Make your home smell like a dive bar, like you’ve always wanted

Billiard corner of the Little Joy Cocktail Lounge in Los Angeles
Billiard corner of the Little Joy Cocktail Lounge in Los Angeles
Photo: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times (Getty Images)

There’s a lot we miss about drinking indoors at dive bars—the low lighting, collaborating with friends to create the perfect TouchTunes playlist, cloudy beers in cloudier glasses—and we look forward to returning to their comforting environs soon. Dive bars excel at offering an unquantifiable yet unmistakable atmosphere, one that simply cannot be replicated at home, even though, ahem, some brands have tried to recapture the magic in this way. But scent shares a powerful link to memory, so Miller Lite has designed a line of candles that smell like our favorite categories of watering hole: Dive Bar, Game Day Bar, and Beer Garden.

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product shot of three candles [image provided by Miller Lite]
Image: Miller Lite

All proceeds from the candles will go toward aiding the hospitality industry, via the US Bartenders’ Guild Foundation. From March to September last year, this foundation awarded 32,000 grants to service industry workers impacted by COVID-19, with an average grant amount of $300 per applicant.

The candles can be purchased for $20 each at the company’s online store, which is currently accepting preorders; all candles will be shipped at the end of April. Here are the descriptions of each signature Bar Smell:

  • Dive Bar: Musk, Tobacco, Pine, Yeast
  • Game Day Bar: Salted Peanut, Jalapeno, Cracked Leather
  • Beer Garden: Green Moss, Warm Pretzel, Cracked Wood, Sunburn

These all sound pretty great. (Particularly the Beer Garden one.) But Miller Lite, I ask you this: will the discrete scents listed in the Dive Bar candle coalesce into the one true smell of dank hole-in-the-wall bars everywhere—that is, the sour, almost floral tinge of beer sloshed from uncleaned lines slowly seeping into a wooden bar top whose finish has long since worn away? Because if that’s not accounted for, you can keep it. I’ll still take the Beer Garden one, though.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

DISCUSSION

Needs that splash of urine scent in the Dive Bar candle. And what does ‘Sunburn’ smell like?