RANDOM POST: French Lavender Overload!

I'm sure everyone has gotten emails about it, seen posts or pics on Facebook...but in case you haven't heard...BBW is practically giving French Lavender 3wicks away!


NEWNESS UPDATE: Summer Sips Candle Line (revised)

Just when you thought you could finally catch your breath from all of the many lines of candle BBW has been throwing at us, there's a yet another line of candles currently in test mode - Summer Sips!

Just from looking at pictures and reading the notes, these seem like a hybrid of a summery Fresh Picked and summer drink lines from 2011-2012..by that I mean they're all fruity summer drink inspired scents. Now whether or not these are all new or repackaged remains to be seen.

Pomegranate Spritzer-  A fun and fizzy blend of lush pomegranate and juicy guava that adds sparkle ot any and every event (Pomegranate Lemonade?)

Peach Cilantro Twist- capture all the fun of a backyard bash with this fresh and fruity blend of early summer peach, fresh garden cilantro and a hint of juicy mango. (Mango Cilantro?)

Nectarine Green Tea- Now and Zen- Take a break with this soothing blend of Japanese green tea and ripe juicy nectarines. (...I got nuthin', though I'm quite excited that there's a green tea scent)

Clementine Crush -A citrus blend of juicy clementine, golden grapefruit, and a hint of orange leaf. (Pomelo Grapefruit? or Sweet Clementine?)

Mango Coconut Cooler-  Mix this special blend of creamy coconut, luscious mango and a hint of island spice into the perfect summer morning. (Tropical Spice?)

Sparkling Berry Fizz- Add some sparkle to a summer afternoon with this blend of sweet elderberry, tart black currants and bubbly spring water (Sugarberry Spritzer?)

Pink Apple Punch- Pretty and pink, this irrepressible blend of crisp Pink Lady apples and citrus leaves packs a fabulously fragrant punch. (I'm intrigued...I lurve a good apple scent!)

Pineapple Lychee

I also found out that *sigh *eyeroll yet again for the third friggin time Watermelon Lemonade is being released in this line

I wish that instead of that, we could have Summertime Soda! Or Sparkling Mojito!

Here's a like to Tess's post with more info and pictures

RANDOM POST: Spring Candle Inspired Cocktails

So ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make...I, Bronzeblogger, am a lush! I love goin out and having cocktails or stayin at home and makin cocktails at home. My bf and I have a fully stocked bar so I get to dabble in mixology and experiment with various alcohols, liqueurs, fruits and herbs.

So with that said, recently on a whim I started thinking of cocktails inspired some of my fav candles from all of the various fragrance lines this spring

Spring (martini)
Sour Apple Pucker
St Germain Liqueur
Absolut Pear Vodka

pour some Absolut Pear Vodka over ice in a cocktail shaker, then just a splash of Sour Apple Pucker and an even smaller splash of St Germaine. Then squeeze one wedge of lemon into it. Then shake. Pour into martini glass. Finally as garnish, you can place a slice of green apple on the rim, or drop a small of pear (or green apple or a maraschino cherry) into the glass.

Lilac Blossom
Violet Syrup
Crème de Violette

pour some gin (preferably Bombay Sapphire) over ice in shaker. Then add a splash of Crème de Violette and a smaller splash of violet syrup. Then squeeze one lemon wedge. Shake it all up and pour into martini glass

Renew& Refresh (mojito)
White Rum

Process honeydew in either a juicer, blender or food processor. Pour juiced/blended honeydew over sieve to separate from pulp. Muddle fresh mint, sugar, and 2 lime wedges in cocktail shaker. Add ice. Then pour in honeydew juice. Add rum (preferably Barcardi/Captain Morgan. Shake it all up. Pour in tall glass over ice and fresh mint. Top with soda water.

Lavender Marshmallow (shot)
Lavender Syrup
Pinnacle Marshmallow Vodka

Very simple. Simply pour some Pinnacle Marshmallow in shot glass and add a splash of lavender syrup. Stir and chug!

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (shot)
Pinnacle Cinnabon or King Cake

Pour Pinnacle Cinnabon and Pinnacle King Cake (not Taaka or Lucky Player) in cocktail shaker. Add small dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon. Shake it up and pour a shot glass. You can also decorate the rim with cinnamon sugar.

Lemon Drops (shot)
Absolut Citron

Pour Absolut Citron in cocktail shaker over ice. Squeeze two lemon wedges. Then shake and pour into shot glass. You can serve with sugared lemon wedges.

Lemon Cucumber (Tom Collins)
Cucumber Bitters

Muddle cucumber slices and thyme in cocktail shaker. Add ice. Pour in gin (preferably Hendricks). and add a few dashes of cucumber bitters (preferably El Guapo). Shake it up and pour into Tom Collins glass over ice and cucumber slices (or frozen cucumber wedges). Top with tonic.

Pomelo Grapefruit
Kinky Liqueur
Absolut Ruby Red
Grapefruit juice

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in some Absolut Ruby Red, then a splash of Kinky . Top with grapefruit juice (or orange juice). Then add just a very small splash of Cointreau (or Triple Sec) on top.

Island Margarita (on the rocks)
Triple Sec
Kinky Liqueur

Cut up two kiwis and either blend or juice. Add juice over ice in cocktail shaker. Add the Tequila (preferably Patron) and agave, Triple Sec, Kinky and two lime wedges (or you can use premade margarita mix but still add Triple Sec and Kinky) and shake it up. Line your on the rocks glass rim with a lime wedge and roll it around salt (or sugar). Pour in the margarita.

Peach Bellini
Prosecco (or any white sparkling wine or champagne)
Peach Schnapps

Pour a small amount of Peach Scnapps in champagne. Top with Prosecco

Tiki Beach
Malibu Rum
Stoli Vanilla Vodka
Coconut Cream
Blue Curacao

Pour in Malibu Coconut Rum, Stoli Vanil, coconut cream/milk and shake. Add a small splash of Curacao and grenadine. Pour over ice in glass of your choice. And you can add a vanilla bean for decoration and added taste.

Mango Dragonfruit
Mango Lemonade
Kinky Liquor
Triple Sec
Absolut Mango

Pour Absolut Mango and small splash of Kinky over ice. Top with mango lemonade and a dash Triple Sec. Add grenadine (maraschino cherry juice) for color. Stir and drink!

Rainforest Sugarcane (capirinha/on the rocks)
Cane Rum
Natural Sugar Crystals (or brown sugar)

Muddle 2 lime wedges and sugar in on the rocks glass. Add ice. Fill with cane rum (not regular rum)

Pineapple Palm Grass
Pineapple juice
Malibu Rum
Stoli Vanil

Pour in Malibu (regular, Black or Sunshine) in glass of your choice and a smaller amount of Stoli Vanil. Top with pineapple juice. Squeeze one lime wedge.

French Lavender (Tom Collins)
Lavender Syrup
Soda Water

Pour in gin (preferably Bombay Sapphire) over ice in cocktail shaker. Pour in sugar and squeeze 2 lemon wedges. Then pour in lavender syrup. Shake and pour into Tom Collins glass over ice and a lemon wedge. Top with soda water.

can be served as martini sans soda water and with/without sweet vermouth

Lemon Verbena (Toms Collins)
Absolut Citron
Soda Water

Muddle basil leaves, sugar and 2 lemon wedges in cocktail wedges. Add in ice, pour in Absolut Citron and shake. Pour into Tom Collins glass over ice. Top with soda water.

can be served with gin (preferable Tanqueray) or Bacardi Limon

can also be served as martini sans soda water

Provence Garden
Absolut Pear
St Germain Liqueur

Muddle cucumber slices with St Germaine. Pour in Absolut Pear and shake. Pour in either Tom Collins glass over rocks and cold martini glass. Top with champagne. Decorate with cucumber slice or ribbon of cucumber rind

Pink Petal Tea Cake (martini or shot)
Pinnacle Strawberry Shortcake Vodka
Rose syrup
Rose champagne

Pour Pinnacle Strawberry Shortcake (or Cake or Whipped Cream) in cocktail shaker. Add in juiced or pureed strawberries (strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar) and a dash of rose syrup or rosewater. Shake and pour in either martini or shot glass. Top with a small dash of rose champagne (or you can pour into shaker) For martini, add one half or strawberry or rose petal. For shot, top with whipped cream

Sugarberry Spritzer
White wine
club soda or seltzer
blackberries and blueberries
St Germaine liqueur

Muddle blackberries and blueberries with sugar in cocktail shaker. Add St Germaine and shake. Pour into either wine glass, champagne glass, highball glass or martini glass. Add sparkling white wine then top with soda water.

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Pomelo Grapefruit

Product: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: March -

Description: The ultimate citrus lovers' delight - a blend of tart grapefruit, sweet pomelo and juicy orange

This was really the only scent in the Fresh Picked line that I was even remotely intrigued by(BBW hasn't done a grapefruit scented candle since Blackberry Grapefruit back in spring 2012) although with that said I hadn't really thought about buying it..that is until I went to the store and smelled it in person. After a good sniff, I thought what the heck, just get it!

I've only burned through half of it at this point but so far the burn is aiight. The wicks look kinda wimpy but they seem to be getting the job done. The flames were high-ish and the wax pool..well, it wavered between being deep and even to sometimes canyoning and took quite while to melt out.

Now let's rap a taste about the scent. If you're expectin a super sour tart mouth puckerin grapefruit scent, you're gonna be a bit disappointed cuz it's not that. It's sweeter than I thought it would be; I daresay this is more like a sweetened grapefruit juice from the grocery store, think Tropicana. I think it's the pomelo note that is sweetening up the blend a bit. Then there's this sharp but nice tartness from the grapefruit that hits your nose last once you get past the initial sweetness. Can't say that I get any orange.

PG is...nice. It's a nice candle to burn in the morning while eating breakfast and reading the paper. It's sweet, it's fresh, it's juicy and a little tart. However this is certainly nothing to throw a parade over. If you see it your store, give it a sniff. But if you don't see it and you don't want to order it online, you honestly aren't missin much.

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Lilac Blossom (part deux)

Product: candle and bulbs
Area used in:  bedroom but switched to living room
Time Period: March - Mid April

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

So my bf and I got LB last year as we both loved the scent and it was a hot mess! It tunneled thro like crazy and it was practically unscented. Needless to say I didn't have high hopes for it when it appeared this year. I decided to go ahead and buy one as my bf really liked the smell of it. We had it burning in the bedroom while we had Spring in the living room. After took Spring back to the store for an exchange, I brought LB into the living room and bought more wf bulbs. We were both happy with it until recently when it decided to become a dud! It was a DID - dud in disguise!

So in the very beginning it burned like a champ. Thick mushroom tops, tall dancing flames, deep even wax pool - the works! The wax did get a little cruddy as does most white wax candles but it was no big deal. Well all of that goodness didn't last for very long. Things went downhill past mid-range - it started dudding out; the wicks were getting stubbier, the flames were drowning, and the wax was canyoning. The only thing that stayed consistent was the throw...which is what surprised and pleased me the most. It actually had one, period! It wasn't super strong by any means but it was still really pleasant - guest friendly if you will.

The scent is pretty much straightforward - it smells like straightup lilac plain and simple (lilac is without a doubt one of my all time favorite floral scents) Lilac is a fresh, clean and sweet scent which is why is used so many in home cleaning/freshening products. Anyhoo, the lilac note is very authentic. And there's a slight hint of lily which gives the scent an added freshness, dewiness and sweetness. Violet..hmmm, I dunno about that. The blend as a whole is not nearly as offensive and in your face as most floral scents tend to be and it shouldn't set off your sinuses. The blend as a whole is very pleasant and calming. The wf bulbs are pretty strong although they kinda smell like detergent or Febreeze. Still smells nice though.

I think LB is a nice springtime candle to have in one's collection. It's fresh and sweet and relaxing - a nice candle to burn a nice spring afternoon or on the weekends. And it's perfect to have around Easter. However buy  this year's version at your own risk - it may be a DID!

Also BBW, here's a suggestion that I'd like to throw out there - next year can the wax for LB be...oh I dunno..lilac colored instead of white?

RANT OF THE DAY: First Day of Spring; My Spring Candle Picks

Well today is the vernal equinox - in other words the first day of spring!

Spring is definitely in the air! It's getting warmer, we're seein a bit more green, birds are chirpin, people are sneezin..

I for have never been more happier for winter to be over. It was particularly brutal this year, even here in the south. I couldn't wait for this day to arrive!

So as is my blog tradition, on the first day of the season I like to briefly discuss my favorite seasonal  scents. Now truth be told, I tend not to buy or burn many candles in the spring; in springtime BBW tends to release either very floral scents (which as you know I'm not a big fan of) and tropical scents (which I don't tend to want to burn until summertime). However I do have some favs that for me evoke everything about spring and I have to have every year.

So my two all time favorite spring scents are..

  •  For me Spring is the epitome of..well..spring! It has everything; daisies, daffodils, apple blossoms. It's like stepping in a fresh blooming garden. You get green-ness, dewiness, some floral action, an green apple-y kick and a hint of woods. It's just perfection....although,  this year's version was less than perfection!
  • Renew&Refresh as nice calming and relaxing scent. To me, it makes me think of a rainy spring afternoon. It's nice a candle to burn on a weekend afternoon curled up with a book or to relax in a warm soothing bubble bath.  
These two candles have joined the ranks of my favorite spring candles

  •  I bought Lilac Blossom for the first time last spring; while I loved the smell, the performance was a hot mess. This year, it's soooo much better. It truly does smell like straight up legit lilac blossoms!
  • Villa Bergamot/Bergamot Woods has become one of my favorite "mandles". I think it's a nice light cologne-y scent for springtime; it's not as heavy as say Black Pepper Bergamot or Mahogany Teakwood
The following are wallflower bulbs that I like for springtime

  • Fresh Cotton smells like...well fresh cotton. It's a nice unassuming scent - it's fresh and it's clean. It's perfect for a laundry room. I usually have it in my guest room and/or guest bathroom
  • It stopped getting the R&R candle in favor of the bulbs cuz I think they're slightly stronger. Perfect scent for a bathroom
  • Fresh Linen is another fresh, clean, unassuming scent. I think its nice to use at the end of spring going into summer. Like Fresh Cotton, it's a nice scent for a laundry room or home office.
  • This year, BBW surprised us all with a new EM&R bulb, but no candle. This totally smells like fresh pouring rain; very relaxing and calming. The only problem is that while it smelled really nice, it just wasn't very strong. Hopefully BBW fixes the problem before they release it again.
  • Lavender is an aromatherapy scent that for the longest time was only available online; unfortunately its no longer there. This is just a straight up lavender scent - no vanilla (thank god!) and no chamomile. As a long time lavender lover, I love this bad boy and wish it was still around. 
The following are scents from the past that I loved but BBW hasn't brought them back
  • Verbena Waters was an absolutely gorgeous scent, so different from any other floral scent BBW had ever released for the spring. It was a nice end of spring/mid-summer scent - a little floral, a little fruity, very wet and juicy with a strong musk kick. And boy, VW was soooo strong, especially the wf bulbs. BBW did repackage it last year as "Lakeside" but it was very much watered down. I really wish BBW would bring this one back!
  • Flower Shop was just amazeballs! Probably the best floral scent BBW has ever made. It literally smelled like you stepped into a flower shop. Either last year or the year before (I think it was last year) BBW had the wf bulb available online but not the candle which was a shame. This is another fantastic scent BBW needs to bring back!
The following are scents that I liked but never bought or burned and BBW hasn't released them again

  • Green Grass was nice; it was super fresh and dewy and green. However everytime I would sniff it in the store, it kinda tickled my nose so I was afraid that it might work up my sinuses. It's a really nice scent for spring and it's a shame BBW hasnt brought it back.
  • Fresh Bamboo is another really nice fresh and green scent but with some floral action. I loved that it kinda had an Asian-y vibe to it. I would've gotten it but my bf hated it
  • Fresh Lemon was always a scent that I wanted to try as I love anything lemon-y. Honestly I don't know why I never bought it. I think it would be a nice scent for the kitchen or to burn on a weekend afternoon of spring cleaning.
  • Awhile ago BBW had a straightup lavender scent, no vanilla, no chamomile, no nothing. It came back with a new label as test scent some time last year or the year before.  Luckily it seems like the new French Lavender from the Provence Garden line may be a repackage of this.


Product: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: mid March -

Description: Bright green snap peas with the perfect amount of snap are the centerpieces of this fresh green blend

So I bought this bad boy out of pure curiousity the weekend of the first 2for22. Sooooo many people were putting SP down...

"Why would I want a candle that smells like snap peas?" "Snap peas belong in a salad not a plate!" "Peas are gross, this candle's gonna be gross!"

And so on and so forth.

Because I'm a sucker for the underdog, I defended SP vehemently. I told people to be open-minded...that fresh snap peas actually smell nice as opposed to peas in a can..that folks should make judgement after they've actually gone to the store and smelled it in person..etc etc. So I'm at the store and there's SP right in the front staring me down. So I sniff it....and start gagging - I hated it! Yet I couldn't let it go, I was still intrigued. In between sniffing other things, I would go back to SP to re-sniff. At one point, I held it in my hands and walked around smelling it. Finally I said eff it, I'm just gonna go ahead and buy it. So I did! Fast forward to this past St Patrick's Day weekend, I started burning it...you know, it's St. Paddy's Day...SP is green..yeah I'm a dork! Anyhoo, I'm burning it and the more I sniff it, the more I start to dislike. Finally on the day St. Paddy's day, I burned it only to blow it out a few minutes later cuz it was grossing me away. So despite all of my big mouthing and ardent defending of this candle, in the end I wound up hating like everyone else!

So performance wise, SP was doin alright. The wicks looked kinda scrawny (it looks like all of the Fresh Picked candles all had the same skinny wicks) but they got the job done. The wicks had mini mushroom tops and the flames were slightly high. The wax pool was always even and deep and melted into a nice shade of emerald green.

And now the scent. It's outdoorsy for sure. As soon as take the lid off, you get this immediate strong ass whiff of the outdoors. Now if I were blindfolded and asked what this smelled like, I don't think I'd immediately say snap peas per se; more like fresh cut grass and dirt. It would only be after the sniff test once I was told what it was supposed to smell like snap peas, then and only then would the lightbulb go off and I'd agree. It smells like fresh snap peas still in their pods dangling in vines in freshly watered soil... emphasis on soil!  I think it's the earthiness/dirtiness in the blend that turns so many people off, myself included. And it intensifies the more the candles burns!

If this was more green and fresh like new Provence Garden or green and dewy like Green Grass or Fresh Bamboo, I think I would like it more. But as it stands, it just smells like fistful of wet garden soil.

So umm yeah, back to BBW this goes!

WALK 'N' SNIFF: Aloha Hawaii and Provence Garden

So yesterday I went to BBW to return/exchange my Spring candles/wf bulbs. Also I wanted to get my sniff on and see what the big deal was about these Aloha Hawaii candles.

Lanikai Coconut
I did not like this one at all! Honestly I'm not a big fan of coconut scents but if it's blended right with other notes, I could dig it i.e. Tiki Beach. But this one just smelled strange. It think it's the "seawater" note; it made what's an otherwise creamy really salty. HATED IT!

Pineapple Palm Grass
This truly smells like legit pineapple! And not your Dole's canned pineapple slices in syrup but a fresh pineapple from the market that's just been sliced and is dripping in its own fresh juices. This one is definitely one of the winners in this line!

Black Sands
This is definitely a "mandle"! I won't go so far as to say that it's "cologne-y" but there's a definitely a masculine vibe to it. Now as I was smelling this in the store, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what it smelled liked. Then I rememeberd Touchthefiretwice's review and he said it smelled like Eucalyptus Mint & Rain...and he's a absolutely right! This smells exactly like EM&R with maybe a dash of Black Tie. I'm actually digging it! If you're anti-cologne-y/manly scents, just pass this one right on by!

Rainforest Sugarcane
This is a strange one! I was really hoping that it would smell like Sparkling Mojito from years ago but no so much. It reminded me of Snap Pea in the fact that initially I hated it but after a few sniffs I was on  board. It's very green, very grassy and leafy. And there's a slight muddled lime scent chillin in the background. But I think it's the "sugarcane" note that kept throwin me for a loop. It kinda smells like brown natural raw sugar crystals you find in coffee houses. It's almost borderline maple syrupy. I just don't know this one!

Island Waters
I was super intrigued with this one as I love fresh, watery, oceany scents. This one didn't disappoint. It's very fresh and clean and watery with a hint of something lush and green in the background. I'm not 100% sure but I think this may be a repackage with a twist of Sunrise Lagoon from awhile back. Anyhoo, it's nice to finally have a watery summery scent that's not Oceanside or a repackage of Renew&Refresh. The only thing I 'm worried about is that on cold sniff, it's quite light. I'm hopin this has a decent throw.

Hawaiian Hibiscus
This is basically Aloha Waikiki 2.0. I even did a comparison sniff of the two to make sure I wasn't trippin. If you smelled Aloha Waikiki, then you know what Hawaiian Hibiscus smells like. If not, it's a super sweet floral scent..period. That's really all there is to say about it.

Mango Dragonfruit
This seems to be everybody's number one favorite, I mean everyone is goin apeshit over MD! Now there's talk that this is repackage of Merry Mango from this winter's Winter Market. I never got to smell that one so I can't verify if it is or not. It's a super sweet candy mango scent, not fresh or juicy, just sweet.

Red Guava Lava
This is another one that is getting everyone's panties soaking wet! Personally I don't think this is anything remotely exciting. It's basically a repackage of Pink Passionfruit from this spring's Fresh Picked line. I did a comparison test; it's slightly lighter but there's no denying that it smells just like PP.

I did wind up buying Rainforest Sugarcane, Island Waters and Black Sands

My store also had the Provence Garden in mason jars. Honestly y'all, I'm not impressed...

Provence Gardens
I'm soooo glad that this isn't a repackage of Tuscan Herbs. This scent is a little hard to describe. It's very green and vine-y smelling but it's sweet, like fruity sweet..possibly from the pear blossom. It's kinda like Green Grass or Fresh Bamboo but sweeter. I actually kinda liked this one!

Sundrenched Vineyard
I was a bit intrigued with this one as BBW really hasn't really done a grape/wine scent. I was shocked and disappointed when Touchthefiretwice said in his video review that it smelled like Cranberry Woods. I refused to believe BBW would be so audaciously lazy. However the proof was indeed in the pudding; I sniffed it and sure enough TTFT was right - it was absolutely a repackage of CW! No one can convince me otherwise! WTF BBW?! REALLY? CRANBERRY WOODS? WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS SCENT HAVE TO DO WITH WINE AND A FRIGGIN VINEYARD?! You know what..I just can't... NEXT...

French Lavender
I am happy to announce that this is not a repackage of Lavender Vanilla as I and others assumed it would be. This is by far the most perfect, spot on, genuine, authentic lavender scent BBW has ever made. And not a hint of vanilla...THANK GAWD!!! I'm so sick of BBW throwin vanilla in EVERYTHING! Anyhoo, this scent is amazeballs! If you're a hardcore lavender lover like me, you'll love this one!

Lemon Verbena
I'm fan of this one - I love verbena and I love anything lemon-y. If you're familiar with the test scent Lemon Cucumber from this spring's Fresh Picked, LV smells exactly like that sans the cucumber of course. It does however smell a bit like lemon/lime Fruity Pebbles. A lot of BBW's lemon and verbena based candles this spring all smell like Fruity Pebbles. Not that I'm complainin, I love me some Fruity Pebbles.

Citron Cedarwood
Every collection has to have a colone-y mandle and this one is it. It's like a sweeter version of Black Tie. I dunno if it's a repackage, but there's no denying that the two smell quite similar.

Springtime in Provence
Ever smelled a candle that smelled so off and rank that it had you gagging in the store? There have been a few funky offenders that had me nauseated after one whiff - Caribbean Escape... Winter Night..Thanksgiving. I'm gonna go ahead and add this one to this list. This shit is foul! It literally smells like unwashed, rank, musty, sweaty armpits! I tried sniffing it over and over trying desperately to get the peach and raspberry notes but to no avail. All I got was sweaty armpits! I will never visit Provence if it smells like this in spring!


HOT MESS AWARD: Spring (part deux)

Product: candle and bulbs
Area used in:  living
Time Period: March -

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

Missing notes: apple blossoms

Spring was for a time one of my all time favorite scents as well as my go to scent for springtime. In fact, When I first started this blog, Spring was one of the first candles that I reviewed and I gave it the "THIS IS THE BOMB.COM" stamp of approval. I would fervently defend Spring as got and continues to get a lot of hate from the BBW community. And as a person who is not a big fan of floral scents, all of this speaks volume.

So you're probably wonderin why if I loooooove Spring so much did I give this scent the HOT MESS AWARD? What changed from last year to this year?

Spring was literally making my bf and I sick!

I was super excited when my Cranberry Pear Bellini wf bulbs ran out so that I could replace them with the Spring ones. They smelled as good and as strong as I remembered...perhaps a little too strong. When my bf walked in the door from work, the first thing he said was how super strong they were. I didn't think they were that strong. Then over time I noticed when I stepped away from the living room and walked back in, it was like I walked into wall! My bf even said that exact same thing. Then I started burning the candle. I did get a little headache every once in awhile but I didn't think much of it. Then recently, my bf's sinuses started goin haywire - he was stuffy/congested, had itchy eyes and was coughing nonstop. A few days ago he texted me asking me to unplug the wallflowers as he theorized that they were the cause of his sinus issues. Interestingly enough, I was burning the candle when I get the text and it was giving me a headache. I promptly blew the candle out, unplugged all of the wallflowers and opened the window to get rid of all of the Spring-ness. Since that day, my boyfriend made a full recover and I haven't had any headaches.

I dunno what the hell BBW did to Spring this year. I don't remember the candles or bulbs being quite so potent in the past nor have they ever given me a headache. I joked on Facebook that BBW must have put pollen in the blend and that my bf and I had to pop a Claritin just to sit in the living room!

On top of that sinus allergy-inducing hot mess-ery, Spring had the audacity to have a shitty burn. I mean it was givin me Apple Crumble burn..in fact I'm almost positive that Spring had the same crappy wicks that AC had that would get the white ashy ish on top.   

So Shitty burn...ridiculously strong....made me and my bf sick...
Needless to say, Spring is goin back to the store to get exchanged!

RANT OF THE DAY: Wtf do these notes mean?! BBW scent jargon

One of the main reasons I've become so obsessed witb BBW candles is because I'm utterly fascinated with fragrance blends. Like a cologne or perfume, BBW uses top, middle and bottom notes to create a blend for their candles. It's truly a science and an art to mixing notes thus creating a blend that truly smells like a certain object or evokes a mood or setting.

I know I know...this is nerdy and boring ish... let's get to the point...

There was a time back in the glorious Slatkin days, candles had for the most part a good portion of the notes listed - they kept it real about what everyone was actually smelling. Since he left, things changed. Nowadays, we get 3 notes total. The description is not so much to inform but rather to entice. The description writers pick the three notes out of the blend that's guaranteed to draw in potential buyers.

For example, take one of my all time favorite scents "Tis the Season". The notes usually listed are red apples, golden cider and pine -sweet, short and simple. Recently I was suprised to learn that the extra unlisted notes were cinnamon (no surprise there), brown sugar and walnut. Walnut?! Wtf right?! Brown sugar and especially walnut are not as appealing and "Christmas-y" as the other notes so they were kept hidden.

With that said, there is more to scent than the three notes listed on the bottom!

As I became more and more BBW savvy, I learned not to let myself by conned by the notes. Often the description writers use a lot of poetic licence. They'll use obscure or random notes that probably aren't even in the blend at all or notes that in the real world don't really have much of a scent at all but sounds pretty or exotic. Notes are switched to something similar yet more pleasing to the ear.And, as with most fragrance companies, BBW is a big fan of the vague notes - raindrops, mountain air, ocean spray, sea breeze, sunshine, kitty breath, unicorn farts, etc.

Here are but a few observations I've made about various notes...

Sandalwood and cedarwood are interchangeable... ie Sage&Cedar/Black Tie

Same thing with sage and moss, interchangeable... ie Flirt/Paris Daydream/Sparkling Icicles

Aloe and agave, interchangeable

Apple/apple blossom and pear/pear blossom...again, interchangeable

Sugar, brown sugar, sugarcane...all the same

 Citrus bouquet = lemon/lime

Anytime you see a scent with "sea spray" or "ocean breeze" or "mist" or "rain" or "fresh air", it's basically melon or melon/cucumber...Oceanside, Seashore/Renew&Refresh, Sea Spray, Sunrise Lagoon (and probably Island Waters) are all melon-y

 Grassy scents usually have cucumber in the blend ie Green Grass

"Pumpkin"...yeah right!!! Don't believe the hype. What you really smell is cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice/ginger aka pumpkin pie spice

I ignore "geranium" whenever it's listed

Anything woody smelling is probably oak

In the real world, cherry blossoms don't really have a smell. My assumption is that in home fragrance, it's probably some combination of pear or plum blossom and jasmine...that's just a theory

A lot of "powderiness" in floral scents is usually from jasmine and/or orange blossom

If you see "bergamot" in the notes, just naturally assume/expect the scent to be cologne-y

If you see a combination of notes like "oak" "mahogany" "moss" "vetiver" "leather" expect it to smell like cologne

If you see a "cupcake" scent, assume that it is the same "buttercream" note from Frosted Cupcake..whatever that formulation is

I haven't quite figured out what "mountain air" is...Vetiver? Moss? Juniper?

 Juniper is often used for cold scents, ie Sweater Weather and Snowed In

If a scent says "lime", its probably actually pomelo and/or tangelo

Different types of orange notes, with the exception of bergamot, seem to be interchangeable

Berry notes are often raspberry/blackberry/boysenberry

 Blackcurrant is often used in "alcohol-ey" scents, mainly wine/champagne scents

Musk, sandalwood and amber are used sparingly in BBW scents. Think of them As the mayo, mustard and ketchup in a fragrance hamburger. And as far as musk goes, it could either be muskflower/ wild celery musk, synthetic white musk or simply vetiver/sage/moss disguised as musk

Well ladies and gents, that's all I can think of!

In conclusion, enjoy your candle for the intricate blend that it is and take what's written on the bottom with a grain of salt.

THAT'S SO TEST SCENT: Sugarberry Spritzer

Product: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: mid February -

Description: Offer your guests a special treat - a sugarberry spritzer. This springy, effervescent blend captures the fun and festivity of a garden party in sparkling water, sugarberries and elderflowers

So out of all of the Garden Party candles that were testing, I was the most intrigued with this one. First of all, I dunno about y'all but I get super excited when BBW releases something that isn't a repackage. Moreover I get even more excited when a scent has notes that have never been used before. Now with that said, the note that really jumped out at me was elderflower, which as far as I know BBW has never used that in a scent before. I LOVE elderflower, particularly elderflower liqueur..especially St. Germain - sooooo good in cocktails, champagne, white wine and..well, spritzers. So intrigued was I with SBS that I broke my rule about not buying candles without a preliminary first sniff. I attempted to order this thru Customer Relations but they didn't have it in their warehouse so I ordered it off Ebay.


I'll be honest..when I first sniffed it after it arrived, I wasn't that impressed. I dunno exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Not that it stank or anything, it was just a bit on the blah side and sooo light. It sat in my candle bin for awhile as I wasn't particularly very excited to burn it. Then recently I brought it out to mix things up a bit as I was getting kinda bored with my Cranberry Pear Bellini. So, umm, yeah...

So burn-wise, it was ok. No mushroom tops and the flames weren't very high but they still got the job done; there was always a consistent deep and even wax pool. After the mid-range point, the wax started getting more and more cruddy. This is the only colored candle besides Beach Cabana and Champagne Toast where the wax changed quite noticeably.

not cute!

Throw-wise, this was stronger than I thought it would be. Because the cold throw was so light, I assumed the hot throw would be as well; it surprisingly wasn't. Don't get too excited, this candle will not choke and knock you out, not by any means. I'd say the throw is medium-ish; this is definitely a candle to burn in a smaller room or else the scent would get completely lost.

And now the scent...It's definitely unique. I'm thinking BBW was trying to make a more feminine spring version of Cranberry Pear Bellini. It's a cute idea in theory but the execution was a bit of a disappointment. The scent just doesn't quite live up to it description. To say that this is supposed to be a "spritzer", the scent doesn't come across as a drink of any kind but rather a perfume or body spray. "Sparkling water?" Yeah no, not so much. There's little to no fizziness or bubbliness in this scent whatsoever. Now I have noooooo idea what a sugarberry (aka hackberry) is supposed to taste or smell like. I assume it's a light sweet scent and that BBW used the note to sort of mimic white wine the same way BBW uses blackcurrants in their wine/champagne/bellini scents. There's a definite borderline generic berry scent in the blend. To me, this makes the scent very...purple. You know how some scents you may associate with a certain color, like something pink might roses or strawberries, yellow with bananas or lemons, etc. Things with a generic grape or berries are usually purple and that's what this scent makes think of. And now the note that I was the most excited about..elderflower. Elderflower, especially elderflower liqueur is hard to describe scent-wise. It's kinda like Moscato mixed with chamomile. I get the elderflower note but it's quite faint, totally overpowered by the sugarberry note.... not that your average BBW'er would be able pick that note out anyway, just that there is some slight floral action.

SBS is..cute. It's sweet, it's calming and it's very feminine. This would be perfect for a lady's boudoir or bathroom (like I said earlier, this is meant for a smaller room). However, this is nothing exciting or impressive, certainly not buy-in-bulk-worthy. Honestly, if I bought this candle in the store as opposed to Evil-bay, I'd bring it back to exchange. Actually truth be told, if I had actually sniffed this in the store, I wouldn't have bought at all.

I dunno if this candle or if the Garden Party line in general is going wide. If it does, SBS is worth a try. If not, don't waste the time, effort and money to get this off Evil-bay like I did!

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Black Pepper Bergamot (Fall 2013)

Products: candles and bulbs
Area used in:  bedroom
Time Period: mid February -

Description: Intricate layers of black pepper combine with uplifting bergamot and lavender in a fragrance inspired by fall's changeable days

Ok so E'RYBODY knows how much I looooooooooove Black Pepper Bergamot! It's my all time favorite, my number one, yada yada! Throughout fall, I stocked up on good ol BPB but I never burned them cuz I had more fall appropriate candles to burn. In fact I just recently started burning my first BPB candle a few weeks ago and it just magically transported back in time when my bf and I burned BPB for the very first time. OR-FRIGGIN-GASMIC! Love at first sniff!

I've already written a review about good ol BPB on here; in fact it was one of the candles that I talked about when I first created this blog. With that said, I won't go into much depth about it. In fact, the only reason I'm writing this is to address an issue - the throw.

For some reason, many re-released candles, particularly the White Barn labeled candles are significantly weaker scent-wise and throw-wise than they were in the past...and unfortunately this one is the not the exception. Last year's BPB was a knockout; it was a like Pepe LePew; no matter how much you ran, you just couldn't escape. This year, not so much! It's soooo weak! It's really disappointing! I had the same problem with Cranberry Woods and Fireside...again two very strong, potent candles in the past that have been watered down and weakened dramatically. I dunno what BBW is doing different with the formula or maybe it's a wick issue..I dunno, but I'm not happy!

Luckily, BPB still smells the same....sexy! Yes, it's a "mandle"...yes it smell "cologne-y". In fact I was at a luncheon awhile back and somebody had on a cologne that smelled exactly like BPB but I didn't have the opportunity to ask what cologne he was wearing. The only thing I could think of was maybe Bigelow's Black Pepper cologne.

There are so many words you can use to describe this scent - warm, rich, sensual, sexy, sophisticated, high end, enticing, etc. I can't hype this scent enough - just A-FRIGGIN-MAZEBALLS!!!

Hopefully, FINGERS CROSSED, if it comes back next fall (and I don't see why it wouldn't) that BBW will fix the throw and it return it to its former glory!


BLAST FROM THE PAST: Twisted Peppermint (Winter 2012 blue version)

Products: candle
Area used in:  living room and bedroom
Time Period: mid January -

Description: A fragrance featuring merry and bright peppermint with touches of vanilla and sugary musk is the perfect companion for a very snowy day 

I have ignored this candle for the longest; despite all of the good reviews TP gets, I just never had any interest any it at all...that is until very recently. Several people on Facebook recommend burning this particular blue TP to help with headaches/migraines as well as congestion from colds. As I do get the occasional sinus headache as well as rare case of the sniffles in winter, I thought I might test its so called healing properties. And as it should happen, there were blue TPs still on the website at the time and it was during SAS so it was half off. I couldn't pass it up so I went ahead and bought one.

Let me tell y'all, this candles lives up to the hype! Whenever I have a sinus headache, I would burn it next to my bed and sure enough, it totally helped my headaches go away! Also, my bf was really sick awhile back and I would burn it by his side of the bed before he went to bed. Not only did the scent help ease him to sleep but it also cleared his congestion a bit. I'm tellin y'all, this candle is a lil miracle worker!

Now performance wise, this candle was a hot mess! It was a total DID - dud in disguise! The flames were super stubby and the wax tunneled every time; I rarely got a full deep wax pool. And when the wax hardened, there was a weird dent in the middle. However, throw was super strong, an absolute knockout!

I don't really have to go on about the scent cuz E'RYBODY knows what this smells like. It's a sweet peppermint scent..plain and simple. Although with that said, this blue version is a bit more medicinal and menthol-y than various white wax versions. I think the blue version is less candy smelling and more aromatherapy.

Seriously, if you're prone to headaches and migraines or winter bugs or if you want a soothing aromatherapy like, you gotta get this candle!

RANT OF THE DAY: New Orleans Destination candles

So as y'all already know, I live in New Orleans. Well yesterday was our most well known celebration, Mardi Gras...which this year it was a hot mess or rather a cold mess as it was freezing and rained the entire day!

Anyway recently I was musing to myself that it would cool if there were New Orleans/Mardi Gras themed candles to burn during Carnival time, like the Chicago and Florida Destination candles. So for shits and giggles, I thought of past scents that could be repackaged...

Riverwalk - As relaxing as a stroll alongside the Mississippi River, this is an enchanting blend of lush verbena, zesty citrus and a hint of musk (Lakeside/Verbena Waters)

My New Orleans - Capture the excitement and mystery of this Southern city with the enchanting fragrance of wild magnolia, honeysuckle and juicy peach (Southern Magnolia)

Creole Beignets - A combination of fresh dough, creamy butter and rich sugary vanilla powder conjures the memory of biting into this uniquely Creole confection (Merry Cookie)

Bourbon Street - Enjoy the sights and sounds of this seductive street with an intoxicating blend of dark blackberries, sweet brown sugar, effervescent citrus and a splash of bourbon (Malibu Smash)

I also thought of a completely new scent called "Mardi Gras". This would be for all if y'all bakery lovers as it would smell like a very iconic confection eaten during this time - King Cake...which if you've never eaten one, it tastes almost like a cinnamon roll. 

I think it would smell similar to Cinnamon Sugared Doughnuts. I'd take the vanilla cake and cinnamon sugar notes from CSD and maybe add the vanilla crumble note from Apple Crumble. I'd amp up the cinnamon note and maybe add some allspice as well as a vanilla frosting note. And maybe to kick things up a notch, add a raisin note or praline or maybe rum. Tell me yall bakery lovers wouldn't go absolutely nuts for a candle like this?!