RANT OF THE DAY: 2013 in Retrospect; Top Ten Popular Posts of the Year

First of all, I hope everyone has a happy, festive, SAFE New Years!!!! I wish you all much love, happiness and prosperity in the year to come.

I myself am very much looking forward to the upcoming new year and all of the possibilities it will bring

Secondly, I'd like to thank everyone who continually reads my lil blog here. I've had a blast writing what I think and it's great that people get such a kick outta what I have to say and have watched my blog progress over time.

I started this blog just on whim back in May of this year...it feels like it's been around much longer. I've gone back and looked back at my posts from those early days...definitely not my best work as far as writing is concerned as I was still trying to find my voice back then. And now I have and hunny, you can't get me to shut up!

Anyhoo, just for shits and giggles, I compiled a list of 10 posts that got the most page views from back then til now. And here they are from less views to most.....

WE ♥ CHICAGO test candle line from July 19th

Wal-mart Bootleg Candles from December 4th

New Florida Candle Line from October 25th

Failed Winter Tests Scents from November 11th

Italian Piazza Collection from May 17th

Fall Scents Part Deux from June 24th

Mahogany Teakwood from May 14th

Flannel from August 26th

2013 Winter Holiday Test Scents Take THREE (updated list) from September 14th


And the number one most popular post with absolute most views is.....

2013 Winter Holiday Test Scents from August 27th

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM: Mint Chocolate



Products: candle
Area used in:  main bedroom
Time Period: December - New Years (weekends)

Description: Indulge in this minty and merry blend of cool peppermint, creamy milk and rich dark chocolate


As you all know, I'm not into the candy/sugary/bakery/gourmand candles at all! Moreover, I hate the smell of Mint Chocolate anything.

So why did I got this candle you ask?

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone a bit. Also I typically get a gourmand candle to burn in the morning/afternoon on the weekends, i.e Espresso Bar, Pumpkin Caramel Latte, Cider Donuts, etc. I wanted something that smelled uniquely Christmas-y. It was either this or Merry Cookie and I decided to go with this...and I'm sooooooooooooo glad I did cuz this candle is AMAZIIIIIIIINNNNNG!!! Mint Chocolate is the only other candle besides Espresso Bar and my beloved Black Pepper Bergamot that I let burn allll day!

First of all the performance on this bad boy was fan-F***IMG-tastic!!!! The wicks sported thick mushroom tops which lead to big healthy high steppin flames. However the flames did kinda nub out a little as it got close to the bottom but they still melted the wax evenly so that's all that matters.  The wax pool was always very deep and even. And OMG the wax color...the wax melted into this gorgeous bright emerald color. I don't even like the color green and I was like "damn, that's really beautiful!"

Finally the scent. I mean it's pretty basic..it's smells like mint chocolate, plain and simple.
Think York Peppermint Patties...Andy's Mints...Chicago's Frango Chocolates...mint chocolate ice cream...mint chocolate cookies or macarons (like on the cover)...it smells like all of those.

Usually chocolate in home fragrance comes off smelling really artificial and plastic-y...but not in this candle. It smells like legit bittersweet dark chocolate. And the mint note is really fresh and cooling. And the two notes don't overpower each other but rather blends together beautifully. And the throw is pretty strong however it doesn't choke you out or causes headaches but rather wraps around you like a cozy blanket!

Now Mint Chocolate has a rival in the form of Buttercream Mint and everyone has been goin nuts for it...except me. I personally don't get the hype; to me it smells like mint covered buttered popcorn, not appealing at all. However both burn beautifully and melt into a gorgeous verdant pool. If you're stuck with conundrum of deciding which one to get, I say go with Mint Chocolate.I promise you won't regret it!



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! 

THIS THE BOMB.COM: Chestnut & Clove


Products: candle and bulb
Area used in:  main bedroom
Time Period: December - New Years

Description: Embrace the cozy feeling of the holidays with a warm blend of dark chestnut, crisp cedar and fresh clove


Missing notes: cinnamon and pine

Also know as "Winter Cabin"

Poor Chestnut&Clove! This scent has been around for years yet no one really talks about it. Compared to the other more popular holiday scents like Tis the Season, Fresh Balsam or Fireside, it gets so overshadowed and overlooked. C&C is like the quiet, nerdy unpopular girl sitting by herself reading book or standing against the wall at a party or dance. Yet there's more to this girl than you think, an inner beauty hiding beneath her quiet unassuming behavior as well as a sophistication than the other popular girls will never achieve. Same with C&C; it's so unappreciated and overlooked which is a shame cuz it's such a sophisticated and unique fragrance.

I remember seein it around last year but never bought it. This year I decided to take a chance and try it out...and I'm soooo glad that I did cuz I have fallen in love this scent.

First of all, the performance was absolutely fabulous! High dancing flames..deep wax pool..yada yada yada. And despite the wax being a creamy milky white, it didn't get too cruddy and dingy looking. I loved burning it a night as it was such a beautiful candle to look at. And the throw was absolutely perfect, not too weak yet not to strong and it wrapped around enveloped you like a blanket.

Now onto the scent...

I can see why this was once called Winter Cabin, it's very apropos. When you sniff it, you totally get the feeling of being in a cabin out in the woods. You smell the wood logs that the cabin is made out of and the fresh snow covered pine trees surrounding and you walk in and you feel feel the warmth from the fireplace and there are spiced chestnuts roasting above the flames.
What's odd and yet cool about C&C is that is a such a warm cozy scent yet it's slightly cooling at the same time, like Sweater Weather or Snow Day but not as intense. I think that contrast comes from the notes. The chestnut note is very rich, creamy and warm and clove note spices and warms it up even more (can't really say that I smell cinnamon). Then in the background you get a hint of cool crisp pine needles and cedarwood. C&C reminds me a lot of Winter in the fact that you have notes that you wouldn't think go together but they blend so beautifully; there's a mix of cool winter woods with something spiced and bright that chills you yet warms you at the same time.

The wf bulb was absolutely divine though I wish it were just a tiny bit stronger.

C&C is such a gorgeous scent and just perfect for the holidays. It really deserves to be in the higher echelon of holiday scents. To me it's just as good as Tis the Season and Winter and Fresh Balsam, etc. However it's been overlooked for so long, I have a funny this year might be the last time it's released and may disappear along with the rest of Slatkins' winter holiday scents. So for those you have never tried, try it while it's still available (and half off). And those of you like me who have fallen in love with it, stock up just in case!

RANT OF THE DAY: BBW's Lack of Christmas themed candles

So recently I was perusing thru a fairly new candle blog called Candle Corner and there was a post that really caught my attention. The blogger, Elizabeth, was talking about how BBW doesn't have nearly as many Christmas themed candles compared to its rival, Yankee Candle.

http://thecandlecorner.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/holiday-season-2013-bath-and-body-works-candles-vs-yankee-candle/

I gotta say Elizabeth is on to something. YC does indeed have a shitload of Christmas-y candles. Every thing you can think of about the holidays, there's a candle for it. I mean for chrissakes, there's a candle for every thing that Julie Andrews sings about in "My Favorite Things"!

My bf and I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond a couple of weeks ago and we sniffed a lot of the seasonal YC candles there; they have some pretty amazing scents! Compared to those, I gotta say that BBW is severely lacking!

This year's winter release (in my humble opinion) was incredibly disappointing; just a lot of odd random choices all around the board. Good Natured Christmas...Vanilla Firewood...Vanilla Cedarwood...Winter Fig...while I applaud BBW for finally doing some experimenting with scents, none of those were very Christmas-y or winter-y for that matter. And BBW had test scents that seemed to go the more traditional route (Autumn Snow, Frosted Pine, Apple Garland, Winter Wreath) but they never saw the light of the day. No Snowed In, no Frosted Gingerbread, no Merry Mistletoe/Winter Wreath...just very perplexing and head-scratch inducing. Moreover, this year compared to the past, BBW went very mainstream and safe with its scents and put all of their efforts into drawing in the bakery/sweetey/gourmand lovers...Spiced Wreath, Snow Day, Buttercream Mint, Red Velvet Cupcake, Cinnamon Caramel Swirl..once again, not very Christmas-y. Honestly, with the exception of Mint Chocolate, Twisted Peppermint and Merry Cookie, none of the candles in the Home Traditions line makes me think of the holidays. I think the problem is BBW is getting more and more lazy; they think of scents for the winter season as a whole as well as scents that'll get the bakery/sweetey/gourmand lovers on board but, unlike Yankee, they don't focus on Christmastime which I like to imagine is the time people burn candles the most during winter.

Now this wasn't always the case. In the past, BBW had a wide array of scents that were truly perfect for the holidays...Sleigh Ride, Winter Garland, Holly Wreath, Merry Mistletoe, Eggnog Cheer, Candied Sugar Plum, Holiday Gumdrop...all disappeared to make way for less traditional more mainstream scents.

There are a few scents now, both old and new, that do indeed conjure up images of Christmas...
Tis the Season (BBW's most Christmasy candle ever), Holiday (decorations from the attic), Snow Day (candy canes of a spruce tree), Winter (pine trees and holiday pomanders), Chestnut&Clove (chestnuts roasting on a open fire) , Fireside (a burning Yule log), Fresh Balsam/Everygreen (a Christmas tree)...and that's about it!

Now compare that to this year's release of Yankee Candles...

Balsam and Cedar, Balsam Forest, Celebrate Christmas, Cherries on Snow, Christmas Cookies, Christmas Eve, Christmas Wreath, Cranberry Peppermint, Festival of Lights, Gingerbread, Holiday Bayberry, Holiday Garland, Holiday Home Sweet Home, Holiday Sage, Hollyberry, Home for the Holiday, Hot Buttered Rum, Jack Frost, Magical Frosted Forest, Merry Christmas, Merry Marshmallow, Mistletoe, Nostalgic Snow, North Pole, Peppermint Bark, Red Berry and Cedar, Red Velvet, Santa’s Candy Castle, Season of Peace, Snowflake Cookie, Sparkling Angel, Sparkling Snow, Sugared Apple, Sugared Plum, Sugary Sweet Snowfall, Vintage Berries, White Christmas,
Winter Berries...

cue the "waaahn-waaahn-WAAAAAAHHN" sound effect

BBW...real talk...I understand you want to play it safe and keep your sweetey/bakery/gourmand lovers happy but you're also alienating your other die hard fans. Bring back some your classic holiday scents; update them and give em a more polished look. I promise you that fans like myself will go nuts! Believe it or not, ot all of your consumers want their domicile to smell like cupcakes 24/7! Give us some more pine/winter wood scents, more minty scents, some eggnog, some hot cocoa, some gingerbread, some sugar plums..scents that scream at the top its lungs "IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME!!!"

If BBW continues this route of producing sugary sweet untraditional mainstream scents for the holiday season, I might to get my Christmas scent fix from Amazon or Evil-bay

For you diehard scent fans as well as the newbies...here's an interesting vid from Karen aka Scentmyway about winter scents that came out back in 2011, the end of an era...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoxLGC1yP0Y

RANDOM POST: SEASON'S GREETINGS!!!!

Hello everyone!!!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

And happy Semi Annual Sale shoppin!!!! There's a lot of good deals goin on!!!!

By the way, Santa got me a BBW gift card. Needless to say I can't wait to get my shop on!

Get ready for some new posts!

Anyhoo...everyone, do enjoy this wonderful day. Season's Greetings to you and yours!

Happy Holidays!!!!


Snow Day

RANT OF THE DAY: Merry Winter Solstice!!!

 
makingmoves.net
 
Well today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter. And next week is the best day of the whole year, Christmas!!!
 


 
I'll be real with you guys. Honestly, winter is my least favorite time of the year because of the weather. Me and cold just don't go together. And believe it or not, New Orleans can get pretty cold during this season. Because of the humidity and moist river air, the wind can get a little chilly; temps are usually in the 602 and 50s but it can get as low as in the 40s and 30s. And on a very few rare occasions, it'll even snow a little bit; that's only happened 3 times in the course of my life. However this season does have things to look forward - Christmas (of course), New Years and then finally Carnival/Mardi Gras (February/March)
 
Winter also has some of my favorite scents, second only to fall scents. During this season, especially around Christmas time, I like warm cinnamon-ey scents, cool minty notes and anything winter woods-y/pine-y.
 
With that said, much like in my autumn equinox post back in September, I thought today I'd share my favorite winter scents.
 
These are a few of my favorite scents!!! 
 
Here are 4 top all time favorites
  • Tis the Season is absolutely perfection! I say tis all the time and I'm stickin to my claim, this candle is Christmastime in a jar!!! Every time I sniff it, I think about my childhood and taking down the decorations from the attic and putting up the Christmas tree. It's a such a simple a scent with basic notes (apples, spiced cider and pine) yet it's so enticing and inviting and evokes such warm memories.
  • Winter is another great winter/Christmastime scent. It's such a complex blend and the scent is hard to describe yet, like with Tis the Season, it's such a welcoming scent and conjures warm memories. http://realtalkaboutbbwcandles.blogspot.com/2013/07/random-post-christmas-in-july.html
  • Snowed In is a fairly new scent to join the pantheon of winter scents; it first appeared last year. It tested this year but unfortunately didn't go wide. What makes Snowed In so interesting is that it's wintery without using pine, mint or spice notes. The best word I could think of to describe this scent "alpine" - fresh, clean, outdoorsy snowy scent. If snow had a scent, this what I'd expect to smell like. It's like Sweater Weather (the both share juniper and sage notes) in the sense that you get the sense of having a brisk walk in crisp chilly weather. http://realtalkaboutbbwcandles.blogspot.com/2013/12/bbw-blast-from-past-snowed-in-winter.html
  • Finally there's Fireside! Like Tis the Season and Winter, Fireside has been a BBW winter staple for years and has continue to stand the test of time. It's just perfection! It has something for everyone - it's warm and inviting, woodsy, smoky, masculine, sensual. And it's perfect for people (like myself) who don't have a fireplace.

The next three that I have recently tried and made the cut

  •  Chesnut&Clove is divine! It's so unappreciated and overshadowed and I don't know why cuz it's such an amazing scent. It reminds me a lot of Winter in the sense that it's such a complex Slatkin-esque scent with notes you wouldn't think go together but they do beautifully and evokes an image as well as conjures a warm cozy feeling. 
  • Sparkling Icicles, much like Chestnut&Clove, I didn't find out about last year until the very last minute last year but I decided that I would try them this year. Yes, there is no getting around the fact that it is very "cologne-y"; in fact it's smells like Giorgio Armani's Acqua di Gio. It's a very fresh masculine scent and just different from your typical wintery scents.
  • Snow Day is one of the few new scents that come up this winter that was actually any good. BBW put yourself on the back! Snow Day is such a great scent and much like Sweater Weather and Snowed In, you have this sense of being outdoors when you sniff it. And has something very everyone's tastes - it's sweet for sweetey lovers, outdoorsy and slightly piney for the woodsy/outdoorsy lovers and minty and piney for the winter scent lovers. I do hope this scent sticks around! 


These two scents I like however I don't really consider them to be very wintery

 
  • In the past I tended to overlook and ignore Cranberry Pear Bellini; the pink rose color turned me off and the notes just didn't appeal to me. However something made me want to buy to try this year. It's a fun scents - fresh, fruity, zesty and effervescent. I can see how this could be a favorite of some people.
  • It's about time that BBW attempted a champagne scent. Like CPB, Champagne Toast is fresh, fruity, zesty and effervescent 10 times. It's great scent...just not particularly very wintery 
 
These final two are honorable mentions. Fan favorites but not particularly favorites of mine. Not that I don't like these two, however I can't see myself ever burning them.
 
 
  • Evergreen is just your standard pine scent....nothing too extraordinary. It's smells lie a Christmas tree ready to be decorated.
  • Fresh Balsam...whoo, this ish is potent. I have an old wf bulb of this near my Christmas tree this year. Unlike Evergreen, this smells more like a Christmas tree still in the dirt that you're about to chop. It's very earthy and dirty smelling...in a good way of course. And the mix of fir and eucalyptus a powerful knock out combo. 

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Snowed In (Winter 2012)



Products: candle and bulbs
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: December - New Years

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


*sigh

Well let's start from the beginning, shall we?

So last year, I spent the holidays overseas visiting my bf's family. So with preparing for the trip and doin last minute Christmas-y type stuff in town before we left, I honestly paid little to no attention to BBW stuff. It wasn't until after New Years during SAS that I learned about most of the new winter scents...which as all you know by that time, BBW has already started phasing out winter scent in their stores. One of the scents I found out about at the last minute was Snowed In. So my bf and I go to our fav store in town to check out the SAS sales. I look around and there were no Snowed In candles (or any winter scents except stank ass Winter Night) but there were wf bulbs out the friggin wazoo. So I bought some, I plugged em in at home and I fell in love with the scent. I made a vow that next year I was gonna get the candle.
http://realtalkaboutbbwcandles.blogspot.com/2013/05/bbw-spotlight-snowed-in.html

So fast forward to 2013...BBW releases their winter test scents...and no one mentions Snowed In. However I got an inside tip from a fellow BBW'er that there was indeed a SI candle. So I wait...and wait...and wait. Then the bulbs show up online and I'm thinkin "surely, the candle must be coming..surely!" So in anticipation, I buy some. Then Touchthefire posts a vid about failed test scents and what's smack dab in the middle? SNOWED IN!!!

So in utter desperation, I go on Evil-bay. No one has this year's version and but er'body and their grandma has last year's. I find one for 14.99 so I buy it. The seller put me thru so much rigmarole and after a week late, I finally received it.

And after all of this....I don't really like it!

Well first let's rap a taste about the performance. It's actually pretty perfect. The flames danced high from top to bottom and the wax pool remained consistently deep and even....oh about that...the wax pool is such an ugly color! Like Flannel, despite the wax blue-grey periwinkle like color, it melts into a weird reddish brown. I much prefer this year's plain cream white wax color. Anyhoo, lastly the throw on this bad boy is pretty strong; I've a decent sized living room and it managed to fill the whole joint. Now if only it was a scent I enjoyed more

About the scent. The cold throw is very lovely. Like Sweater Weather, you get a strong whiff of juniper which gives it a very fresh clean cooling vibe. And then the sugared sap note (whatever that is) makes it..well..sweet but not in a candy/bakery ooey gooey way. Everything was all to the good...until I lit it and the scent completely changed into something very weird and off.  Littleballadeer said this in her review (and a few others as well) and I didn't really know what she meant but now I do. After awhile, SI starts smelling oily! I dunno if there's something off about the wax ingredient wise or the type of wicks it has. 'm think it's whatever BBW uses for their "sage" note. I honestly can't really describe the scent other than oily. It's like opening one of those oil filled vitamin pills, like cod liver or something. It's so strange. It was so bad that it made me a little nauseous! Fortunately/Unfortunately this "oiliness" disappeared once the candle got past mid-range.

The bulbs on the other hand smell fabulous. No oiliness whatsoever! The scent is very "alpine" and "snowy" if that makes any sense. It's just fresh and clean and crisp. If snow had a smell, this is what I'd expect it to smell like. The scent just makes me think of walking out on a crisp chilly winter afternoon with snowflakes dancing in the breeze and looking out at the scenery and trees blanketed in snow. I have a Fresh Balsam wf bulb behind my tree; with that and the SI bulbs, my apartment smells like a friggin winter wonderland.

It really is a shame as well as a bewilderment that SI didn't go wide this year. BBW took care of the ugly wax color; it would've been nice to see if they fixed the oily sage note. And no one who fortunate to have gotten it from a test store really haven't said much about it. Oh well, I guess it'll remain a mystery. 

UPDATE & RANT OF THE DAY: Spring 2014 Test Scents

Well ladies and gentlemen, BBW as it at again. It's not even Christmas..nay, it's not even technically winter yet and BBW has released its test scents for the upcoming spring. On the plus side, BBW seems to have gotten its proverbial shit together (this winter's lines of scents was just a random hot mess) as they seem to be releasing well thought out, unique and interesting lines with (seemingly) very few repackages with something for everyone's tastes. My issue is that it is waaaayyyy too early to think about buying and burning spring candles in my opinion. And as usual, after learning what these new scents were, people went apeshit and started foaming at the mouth. And there's a schism between those who are fortunate to live near test stores who can readily get these scents and those (like myself) who live nowhere near one and either hope that Customer Relations can give them the hookup or wait patiently with bated breath to see what will go wide in the upcoming months. It's a vicious cycle and BBW loves every minute of it.

Anyway, let's talk about this scents.  

The Prestige Collection
With this line, BBW seems to be harkening back to the days when Harry Slatkin was in command and was releasing classy and sophisticated looking and smelling candles with blends of very high end notes. With that said, these candles are very fancy schmancy which each scent conjuring various images of a trip to a winter ski lodge. And much like a trip to a winter ski lodge, these candles are expensive - a whopping $30!!!! Hopefully these candles are worth the price; if so, better stack up on your $10 of $30 survey coupons! 

The scents are...
Ski Den ~ Leather and Sweet Tobacco: The handsome? of a classic den with antler accents and a deep leather sofa that's perfect to sink into after a day on the slopes inspired this warm and ruggedly elegant fragrance. Experience the relaxing blend of fine leather, sweet tobacco and a beguiling note of caramel that conjures up apre-ski bliss (repackage of Havana Heat)
Wine Cellar ~ Mulled Wine and Spice: This outstanding blend of mulled wine and spices was inspired by a collection of outstanding vintages in wine connoisseur's hideaway. Let piquant notes of red fruit, Indonesian patchouli, and a touch of precious saffron transforms a room into an elegant entertaining space, sure to please the most discerning palate
Mountainside Suite ~ Cashmere and Sandalwood :  The cozy softness of a plush mountain suite in a mountaintop suite inspired this fragrance. A room with sweeping views of snowcapped peeks and a bed covered with sublimely luxurious linens come to life in notes of refined vanilla, extraordinary sandalwood and opulent musk. Relax in its beauty. (repackage of Vanilla Sandalwood)
Great Room ~ Fireside Pine: Inspired by the Great Room in a first class lodge, with amountain high ceiling framed by wooden beams, this fragrance evokes a natural, easy style and a sense of soaring escape. Make this blend of elegant pinewood, earthy vetiver, and the perfect touch of pepper to focal of your own Great Room 
Winter Terrace ~ Alpine Spruce Air: Notes of forest air, rich birchwood, and fir balsam capture the beauty of spending evening on a mountain lodge terrace. It's the perfect place to gather and swap stories after a day of outdoor adventure. Share this peak experience


Sweet Shop Collection

Much like the Pumpkin line back in the fall and the Home Tradition line this winter, BBW is catering to the bakery lovers' sweet tooths. And much like with those two lines, bakery/gourmand/sweetey lovers nationwide are creaming their panties over these new sugary sweet candles. These candles seem to be confections perfect for Easter or spring picnics. And although I'm not a sweetey/bakery/gourmand lover by any means, I must applaud BBW for experimenting with some new scents.

Scents include... 

Strawberry Sorbet: A cool, new treat to delight your senses, sorbet made from the sweetest, sun-ripened strawberries, spun sugar and a touch of vanilla! (repackage of Strawberry Picnic) 

Raspberry Peach Macaron: The ultimate French cookie is celebrated in a unique blend of ripe raspberries, juicy peach and almond cream! (repackage of Sweet Macaron/Gelato?)

Lemon Drops: That magnificent mouth-puckering mixture of sweet and tart is captured in this blend of fresh lemon zest, sugar crystals and a hint of vanilla! (repackage of Limoncello or Lemon Gelato?)
Pineapple Creampuff: Delicate puff pastry and rich cream meet tropical pineapple in a fragrance inspired by a classic, hand-made confection!
Honey Cinnamon Crumb Cake: Today’s special – an irresistible baked treat made with fresh soft cake, local honey and a hint of cinnamon! (repackage of Sugar and Spice?)
Lavender Marshmallow: The merging of two unexpected flavors – lavender and marshmallow – make this mouthwatering blend a special treat!
Pink Bubblegum: A fragrance you can really sink your teeth into with notes of pink sugar cane, juicy watermelon and a hint of vanilla!
Pink Lemonade Pound Cake: A delicious combination of two classic bakery treats - includes notes of freshly squeezed lemon, rich cake and ripe raspberries!

Returning favorites include...
Frosted Cupcake: A true sweet tooth’s delight – fresh vanilla bean, sugar, cake batter and rich buttercream frosting mix it up and create an irresistible scent! (of course this was coming back. I swear FC is like a friggin zombie)
Watermelon Lemonade: Quench your thirst for long, summer days with this refreshing mixture of watermelon ice, sparkling water and freshly squeezed Meyer lemons!
Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut: Share the delight of a freshly-baked vanilla cake doughnut covered in sugar crystals and crushed cinnamon! (SAY WHHAAAAT?!)
Destination Line
BBW is releasing yet another Destination line. This line compared to the ones in the past seem more unique with very few repackages and with more locale inspired scents from every continent. I think, compared to the lines released in the past, this one might be my favorite.
The scents are...
South Beach Sun: Revel in a tropical blend of coconut water, orange blossoms and lemon inspired by the Sunshine State’s most famous hot spot. Let’s party beach side!
Mahalo Maui: Go an instant vacation with a blend inspired by our favorite Hawaiian island featuring notes of passion fruit, white flowers and a hint of soft musk. Let’s luau!
Havana Heat: Visit the intoxicating city of Havana with this rare blend of sweet tobacco, amber and spice! Cha cha cha the night away!
Bermuda Break: Cruise to a pretty pink sand beach on the island of Bermuda with this blend of juicy peach, tropical jasmine a hint of sandalwood. Blue waters, green fairways! (repackage of Southern Magnolia?)
Emerald Isle: Escape to a Country that’s simply greener than anywhere else in the world with the fragrance of fresh clover, emerald grass and a touch of woody moss! Discover the Spirit of Ireland!
Mad About Madrid: A lovely blend of dark cedarwood and soft musk gives way to the perfect hint of Spanish pepper. Ole!
Fleur De Provence: A very French blend of lavender buds, verbena and vanilla that conjures up a walk through fields and fields of flowers. Escape to the South of France!
Sunny St. Tropez: An internationally glamorous blend of neroli blossoms, creamy vanilla and sandalwood transports you to the best beach club in St Tropez. Revel in the beauty of the French Riviera! (repackage of Suntan/Poolside)
The Greek Isles: An epic blend of fresh figs, green cypress and juicy melon takes you on a Greek Isle getaway. Island-hopping adventure awaits!
Electric Tokyo: An exotic combination of Japanese iced sake, delicate cherry blossoms and a hint of berries! Arigato Japan!
Sydney Harbor: Experience Australia's most beautiful harbor city with a blend of salt waters, exhilarating eucalyptus and bamboo wood. Visit the land down! (repackage of Seashore/Renew&Refresh)
Returning favorite includes
London Calling: A royal blend of tea, lemon and sugar. Great traditions from across the pond!
Paris Daydream

Fresh Picked
Well kids, it looks like Fresh Picked is here to stay. Here's the new spring line...which is sooooo much better than last spring's lackluster release. This one is very similar to the first original Spring Fresh Picked line back in '11 with combinations of exotic, unique and somewhat unusual blends.

The scents are..
Pink Passionfruit: The amazing juiciness of an island fruit inspired this combination of vine-ripened passion fruit, guava and sugarcane!
Pomelo Grapefruit: The ultimate citrus lover’s delight – a blend of tart grapefruit, sweet pomelo and juicy orange!
Heirloom Greens: Escape to the garden with this cheerful blend of heirloom greens and tomato vines!
Wild Berries: The fun of picking sweet local berries is celebrated in this blend of juicy, red raspberry and tart blackberry
Lemon Cucumber: Clean, crisp cucumber and zesty lemon create a refreshing fragrance perfect for spring!
Snap Peas: Bright green peas with the perfect amount of snap are the centerpieces of this green blend!
Sweet Spearmint: Enjoy the bright scent of freshly cut spearmint leaves sweetened by sugar crystals!

Returning favorites include
Garden Strawberry: Simple and pure, sun ripened strawberries are highlighted by mango nectar and soft peach blossoms! (Strawberry aka Strawberry Patch)
Lemon Mint Leaf: Freshly cut lemon balm and spearmint leaves give a refreshing lift to a blend of vetiver and citrus!
Honeysuckle Bouquet: The scent of early spring contained in a bouquet of sweet honeysuckle and pink peony with a touch of creamy vanilla! (Honeysuckle)
Market Peach: Fresh from the stand peaches strike a juicy note in a blend of vanilla featuring hints of citrus and raspberry!
Lilac Blossom:

Tropical Collection
Of course, BBW is gonna release its insanely popular Tropical collection again. Dunno if anything new will be added to the roster

Island Margarita
Coconut Leaves
Tiki Beach

Ocean Side
Peach Bellini
Beach Cabana
Caribbean Escape

Aloha Candles
It seems that BBW is releasing a second "tropical" line inspired by Hawaii. I'm guessing this is the new locale line of scents like the Parisian line and Italian Villa line.

Pineapple Palm Grass: A fresh tropical fragrance inspired by the beautiful pineapple fields & exotic green foilage of the Hawaiian Islands.
Lanakai Coconut: Be transported by a blend of sweet, coconut , milk seawater, & palm tree leaves inspired by Hawaii's beautiful Lanakai Beach.
Island Waters: Dive into the an invigorating mix of water notes, lush green palm leaves & a hint of fresh cut bamboo.
Hawaiian Hibiscus: Experience an island getaway with this fragrant blend of hibiscus Hawaii's native flower, combined with creamy coconut & jasmine notes....
Rainforest Sugarcane: Venture into Hawaii's rainforest,with an intriguing mixture of fresh lime,raw sugar cane, and rare vanilla orchid.
Black Sands: Visit Hawaii's dramatic black sand beach with an unforgettable blend of ocean mist & exotic amber finished with creamy cedarwood.
White Orchid Lei: A lei , a symbol of beautiful flowers that is a Hawaiian symbol of love inspired these exsquite notes of lush orchid petals & a hint of melon.

All info came from SweetkelleyXOXO, Ciapinkpumpkin, Kevin St.Marie and Touchthefiretwice. And do check out Touchthefiretwice as he has several fabulous video reviews of many of these candles 

http://www.youtube.com/user/TouchTheFireTwice/videos

RANDOM POST: Tag! You're it! (Christmas Style)

I got tagged by buddy Cia over at her new and improved blog http://www.ciapinkpumpkin.com/

So let's go to it shall we...

http://www.ciapinkpumpkin.com/2013/12/10/tag-youre-it-christmas-style/

1. What do you love the most about Christmas time?I'd have to go putting up the Christmas tree and decorating as well as watching Christmas specials and movies with some eggnog and walking around town seeing everything decorated.

2. Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you? 
I didn't use to before I met my boyfriend. When I was a kid, Christmas time was a big deal with my family. Then one me, my younger brothers and cousin all grew up, Christmas time kinda lost its festiveness. Throughout my 20's, Christmas time just wasn't anything special. e even stopped giving each other presents after awhile. I would hang out with my fam (my mom and grandma always cooks a big meal) during the day and then I would go out to the gay bars that night and have a few cocktails with friend. Then I met my boyfriend that kind of changed. He'll never admit it but he's a big kid a heart and he made Christmas special for me. We'd decorate together and watch movies and specials together and all kinds of fun stuff.

3. Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents? Hell no! I've never done that, not even as a kid and have no intention on doing it in the future. I'm a little too old for that sort of thing. Even if I wanted to, I have a mischievous cat at home who would find it and knock it over.

4. What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc – remember to be discreet if they read your blog!} It's a surprise so I can't say

5. What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie? Without a doubt, it has to be Rankin & Bass stop motion Christmas special "The Year Without a Santa Claus" with Snow Miser and Heat Miser. I've watched that faithfully every Christmas since I was a kid.

  6. What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?  Hmmm, I have a bunch. I think my all time favorite song that gets me in the spirit every time is a song from the 70's called "Merry Christmas All" by the Salsoul Orchestra....I can't think of the name of the lady who sings it.

7. If given the opportunity would you participate in an “Ugly Sweater” party and what sweater would you wear? Peruse one on the internet or even in your own closet and show us!  A loud resounding NO!!!!! I hate ugly sweater parties and ugly sweaters in general. I like to wear look my best and would never wear anything ugly, intentionally or otherwise. And although I can see why people would think ugly sweater parties could be fun, I just think they're silly.

 8. Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward? 
Honestly, no. Well no, that's not true. This year my boyfriend and I have experimented with a different color scheme for the tree and the apartment instead the traditional red and green. This year we have blue, white and green lights on the tree with white/iridescent, blue and silver decorations. So that might be an ongoing thing.

9. It’s Christmas morning … what does it look like outside where you live? No clue. I live in New Orleans and the weather is very inconsistent. It might be bright and sunny, it might be grey and overcast, it might be rainy, it might feel like summer, it might cold and windy, it might even snow. There have been three times in my life that it snowed down here. So yeah, I have no clue.

 10. You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe … who comes up to give you a kiss first? My boyfriend I hope!

I am tagging 10 of my fav bloggers and hope they will continue the tag with the same set of questions and leave the link to their post in the comments.
http://www.ciapinkpumpkin.com/

http://bathandbodyworksnews.blogspot.com/

welovebathandbodyworks.blogspot.com

http://lololovesscents.blogspot.com/

http://www.musingsofamuse.com/

http://serenavox.blogspot.com/

http://thecandlecorner.wordpress.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/LittleBalladeer

http://www.youtube.com/user/TouchTheFireTwice

http://www.youtube.com/user/tinadivalicious

MAJOR HAULAGE: Winter 2013 Collective Extravaganza


So ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to present my winter haul collective - this is everything that'll be using from now til March. These are all separate hauls from way back in October thru Black Friday



So back in October there was a $3 wallflower bulb Deal of the day plus $1 free shipping code
  • 1 Snow Day
  • 4 Sparkling Icicles
  • 1 Sweater Weather (which I thought I was gonna use this winter but decided to save it for next fall)
  • 3 Snowed In (bought in anticipation for the Snowed In candle that I thought would go wide)
Sometime in the beginning of November, BBW sent out emails with the mystery discount codes. I got a 20% off code which is pretty much useless online. However my bff gave me her 40% code so I bought some goodies
  • 1 Sparkling Pink Champagne deep cleansing soap
  • Crisp Golden Pear deep cleansing soap
  • Fresh Sparkling Snow deep cleansing soap (my all time favorite soap for winter
  • 4 Cranberry Pear Bellini bulbs
  • 1 Snow Day bulb
  • White Barn No.3 Renew&Refresh (I know, not a winter scent but I wanted something fresh for my bathrooms as a transition scent from winter to spring)
Then before Thanksgiving, there was another $3 wallflower bulbs deal of the day. And I think my bff gave me another 40% off mystery code
  • 1 White Barn No.2 Chestnut&Clove
  • 1 Apple Garland (aka Apple Spruce/White Barn Christmas..my bf and I didn't like this so I recently exchanged this for a Snow Day
  • 1 Pumpkin Carving (just in case it doesn't come out next year)
  • 1 decorated version of Black Tie
  • 1 old school Aromatherapy Lavender (for springtime)
And last but not least, there's my Black Friday. No need to talk about that as I already blogged about it.... http://realtalkaboutbbwcandles.blogspot.com/2013/11/bbw-haulage-black-friday-haul.html

And that my friends is about it. I don't plan on buying anything else...unless there's some fun stuff around for SAS.

Lastly, I decided to make a Youtube vid my winter haul so check it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qra63mtEIaw&feature=youtu.be

RANT OF THE DAY: Farewell to Fall; Autumn Scent Retrospect

Even though it's still technically autumn, let's face it - it's winter time. It's snowing in most places. Television stations have been playing Christmas commercials since before Thanksgiving and stores have been setting out their Christmas stuff to sell. People by now should have their Christmas trees and decorations up. And BBW has pretty much phased out most of the fall scents (for some reason the Fall's Fresh Picked candles are still in stores and there are a few fall candles left online).

Anyhoo, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past fall at BBW and talk about what I 'd like to see next fall.

Scents that I wanna try next fall
Autumn Day - I normally ignore this scent; I always though this was kinda funky. However this past fall, I sniffed it and..I dunno, it kinda grew on me. It's not as bad as I always thought it was.
Cider Lane - Er'ybody and their grandma swears by this scent. People absolutely go nuts for CL. The cold throw absolutely turns me off but so many people say that it smells better after it's lit. We'll see...
Blueberry Pumpkin Patch - I dunno, I thought that the blueberries and pumpkin was an odd combo...BBW obviously didn't think so. And enough people sought after it when first appeared in '12 that BBW decided to release it wide this year. I personally thought it smelled like Trix or Fruity Pebbles cereal. Anyhoo I bought it online during a recent 2 for 22 sale to try next year.

New scents that should stay
Sweater Weather - I was so glad that this was released wide this year. I wound up following in love with this scent. What makes SW so unique is that it captured autumn time without being using typical fall notes i.e. apple/cider/pumpkin/cinnamon/nutmeg
Pumpkin Carving - not everybody likes Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, lord knows I don't. So it's nice to have a more realistic pumpkin scent.
Blueberry Pumpkin Patch - I think BPP proved itself to be a unique and popular scent this year
Pecan Pumpkin Waffles - People went apeshit over this candle! BBW would be silly not to bring this back

Scents that should return
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts - It was very silly that BBW didn't bring this back in the fall; instead they gave us that Cider Donut mess and we were not havin it! Even though it's coming out in the spring...well it's testing and hopefully it'll be released wide in the spring, this is totally a fall scent. It should be brought back next fall.
Apple Crumble - this is such amazing scent! It's a shame that BBW released the 2011 version that was a hot mess. The AC from 2012 burned so much better.  Bring that version back with a cute label and it would be a hit!
Caramel Apple - honestly, I think this smells sooo much better than Cider Lane
Kitchen Spice - this a pretty yummy scent and very fall-ish
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie - I couldn't think of better yummier fall confection scent. If they updated the scent a bit, this would be a hit! Bakery/gourmand lovers would have a field day!
Autumn Apple - cuz that Farmstand apple candle is not what's up. I think it's the oak note that makes it smell a little strange
Spring version of Fresh Picked Pear - I think the version of Pear that they released this fall was a little too fresh and crisp to pass off as a fall scent. I think the Pear from last spring would've been better.
Brandied Pear - this was pretty unique and different
Woodland Berries - just a nice straightup berry scent..not like that Blackberry Spice mess

Scents that we should have
a true cranberry scent - no offense to Cranberry Woods cuz I absolutely adore it but it would be nice to have just a simple crisp cranberry scent, like Frosted Cranberry. Or a cranberry scent with a bit of cinnamon (and no woods note like in Cranberry Woods) like Cranberry Cider.
a true bonfire scent - a Fireside for the fall. Applewood Bonfire tried but failed. Maybe with a less generic apple note or maybe cinnamon bark or clove. Like Chestnut and Clove but substitute the pine-y with a more Fireside smoky note. 
a true forest scent a la Forest Trail - a nice woody outdoorsy scent with a hint a berries
a chai latte or spiced coffee scent - I'd love a truly unique coffee scent, not a repackage of Espresso Bar. Take the milkiness and spice of Pumpkin Caramel Latte and add the strong coffee note of Espresso Bar...or add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg nad brown sugar to Espresso Bar..that would be amazing.
a fresh autumn rain scent - a nice fresh scent sans apple or pumpkin or spice would be lovely. Like Yankee's November Rain. Maybe take the watery note from Seashore/Renew&Refresh and add eucalyptus and/or juniper or a woody note like cedar. Just something crisp and refreshing like Sweater Weather.
candle version of Aspen Mountain Air - I loved the smell of AMA cuz it was so different. Crisp, fresh, clean, outdoorsy, manly. I should definitely be a candle!
revamped version of Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving candle was absolutely stank. BBW dubbed tried too hard to be different (as well as copying off of Yankee) and it failed. What BBW should've done was have sweet potatoes/yams instead of mashed potatoes and add some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla. Maybe a hint of pecan. Or a slight cranberry note. That would be awesome!

RANT OF THE DAY: Wal-mart's Bootleg Candles

So I heard thru the grapevine that Wal-Mart was releasing a line of seasonal 3wick candles for Christmas. My initial thought was "OH NO THEY DIDN'T!!!" Obviously the makers of these candle bootlegs caught wind of the increasing popularity of BBW's candles and decided to cash in.Then I saw the infamous Youtube vid of a young lady showering these candles with praise and advising viewers to settle  for these as they are cheaper than BBW's candles and just as good.

Just as good? Really gurlfriend, really?!

Sorry my dear, I don't settle for also-rans! That's like orderin steak and getting a meatloaf instead. I want a damn steak! And that's how I feel about my candles!

Anyhoo, fast forward to today. I just happened to be in Wal-Mart (which is right across the street from me) getting some last minute Christmas decoration. Just on a whim, I passed the candle section and wondered if by chance they were there. They were indeed. There they stood  in their ghetto-fabulous glory...



Tell me that is not a BBW ripoff! 14.5 oz 3wick...silver lid with rubber lining...stock photo label...vague name...it's like BBW candles from a different Bizarro parallel dimension, like BBW evil twins.

Well when I saw them, I couldn't help but start laughing my ass off. I'm sure people thought I was nuts. And me whipping out my phone to take a pic certainly wasn't proving my case. I texted it to my bf who thought it was hilarious! Anyhoo, after that I thought I'd be adventurous and give em a whiff...just for curiousity's sake They basically smelled exactly how I thought they would...cheap and generic!

What I thought was even more comical was that there was a candle that almost exactly corresponded to a BBW candle!

Midnight Snow was Wally World's Sparkling Icicles. This was probably the grossest of them all. To me, it honestly smelled like morning breath!

Under the Mistletoe...well obviously, Merry Mistletoe...although this kinda smelled more like Fresh Balsam...well Unfresh Balsam...actually Unfresh Ballsack!

Cozy Fire..duh, Fireside. Poor Wal-Mart, they tried; close but no cigar. It smells like a cheap leather recliner that someone's ass has already marked theirs.

Deck the Halls...I can't think of a BBW counterpart of this one. This one was really strange; it smelled like a mix of balsam and stale day old fruitcake.

Winter Magic, Walmart's version of Winter. Sorry Wally World, you can't beat a Slatkin era scent with it's uniqueness and complexity. It's like a cheap watered down Winter sans the orange clove. It kinda reminded me of a cheap generic Vapor Rub

Tis the Season or rather their take of Tis the Season. Chile I don't know what season Walmart thinks it I but this tisn't it!. BBW's TIS totally embodies Christmas time...this one not so much. It's a weird plum almost grape-like scent. I get what Wally World was tryin to do...y'know, visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Yeah no!

And lastly, Toast to the Season..the poor man's Cranberry Pear Bellini. I think this one made me laugh the most cuz it's so ridiculously cheap and unseasonal. It smells like straight cherry flavored Kool-Aid, like the actual sugared powder in the pack. I was just waiting for the big guy himself to burst thru a wall somewhere with a mighty hearty "OH YEAAAAAHHH!!!" Wally World should've just kept it real and called it what it was...Ghetto Punch or Red Drank!

Apparently there were two more scents that weren't in attendance that smelled better than their BBW counterparts - Cookies for Santa (Merry Cookies) and Hot Toddy (Spiced Apply Toddy/Leaves). I'm reserving some judgment til I can actually smell them.

Now as ratchet as these ghettorific bootlegs are...and they are...they seem to be getting high marks in the burn department. Despite their skinny anemic wicks, they apparently burn well and the candles sport even wax pools and decent throws.

I just can't..not even my most desperate candle burnin hour!

Despite BBW's many ridiculous and uncalled for hijinks, I don't think I could bring myself to seriously consider jumping ship to buy these. Yankee or Village, possibly. But these, no maam madame! Could never!

And the end of the day, most cheap things are cheap for a reason. I'm willing to shell out a bit more money for better quality.

Yep, I'm a snob!
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