trays, piles of library books, and office desks. One Amazon customer even used the pillows as elbow pads to protect himself from unforgivingly hard arm rests.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

Since the Ostrich Pillow Mini essentially works as an extension of your arm, you don’t have to stay stone-still while you sleep. As Travel + Leisure’s Claudia Fisher puts it, “Sometimes, I even wake up from a nap to discover I’ve shifted in my sleep but brought my little arm pillow with me to support my head in its new spot.”

In addition to its main opening, the pillow has two other holes. One is a small, finger-sized opening through which you slide your thumb if you’re keeping the pillow on your hand. The other is a larger hole at the other end, through which you slide your hand if you want the pillow to stay on your forearm or elbow.

Ostrich pillow mini
Amazon

It’s compact enough that you can easily fit it into your carry-on bag, backpack, or briefcase, and understated enough that you can power nap in public without drawing attention to yourself. The outer layer is light gray, and the inner layer comes in Midnight Grey, Blue Reef, or Sleepy Blue. You can order it for $35 from Amazon.

Check out some other ways to make flying more comfortable here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now for $20 before its August 27 release date.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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