CANDLE RETROSPECTIVE: The Pumpkincredible History of Pumpkin Scents

Well it's the time of fall where basic bitches are at their basic bitchiest and everyone and their grandma has a case of pumpkin-mania - everything you see pumpkin spiced to within an inch of their lives and there is a pumpkin scented candle goin in very blesssed room.

For the longest time, I had a virulent case of pumpkin-phobia due to my unfortunate run in with Shit Cinnamon Poopkin years ago. That said, I'm coming around and I'm not nearly as anti-pumpkin as I used to be... though my hatred for SCP remains burning with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

I thought for shits and giggles, I'd look back at all the pumpkin scents or in some cases pumpkin-ish scents we've seen (or not seen) over the years. So for all of you pumpkin spice fans out there, this bud's for you...

So let's start with these two from waayyyyy backintheday years before my time...


I got nuthin....

Pumpkin Patch (mid-2000s)
Level of Pumpkiness - through the friggin roof

Pumpkin Patch aka Perfect Pumpkin aka Perfect Autumn Pumpkin aka Pumpkin Carving aka Heirloom Pumpkin is the  ULTIMATE pumpkin scent. It's the closest thing scent-wise to an actual pumpkin that BBW has ever released. You get the waxiness of the shell, the meat inside without smelling too earthy and gourdy and just the right amount of pumpkin spice
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin  (2009?)
Level of Pumpkiness - sweetness, yes...cinnamon, hell yes..pumpkin, not so much

Shit Cinnamon Poopkin seems to be the fan fav and BBW's preferred pumpkin scent...and I never quite understood why. The cinnamon in the title is spot on cuz that's really all you smell - intense sharp almost burnt smelling cinnamon. I often describe this scent as "frozen overly cinnamon'ed pumpkin pie burnt to a black crisp in the oven"
Creamy Pumpkin  (2010)
Level of Pumpkiness - more cream than pumpkin

CP never seemed to match it's older siblings' popularity and kinda lingered in their shadows. It went from fall staple to failed test scent (twice) and now has faded from from existence completely forgotten. There were two problems with CP - the name was misleading in the sense that it didn't smell so much like a pumpkin scent as it did a pumpkin spiced bakery treat. Also with it's notes of pumpkin and caramel, it was way too similar to the new fan fav Pumpkin Caramel Latte

Pumpkin Caramel Latte (2011)
Level of Pumpkiness - none whatsoever

PCL became an instant overnight sensation and was, until recently, a fall staple. However despite it's popularity, there was a teeny tiny issue...it didn't smell like the name suggested. It didn't smell like pumpkin or pumpkin spice nor was there any coffee aspect to it; no pumpkin, no latte, just all caramel


Pumpkin Cupcake (2012)
Level of Pumpkiness - tons of spice but no pumpkin

PC was the scent that kinda start BBW's trend has having a cinnamon heavy spice scent and slapping "pumpkin" as well as BBW's brief obsession with cupcakes and frosting. Unlike most "pumpkin" scents (with the exception  SCP) it's still consistently sold every fall and remains popular to this day.


Roasted Pumpkin Butter (2012)
Level of Pumpkiness - not so much pumpkin but rather peanuts

This poor scent never got a chance to shine amongst it's pumpkin brethren; it tested twice and failed both times. I never got to smell this one unfortunately but amongst the lucky soandso's who did, the general consensus was that it smelled less like pumpkin butter and more like peanut butter..which I assume was the problem. If it was marketed as a peanut better bakery treat it might've stood a better chance


Blueberry Pumpkin Patch (2012)
Level of Pumpkiness - half-....ish?

So this failed at first but due to hype from test scent gurus like Tinadivalicious and Touchthefiretwice, it received a groundswell of underground popularity so much so that it was released wide the following year. And despite it's success, it was not and still has not been brought back. BPP is tricky cuz tp "pumpkin" note  didnt smell like actual pumpkin or pumpkin spice but rather more as bread/bakery; it smelled less like blueberries and pumpkin meat and more like a blueberry muffin/bread/cereal.

Pumpkin Apple (2013)
Level of Pumpkiness - even splitsies

PA wasn't/isn't a very exciting scent; it's not that much of a genius move to take two fall's most popular autumnal notes and smoosh em together; plus every every candle company on the planet has a pumpkin-apple scent. And compared to BBW's other pumpkin scents, it just never really stood. However, unlike most pumpkin scents, PA has the distinction of having an earthy gourdy actual factual pumpkin note which fought for supremacy with the apple and spice notes.

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles (2013)
Level of Pumpkiness - ...bye Felicia

This scent annoys me. It's obvious that it's whole existence is based on pumpkin appeal despite not having any pumpkiness or even pumpkin spiciness. There's no pumpkin, no pecan, no waffles; just creamy batter with enough diabetes inducing maple to make a Canadian say "Au revoir Felicie" and yet it remains to this the day a top seller.

Pumpkin Hayride (2013)
Level of Pumpkiness - all hayride, no pumpkin

This one kinda threw people for a loop for it was  a pumpkin scent but it wasn't bakery; apparently it's a rule that pumpkin scents must be bakery. It was sorta revolutionary and unorthodox that a pumpkin scent can be conceptual. Unfortunately, the scent itself was too strange and out there even for those of us who enjoy strange and out there scents. It was very craft store-ish with its hay and wood notes and intense cardamom..and absolutely no pumpkin. Sometimes adding to pumpkin to the name doesn't always guarantee success


Pumpkin Carrot Cake (2013)
Level of Pumpkiness - below zero, negative pumpkin

2013 was the year with a fall season of pumpkin rejects, PCC was one of many. You can see where BBW was going - carrot cake is usually spicy, spice equals pumpkin, let's call it "pumpkin carrot cake". Not too many people were talking about it; I only remember TTFT's review in which it said it smelled like straightup wax with no spicy and  cake aspect at all

Pumpkin Sugared Doughnut (2014)
Level of Pumpkiness - pumpkin spice all the way..and smelly feet

This was a scent that was a long time in the making - take the much beloved Cinnamon Sugared Doughnut and add pumpkin pie spices to it! Of course everyone went nuts over it..except for me. To this day, people still think I'm nuts for saying this but to me, PSD smelled like sweaty cheesy man feet and I just couldn't get down. If it wasn't for that, I might've liked or even loved PSD but alas. 2014 was the year of pumpkin with everyone on a pumpkin spice high however many pumpkin scents ended up being one hit wonders; despite the popularity, PSD has yet to return.


Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow (2014)
Level of Pumpkiness - bakery masquerading as pumpkin

Like Pumpkin Pecan Waffle, I never quite understood this scent's longstanding popularity. Like BPP, the pumpkin in this comes across more bakery/cerealy; to me, this smells like a Lil Debbie oatmeal pie. Nowadays we scent this in spring as "Vanilla Bean Marshmallow" which makes me wonder if BBW has been bamboozling us all and fooling us into thinking there was a pumpkin element to this scent at all


Caramel Pumpkin Swirl (2014)
Level of Pumpkiness -  not a damn bit

So started as a winter scent in 2013 as Caramel CINNAMON Swirl - what this scent had to do with Christmas is beyond me. Then it appeared the following year in the fall as Caramel Pumpkin Swirl. Granted I do think this makes a better fall scent; to me, I think of cinnamon and caramel as more autumnal notes. But it's obvious that there is no pumpkin in this. Cinnamon does NOT a pumpkin scent make!



Spiced Pumpkin Cider (2014)
Level of Pumpkiness - a dollop

This was the scent that changed my anti-pumpkin stance. And was a delightful overhaul of that Slatkin fall staple, Spiced Cider. Though, like BPP, it had a pumpkin note that come off as bakery which made some folks claim that it was a repackage of a bakery scent from the year before, Cider Donuts..it wasn't 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun (2014)
Level of Pumpkiness - straightup cinnamon

I was intrigued with this one as I love cinnamon buns and a cinnamon bun scent was long overdue. Though once again it was a cinnamon scent masquerading as a pumpkin scent; the pumpkin in the name was totally unnecessary. On cold sniff, it smelled like you died and walked into Cinnabon heaven. After the first burn, it was more like Cinnabon hell. A sad pathetic burnt to a crisp cinnamon bun in a dirty oven. It's a shame since the cold throw was so amazing. It's back this year as a WB exclusive but no one has really said anything about it.



Pumpkin Gingerbread (2014)
Level of Pumpkin - a hint

PG was interesting that a)it was the first pumpkin scent (that I know of) for winter as opposed to fall and b)it was a upgrade from the original Frosted Gingerbread candle from backintheday; I actually prefer PG to FG. You got a hint freshly baked spiced pumpkin which deepened and enhanced the gingerbread spice notes.  As awesome as this scent was, it unfortunately became a one hit wonder.


Pumpkin Pie (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - a healthy heapin helpin

Finally, after years of putting up with SCP, we finally had an actual pumpkin pie scent...and it was actually good! Granted, it's not the most groundbreaking scent on the market - it's essentially Pumpkin Carving with a crusty pastry note but still it was long overdue. And it's just nice to have a pumpkin scent that actually smells like it has pumpkin in it.



Apple Pumpkin Pancakes (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - pumpkin in name only

In theory, the concept of this scent worked; the actual execution, not so much. In a nutshell, this was just a watered Apple Crumble with an intense maple syrup note. Again this is another scent where the "pumpkin" was just their to grab people's attention. It should've just been called "Spiced Apple Pancakes"

Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - zip, nada, zilch

Perfect marketing example of the name getting you. So this a repackage of old non-pumpkin related scent from the Slatkin days called "Brown Butter Praline" (also called "French Caramel Cake") BBW took it, revamped it, slapped on a label with pumpkin in the new name and people went nuts. BBW flimflammed everyone, myself included at first. Thank goodness for TTFT for spilling the T about this scent

Cranberry Pumpkin (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - halfsies..maybe?

This is a tricky one - like BPP and SPC, it has a "pumpkin" that comes across oddly bakery/cerealy. Months later for Christmas it was released with the new name "Cranberry Sugar Cookie" ...which makes me think, is there actually pumpkin in these 3 scents and is it really some bakery note variant that is being called "pumpkin" Tis a mystery


Pumpkin Coconut (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - 0.00000

Anytime I see coconut, especially outside of summer, my eyes roll to the point of almost popping out. So this is a repackage of Brown Butter Praline's cohort in crime, Toasted Coconut (also called Spiced Madeleine Cake) which had no spice notes whatsoever. But again, BBW brought it back and slapped pumpkin on the label and folks went nuts..why I don't know. If was marketed as a bakery treat.."Sweet Coconut Macaroons" I'd be ok with that. But to call it PUMPKIN Coconut..really?!


Pumpkin Milkshake (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - .......really?!

Straightup Vanilla Snowflake. This isn't even worth talkin about...NEXT!


Porchside Pumpkin (2015)
Level of Pumpkiness - a substantial amount

This seems to be a cue and nod to PH as this was also a pumpkin based conceptual scent. Alas, yet again people were not ready for a pumpkin scent that wasn't a bakery  and it languished in near obscurity in WB  stores (one of 2 scents that didn't go wide) and now it's pretty much forgotten.

BananaPumpkin Muffin (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - gurl, really?!

No need to talk about this one at all



Berry Pumpkin Strudel (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - not quite sure

So this a repackage with a berry twist of SPC..which as I stated earlier had a pumpkin note that came off as bakery. Like BPP and CP, is this an actual bakery note in the guise of a pumpkin note? Not sure. One thing is for sure, pumpkin should not be anywhere in the name



Pumpkin French Toast (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - yet another sneaky bakery note

Yet another candle with that "is it pumpkin or is it bakery" note. And of course there's a touch of cinnamon...need I say it?



Pumpkin Woods (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - *eyeroll

FALL 2016 holds the record for having the most un-pumpkiny pumpkin scents. Once again, and this bears repeating, cinnamon does NOT a pumpkin scent make




Pumpkin Fireside (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness -  cinnamon, whole cinnamon and nuthin but the cinnamon

Another conceptual scent claiming to have pumpkin but just has cinnamon. I think if this had actual pumpkin notes in it - Pumpkin Carving/Pumpkin Pie mixed with Fireside, it could've been awesome. And don't get me wrong, this is a nice scent but just named and marketed wrong.


Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - not even a pinch

Like her older sister, PCL, there's no pumpkin or latte. This and bodycare it was inspired by should've been called "Ginger Vanilla" "Vanilla Ginger Cream" "Marshmallow Ginger"
Pumpkin Spice (2016)
Level of Pumpkiness - ehhh, that depends...

As you know, there are two batches - one smells like Pumpkin Pie without the pie...so technically that could be considered pumpkin spicy. The other is a repackage of Nutmeg & Spice, which is spicy but not pumpkin spicy

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