RANT OF THE DAY: Batch Variances; Why Does My Candle Smell Different?!

A weird phenomenon has going on with BBW candles where a certain particular scent smells one way in one store and either slightly tweaked or completely different in another store. Now there has always been batch variances for years but it really only affected burn performance - a candle might have crappy wicks in one store and perfect wicks in another but there were never really noticeable differences in smells. That didn't start to happen until fall of last year.

You may remember a certain infamous candle called Red Radiant Maple. There was quite the debate on social media as to what it smelled like cuz everyone smelled something different - most people smelled Marshmallow Fireside with apple, others smelled Caramel Apple/Home~Sweet Caramel Comfort and a handful smelled chemicals akin to rat poison. One could easily write this off as peoples' noses bein on the fritz and, as they say, scent is subjective. But how strange was it that people smelled the same 3 distinct differences. I myself can vouch for this as my WB store had all three batches each with different batch numbers..which I'll talk about that later.

Then that following winter it got worse; you had Golden Peach Sparkle (some smelled Market Peach, some smelled Peach Bellini), Jingle All the Way (some smelled fruit, some coconut), Snowflakes & Spruce (some smelled waxy fake pine, some smelled coconut) and Joy ~ Marshmallow Peppermint (some smelled pepperminty marshmallowness, some smelled chocolate). And all these differences were driving people insane on social media with everyone debating ad nauseum- "well my candle smells like blah blah... uhn uhn, my candle smells like blah blah" and so on and so forth

It happened a few times in the spring ie Lemon Mint Tea aka Lime Granita Margarita. And now it's back with a vengeance for fall. So for those of you who haven't sniffed or bought any fall candles, be forewarned that if you're interested in the following candles, it may smell differntly than you'd expected depending on what batch is present...

Berry Pumpkin Strudel - some people swear that they get blueberry/blackberry action, others say that they smell Apple Pumpkin Pancakes while most (I'm in this category) say that they smell cider; more to the point Spiced Pumpkin Cider

Pecan Pumpkin Pancakes - the Cider & Vine version smells pretty much the same albeit maybe slightly less maple-y but the Pumpkin version has a weird (yet pleasant) unexplained cherry/almond/amaretto note to it

Chocolate Pistachio - (which is supposed to be making a late appearance to all stores) some say they smell a slightly tweaked Malted Pistachio Truffle while others swear that they smell mint a la Mint Mocha Bark

Pumpkin Spice - some people get Pumpkin Pie sans the pie while others get a watered down Nutmeg & Spice

Pumpkin French Toast - some people get Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake sans the cheesecake while others get more bready and mapley notes

Toasted Graham Latte - some people get Golden Cinnamon from last fall, some swear they get graham craker and chocolate a la S'mores while most get Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake-esque sour milk

There are also reports of Flannel and Autumn smelling slightly tweaked in some stores and normal in others. There are also batch variances concerning burn performance and scent throw with Warm Apple Pie and Pumpkin Marshmallow Latte.

So what's the deal with these batch variances? Is it a lack of quality control on BBW/L Brand's part? Are they conducting a second round of testing in stores without the public knowing? Maybe one version of a scent wasn't popular so they made another version or replaced it with a repackage? Were stores sent different batches accidentally? There have been some conspiracy theories - some theorize that stores are sent a certain batch and, thru word of mouth on social media, people are influenced to go to said store instead of another one or shopping online. Another theory claims that batches are planted in stores to created discord among reviewers in order to discredit them and get people to make their own decisions in store as opposed to listening to our opinions. Considering the shady things they do on a regular basis and their love-hate relationship with reviewers, I don't doubt it. Whatever the reason, these batch variances are super annoying and it makes people sound like they're nuts.

My advice to you out there - if you haven't already, join a candle group on Facebook or get on Instagram. Listen to what people are saying, particularly about the batch numbers ie the 8
number/letter combination on the bottom sticker of a candle. The first number is the year and the second 2 numbers are the pour date; pay attention to the 2 letters at the end, that will let you know if you have a regular batch or tweaked batch. Knowing that, compare batch notes with your candle homies so when you go to the store you know what to get.  


  1. I can without hesitation confirm three times I know without a doubt this happened. 1. Spring lemon mint tea was lemon mint leaf in one test location and 15 miles down the road it was Lime Granita Margirita 2. Suntan was Beachside in test and Poolside went wide (please note I took both with me instore to do a side by side sniff comparison). 3. One Pumpkin Spice is exactly as you describe... If you get the pumpkin one try burning it and it may change. 4. Malibu Citrus Glow was in test Peach Bellini while some got the citrus candle from last summer (lord I forgot the name).


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