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Trendspotter Gazette: Candle Edition

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Like someone hopped up on the caffeinated-equivalent of twenty-three double-espresso shots, LAist is constantly on the lookout for the trends that shape our city. Imagining ourselves as the Town Crier for Southern California consumer behavior, we've created a special edition "Trendspotter Gazette" in order to spotlight a trendy item ready for the refuse pile.That trendy item? Candles.

About seven and a half years ago, candles hit the Los Angeles scene — filling the void of gift-givers who didn't want to spend more than $9.95 on their close family and friends. Often packaged in a bag and surrounded by frilly colored paper, scented candles was a way to say, "You mean a little bit to me, but not so much, so here's a present that represents that mediocre affection I have for you!"

But 1997 was just the beginning of candle's infection upon the greater Los Angeles area. Shops like Illume began making money off the indecisiveness of gift givers, infusing candles with ridiculous scents like Angel Food Cake and Cheddar Pumpkin Pie Filling.

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Manufacturers began creating candles the size of your car bumper, attaching twelve wicks to tantalize people's inner pyromaniac. Candles were given as gifts at baby showers, bar mitzvahs, bachelor parties, golden-parachute dinners and much, much more. As the naughts came upon us, candles replaced bottles of wine and exquisite wooden boxes (to hold your exquisite crap) as the gift of choice.

Lately, however, the Trendspotter Gazette has noticed a horrifying trend: candles are on their way out. A recent trip to the Arclight Cinemas found a 50% off pile with numerous Illume (and other manufacturers') candles ready for unloading. All the restaurants, movie theaters, car wash stores, clothing boutiques, hardware stores and bakeries that had jumped on the candle bandwagon are now quickly getting out.

According to amateur trend-watchers around us (like our mom), Los Angeles is currently involved in a massive unloading of all the frilly, smelly, heavy candled overstock that was once motivated by trendiness.

We think its a good time to stock up for the next big disaster as candles are at their lowest prices since 2001 — which has something to do with the fact that, well, they're over.

LAist can only guess what trend will replace the great candle tsunami of the late 20th century; we just hope that whatever it is, it doesn't smell like pomegranate, cinnamon or "cookies and cream."

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