HOT MESS AWARD: Winter
Products: candle and bulbs
Area used in: main bathroom and guest bedroom and bathroom (occasionally in living room)
Time Period: December - New Years's eve
Description: A season full of fun in the snow is captured in notes of pine needles, clementine and winter woods
Missing notes: cedarwood, fir balsam, bay leaf, cinnamon
Past post: http://realtalkaboutbbwcandles.blogspot.com/2013/05/bbw-spotlight-winter.html
So I've talked about this candle quite a bit on this blog. I'm sure most of you know the story....it's my bf's favorite winter/Christmastime scent...had it burning when we first started dating...I hated it and after awhile asked him not to burn it anymore...then I started to like it...it now reminds of the good ol days..nostalagia....yada yada yada...
Winter is a pretty unique scent and very hard to describe. Like most Slatkin era scents, it's a complex blend of notes that you wouldn't think go together but combination does go together so well and it perfectly captures the image that it's trying to convey - winter. Falling snowflakes...snow blanketed pine tree tress and sparkling iced branches...shimmering icicles...a roaring crackling Yule log...bowls of fragrant aromatic holiday pomanders...all of that from sniffing this candle.
Now as magnificent as this candle sounds and is, it has been plagued with problems since it first came out years ago - low stubby flames, tunneling issues, cruddy dingy wax post-melt, scent turning funky. And this year, Winter is no different; in fact I dare say it's worse this year....which unfortunately is why had to give this candle the HOT MESS AWARD!
Now Lil'Balladeer relunctantly gave this candle a bad review in her video. Basically everything was all to the good until it got the dreaded cursed mid range and then everything went downhill. I admit, I shrugged it off as her just getting a bad batch..y'know, me bein optimistic. So fast forward to Black Friday...I got this candle because my bf loves it so much. On first sniff, the cold throw was amazing as always. On first light, the burn was fabulous and the pool was deep and even. All to the good...that is until it got to mid range and everything that Lil'Balladeer railed about happened to me!
*falls on knees, shakes first angrily to the sky and melodramatically yells "NOOOOOOOOOOOO"
First let me talk/rant about the scent. Every year, Winter smells slightly different. My bf had a 2010/2011 version and smelled like it was supposed to smell albeit a little smoky. Last year's version smelled a bit more woody/piney than usual. And finally in this year's version, the orange note...excuse me...the "CLEMENTINE" note is more pronounced and vibrant and not as spicy. Coincidentally, the note descriptions change every year and is always leaving notes out which is problematic as the scent is not basic and simple as it appears. You do get a fresh winter wood note, which is fir balsam and cedarwood (which are often neglected in the scent description) with the top note being pine. And there's a strange unexplained crisp, bright, cooling almost minty like note chillin in the background which I'm guessing is the bayleaf note (also often left out of the scent description). Finally, the most notable note is the orange clove/spiced orange peel/holiday pomander note. It was this note that kinda turned me off to Winter at first, particularly because the scent gets sooty after awhile so Winter starts to smell like burnt oranges and chimney soot. This year, the notes called the orange clove note "clementine". At first I thought it was just marketing (apparently people eat clementines during wintertime) but it noticed the orange note is more prominent than in the past..I dunno...
So what happens post mid range that makes this candle a hot mess? First of all, the flames get nubbier and stubbier with each burn which inevitably leads to an inconsistent wax pool. These weak ass flames melted the wax enough that it didn't completely tunnel but it left cliffs of hard wax on the sides. And then there's the wax color issue. As everyone knows, the wax always changes into a cruddy dingy color every time it hardens. And this time around, the wax melts into a strange unattractive goldenrod color. It like a jar full of steaming pee! But the thing that really turned me off to this candle is how funky the scent became as got closer to the bottom. Lil'Balladeer described the scent change perfectly...raw uncooked bacon!!! There's an offputting, unexplainable s metallic scent that's like smoked raw bacon fresh out of its pack..which one might think is yummy but it's not, it's gross. My bf was cooking brussel sprouts and bacon and I swear I couldn't tell the difference between that and the candle.
My bf had a surplus of leftover Winter bulbs from way back so we used those. Because they were old and pre-used, the scent had gotten a bit stale. Under normal circumstances, the smell is quite fresh and vibrant.
I dunno what the hell BBW did differently with this candle this year. Moreover I dunno why it always seems to have some kind of issue every year. It's such a unique and different scent, it's a shame that BBW always finds ways to eff it up!
In conclusion, to those of you who love Winter to the core or for those who have never tried this candle, do not get this year's version - the Snow Day version or the White Barn version. Go on Amazon or Evil-bay and get either the candle with the lil white girl runnin down the tree-lined lane (I like that label; I HATE this year's label) or the one with the snowflake kaleidoscope. Be warned, if you get this year's Winter, it'll ruin this scent for you forever!