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Smoke Odor Candles Keep OG Cannabis Culture Alive

Smoke Odor Gummies candle
Photos courtesy of Smoke Odor Exterminator


Smoke Odor Candles Keep OG Cannabis Culture Alive

The legacy candle brand has been serving the cannabis community and beyond for over 25 years. While still evolving with the times, this is one brand that’s stayed true to itself—and its customers. Its new 420 jar candle range takes us back to “the good ol’ days” with thoughtfully fun and nostalgic aromas that delight the senses.

With 420 a few short days away, we’re inclined to think about the history behind this annual cannabis celebration and how the industry continues to evolve in the wake of expanding legalization in the US and worldwide. Despite all the change (for better or for worse), the words “four-twenty” evoke a sense of secrecy and play, inviting us to revel in the more carefree days of yesteryear.

The term “420” dates back to 1971 when a group of high school friends in Marin County, known as the Waldos, made up the secret slang as a code word for “cannabis.” They would use this word to plan smoke sessions and refer to any happenings around the illegal substance. While its meaning and use gradually spread, the term became not so secret. However, it was still reserved for those “in the know.” Fast forward to present day, where the stigma of cannabis is waning with expanding legalization, and 420 has become more of a symbol for cannabis appreciation and OG culture than a useful code word.

Today’s business owners who experienced and maybe even influenced the underground club of cannabis culture garner a certain level of respect that money simply can’t buy. They’re the people you can’t help but ask, “What was it like? How did you make it?” They’re the ones keeping the history and the essence of American cannabis culture alive. One company that goes hand-in-hand with 420 and cannabis culture is legacy brand Smoke Odor Exterminator (known more commonly as “Smoke Odor”). While the company officially launched in 1999, its roots go back—all the way back—to the Seventies.

The year 1974 was a big one for Smoke Odor Founder Paul Hoge, who was living in Naples, FL, at the time. It was the year he graduated high school and the year he learned to make candles—a hobby that would forever change his life’s trajectory. Driven by a creative spirit and knack for commerce, Hoge turned his passion project into a thriving business. For the next 25 years, Hoge’s candles would go through numerous changes and renditions as he and the team explored new markets and formulations.

Hoge says they first began selling to a truck stop and tobacco outlet store in North Carolina. “We rode the wave of interest across the country as the 1960/1970 tie dye headshops and tobacco outlet stores morphed with the help of vape into the current day smoke shops,” he says.

Finally, in 1999, they landed on a true winner—what Hoge aptly calls “the destiny and legacy” of the Smoke Odor candle, which later grew into the Smoke Odor Exterminator brand we know today.   

This new candle, made with a proprietary enzyme formulation, did more than smell good; it actually broke down the bad odors to get rid of them, filling a real need for cannabis smokers (or any kind of smoker). And they don’t just work on smoke either—they’re equally as effective on pet and cooking odors.

“Smoke Odor candles also make it easier when Mom comes to visit,” Hoge points out. “A lot of people say our candles and sprays are a relationship improvement product when one person smokes and the other does not.”

Hoge’s enthusiasm and love for what he does, combined with his inherently clever nature, is still alive and well today. Some say it’s the key to Smoke Odor’s continued success. Hoge also attributes it to timing.

“We were blessed that our stars lined up at the perfect time in history; we attracted the right employee team; and we creatively developed the line, going from a traditional Creamy Vanilla to our pop culture Hippie Love fragrance,” Hoge says. “This steady as a hare evolution took us right from the hidden closet of pot smokers trying to hide their dank cannabis smell from their cars and apartments to creating a reliable candle, spray and car freshener that consumers can easily find in their community or online. This made it easier not to be a closet smoker and to come out in the open about the pleasure of smoking.”

“This steady as a hare evolution took us right from the hidden closet of pot smokers trying to hide their dank cannabis smell to creating a reliable candle, spray and car freshener that consumers can easily find in their community and online. This made it easier not to be a closet smoker and to come out in the open about the pleasure of smoking.”

Smoke Odor has been part of the counterculture scene since the ‘70s, and in a way, grown up alongside the changes in consumer preferences and politics. Fifty years since he first learned to make candles, Hoge’s relentless creativity and passion for the business is made evident with every new fragrance and product release. More than 24 standard and pop culture scents are available to choose from online and at your local smoke shop.

The brand is also continually releasing seasonal and limited-edition fragrances like the recent 420 Intro, which consists of four aromas: Gummies, Magic Mushroom, 420 and Munchies. Smoke Odor’s imaginative aromas and amusing designs invite you to have fun and not take life quite so seriously. Now, let’s take a closer look at Smoke Odor’s new 420 products.

New 420 Jar Candle Collection: Years In The Making

Jeanne Swanson, who’s worked behind the scenes at Smoke Odor Exterminator for many years, shares that this year’s line of 420 candles is extra special. “This year’s 420 jar candles line has literally been years in the making,” she says. The four scents were created to satisfy every mood that may strike while celebrating 420.

420 Jar Candle

Smoke Odor introduced a brand new 420 fragrance for this year’s festivities. It’s a blend of bright cassis, juicy plum, red currants and cannabis leaf with a little kick of pink peppercorn. This carefully curated blend is perfect for 420, as it has that smooth, relaxed feel—kind of like that perfect high you might be searching for. It’s not a heavy weed smell by any means, but it makes you feel just right.

Like all Smoke Odor candles, it’s not just about the fragrance. The 420 label features flowers, tie-dye graphics and a clock reference. It’s an artful combination of past, present, and future, asking you to enter the “proverbial rabbit hole,” if you dare. You can get as lost in the label as you can in the scent. All in all, this is the perfect candle for setting the mood on 420, but you’re invited to experience 420 at any time of day when you light this candle up.

Gummies Jar Candle

Like opening a bag of your favorite, soft chewy candies, the Gummies 13-ounce jar candle smells just like gummy bears. The fragrance of the Gummies candle pays homage to the Grateful Dead bears and also a favorite snack you might reach for when the munchies hit. These 420-friendly candles are bursting with fruity flavors like black cherry, ripe peach, pink grapefruit and tangy lemon with a hint of vanilla sugar.

Magic Mushroom Jar Candle

With a label that glows bright under a black light, the Magic Mushrooms jar candle takes us back to the psychedelia of the ‘60s and ‘70s in multiple ways—a trend that’s also regaining popularity today. The scent is a unique and fascinating blend of hibiscus, lemon, kiwi, Maui passionflower, coconut, tonka bean, pineapple blossom and many other exotic florals.

“Magic Mushroom not only smells fantastic, but its label shines under a blacklight, taking us all on a little trip back to the ‘70s,” Swanson shares.

Munchies Jar Candle

An absolute must for the 420 lineup, the Munchies jar candle puts yummy into the air. It’s a cornucopia of delicious fragrances that you would find at your local foodie festival such as caramel and hot buttered popcorn, freshly made donuts, warm cinnamon churros, sweet dough, vanilla and more. What foods can you pick out?

You can find these fragrances now at your local smoke shop, vape shop or dispensary until around mid-May, depending on the retailer. Then, they’ll be back in Spring of 2025 in some form or another, ready to ring in another 420 celebration.

Timeless Fragrances For Everyone

While Smoke Odor Exterminator is keeping history alive, they’re also managing to evolve with the times. The brand continues to make changes that both resonate with consumers and make sense financially. With a fan base ranging from teenagers to retirees, Hoge and his team are continually releasing new fragrances that appeal to every age group. They make more traditional, straight-forward scents such as Lavender with Chamomile and Maui Wowie Mango in addition to pop culture fragrances like Hippie Love and Happy Daze.

Smoke Odor products can be found in smoke shops and dispensaries nationwide. In addition to their 13 oz. jar candles sold for the reasonable price of $10 – $14, Smoke Odor Exterminator also offers 7 ounce sprays and car fresheners so that your entire life can “feel the love.”

“As our 50-year tradition of proudly making candles in the USA continues, we work tirelessly to create a product that is extremely high quality, but also a popularly priced product that our ‘mom and pop’ retailers, smoke shops, vape shops, dispensaries, cigar shoppe, tobacco outlet stores and online entrepreneurs can offer with great value to consumers,” Hoge says, speaking to their ongoing mission to deliver a high-quality product at an affordable price point while still supporting local business owners and keeping dollars in local communities. “We all work together as a team to eliminate smoke, pet and cooking odors. #shoplocal for all your 420 treats.”

The Smoke Odor Difference

Yes, these candles are fun and smell amazing, but they’re more than just a candle. Smoke Odor candles remove smoke, vape, cigars and any unwanted household odors, thanks to their proprietary enzyme formulation. Unlike other “odor-eliminating products,” Smoke Odor candles don’t just mask bad smells—they destroy them at a molecular level. All products are American-made in North Carolina, and you can expect every candle to burn for approximately 70 hours.

Smoke Odor Candles
Model @angela_mazzanti poses with the 420 candles and more.

Preserving Cannabis Culture

With so many fragrances to choose from, one could probably give a timeline of cannabis history with Smoke Odor Exterminator Candles. No other brand captures the scent of an era or sensibility quite like they do. Hoge, Swanson and the rest of the Smoke Odor Exterminator family are keeping the underground OG culture alive, perhaps even unintentionally. It’s in their blood.

“My first thought goes right back to the Blacklight label on our Magic Mushroom candle; I’m going a little old school on that one,” Swanson says, when asked how the brand is keeping weed culture alive. “But we’ve also created some more 1960s vibes with candles like Hippie Love, Trippy Hippie, Flower Power and then the aromas from Woodstock, including Patchouli and Sandalwood.”

You can learn more about Smoke Odor products at and stay in the know on their latest releases and more by following their Instagram handle @smokeodorcandles. As Paul reminds us, “shop local,” and Happy 420!

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