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Ever heard of a Goober candle? Here’s why they’re so popular

These little blobs bring comfort and distraction in the COVID era

Four Goober candles lined up in a row Credit: Areaware

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Statement candles are meant to add a little je ne sais quoi to your living space. They’re meant to spark a conversation rather than infuse your home with nostalgic aromas à la Yankee Candle. In fact, they’re usually scentless.

However, there is an inherent contradiction to the statement candle. These wax figures come in varying shades of colors and shapes from pillars to cubes. They offer a fun place for the eye to land. They’re art pieces. And yet, with a light to the wick they’ll transform and disappear from their conversation-starting shape. It’s a fleeting life.

All this to say it hasn’t stopped the wild success of one statement-making standout: the Goober Candle.

What is a Goober candle?

Lavender Goober Candle in bathroom
Credit: Areaware

It’s hard to deny that the lavender Goober candle entitled “El” doesn’t look like how one feels trudging home after a long day thinking about a cozy evening indoors surrounded by soft light.

Looking like blobs caught in the midst of movement—maybe a slump, twist, or turn—Goober candles feature gentle pastel coloring making them seemingly unassuming.

However, they’ve become a hit in the home décor world as they can easily be a statement piece on a small scale.

The fascination of the candles begins with its peculiar shape, which has been thoughtfully created by designers Mark Talbot and Youngjin Yoon. Both Talbot and Yoon are architects by trade, and Yoon has a background in sculpture, so playing with structure is in the DNA of their design firm.

But, it’s actually animation that is behind their playful design, explained Talbot when we spoke over the phone recently. He and Yoon employed a Disney animator technique known as squash and stretch method.

Talbot says, “Imagine, a ball bouncing. While the ball is in the air, it's not a perfect circle. It's elongated, like an ellipse with long sides. But, when it's in its lowest stage, it looks squashed, because it's impacting the table so you can make a ball look like it is in movement by employing this technique of squash and stretch.”

Talbot and Yoon eventually traded out the ball in the squash and stretch method for something else: the pillar candle. “A pillar candle seems like a kind of boring enough inert object to try and convert into something more lively and exciting,” Talbot says.

The Goober candle isn’t just about making a statement with a flashy color or odd shape, but rather bringing to life an everyday object.

Goobers inspire all the feels

Goober candles have spirit to them that’s undeniable. Upon seeing one you feel as though you caught it about to slink across the countertop.

Captured in the candle is not just a moment in time, but a feeling. “Somebody who saw these very early on said, ‘That one looks like I feel when I need to light a candle’,” Talbot says.

It’s hard to deny that the lavender Goober candle entitled “El” doesn’t look like how one feels trudging home after a long day thinking about a cozy evening indoors surrounded by soft light.

Goober candles are more about connecting to the person than the place in the home. For example, when someone is grumpy and their release is to binge watch some TV, then the candle can be in the living room. Or, if someone takes a bath when they’re feeling down, then it can go into the bathroom. The magic of a Goober, says Talbot, is that “it can go wherever a person would want to have a companion object with them.”

Is it OK to burn a Goober candle?

Three blob shaped candles lit up
Credit: Areaware

By lighting a Goober candle, you can bring it to life.

It’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind when encountering the candle with such a distinguished shape. But, yes! By lighting a Goober candle, you can bring it to life.

The wick is placed with careful consideration within the candle so that it burns cleanly. When lit the paraffin wax glows from within creating a soothing light.

Areaware has a partnership with Talbot and Yoon to manufacture the Goober candles, and pandemic sales have soared.

If you follow Talbot’s line of thinking, it’s no surprise that people have taken to Goober candles as both beautiful home décor and as a way of bringing a little life into their homes.

Talbot says that the pandemic has created an “unknown need for creature comforts of the most basic kind.”

The candles are intended to evoke potent emotions and attract someone in need of comfort or distraction. Judging by their popularity and social media spotlights, they do just that.

Get the Goober Candle at Areaware for $30


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