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.