Liches & Lye's Fannish Trope Candles Speak Directly to Fanfiction Lovers

I was scrolling through Twitter one day when I spied Liches & Lye's Fannish Trope candles and immediately had to stop and admire them.

That's because everything about them—from the way the candles were labeled to the brand's four-square logo—was immediately recognizable, evoking the signature look of the fanfiction and fanworks site Archive of Our Own (AO3). Even better, the candles themselves were named after classic writing tropes, with scents inspired by those very ideas. I just had to reach out to the brand to learn more about the candles, and was sent one of each of the candles to try out for myself. Here's everything you should know about Liches & Lye's Fannish Trope candle collection.

The Brand

Liches & Lye is a queer-run, one-person operation that specializes in great-smelling products for fans. While the focus for my review was their hand-poured soy wax Fannish Trope candles, the company also sells candles, as well as bath bombs, inspired by the sects from the Chinese TV series The Untamed.

Liches & Lye is based in the U.S. but ships anywhere in the world (if you're willing to pay the price of shipping), with their Fannish Trope candles available in nine trope-inspired scents. The Mini Trope Candles Set containing 4 oz. candles of all nine scents sells for $48.00, while individual candles are available in an 8 oz. aluminum tin for $14, a 10 oz. glass jar for $18 or a 16 oz. glass jar for $22.

Liches & Lye Fannish Tropes AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


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The Candles


When I received my Liches & Lye candles, I just had to take a closer look to appreciate all of the detail put into their design, and I started with my first candle, hurt/comfort. First off, the Liches + Lye logo looked so much like the section next to each AO3 work, which displays the rating, relationships, potential content warnings and completion status for that piece, and the name of the candle was in the same font as a stry title, with "by liches&lye" where an author name would go, and "soy wax candle" listed where the fandom would be.

It also had "tags." In addition to scent notes—for this one,  silver birch leaf, black amber, sheer musk and cedar—it also listed tropes that might be in the fics that inspired the candle: "cave scenes, accidental intimacy, shoulder to cry on" as well as notes about the candle: "hand-poured" and "label from recycled material." Each candle even had a fictional chapter number, a word count and "Kudos," which is basically the AO3 version of a social media like.

I, myself, am always a fan of sense where someone nurses or comforts someone back to health after an injury, and was curious how this scent would match that idea. When I lit the candle, I immediately smelled its woodsy and musky notes, reminiscent of mens' deodorant (in the very best way). I found the scent quite masculine and bold, and could definitely see how that was an interesting match for the idea of nurturing and comfort. Overall, the candle burned for about 24 hours in total, which I found quite impressive for the small candle.

Liches & Lye Hurt/Comfort AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


slow burn

I must admit I loved the ultra-appropriate title of the "slow burn" candle. Slow burn stories tend to be quite long, refusing to rush the events and are all about deliciously waiting for the fated couple to get together—especially when you know they're soulmates from the very start. This candle had a unique scent, like sweet vanilla perfumed with soft florals, with some sharp and tart bourbon notes for added complexity. It has a lingering scent that seems to aptly represent the idea of a slow burn—though the candle itself had a pretty identical burn time to the one before it.

Liches & Lye Slow Burn AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


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Now, fluff is when stories are cute and uplifting, with happy endings. They're just the thing for reading when you need a spiritual lift or just need to see your favorite characters thrive, and the simply scented fluff candle matches that idea to a T. Its notes are champagne and lily of the valley, which I found a bit strong at first, before they mellowed out into a very clean and fresh scent. It doesn't have to be complex smell amazing, just like fluff doesn't need all that extra stuff to put a smile on your face.

Liches & Lye Fluff AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)



Angst, on the other hand, is pretty much the opposite of fluff. After all, there can be something powerful about seeing your favorite characters in pain and not quite getting what they want—whether that results in a happy ending or not. This one blends bay leaf, rose, tobacco and fir to create a fragrance that's satisfyingly grassy and clean. While it doesn't exactly evoke a sense of angst, would you really want it to?

Liches & Lye Angst AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)



Because creators can be horrible and kill off the most beloved characters for shock value and character growth, we love a good reincarnation fic that fixes everything. The candle itself smells like fresh apple pie, backed with greenery and fresh flowers. For some reason, it makes me think of Snow White—who came back from a death of sorts—which I find strangely appropriate.

Liches & Lye Reincarnation AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


enemies to lovers

What's better than a story about two people who can't stand each other at first, but slowly get to know the other and fall madly in love? This candle captures the trope with a little peppery spice and nutmeg and a hint of citrus, evoking the scent of Christmas while also pairing scents that clash and complement each other all at once. If that doesn't signify "enemies to lovers," I'm not sure what does.

Liches & Lye Enemies to Lovers AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


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mutual pining

Mutual pining is another beloved trope, representing those stories where both parties are sure it's unrequited love, while every fan is internally screaming at them to just figure it out and get together already. The candle itself smells like honeyed magnolias with musky undertones, making it sweet and floral and pungent all at once—just like a romance that hasn't quite yet come to be.

Liches & Lye Muatal Pining AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)



Everyone loves reading about characters who are destined to be together—especially in the case that they were clearly meant to be, but the canon stories never made that happen. This soulmates candle has to be in my top two favorites in terms of scent, blending woodsy notes with bright citrus to create something incredibly cozy and inviting.

Liches & Lye Soulmates AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


fake dating

Last, but certainly not least is fake dating, a tried and true romance trope that unfalteringly leads to true love. This candle may be my favorite in the entire lineup, with that impossible-to-nail scent that's reminiscent of sea air, an ocean breeze and fresh flowers. It would be hard not to fall for it—just like the characters in this trope.

Liches & Lye Fake Dating AO3 Fanfiction candle

(via Liches & Lye)


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Bottom Line

If you also recognized the references on these candles at first sight, I can't recommend Liches & Lye's Fannish Trope candles enough. It's great to support small businesses—especially ones that represent communities that matter to you—and each and every candle smells amazing. Whether you try them all or go for a bigger candle with a scent representing your favorite trope, I think you'll be thrilled with the results.


If you can't get enough of candles, click HERE to read our review of Bohēme's travel-inspired candles.