Going loco for local: Jugnu’s Chief Saab candle is the ultimate Karachi kid nostalgia

Going loco for local: Jugnu’s Chief Saab candle is the ultimate Karachi kid nostalgia

It may not smell like Chief Saab — or so I think — but it smells nice and that's what matters.
10 May, 2024

If you’ve ever been to the Images office in Karachi, you’d know we’re candle people. We’ve got a graveyard of candles — we’re not creeps, we just use up a lot of candles — and we’re always buying new ones. The newest entrant to our office collection is Jugnu Karachi’s Chief Saab.

To be quite honest, I’ve been hiding this one away at my house for months because I didn’t want to bring it to work and have it finish too soon. At a whopping Rs5,000 for the 480g size, I think it’s understandable that I wouldn’t want to use it up too much but then again, it is much larger than the other candles in our graveyard.

Chief Saab is described as having scents of tobacco and oak with notes of tobacco leaves and brandy with amaretto, honey and oak.

The immediate draw of the candles was, of course, the name. I love pop culture references in candles and ‘Chief Saab’ by Sajjad Ali was one of my favourite songs as a kid, although as a five-year-old, I did think it was about a man who was very cheap, so much so that he was being called cheap saab.

The candle itself smells very masculine, but that was to be expected from the notes. It smells so masculine, in fact, that one of my colleagues said it smells like a man walked into the Images office — I’m still unsure of whether this a good thing.

I’d say the candle doesn’t have too strong a smell of tobacco — have you ever been around someone smoking a cigar or a pipe? I’ve never enjoyed the smell because it’s so achingly saccharine but this scent is just right — not too sweet.

To be honest, this is not what I imagine the OG Chief Saab smells like. I don’t know if the creator of the candle has a secret in or they were just guessing but I’d imagine a slightly different scent — lighter on the oak and heavier on the jute with hints of betel nut.

A little bit goes a long way with Chief Saab — you can burn it for a short while instead of keeping it burning for hours as we usually do and the scent will definitely remain.

To test whether it was a universally appreciated candle, I took it around the office to ask some people what they thought. One editor who owns the candle herself said the scent took her by surprise, in a very good way. Another said it definitely smelt like a chief saab. Everyone really liked it.

The candle is available on the Jugnu Candle website and at some stores. I bought mine at Object in Karachi. Jugnu says it creates “retro-inspired, hand-poured scented candles that are uniquely Pakistani at heart” and if you take a look at their candle selection, you’ll agree with them. They’ve got nostalgic and quirky names and great scents.

Even though it’s on the expensive side, I’d rate this candle five out of five, mainly because of the name but also because the fragrance is long-lasting and quite nice.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This article is part of an ongoing series on supporting local products. All the products are independently evaluated and reviewed by a member of the Images team and reflect their personal opinions. If you’re a local business and would like to be featured, reach out to us at

Going Loco For Local


Taj Ahmad May 10, 2024 03:34pm
‘Wow’ simply amazing and beautiful.