RANT OF THE DAY: The "-SIDE" Conundrum

 
 
   
 image source: Bath & Body Works

                                                                     
Sometimes BBW likes to stray away from the typical object scents (floral, drink, bakery, etc) and comes up with something that is supposed to capture a concept or image (which I kinda prefer). A recurring trend BBW has been doing is creating blends that gives the impression of being at a certain location, i.e. the "-side" scents

  • Beachside - Beach Cabana-ish; precursor to "White Sand" and "Meet Me in Tahiti"

  • Poolside - repackage of "Suntan"

  • Oceanside - uggghhhhhh

  • Lakeside - repackage of "Verbena Waters"
These scents have gotten some flack from the BBW community, particularly Oceanside and Lakeside. People complain that they don't smell like they're supposed to; they've said things like "The ocean doesn't smell like cologne/body spray", "Lakeside doesn't smell a lake", etc. (Curiously enough, no one seems to complain about Poolside; everyone loves the scent sooo much that it doesn't matter that it doesn't smell like being next to a pool AT ALL!) Anyway, this complaint about these "- side" scents annoys me to no end!!!

These scents are not supposed to smell exactly like their names. I repeat...THESE SCENTS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SMELL EXACTLY LIKE THEIR NAMES!!! If these candles smelled like their namesakes, they would smell awful! Sand stinks! Poolwater stinks! The oceanshore stinks! Lakes stink! Personally I would not want my apartment to smell like rotten seashells, chlorine and fish bodily fluids...but that's just me!  With that said, what BBW was trying to do was create blends to not so much mimic but rather invoke and give the impression of these various locations. I think some BBW fans are so used to and prefer scents that smell exactly like a certain thing that they expect what are supposed to be conceptual scents to follow suit.

What the complaint really should be is that these scents don't properly convey the image they're trying capture....and I totally agree! While I applaud BBW from straying away from the fruit/drink/flower/bakery scents and creating conceptual blends, these "-side" scents kinda misses the mark. None of them makes me think of the various locations. I've never smelled Beachside however based on the notes (ylang-ylang, neroli blossoms, musk, etc) I imagine that it smelled similar to Beach Cabana. I have smelled the other three and frankly I  think they're misnamed. And I get it, it's a marketing thing; sometimes scents smell ok but their names turn customers off. So BBW's marketing team comes up with something that's a bit fancier. For example, Poolside does sound much better than Suntan. However it's just a little misleading...

Conclusion, I think Poolside should have stayed as Suntan as it does smell TOO MUCH like suntan lotion. Oceanside shouldn't have existed in the first place; Beach Grass, Seashore or better yet Sea Spray would have sufficed. Verbena Waters should've stayed Verbena Waters (I actually like that name) and Lakeside should've been something completely new.

Oh well, what can ya do...



RANT OF THE DAY: Repackages!!!!

As everyone knows, BBW is notorious for repacking scents. Sometimes it's the same scent with a slight tampering of the notes. Sometimes it's the same scent but with a different name. Sometimes BBW will sell very similar scents in different collections at the same. From a marketing standpoint, recycling scents is necessary as it keeps scents in rotation for fans to buy....which would be fine if these were scents that fans really enjoyed. More often than not, this is not the case. Most fans view this logic as unadulterated laziness. BBW releases lines of candles and fans are excited with the prospect of experiencing brand new scents only to discover that they are something that they've already smelled before and probably didn't like in the first place.

2013 in particular was the year of repackages...and fans were not happy. Most BBW enthusiasts, myself included, were both disappointed and angry that BBW continued to get peoples' hopes up for new scents only to be let down. Instead of using their creativity to come up with something fresh and different, so much time and effort was spent trying to, excuse my language, bullshit people!

These three scents in particular are this year's most notorious bullshit offenders....

 image source: Bath & Body Works

Lakeside AKA Verbena Waters

Now Verbena Waters has been a fan favorite for awhile. I got VW last year I think for summertime and I loved it. So when I heard Lakeside was a repackage of this, I wasn't too disappointed. However, I'd be lying if I said that I was hoping for something NEW. Nothing about the VW scent to me says refreshing dip into a lake. I mean, yeah there is an aquatic element to the scent, but it's kinduva stretch to compare it to splashing into a lake. "Like the water after a cannonball"...really BBW?! It's just really disappointing because the other scents in the "Summer Lake" line are pretty much brand new. And here's this candle sporting the same name as the line itself and you're expecting something really exciting only for it to be a repackage of a not so old scent that has nothing to do with what the description is trying to capture.
image source: Bath & Body Works 
Love Mom 2013 Bright Bouquet AKA Paris Daydream/Sparkling Icicles

Oceanside...Paris Daydream...Sparkling Icicles..this scent just refuses to disappear. Like a cold sore, no matter how much you want it to go away, it just keeps reappearing and reappearing. And here it is again only this time it's a Mother Day floral scent. Really BBW, really?! What about this scent makes you think that ANY woman would love it as a gift?! What about this scent says "BRIGHT BOUQUET"?! Did any thought go into this?! I dunno if this is a case of stupidity or laziness or perhaps a bit of the both but the fact remains this is just wrong!  Ok so you don't have the time or resources to come up with a new scent...that's fine. However, if you're going to repackage something, at least repackage something appropriate!!! Perfect candidate..."Flower Shop"!!! BBW released the wallflower bulb recently, why couldn't you release the candle as well?! Look at the notes..freesia, lily, jasmine, roses..sounds like a...BRIGHT BOUQUET to me!!!


image source: Bath & Body Works 
 
White Barn Summer AKA Eucalyptus Mint and Rain NO 6

OY VEY!!! I just don't know what to think of this. I had a chance to smell this at an outlet store and all I could say was "Really?!"I think BBW felt the sonic boom of BBW fans nationwide facepalming themselves! Yo BBW, were yall sooo desperate to release this candle/bulb that you were forced to repackage a scent from your most unsuccessful line of scents?! Honestly, what about this says " long, sunny summer day", emphasis on the word "sunny"?! This to me this bullshit with a capital B! Once again, is this a case of stupidity, stubbornness, laziness or all of the above? BBW had soooooo many other choices and direction it could've taken....

  •  Wild Citrus Sunflower, yall have the body care, so just make a candle using that scent. In fact, didn't BBW release a straight up Sunflower candle years ago? Bring that back, add some some citrus like grapefruit or bergamot and call it day! Doesn't sunflowers and citrus better evoke a summer at a barn more than eucalyptus, mint and watery flowers?!

  • Orchard Petal perhaps? or Blackberry Grapefruit?


  • Cucumber FRIGGIN Melon...if this scent doesn't scream summer, I don't know what does! Granted this is a fan favorite and people would definitely be upset this was repackaged. However, the scent fits more than Eucalyptus Mint does and then some!

  • Southern Magnolia - I live in New Orleans where magnolias grow all over the place and its the national flower of Louisiana. Needless to say I 'm very familiar with the scent and it definitely reminds me of summertime when it's in full bloom. This was more popular in test stores than the Eucalyptus Mint line so why not release it, even under a different name?! Granted, SM would be a southern take on summertime at the barn, but it's a summertime scent nonetheless.

  • Instead of using Verbena Waters as "Lakeside", why not repackage it as Summer?! Anything is better than Eucalyptus friggin Mint!
I see these three bs repackages  as a cry of help. Does BBW's scent-makin department need new blood? Have they simply grown lazy? Have they lost their passion and creativity over the years? I don't have the answer to any of these questions. But it is evident that something were really needs to be done; BBW need to be shaken up and revitalized cuz if they keep on the track they're currently on, they are going to lose a lot of fans!

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Beach Cabana

image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle & wallflowers
Area used in: main bathroom, guest bathroom and guest bedroom
Time Period: May -   

Description:  Bring the beach to you! Fill your favorite rooms with the sweet scents of a tropical beach cabana. Hints of rich jasmine and orange blossom instantly transport your senses beachside

I wanted something fresh and beach-y for the upcoming summer months...something to replace Fresh Cotton and Fresh Linen (which I was REALLY getting bored with) but still had that same fresh clean vibe. The only thing I could think of was Beach Cabana. I got a bunch of the bulbs and eventually the 3wick candle and room spray.

On to the performance..hmmmm. The candle was a bit of a disappointment. The throw was not very strong at all, sometimes nonexistent.The wicks (which were super thick) eventually grew really stubby and left soot all over the jar and the top of the wax.  And speakin of which, the wax turned a cruddy tannish-sky blue color. Even the oil in the bulbs changed colors; it started getting more and more green. If I wasn't so satisfied with the scent, I'd be really aggravated.

Now on to the scent....I kinda get what BBW was trying to do with this scent.. fresh towels at a beach resort. Basically it's a summer beach version of "Fresh Cotton". To me, BC smells EXACTLY like the Vaseline Intensive Care "Gentle Breeze" Bath Beads which I LOVE and have used for years. So for me, this was perfect for my bathroom. Now the notes...people have described BC as having a feminine deodorant or body spray aspect...and I totally get it. I think it's the jasmine that gives it a powdery feminine flavor. And the orange blossom adds to it while making it slightly more exotic. And I believe there is hint of musk blended in. 


BC is ok but definitely nothing exciting. It's fresh, it's clean, it's beach-y. I think it's perfect for a bathroom during summer; I can't imagine using this scent in a living room or bedroom. Honestly, I only burn this candle when I'm taking a bath. Other than that, it's pretty much just decoration. If I were you, I wouldn't even bother buying the candle, just get the wallflower bulbs and/or room spray and call it a day!

HOT MESS AWARD: Oceanside

image source: Bath & Body Works
Product: candle & wallflower
Area used in: Bedroom
Time Period: returned to store

Description: A blend of sun-ripened citrus, juicy melon and refreshing ocean air brings you to a perfect day on the shore.
Poor Oceanside, poor POOR Oceanside! This scent just can not catch a break! Despite how much BBW fans strongly fervently vehemently dislike this scent, like a crazy ex, it keeps coming back and refuses to go away peacefully. Because I'm a sucker for the underdog, I really was rooting for ol Oceanside and tried my best take up for it. And now I feel like a fool for doin so!
I got this scent waaaayyy back in February. In EVERY review of Oceanside, pretty much EVERYONE compared it to another candle, Paris Daydream. People said that the two either smell alike or that Oceanside is a straight up knockoff or repackage of PD. So I got both of them at the same time to do a scent comparison. On cold throw, they smell nothing alike. In fact, I quite enjoyed the cold throw of Oceanside. To me, it smelled really refreshing; there's that fresh cool cucumber note (which is no longer listed the descriptions anymore) mimicking salty ocean air, juicy cantaloupe/honeydew and just a hint of citrus zest...nothing at alllll like PD. Fast forward to May...I was finally ready to light it and I was pretty excited. The excitement quickly became disappointment...it smelled EXACTLY like PD!!! I was sooo annoyed that I couldn't even think straight!
It hasn't been proven that Oceanside is a knockoff or repackage of PD. However there is noooo denying that the two smell too much alike. I don't know what BBW was thinking trying to promote this scent as ocean-ey; NOTHING about Oceanside/PD says "perfect day on the shore" "Sea Spray"..yes! "Seashore"..perhaps. Oceanside...no, not so much! Moreover I don't know how BBW managed to make one scent magically change into another; like I said before, the cold throw smells nothing like PD. But when you burn it, it's a totally different story! And the bulbs smelled funky! I quite liked the smell of the PD bulbs (more than the candle actually) but the Oceanside bulbs smell straight up weird. Frankly, I don't know what it smelled like.
My bf wanted to be patient and let it burn out. I just couldn't do it. I simply don't believe in spending money on anything that in the end you don't enjoy. Moreover, as the candle burned, it started making me nauseous to the point I needed to go outside for fresh air! Ain't nobody got time for dat!  Needless to say I brought that SOB back to the store and exchanged it for a lovely Villa Bergamot!

BBW, PLLLLEEEEAAASSSEEE retire this scent!!! Yall might like Oceanside/PD but the fans most certainly do not...and in the end the fans' opinions are more important as we're the ones buying yall's products. Bring back Sea Spray or Seashore in its place or invent a new scent that actually smells ocean-ey. If Yankee Candle can do it, I'm almost positive yall can!!!

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM AWARD : Island Margarita

image source: Bath & Body Works



Product: candle & wallflowers
Area used in: living room
Time Period: May

Description: The scent of a classic poolside cocktail – notes of mandarin, sweet mango and plum with a freshly salted rim

*this an old fan favorite that's been around for years. It's currently with the summer beach themed Tropical collection - Palm Beach Cooler (fruit syrup/candy), Bahama Fizz (fruit smoothie), Oceanside (ugghh), Tiki Beach (flowers, coconut and vanilla/spa or resort by the beach), Beach Cabana (deodorant/body spray),Pink Sangria (pink lemonade), Peach Bellini ("Pink Sangria" with Peach Schnapps), Caribbean Escape (melted fruit scented crayons), Coconut Leaves (coconut water), Poolside (suntan lotion) and possibly the 2013 limited edition of Summer Boardwalk (caramel apples and toffee popcorn)

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo and the oncoming summertime weather, I decided to grab this as my next scent for the living room....and I'm soooooo glad I did cuz I love it! I'm still burning it and I am LOVING every minute!

Before I go on with the review, allow me to rant for a second. I LOVE the smell of limes!!! BBW hasn't done too many limes scents..well, that's not entirely true; they've done two - Lime Ice and Sparkling Mojito (which I really hope they bring back). I digress. One of the main reasons I decided to get this is because it is a lime scent. EVERYONE knows that one of the components of a Margarita is lime, duh! So why does BBW continue to not list lime as a note in the description?! They can list every other note under the sun but never lime? There's not even any limes on the label, just a kiwi on the rim! It's cute but really?! I dunno why, but this aggravates me to no end!

On to the scent...O..M..G..it's sooo good! It's sweet, it's tart, it's refreshing! I can't say it smells like an actual Margarita though. To me, especially on cold throw, it smells like the green Kiwi Starburst candy. There's definitely a strange kiwi aspect to it. The lime note is very light, disappointingly light but it's still there which adds a nice freshness and zestiness to the blend. At first, I was thrown off by the mandarin, mango and plum (I kinda assumed it was to make the scent sound more juicy and exotic thus attracting more customers) but now I got it; the mandarin is mimicking the Triple Sec and the mango and plum is supposed to be agave nectar, two more components of a classic Margarita. Now on the website, it mentions blue iris and sandalwood in the notes.... uuumm, yeah whatevah !

Performance-wise, this candle's burn is a little iffy..at first. I had 3 of these; for the first two, the wicks seemed to stub out and drown but eventually they fixed themselves. And the one I'm burning now is A-OK with no wick problems at all. All had even, DEEP wax pools. I do wish the throw was just a bit stronger but I'm not complaining cuz it still fills a room. The bulbs...sigh...they started off super strong and they smelled soooo good. But then after the halfway mark, they started getting funky. The oil turned a yucky booger green and the scent went  completely stale. Oh well, they great while they lasted.

Want a good scent for Cinco de Mayo or summer in general? Definitely give this a try, you won't be sorry!!!



MULTIPLE CANDLE SPOTLIGHT : Italian Piazza Collection



I heard about the Italian themed collection (replacing the French themed collection of the past) months before it was released. After so many repackages and redistributions, I was very excited for a line of relatively brand new scents. So with bated breath, I waited patiently for the nationwide release which was to be sometime in April. However, right before Easter, I happened to be in the store and lo and behold, there were the Italian Piazza candles!


Candle/bulb-wise, the line consists of.... Pizzeria (a test scent; pizza dough and sauce), Limoncello (sugary lemon; possible repackage of "Lemon Gelato"), Sicilian Orange (orange scented crayons), Gelato (raspberry jam; possible repackage of "Sweet Macaron"), latecomer Dolce (test scent; repackage of "Vanilla Bean Noel") as well as the following gems....




Product: candle only
Area used in: living room
Time Period: April -

Description: In Italy, you never take your coffee “to go” – instead to stop and savor the aromas of roasted espresso beans and sweet vanilla froth that inspired this fragrance

I had my doubts about this at first/ EB got soooo many good reviews but for some reason, I just wasn't sold. I figured it would be an uber sweet coffee-like scent so I wasn't interested.  BBW has done two coffee-esque scents before ("Pumpkin Caramel Latte" and "Café au Lait"), neither of which smelled like coffee. Anyway, I got a chance to smell it in the store. O..M..G..It does smell really really good! My bf LOVES it! This is the first candle since our beloved Black Pepper Bergamot that we've made it a point to stock up as much we could.

Now this doesn't smell like straight up espresso coffee in a mug but rather more like fresh espresso beans being grounded in a coffee shop. Think of the same heavy coffee aroma you get from Starbucks or PJs. However this scent is a bit more enticing; you really do get the feeling of being served fresh espresso that was grounded before your eyes in an coffee shop in Italy.
  
The espresso note is pretty dominant; it's astringent but is sweetened by the faint vanilla froth note. Now there’s a unlisted chocolate note to that comes outta nowhere and it's kinda overwhelming. To me, EB smells like chocolate covered espresso beans. 


So far, we've gotten 5 EBs; two we have already burned, one we're burning now, and two to burn later. The first two burned perfectly from top to bottom. The one we"re burning now...well, it's kinda funky. The wicks are stubbing out and drowning; I had to do the old cotton ball trick. Also with this third one, the chocolate note isn't as strong as the first two.  BBW candles are always such a gamble.

Normally the bf and I like to burn candles during the evening. We burned our first EB at night...we didn't like it. This is definitely a morning/early afternoon scen. Now we only burn it on the weekend in the morning when we having breakfast or brunch.



Product: candle only
Area used in: living room
Time Period: April -

Description: Aromatic herbs from the sundrenched soil of Tuscany inspired this fragrance that blends fresh basil, parsley and garden greens

I was REALLY unsure about this one; I just didn’t know if I would like a candle that smells like basil. And for the most part, most BBW fanatics were equally as unsure. Reviews were mixed; some thought it smelled clean and herbal fresh while some say it smelled like hot pesto sauce. Well, I made it a point to smell it when I was in the store and I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised; I wound up really liking it!
I'm in the faction of BBW enthusiasts who think that it smells herbal fresh; it really does smell like fresh basil in a garden! I have sweet Genovese basil growing in my herb garden…and this candle smells just like it! Parsley..ehhh, a lil bit. Greens...maybe?  Honestly, it’s all about the basil. With that said, I don't burn this all the time cuz I don't want my apartment to smell like basil all the time. But once in awhile, I'll burn it, just to mix things up a bit. I like to burn it when I'm eating Italian food. My TH burned like a dream...at first. It got to mid-range and it started tunneling like crazy; I even had to do the cotton ball trick. I haven't finished burning this one and I have another to go; I hop I don't have this same problem with second. Anyway, just for the uniqueness of the smell, this is definitely worth a try! 



Product: candle & wallflower
Area used in: bedroom
Time Period: April - July

Description: Aromatic bergamot grown in the warm and sunny Calabria region of Italy provided the inspiration for this elegant citrus blend that also includes lavender and geranium

VB was kinda the dark horse in this line  It kinda just showed up outta nowhere; it :started popping up in test stores and no one knew if it would go nationwide. Sure enough, unannounced, it appeared in certain stores. I heard about it on Youtube and I was very intrigued. Since Black Pepper Bergamot is MIA, I wanted a replacement for it to use in the bedroom. The bf and I went to BBW not expecting to see this or any of the Italian Piazza candles for the matter (this was the end of March before the "grand release" in April) Lo and behold, there they all were including VB. We took one sniff and we were in love!

This is kinduva spring/summer version of Black Pepper Bergamot or as I like to call it, Black Pepper Bergamot's little brother. Like BBP, it's a rich, sophisticated, sensual high end blend. I can definitely smell the bergamot note. And there's a faint citrusy almost lemon-like note that adds a nice zestiness . I'm really hard-pressed to pick out the lavender and geranium notes; these are the same notes that are in Mahogany Teakwood and my theory is that they simply added that attract lady shoppers. I mean, I guess I kinda smell lavender; there is an astringency but that could very well just be from the bergamot.

With a heavy sigh and eyeroll, I will say this smells like a cologne. I hate when people use the word "cologney" to describe notes that they can't pick out or understand..but that's a rant for another day. Anyway, someone posted a comment a Youtube review of the candle saying that it smelt like Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy cologne from the 90's, which is interesting since Tommy's notes include bergamot, lavender and citrus. I digress. I will just say that this is definitely a masculine scent and leave it at that. The candle burns perfectly and the throw is medium strong. The bulbs is not so strong but I love the wrought iron design mimicking the picture of the wrought iron gate on the candle (design-wise, I really like all of the pictures used on the candle labels in this line.)  

If you like the more high end, sensual and masculine type scents, you should definitely check this one out!



Bellini Café
Product: wallflowers only
Area used in: living room
Time Period - June

Description: A bellissimo blend of sparkling berries, juicy apples and sugared grape notes

I could not stand the smell of the candle. Many have said that it smells like beer...I kinda have to agree. It smells like seasonal fruity beer. Anyhoo, I decided to buy the bulbs; I heard that they smell like Pink Sangria which doesn't have matching bulbs. I haven't used the BC bulbs yet so we shall see.....

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Pear

image source: Bath & Body Works

Product: candle & wallflower
Area used in: bedroom
Time Period: April

Description: The subtly sweet scent of pear becomes even more enticing when blended with fresh spring greens and a touch of vanilla


This was from the very lackluster Fresh Picked line: Lemon Mint Leaf (toothpaste), Strawberry (strawberry jelly), Pineapple Mango(dried mango/pineapple), Market Peach(over ripe mushy peach), First Bloom (the pink Dove bar soap), Garden Bouquet (fresh flowers still in the dirt) and the unnecessary Lilac Blossom.

Before I start my review, I'd like to rant for second. The Fresh Picked line this year was soooooo boring! Especially when compared to last year's release... Blackberry Grapefruit (the absolute worst burning candle ever), Gingham Apple, Sage Cucumber, Summer Watermelon, Mango Cilantro. There was such an array of eclectic and juicy scents last year. This year, not so much! I think this year's release disappointed many BBW enthusiasts, myself included. Come on BBW, step up!

Anyhoo, this was the only candle from this line that I was remotely interested in. When my bf and I smelled it in the store, we knew that we had to get it. We initially got one candle but we enjoyed it so much we eventually wound up getting more. My bf LOVED it. Now don't get me wrong, I really liked it too but part of me was a tad bit disappointed.

It does smell like a pear but a synthetic-ey  one, like a body spray. My main issue was the vanilla. Ugh, I do not understand why BBW loves to throw vanilla notes in EVERYTHING (either that or coconut or sandalwood). The vanilla gives it a warmth, creaminess and sweetness which honestly I could’ve lived without. This would’ve been nicer paired with green apple or apple blossom - keep it crisp, fresh and juicy. But no, not so much!

Up close the candle smells a little strange – it gives off a weird chemical gasoline smell. But from for away, it smells really nice. And the throw is strooonnng!! I could smell this in the living room and beyond with the bedroom door closed. The wallflower smells a little perfumey up close but it smells just as nice as the candle from afar.

In my opinion, if you like less sweet more fresh scents, Pear is the only one in this line worth checkin out!

HOT MESS AWARD : Lilac Blossom



Product: candles & wallflowers
Area used in: living room
Time Period: returned to store

Description: Delightful lily of the valley blossoms and violets surround lush lilac in this springtime fragrance

 
Ugh, where do I begin? So my bf and I were lookin a new scent for Easter. We both were looking forward to this scent as we both love the smell of lilac. On cold throw, it does smell like straight up lilac blossoms…no lilies, no violets, just pure lilac. I heard thru the grapevine that the White Barn version burned better than BBW Fresh Picked version (btw how stupid was it that BBW sold two different incarnations of the same candle and the same time, really?!) so we got two of them of and some bulbs.

 
So after our last Spring candle burned down, we lit the Lilac Blossom candle.  Little did we know that this candle was DID (DUD IN DISGUISE) Three words…hot…shitty mess! The wax melted so unevenly and canyoned like crazy! The poor wicks were struggling for dear life.  And absolutely NOOOOO throw whatsoever!!! The only way you could smell anything is if you put your nose directly over the flames. We thought perhaps that the first candle was a dud and that we'd have better luck with the second one.  Nope, not so much! It too was a DID! This was baaad! Like beyond "Mahogany Teakwood" bad!  So with that said, back to the store they went! Lilac Blossom holds the dubious honor of being the very first candle I ever returned/exchanged at the store!
 
We did keep the wallflowers though; those SOBs hung on for dear life. But even the bulbs were disappointments; the scent would waver off and on. And unlike the candle, the bulbs smelled very synthetic, like Febreeze.  
 
I will NEVER purchase this again!
 
Seriously BBW, real talk... get the wax/wick issues under control. This is one of the few really authentic scents that y'all have released ...get it together!!!  

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Lavender Vanilla

image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle & wallflowers
Area used in: main bathroom
Time Period: February -

Description: A blend of two timeless – lavender and creamy vanilla becomes unforgettable with touches of cedarwood, delicate jasmine and citrus

*repackage of the old Aromatherapy scent of the same name

I love anything scented with lavender…love it Love it LOVE IT! I had both the Aromatherapy Lavender Vanilla and Aromatherapy Lavender Chamomile candles (as well as the shower gels and bath salts) and I loved them both. Plus all of the BBW fanatics were raving about this incarnation so I had to try it. *sigh Honestly, I wasn't that impressed. Compared to the aromatherapy version, this one is soooooo sweet. If this was a more herbal vanilla
bean-ish, I probably would've like it. However it’s more like rich whipped vanilla cream with a sprinkle of dried lavender. And there is absolutely no jasmine or citrus or cedarwood, just straight up creamy sweet vanilla with a hint of lavender.
 
 
I had the old Aromatherapy wallflower bulb in the bedroom to help me and the bf sleep better but I eventually moved it to the bathroom since I use a lot of lavender scented bath products.  Once that ran out, I started using the newer odor-eliminating version and that was a hot mess – you could barely smell it and the oil inside turned yellow-ish. The candle burns nicely and there's a decent throw. I still haven't completely burned thru it yet.
Personally, I would prefer a vanilla-free lavender candle/bulb. A little vetiver, a hint of cedarwood, maybe some citrus and I'd be a happy camper. Awhile ago BBW released a lavender candle along with a vetiver one; I wish they'd bring it back cuz I'd definitely buy it. Anyway, Lavender Vanilla is and will remain a fan favorite and it's a core scent so it'll always be around. If you like sweet confectionary scents, you'll enjoy this one.

WALLFLOWER SPOTLIGHT: Fresh Cotton & Fresh Linen




image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Fresh Cotton
Product: wallflower only
Area used in: guest bathroom


Description: Invoking a fresh, clean spring day, this pure fragrance combines white jasmine petals, lemon zest and nuances of rose and spring muguet, finished with sheer, delicate musk.


There’s not much to say about this; it’s clean and it's fresh. Jasmine…maybe. Lemon zest..yeah a little.  Rose and muguet..no not really. Musk…possibly? It does smell like fresh cotton towels out of the dryer. Eh it’s ok, a lil boring though…



 
Fresh Linen
Product: wallflower only
Area used in: guest bedroom

Description: Crisp and clean, reminiscent of linen sheets drying in the sun, with refreshing, light hints of apple, kiwi and violets.


It’s just like Fresh Cotton..it’s clean , it’s fresh…it’s boring! I have nooo idea what this smells like though. Certainly not apples and kiwis. Possibly violets but that’s a stretch. This is something you could have in your laundry room cuz it does have that fresh laundry/fresh out the dryer, detergent/softener/ static sheet kind of vibe.

....EHHH




CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Paris Daydream ~ City of Love

 
image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle & wallflower
Area used in: main bedroom
Time Period: February - April
Description: Our "Oh, so French" blend of watery notes, moss and mandarin. Imagine a day by the Seine in the city of love.
 
 
*this is an old repackage of the same candle in old French inspired line which was a repackage of the old Good Life aromatherapy scent called “Flirt” for winter

This was part of line of scents called the Around the Globe/Destination line- Morocco Market (cheap incense and patchouli), New York New York (moldy apples), London Calling (Lipton lemon ice tea), Caribbean Escape ( fruity scented crayons) and Meet me in Tahiti (vanilla and musk) New York and Morocco were discontinued for being sucky.
 
 
Honestly, I bought this as an experiment. Many BBW fans  say that this and Oceanside smell exactly alike….I didn't think they did...that is until I finally burned Oceanside and YES they totally do smell almost exactly alike!
 
 
PD is a little unusual but in a good way. First off, completely disregard the notes in the descriptions cuz this doesn’t smell like any of that…well, maybe the mandarin part but that's it. It does however smell like the old notes; muguet, freesia, citrus and sandalwood. The muguet/lily of the valley and freesia, though faint, gives it a dewy floral scent and the sandalwood makes it woody and musky which for some reason intensifies the more the candle is burned.  I honestly don't know what BBW was thinking with this scent for it does not remind me of Paris at all!!! I think BBW liked this scent too much to let it go so they simply slapped a random name to it. There is something about this that people could describe as "cologney"; in fact the scent (especially from the bulbs) smells just like Hugo Boss’ Boss cologne, which I like. Long story short, I did eventually get bored with PD and was glad when it ran out.
 
 
I will say that the candle burned fabulously though the wax color did change ever so slightly. Throw-wise, I'd say this was medium-ish....thank god! I don't think I could've handled PD if it was super strong. The bulbs were disappointing; you had to hover over the wallflower and snort to smell anything and, like most of the bulbs with clear oil, they changed into an icky yellowish brown.
 
 
To quote Littleballadeer, "Not a repurch".

*this will appear with London, Tahiti, London, and Caribbean in a new Destination line with 4 new scents this summer

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM AWARD: Spring


image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle & wallflowers
Area used in: living room
Time Period: March - Easter

Description: A delicate blend of light rain, yellow daisy, daffodil and sycamore woods that contains the freshness of the season



This candle is fan-f***in-tastic; it's one of my absolute all time favorites!
 
 
This scent definitely lives up to its name. To me, Spring reminds me of Easter; you’re in a field (or backyard), there's green grass fresh with dew, the surrounding flowers are in full bloom and you’re out looking for Easter eggs! 


You really do smell all of the notes; you get grass, you get daisies and daffodils and the sycamore note gives it a slightly earthy woodiness. Not listed in the notes (though it has been in the past) is crisp green apple/apple blossoms that makes it really fresh. Some people describe the scent as being funeral parlor-ish or funeral wreath-ish...I can totally understand that logic however I still like it. Personally, I think Spring smells like tiger lilies which is one of my favorite flowers. What I like about Spring is that unlike the other springtime scents, this doesn't smell like one particular flower but rather a blend of different flowers. With that said, it's not very heady and overly floral. Plus,there's a pleasant dewy freshness as well as that woodiness in the blend that I really enjoy.  
 
 
Performance-wise, this candle was fabulous; the burn action was great, there was a deep and even wax pool and it let out a medium-strong throw. Now I'll admit that this candle's cold throw smells better than when it's lit. Sometimes there is a weird synthetic smell that comes from it but for the most part it does smell really good. The bulbs are super strong as well although the scent faded a little bit towards the end. Up until then, it smelled incredible.
 
 
If you're like me and are not into really heavy floral scents, I definitely recommend giving Spring a try. I think it's a perfect springtime scent, especially around Easter.

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: White Barn No 3 Renew and Refresh


image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle & wallflowers
Area used in: living room
Time Period: February

Description: Refresh the scent and ambience of your home with this blend of jasmine, fresh air and a touch of mint.


*repackage of old Aromatherapy Good Life test scent called “Refresh”; possible repackage of "Seashore"


This scent was introduced in the new 2013 line of Spring scents (along with Spring (tiger lilies and apples), Garden Freesia (old lady perfume), Lilac Blossom (fresh lilacs)  and Honeysuckle (actual honeysuckle) In my opinion, it's the least floral and spring-esque scent which was perfect as the weather at the time I burning this was not quite wintery cold but not yet springtime weather either.

R&R is very soothing, calming and relaxing…perhaps a bit too much so. I liked it at first but eventually I got very bored with this  and was ready to move on to something else. To me, this smells almost exactly like Dove’s Exfoliating body wash, which I like and use regularly. I can see why it was an aromatherapy scent back in the day; it does smell like something you'd find in a spa. You get faint hint of jasmine and a lot of fresh air aka “ozone” used in fresh air/rain/ocean scented fragrances. No mint whatsoever! There's something strangely creamy about this scent that I can't quite put my finger on nor is it explained in the description.  Maybe tonka bean or something like that? I dunno...

The candle burned like a dream; nice high flames, even wax pool, etc. I was a little disappointed with the throw; it could've been little stronger. The bulbs were ok. Although the scent kinda faded after awhile, the oil inside lasted a ridiculously long time 

In my humble opinion, the candle is perfect for the transition into spring and great to burn on rainy afternoons. It's also a great scent to use in the bathroom.

HOT MESS AWARD: Mahogany Teakwood

image source: Bath & Body Works
 
 
Product: candle only
Area used in: living room (sometimes bedroom)
Time Period: Mid-January - February

Description: The scents of the fine woods- mahogany, cedarwood and oak – highlighted by delicate lavender and geranium notes conjure up an escape to cozy library on a chilly fall day

 
This was yet another semi annual sale purchase bought out of desperation as there were hardly any candles in the store. My bf loves this candle…me, not so much. Mahogany Teakwood is definitely a love it or hate it scent among the BBW community. However, one thing that everyone agrees on is that it smells EXACTLY like Abercrombie and Fitch’s cologne called Fierce! I remember walking past that store in the mall and the scent from inside stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought to myself "wait a minute...this smells like Mahogany Teakwood!"

Anyway, I won't beat around the bush....this candle was a hot mess! When my bf and I lit it for the first time, there was NO smell whatsoever and it took FOREVER for the wax to melt! I mean it tunneled like nobody's business! FINALLY after the second day, there was an even wax pool and the throw was ridiculously strong. Unfortunately that didn't last long; it started canyoning like crazy. Needless to say, I was so glad when this candle finally burned out. If my bf didn't like the scent so much, I would've exchanged it for something else!

On to the scent.... If you smell it up close, you can kinda get the mahogany and oak notes. Geranium and lavender..no, not so much; I think they added those two notes in the description just to get the ladies on board. *sigh I can kinda get the vision BBW was trying to capture. If you close your eyes, you can kinda get the image of an older man in his study room or a dusty library reading an old book. If I wasn’t so familiar with the Abercrombie and Fitch cologne, I probably could’ve liked this scent. However, because I am so familiar with it, MT  just reminds me of a young skinny twink at a gay bar.



*Much like Black Pepper Bergamot, this will become a year-round scent due to its popularity. There will be candles, wallflowers and room sprays.

WALLFLOWER SPOTLIGHT: Snowed In



image source: Bath & Body Works

 
Product: wallflowers only
Area used in: living room
Time Period: Mid January - February

Description: Spend the day indoors, away from the cold wind, decorating for the perfect holiday with the inspiring fragrance of fresh juniper, sugared sap and sage


This was a purchase during the January semi annual sale…and the pickins were extremely slim! I had my eyes on this for awhile so I was determined to get it at the store. Unfortunately all of the candles were gone but there was a surplus of wallflower bulbs so I decided to give em a try....and I'm very glad that I did!

Snowed in is very lovely and soothing wintery; it's refreshingly cool and very sweet.... but not in a cloying candy/bakery kind of way. It's a woodsy yet herbal blend. The juniper note made it nice and crisp, the sugared sap added a sticky sweetness and sage gave it a bit of kick. And I wanna say there's a winter wood note, like pine or fir. It really does conjure up the image of a cold snowy day. In my opinion, it’s perfect for Winter time post-Christmas/New Years.

The fragrance bulbs were very strong, and unlike many of the other bulbs, this one didn't get stale towards the end. The fragrance stayed very strong til the very last drop.

Next year, I really would like to try the actual candle (providing it comes out next year). Word to the wise...don't wait around and assume seasonal candles will stay around thru their respective seasons, get em as early ya can cuz they will disappear!


*there is a scent called "Sweater Weather" that released in test stores in the fall of 2012 that was supposedly better than Snowed In. The two share the same notes except SW has eucalyptus. BBW fans were raving about it and I guess word traveled fast. I heard a rumor that SW may be released nationwide in the fall so we shall see...

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