the perfect candle

The Perfect Candle for Tennis Lovers

Photo: Sophia Signorelli (BeccaPR)

Ah, the U.S. Open. The swoosh of the racket, the bounce of the ball, the score of the point. It’s happening from August 21 to September 9, a period of time in which we are currently living, and Serena Williams is going to be there. I must now admit we’ve reached the extent of things I know about the U.S. Open. My apologies. I’d like to tell you about a tennis-ball-scented candle, however, which is apropos, and I hope you “love” it, ha-ha!

Here is how Otherland, a candle company founded in 2017 by a woman named Abigail Cook Stone, explains the “Matchpoint” candle:

Abigail’s obsession with tennis balls dates back to her childhood working at Boston’s Cambridge Tennis Club. Reflecting on the summer she fielded Rafael Nadal’s aces as a ball girl at the 2010 U.S. Open while working for Ralph Lauren, Abigail was inspired to capture the distinct aroma of opening a pressurized can of tennis balls. In Matchpoint, the rubber-forward scent of tennis ball is elevated by fragrances of freshly cut grass and cool cucumber to evoke dewy mornings on the courts.

Of course, the idea of dewy mornings on the courts is something that makes me wish I liked playing tennis, because that sounds very nice. But is the candle itself very nice? Let’s see.

Is the candle good?

I love industrial scents. My greatest wish is that Home Depot would release a Home Depot–scented candle (lumber, concrete, rubber, hard work, finding the part to fix your toilet yourself), and my second-greatest wish is that Payless shoe store would release a Payless-scented candle (affordable new shoes, oh my God, plastic, rubber, fake leather, it’s so good). I love to pass a construction site and smell the construction scent, and also I love when I accidentally get gasoline on my hands at the gas station. And, oh my God, the scent of a garage. This means the rubber scent of this candle is very much up my alley, and I love it. My only complaint is that it is not more intensely rubber, like, “Why does your apartment smell like a rubber factory”–level rubber. I’d love that, but I do understand it is not for everyone.

Yes, for those who do not wish to burn a candle that smells only like rubber, as I would, the cucumber scent cuts it quite nicely. Refreshing and bright. Like you’re sipping on cucumber water in a tennis-ball store. It’s nice and not very strange, but still a little strange, which I like.

(I’d like to point out, also, that the frosted pink container with a little tennis court in the logo is adorable. So cute. I love when things are pink. The candle itself is white and, as you can see in the photo, it comes with a little topper to use when you are not burning the candle.)

How much does it cost, and how long will it last?

It costs $36 and has a 55-hour burn time. I’m more inclined to believe the burn time here than I usually am, as the candle has so far, for me, burned almost problematically slowly. The first time I lit it I left it burning for around two hours and, upon blowing it out, I was surprised to see the surface area hadn’t entirely melted yet.

As you know, if you blow out a candle the first time you light it before the entire surface area has melted, it will likely burn unevenly from then on. Alas, I had to blow it out because it was bedtime. Damn. It’s not easy reviewing candles, but of course we do it for the love of the game.

When should you burn this candle?

When you’re watching the U.S. Open, duh. The full experience. It’s almost as if you’re there, but you never even had to leave your apartment, which is better.

Who should buy this candle?

I’m not particularly athletic, nor do I have many particularly athletic friends, but I do have one friend who is particularly into tennis, and I always think of him when I see a tennis court, or a dog with a tennis ball in his mouth, or something that says “TENNIS” on it, like the façade of the Prospect Park Tennis Center. It’s nice to remember a friend. And who is the friend of which I speak? Of course, it’s the friend to all writers; to read him is to know him; the inimitable: David Foster Wallace. Just kidding, it’s my friend Mike.

This would be a good candle for my friend Mike. Or, I suppose, for any tennis player competing in the U.S. Open. Maybe you can buy this candle for your favorite tennis player in the U.S. Open if they lose (to cheer them up) or if they win (to celebrate).

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The Perfect Candle for Tennis Lovers