Forget the beautiful horse farms and the quaint downtown. Versailles might soon be known as the place that brought Duck Fart candles to the world.
Locally owned Woodford Wicks has been tapped to create a line of candles to capture the essence of the Duck Dynasty clan, the reality television stars who are taking the marketing world by storm. Duck Fart, Si's Iced Tea, Duck Call, Swamp Water, Road Kill and Grassy Creek candles will soon join Duck Dynasty-themed products, which include shirts, school supplies, hunting gear and bobbleheads.
There is no delicate way to put this, so here's the thing: Duck Fart doesn't smell like gaseous emissions. The candles smell like things a duck might eat, said Brett Butler, who runs Woodford Wicks with his wife, Patti.
The official description of Duck Fart is this: "A fresh blend straight from the great outdoors of apples, raspberries and pineapple underlined by hints of lemongrass, clove and flora."
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Patti, who crafted the scents, stands by her creation.
"They all smell wonderful," she said.
So just how did the Kentucky-based mom-and-pop business get the contract with the Robertson family, made uber-popular by their A&E show?
"We love to tell this story," Brett said.
He and Patti were at a trade show in Sevierville, Tenn. It was a bust. There were no buyers, so vendors chatted with each other. The Butlers started talking with a guy from Iowa, Hans Wiltz, who did a lot of work with mid-size retailers including Gordman's and Bass Pro Shops. They shared a common Christian faith and work ethic, and they were soon doing business. When A&E looked to create some Duck Dynasty merchandise, Wiltz got the call. He called the Butlers.
The couple knew a little about the show. "Last year at a Christmas party, it suddenly got quiet, and everybody was crowded around the TV watching Duck Dynasty," Brett said.
After they got the call about making the candles, a Duck Dynasty marathon was on. Many people watch to enjoy the show's plainly stated Christian family values and good- natured ribbing among bearded brothers, but Patti was looking for things that might make a nice smell.
Woodford Wicks already had a line of tea-themed candles, so when she saw that Uncle Si carries a gallon of tea the way most people carry cellphones, she had her first fragrance.
The Duck Call scent is a nod to the family business, and it has hints of Spanish moss and bamboo.
Swamp Water was inspired by the bayou the family loves; the candle smells like fruits and nuts, with wood undertones. Grassy Creek evokes the green banks of the waterway near the Robertson family home.
Road Kill gives off the scent of roasted pecans and is designed, according to the Woodford Wicks website, to offset "the unwanted foul odors the men drag home from their outdoor adventures."
Business has been brisk since the candles started shipping in August. Brett said that as a private company, Woodford Wicks doesn't release profit figures. He conceded that the company has shipped thousands of units since August.
And Duck Fart? It's the biggest seller.
A finger-Licking scent
Duck Farts isn't the only unusual scent to come out of Kentucky this year. Fried chicken candles introduced by KentuckyforKentucky.com were an instant hit when they became available in November.
According to the website, candlemaker Kathy Werking "fries chicken in all-natural soy wax and adds an infusion of family secrets," resulting in the scent. We'll let the folks from KentuckyforKentucky explain how sales went: "Our first batch of fried chicken candles got hot like Jennifer Lawrence and sold out in under a minute."
Introduced along with other "Scents of the Commonwealth" — Ale 8 and Kentucky Derby — the $22 candles have been restocked in a limited number at the website. Sadly, Christmas delivery is not guaranteed for the fried chicken scent.
Duck Dynasty Candles' website is DuckDynastyCandle.com. The candles can be found in most Hallmark stores. They are also available at the Woodford Wicks retail shop, 260 Crossfield Drive in Versailles, (859) 684-9152. Individual Duck Dynasty candles sell for $25, $20 and $18.