CUSTOMERS are leaving Yankee Candles one-star reviews slamming the candles for having no scent - causing concern that they may in fact have coronavirus.

One eagle-eyed Twitter user noticed reviews of the popular scented candles had gone downhill in recent months, correlating with the time many people were suffering with the virus known to cause a loss of taste and smell.

@TerriDrawsStuff tweeted: “There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candles’ site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all. I wonder if they’re feeling a little hot and nothing has much taste for the last couple of days too?”

It was an observation that sparked online detectives into action, not least @kate_ptrv who produced graphs to back up Terri’s theory.

She tweeted:"I couldn’t just walk past this Tweet, so here is some fun #dataviz Scented candles: An unexpected victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"First, I downloaded a random subsample of US-based customer reviews of the 3 most popular scented candles on Amazon. Between January 2017 and January 2020, the average rating stayed around 4.3/5, but there was a sharp drop between January and November 2020. 

"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 *One thing to note: fewer reviews are available for unscented candles than for scented ones.

"Since the beginning of 2020, customer satisfaction with scented candles has been dropping at a much faster rate compared to unscented candles.

"That’s where things get really interesting. Instead of just looking at ratings, I decided to dig into the content of these reviews, so I wrote a quick function that flagged all reviews that mentioned lack of scent.

"Now, most people were rating their candles without taking the time to write a detailed review, so I expanded my sample to include top 5 scented candles from 4 different brands.

"Since the beginning of this year, the proportion of reviews mentioning lack of scent grew from < 2% in January to close to 6% in November. These numbers may not seem like much, but the trajectory of no-scent reviews over the last 11 months is certainly an interesting one."

Eager to point out she was in no way affiliated with any scented candle company Kate urged her followers to cut them some slack. 

"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," she said.

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

As reported by IFL Science, the reviews for the secented candle have in fact taken a downward spiral. 

"I would have more function using it as a light than I do to fill my room with any type of aroma," wrote one reviewer.

"While others are stating that the scent of this candle is quite faint, I believe mine has very little to absolutely no smell at all," said another.

While this is all speculation it's hard to look at the data and not see a correlation. Yankee Candles, the victim of the coronavirus pandemic nobody expected.