Playing with fire(logs)

I love it when you get your eyes opened to a world you hardly knew existed. I think back to when I was a kid and we first got cable, and exploring this amazing world of expanded channel choices. I think of the early days of the Internet, when it was still in the kinda fun phase. You know, before it became as shouty as it is today.

And I now am learning about the expanding world of fire logs.

My family loves a good fire, and pretty much any time it dips below 60, I’m game for one. And I usually prime it by using a firelog, one of those compact, sawdusty things that usually advertise 3-4 hours of burn time.

I usually buy a box of the Duraflame logs at my nearby grocery store, figuring the standard issue ones in the big yellow box was all I needed.

And then my eyes were opened. My wife and I were shopping at the store after a recent cold spell. Lows were pushing near freezing at night, which represents a fairly deep dive into winter here, so folks with fireplaces all go into action.

We were out of firelogs, so we went to the aisle where they live to get some more. Alas, no big yellow boxes. Not even single logs available. Then I looked on a lower shelf, and there it was – something called a Java Log. It said on the box it was “recycled coffee grounds firelog.” Color me intrigued.

We brought the logs home, and when it was time for a fire, I pulled out one of the logs. A slight coffee aroma wafted into the air. Delightful. 

When I lit the fire, the smell of coffee continued. It was nothing overbearing. Just as if a fresh pot of coffee had just been brewed.

And that’s when my world exploded. I mentioned the logs on social media, and people began sharing tales of KFC firelogs, which I found out is a real thing, and boasts of an aroma of “fried chicken-scented 11 Herbs & Spices.” I’m listening, KFC.

At that point, I knew there was more to learn. I went to the computer and looked up “scented fire log.” That’s when I learned of Yankee Candle’s scented logs. I learned of cinnamon-scented logs. I learned of the Irish peat-scented one, although admittedly, having never been to Ireland much less an Irish peat bog, I would not know what to expect. And, of course, I learned there is a bacon-scented log.

I may very well experiment with many of these different types of smells, although I have to say, KFC, your fire log appears to be a little too rich for my blood.

More than likely, I will revert back to mainly using the good old trusted standard issue firelogs. After all, I mainly use my television to watch Jeopardy! on network TV every night, despite the breadth of programming available. I mainly use the Internet to type word files and send emails, despite the breadth of shouty places.

But it’s nice to know the bigger world exists. And who knows – maybe one day, I will have an urge for a cinnamon fire. And I am sure we will be having plenty of fires, as I just checked the forecast, and with temps well into the 50s, it’s clear that the harsh days of winter are upon us.


Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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