A couple from Vermillion, S.D., is selling devotional candles they say smell like Jesus.
Years ago, Karen Tosterud was reading her Bible when she came across Psalm 45, which includes this description of the awaited Messiah: “Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.”
“I realized that gives the formula for Jesus’ scent when he returns,” she said.
So she sent away for those oils, which, mixed together, produced a scent that she laced with cinnamon and flowers.
Fast forward to last October, when she realized that she and her husband, Bob, could market candles with the fragrance.
“He teaches entrepreneurship at the University of South Dakota, so it seemed like a natural thing for us,” she said.
Thus was born His Essence, the candle, a fledgling business that has since overwhelmed the Tosteruds. After starting with an initial batch of 768 candles, they’ve sold 10,000 nationwide and are on the verge of ordering another 5,000.
“We’ve yet to make a cent on this, because all the money has gone back into making the candles,” Tosterud said. “But we’re not doing this to make money. We see this as a ministry, a way to remind people that Jesus is in our lives all the time.”
Uh, okay. Seems well-meaning but misguided.