Despite my best intentions, and much to my own amusement, I have become a candle girl. Whether it's my Trader Joe's Peach Black Tea mini, my Huntington Home Warm Vanilla 3-wick, or (if I'm feeling really fancy) Kacey Musgraves' Slow Burn candle, a candle is never not lit in my room anymore. That being said, I never, ever want to light QDOBA's new queso candles. Ever. 

I was absolutely stoked when I had the opportunity to try QDOBA's new queso candles, which returned as part of the brand's holiday shop. The online store features a variety of QDOBA merch, including beanies, sweatshirts, and of course, the cursed candles.

Inspired by the Mexican fast-casual chain's (pretty delicious, IMO) queso dip, the neon orange 3-Cheese Queso Candle is *supposed* to smell like cheddar, American, and Monterey jack cheeses. I couldn't tell you exactly what it smelled like, though, because I started gagging as soon as I opened the package. 

Kennedy Dierks

You know the awful smell of, not queso, but the bright yellow-orange fake nacho cheese synonymous with ballpark eats and childhood Lunchables? Imagine that smell, and then multiply it ten-fold. The scent of the queso candle doesn't waft, it simply overwhelms.

Given that I like a good kick of heat with my chips & dip, I had higher hopes for the Queso Diablo scented candle, which is inspired by the brand's "devilishly delicious" spicy dip.

Kennedy Dierks

Somehow, the spicy edition was even worse than the original. Just when I thought I survived the onslaught of that tingles-your-nose hair pepper-y scent, my olfactory nerve was once again hit with the terrible odor of synthetic cheese.

Kennedy Dierks

Each limited-edition candle is priced individually at $15, or $25 for both the 3-cheese and Diablo candles as part of the "Naughty and Nice" set. Apparently, the first time Qdoba dropped queso candles in 2019, they sold out in minutes.

TL;DR: I could have gotten three Starbucks Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Lattes for the price I would have paid for this candle, and I never would have had to smell the Qdoba candles. A missed opportunity.

The corporate foray into novelty-scented products isn't entirely unheard of, though. Last week, Chipotle debuted a cilantro-scented soap bar, while Kentucky Fried Chicken announced the highly-anticipated return of their fried-chicken scented 11 Herb & Spices Firelog — the latter of which is available at Walmart for $15.88, and sure to make your home smell crispy and cozy all season long.

Granted, the queso candles would make an excellent White Elephant entry, or even a great novelty gift for the cheese-lover in your life — especially if paired with a gift card to the restaurant.

My advice, though? Give the gift to its unsuspecting recipient, then run as fast as you can to the nearest Qdoba for queso that's actually edible.