WHITE BARN EXCLUSIVENESS: White Pear Champagne


Products: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: end of February - beginning of April



Description: Liven up the room with a bubbly blend of sparkling white wine and juicy spring green pears


Well this seems to be an ongoing trend with me lately - out of all the candles in a particular collection, only one piques my interest. And this is the one that intrigued the most as it seemed to be moreorless new. As it's only a White Barn exclusive, I decided to look for it on Evilbay. Once again, it was a case of curiosity killing the cat and much to my dismay, it turned out not to be a new scent at all but rather a repackage with a twist. Like aforementioned Sparkling Limeade, had I bought online or in a store, I would've brought it back to get exchanged for something better.

Performance wise, it burned like a BOSS! The wicks had the biggest plumpest mushroom tops that I've seen in a really long time. That said, the flames were ridonkulously high. The drawback was that it did leave soot on the very ugly and basic white tumbler. Anyhoo, there were never any wax issues; it always melted deeply and evenly.

And now let's talk about the scent.... sigh

Now just judging from the notes I thought at first that it would be "sour apple pucker" scent i.e. Pink Apple Punch/Wasabi Apple/Green Apple Orchard/Green Apple Champagne which worried me as I despise those scents. I really hoped it be a genuine fresh, juicy and crisp pear scent as I love anything with pear. Fortunately it was not the former however unfortunately it is not the latter. It is however a straightup repackage with a twist of...wait for it...friggin CHAMPAGNE TOAST. There's the tiniest hint of pear but it's not juicy and fresh but rather sweet and fake. But for the most part all you really smell is Champagne Toast. It's basically Champagne Toast with a tiny hint of Cranberry Pear Bellini.

On the one hand, I'm not too disappointed as I do love me some CT. However I was kinda hopin that this was a new scent and not another tired lazy repackage. Unless you're a huge fan of CT and dont currently have any in your collection, leave WPC right on the shelf!

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Sparkling Limeade






Products: candle & wf bulb
Area used in:  living room (wf in July)
Time Period: end of January -



Description: Refreshing with a sophisticated touch of citrus, this fragrant blend of juicy limes, sparkling water and a hint of sugar quenches your thirst for spring


In the very beginning, this was the only the only scent in this collection that I was interested - I LOVE lime scents...well anything with lime really! At the time, I was too intrigued with this candle to wait until it was in stores. In a case of curiousity killing the cat, I made a bid for this on Evil-bay... a stupid move on my part as it did appear in stores not too long after. With that said, had I bought this in the store, I probably would've brought it back and exchanged it.

Performance wise, it was just ok. The flames were steadily high and there was always a consistently deep and even wax pool. The throw was kinda on the weak side; it barely managed to fill my living room. Honestly, I was ok with that cuz the scent was not enjoyable enough for it to be knock you out strong.

And now onto the scent... sigh

BBW doesn't have the best track record with lime scents; most of their so-called "lime" scents don't actually have lime notes in them at all. Sparkling Mojito's lime note was actually  pomelo. With Island Margarita, it's mandarin. Coconut LIME Verbena is vaguely lime-y but was more heavy on the verbena which is actually closer to a lemon scent. Tequila LIME Cupcake again smells vaguely lime-esque/citrusy. (There's also Lime Ice but I've ever never smelled that one) And Sparkling Limeade has the same issue - it's vaguely lime-esque. Although "lime" is mentioned in the bottom description notes, it's nowhere to be found in the notes online. Instead we get "lemongrass"..honestly that makes more sense. There's citrusy aspect but it's not fruity or juicy but rather very green and grassy. And look at the picture on the label...green grass and that's what you get. The online notes also mention gin which again makes sense cause you get a slight alcoholy medicinal and again green flavor. If anything this scent smells less like "sparkling limeade" and more like a "gin & tonic"...which I'm ok with as it's my go to cocktail of choice but though from a marketing standpoint "sparkling limeade" sounds more appealing. Anyhoo, I digress. The one thing that turns me off to this scent is there is an unexplained and kinda offputting soapiness to the blend. It's like the small waxy sculpted handsoaps your grandmother has in her guest bathroom that you're not allowed to use- cheap generic vaguely lime scented handsoap.

All in all, SL is a bit of a fail. If you're expecting a sweet yet tart fizzy bubbly mouthpuckering lime soda scent, you're gonna be incredibly disappointed. Real talk, don't waste your time or money on this one! 

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM: Strawberry Rhubarb Marmalade





Products: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: end of January 



Description: A spring market favorite - scrumptious marmalade made from handpicked garden strawberries and rhubarb


Initially I didn't know what to think of this one. One the one hand I was excited cuz I love strawberry rhubarb jam and pies. However on the other I was a leery cuz BBW tend not to do strawberry scents very well. Wild Strawberry smelled like a milkshake. The "Fresh Picked" Strawberry smelled like gasoline. And Strawberry Picnic/Strawberry Sorbet/Happy Easter smelled like cheap chapstick. Not a good track record at all. However I gave it a sniff with an open mind and found myself really liking it. And once I burned it, it was love at first sniff!

Performance wise, this candle was PER-FRIGGIN-FECTION! The wicks always had super plump mushroom tops with super high steppin flames. Needless to say the wax pool always melted evenly and deeply; the wax would melt into this gorgeous scarlet/crimson/ruby color. And the throw, OMG the throw...absoluyely perfect. Knock you out, punch you in the face, kick you in the taint, chokehold you strong! This is the kinda throw that I like my candles to have. A couple of times I had to blow it out cuz it was a little too strong.../ however, I'd rather a throw be too strong than too weak.

And now the scent.... if you're a expecting a fresh juicy straight of the bush strawberry scent, you'll be very disappointed. This is definitely more on the sugary sweet candy side (think strawberry Jolly Ranchers) And a lot of folks were initially frightened by the rhubarb aspect assuming it would make it smell very bitter and green. That's not the case. Usually rhubarb, while normally very bitter, often times enhances the sweetness in strawberries and that's the case with this candle. I definitely pick up some green notes in the background but it perks up and enlivens the strawberry note. So yeah I can say that without a doubt that this really smells like a strawberry rhubarb jam or hard candy. My bf really liked this one ; he said the apartment smelled like a strawberry rhubarb pie.

I highly recommend this...and that says a lot as I tend to avoid sweet scents and berry scents. Its sweet without being diabetic. The rhubarb note gives a nice fresh green outdoorsiness. Its very warm and inviting though it may be too strong to be considered "guest friendly". Its a nice late spring to midsummer scent and perfect for the weekend. If haven't gotten this yet, try it!

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM: Cherry Blossom Sangria



Products: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: end of January - 



Description: Celebrate spring with the sweet scent of sangria made from fresh cherry nectar, crisp apple sices and a hint of wild raspberry


So I will admit, I was a bit leery about this scent. The name kinda throw me for a loop; I'm kinda prejudiced againt anything that sounds like it'll be floral. And if this wasn't floral, it just seemed like it was gonna be sugary sweet. So my bf and I sniffed it in the store, and despite it smelling a little on the candy/punch side, we both really liked it. So once it was on sale, I decided to buy it and give it a try.

Now there has been a lot of complaints about this candle. First of all, quite a few people have said that this was a DID (dud in disguise) and the flames was stubby....not mine! My flames were highsteppin! The wicks had plump mushroom tops and the wax melted evenly into a gorgeous rosy pool. Need proof? Just look at the pic! Others have complained that the warm throw was so low to the point of being non-existant...not mine tho! While it wasn't knock you out punch you in the nose kick you in the taint strong, there was still a throw - it took a minute but it eventually filled my apartment with cherrylicious goodness. Lastly, folks complained that the scent was a little bit on the chemical, reminiscent of hairspray...again and this bears repeating, not mine!

Now before I get to the scent review, allow me to rant for a second. BBW has a bad habit of naming scents that in actuality it doesn't smell anything like. It's a marketing ploy to get yall (ladies) super intrigued. This habit particularly bothers me with the "alcohol-y" wine scents, BBW just doesn't do wine scents very well. Take the "sangria" scents; neither Pink Sangria or the newer Wine Down ~ Pomegranate Sangria just don't smell very sangria-ish. And CBS is no exception. It doesn't so much smell like a cherry flavored sangria but rather a cherry punch. The name may draw attention but the scent will disappoint. It's like being a match/hookup site and usin a picture of you from years ago or heavily photoshopped knowing you don't look like that in person. Just be honest BBW!

So on both cold and warm throw, you get a noseful of instant and immediate cherry - like a jar of Maraschino cherries in a jar swimming in red sugar water. There's no getting around or escaping it. The cherry note also kinda reminds me of cherry Bubblicious gum.There's a slight crisp tart green Granny Smith note but it's completely overwhelmed by that Maraschino cherriliciousness. Raspberry...not really... And maybe it's the name playin tricks on me but I get the tiniest hint of floral. Now obviously cherry blossoms don't actually smell like anything but I get something bright and powdery - jasmine or pear/apple blossom or plum blossom. Anyhoo, don't let that scare you off; unless your sense of smell is super sensitive, all you're gonna smell is cherry. It really smells like a Shirley Temple or cherry Kool-aid. It's like Summertime Soda but with the nose-ticklin effervescence toned all the way down and the cherry note amped all the way up.

I really like CBS a lot, it's a nice late spring to midsummer scent. And I like that it's sweet without raising my blood sugar level and also that there's a bit of freshness and crispness to it. All that said, buy this at your own risk as so many people have been complaining. While CBS was a boss bitch candle for me, it might not be for you so keep your receipt in case you have to return/exchange. But if you're lucky like me, you gonna find yourself enjoyin the hell out of this!

WALK 'N' SNIFF: Hawaiian Collection

So today after work, I decided to mosey on over to my fav store in the city and finally sniff the Hawaiian candles...


I won't waste your time or mine talking about Pineapple Palm Grass or Hawaiian Hibiscus cuz y'all know what those smell like. And y'all should already know that Sweet Maui Mango is Mango Dragonfruit


Honolulu Sun - well this is a double whammy of scents that I dislike - a coconut scent and it's a scent based on bodycare. It's kinda fresh and watery yet sweet. Then on top of that is that intense BBW-ian coconut note. I will say that  I think this smells better than the soap..barely

Oahu Coconut Sunset - ugh, yet another coconut scent. I've no earthly idea how the body cares smells so I cant say if it smells similar or better or worse. Honestly, I'm no good at describing scents with coconut in it cuz I hate the scent so much. I guess I'd venture to say that despite being another coconut heavy scent, OCS has a different vibe than Honolulu Sun, more warmer, more feminine I guess

Guava Colada - oh joy, rapture...another scent with coconut. Now itbcould be my nose playin tricks on me and protecting from the dreaded coconut, but I didn't smell hardly any coconut. At first I thought this might be Pink Passionfruit/Red Lava Guava repackaged but I don't think it is. And to say this is a "colada" scent, this doesn't so much smell like a drink as it does a very sweet candy...think tropical Starburst

Big Island Bamboo - Now this scent is more up my alley - fresh, watery, clean and similar, Now many, myself included, assumed that it would be repackage of Fresh Bamboo...close but no cigar. It doesn't have the woody notes of FB nor is the scent itself nearly as intense. Like I said before it's a very fresh, watery, green scent with the tiniest hint a dewy pink floral note. Tinadivalicious said in his review that it reminded him of First Bloom/Bloom . As I'm currently burning last year's Garden Party vers of Bloom, I can say that's definitely not a repackage but it's similar in vibe

White Sands Beach - this honestly was the only one in this entire collection that I liked and you already know why....you guessed it, it's cologney! Many have said that it smells like Villa Bergamot and Mahogany Teakwood mixed together...on very basic and simplistic level, it kinda does. It has the bright cologney bergamot note of Villa Bergamot with the intense deep equally cologney mahogany/oak note of Mahogany Teakwood. However actually I'm almost 100% sure that this is actually a repackage of Pacific Coast Highway from the Coastal Cool collection. There's a fresh watery aspect as well as an earthy note like vetiver (two notes that PCH had). Think of this as the twin brother of Black Sands.


My store also had the infamous Easter candle.... *facepalm


Happy Easter ~ Cotton Candy Marshmallow - Ok, let's not waste time beatin around the bush...this hot mess is straight up Saltwater Taffy/Strawberry Picnic/Strawberry Sorbet! See, it's shit like this that really pisses me off! I mean how lazy and unimaginative could BBW possibly be?! Of ALLLLLLLLLL things to repackage as an Easter themed candle, why Strawberry Picnic? How in the hell does that chapsticky smelling mess smell like either cotton candy or marshmallow?!

Why not Lavender Marshmallow, a scent that folks are still clamorin for? Or just simply bring back Slatkin's Cotton Candy? Better yet, COME UP WITH SOMETHING FRIGGIN NEW!!!!

You know what? I just can't.....

Oh yeah, I did wind up buyin a lil somethin somethin...





RANT OF THE DAY: The History of Unicorn candles

So for the past couple of years, BBW has been releasing what is now known as "unicorn candle" - a rare and unusual bakery/foodie scent that "tests" in certain stores but never goes wide yet a select lucky few manage to get a hold of them setting many others into a jealous rage. Recently test stores started getting phased out and these unicorn scents became more exclusive with even more people being unable to get them. Granted most "exclusive" scents are nowadays readily available on Evilbay with many greedily and unscrupulously selling them at outrageously expensive prices. It raises the question "why are these scents "exclusive"? Why can't they just go wide, even for a select time, to ALL stores, for everyone to enjoy? Tis a mystery that we'll never know the answer to.

So here are a few infamous unicorn candles throughout the years....


Bacon Chocolate Cupcake (Fall 2012)


Thanks to Littleballadeer, Touchthefiretwice and especially, Tinadivalicious, everyone got the good word on this scent and it became an underground hit. You were not considered one of the cool kids unless you had one of these in your collection. When this came out, I had just learned what test scents were but at the time didn't know that you could actually do phone orders; in those days, you could call any test store and make a phone order.  Anyhoo, believe or not, you can find this bad boy on Evilbay, but expect to shell out at least $40-60 bucks for it...ain't nobody got time fo dat!


Dolce (Spring/Summer 2013)


Both this and Villa Bergamot were late additions to this collection; VB eventually made the cut and snuck into stores. Dolce didn't fare so well making appearances in a few stores here and there. At the time, I was still in New Orleans and none of my stores received this, not even during SAS. Just as well, this (if I remember correctly), was just a repackage of Vanilla Bean Noel.


Summertime Soda (Summer '13)


This scent came out of absolutely nowhere. The Summer Lakeside had already been in stores when sometime later reports of this candle started making its way around the BBW community. Touchthefiretwice did a whole review on it and had everybody mouth's watering, including me. Alas, SS never made a nationwide release although it did randomly appear in some stores during the summer SAS sometime later; I was quite fortunate to find a4oz 1wick of it. Alas I burned it all the way instead of just holding on to it as a collector's item. You can find SS on Evilbay but it's far from cheap. 



Lavender Marshmallow (Spring '14)


I think it's a fair assessment to say that out of all the scents in this collection, LM was the one that EVERYBODY was the most excited about. And again, Touchthefiretwice gave it his stamp of approval and spread the good news of this candle throughout the land. And of course, it didn't go wide. But curiousity had already killed the cat and everybody and their grandma was on Evilbay trying to find one. I got into (and lost) a couple of bidding wars for it until one glorious day I snagged one. I've only burned it once, on the very day that it came in the mail; I've been too scared to burn it anymore. Just as well cuz nowadays LM is impossible to find.


Chestnut Glazed Croissant & Malted Pistachio Truffle (Fall '14)



Remember the Greek myth of Paris and the Golden Apple and his choice basically started the Trojan War, spreading discord and chaos throughout the Greek world? That's best of analogy I could think of for when these two candles came out. When word got about these two, everybody lost their proverbial shit! Then, much to everyone's dismay, it was announced that not only weren't they going wide but would only be available to a few select stores. On top of that, a certain reviewer , who shall remain mameless, further pissed people off by mentioning the further exclusivity of these two candles and kinda rubbed it in peoples' faces that she was gifted these two treasures due to her status. All hell broke lose and thus started the Candle Scandal/Candlegate as well as the term "unicorn candles" Madness ensued! Taking advantage of the craziness, greedy Evilbayers were selling them at astronomical prices but people bought them. Eventually the commotion calmed down and these two were practically forgotten.


Snickerdoodle & Holiday Apple Crisp (Winter '14)


In the winter, we saw another dynamic duo of unicorn scents, although there wasn't nearly as much clamor as there was for Chestnut Glazed Croissant and Malted Pistachio Crisp. I for one was quite intrigued - a new cookie scent other than Merry Cookie, sign me up! A holiday apple bakery scent, yes please! But of course, neither went wide...although a wf bulb of HAC was available in stores and online. I got to smell one and I wasn't very impressed - it was just flaky dough with a very slight apple cinnamon note. Honestly Apple Crumble was/is soooo much better. And not too many people talked about Snickerdoodle. It was a shame it didn't go wide, it would've been nice to get some newness in this collection as well as something to replace Merry Cookie
   

Chestnuts Roasting (Winter '14)


Word of this one popped up randomly on social media. Most assumed it was a repackage of Chestnut Glazed Croissant (that and Malted Pistachio Truffle were rumoured to reappear in the winter and they didn't). No one really talked about this one (although one of my Facebook friends said that she thought it smelled slightly cologney). To this day, nobody really knows what this smells like.


Pink Peppermint Twirl (Winter '14)


Just the name alone had people going apeshit! As is often the case, this scent was kept from the masses in favor of less appealing scents. White Winter Petals...really? Not that WWP was a bad scent, just not a very interesting one. It's always the scents that everyone is obsessed about that never makes the cut. 


Tequila Lime Cupcake (Spring '15)


And here's the newest unicorn of '15 to join this exclusive clique! And what sucks about this one is that exclusivity is more blatant. Unlike the test scents of the past, BBW came clean and said that it would only be sold at few White Barn stores across the nation. The question is "does this scent deserve to be a White Barn exclusive?" The answer remains to be seen.

Sadly this is not the end of unicorn candles; expect to see plenty more in the nearby future! 

NEWNESS UPDATE: White Barn Exclusives

So as y'all already know, this spring White Barn is releasing whole collections of "exclusives" - scents that you could only get at White Barn. The theory is since WB is trying to separate themselves from BBW, they're selling "exclusives" as an incentive to get more people in their stores and the drive up their numbers. They obviously know how crazy people get for test scents so they're basically using that obsession as bait. Again we have scents that most people can't get..at least not easily. Total unadulterated BS! So uumm, yeah....

Here are the exclusive collections....


So Pretty, So Chic
Peony Petals (pink peonies, sparkling oranges, blueberries) (total repackage of Tokyo Petals)
 
White Pear Champagne (champagne, sparkling pear, effervescent plum) (repackage of Champagne Toast)

Vanilla Bean Macaron (marshmallow fluff, sweet vanilla bean, steamed milk) (people have been saying that it smells like a mix of Vanilla Bean Macaron and Frosted Cupcake)

Black Raspberry Merlot (crisp pear, sparkling red wine, oak barrels)

Blue Orchid (orchid, violet petals, soft woods)
 
Old unrepackaged scents include: French Lavender, Lemon Verbena and Paris Daydream
 
 
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea
Every summer BBW takes on a homsespun nostalgic fragrance vacation. Last year we had an elegant garden party, before that was a trip to the summer lake, and before that was a walk down the boardwalk. Now we're takin a trip to the hot and humid Deep South
 
Bowties and Bourbon - A blend of polished dark oak, fresh bergamot and a hint of bourbon spirits that's got all of the elegance and charm of a Southern gentleman (fresh bergamot, vanilla, dark oak) (I thought it would be a repackage of either Black Tie or Ski Lodge but so far people have been saying that it's similar to Boathouse Row)

Georgia Peach There's nothing sweeter than a blend of Georgia peaches, dew-covered leaves and a hint of creamy vanilla (juicy peaches, bergamot, apricots) (mixed reviews; some said it smells like Market Peach while others say that it smells different)

Southern Sweet Tea - This blend of brewed iced tea, sugar cubes and a lemon twist celebrates the South where the tea is sweet and life is even sweeter
(sugar cubes, lemon twist, brewed tea) (again, mixed reviews - some say it's smells like London Calling while others say it smells different)

Veranda Garden - Enjoy the peace and relaxation of a veranda with this airy blend of fresh citrus, white cedarwood and a hint of freshly cut grass (lush greens, fresh citrus, cedarwood) (At first I thought maybe Sandalwood Citrus/Citron Cedarwood but people have been complaining about a weird off putting grassy note similar to Snap Peas)

Praline Pecan Cobbler (pecans, cinnamon sugar, warm caramel) (Pumpkin Pecan Waffle maybe?)
 
Old unrepackaged scents include: Beautiful Day, Honeysuckle, Lilac Blossom , Sundress, and the scent the refuses to die, Watermelon Lemonade
 
 
Turquoise Waters
With ALLLLLLLLLLL of the tropical scents we've been assaulted with lately, I honestly don't see this collection. This collection just seems like rejects from the most recent Hawaiian collection. Again, like the Hawaiian collection, it's a mix of Coastal Cool and Aloha Hawaii with gradient/ombre colors.
 
Island Tiare Flower - The tiare flower, native to the South Pacific, blends exquisitely with notes of glittering bronze sand and a hint of island spice (tiare flower, juicy mandarins, coconut husks) (if it isn't a straight up repackage, then it's gonna be similar to Aloha Waikiki/Hawaiian Hibiscus)

Polynesian Palm (green palm leaves, watery nuances, hyacinth) (White Palm? Palm Leaves? Amazon Falls?)

Pomelo Paradise - The fragrance of a freshly sliced Pomelo grapefruit blends beautifully with notes of mango and sunny papaya (grapefruit zest, mangoes,  papaya slices)
 
Tahitian Island Dream (mandarins, water lily, tahitian vanilla)
 
Old unrepackaged scents include: Coconut Vanilla, Turquoise Waters, Sunset Beach, Ocean Driftwood,  Black Sands, and Endless Weekend
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