CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Frosted Cranberry



Products: candle and wf bulb
Area used in:  living room (candle) guest bathroom (wf bulb)
Time Period: mid-February mid-March

Description: The yer's first frost captured in a sparkling mix of white cranberry, juicy peach and red, ripe raspberries

Missing notes: vanilla, pink currant, apples, strawberries

This scent has been around for years (2009? 2010?) and I have always ignored it. I always wrote it off as a basic scent and could never see myself buying and burning it. I didn't think I could get into a cranberry scent that wasn't blended with pine or spice. Lately I've been trying to go outside the box and try scents that are always around but I always ignore thus I decided to give FC and try...and I gotta say I'm really glad I did!

The performance on this badboi has been STELLAR! UTTER PERFCTION! First of all it burns like a friggin dream - high stepping flames that melt that the wax into a gorgeous crimson pool. And by some kind of miracle, the wax has not been going down as drastically as candles usually do nowadays; it actually has been melting and hardening they way candles were before the burn time was shortened. This is how ALLLLLL of BBW's candles should burn. Throw-wise it's pretty strong; definitely not knock you out strong but it still does the trick. The wf bulb is SUPERB! So far, unlike most wf bulb lately, it hasn't lost any of it's potency.

And the scent...y'know, it's very easy to write this scent off as a standard run of the mill basic cranberry scent; I did for years! Having burned it, the blend is definitely more complex. The top note is obviously very tart cranberries. Underneath you get this juicy and luscious melange of dark berry notes - mainly currant and raspberry with the tiniest hint of strawberry. And lastly there's a splash of (white) peach and red apple rind. I don't get vanilla at all, I think that was just to get the bakery/sweetey lovers on board. I just smells like a frosty glass of Ocean Spray blended cranberry juice. And speaking of frosted, it definitely has an icy frosted feel to it and don't really know how BBW achieved this. Normally they just add mint/spearmint to make a scent seem chilly but I don't think that's in this...unless it's a faint bottom note.

So may be wondering why I haven't given this scent my "THIS IS THE BOMB.COM" title as I seem to be gushing over it. As much as I like this scent, I'm not in love with it and at the risk of sounding snobby, it's just not complex enough for me. However I am really enjoying it and I can see myself possibly repurchasing this in the future. That said, I do recommend this one; it's a perfect late winter scent when you're sick of the holiday scents but not ready to move on to floral or tropical fruit scents. It's a fruity blend that a) isn't obnoxiously cloying or candyish and b) still manages to have a wintery feel to it.  If like me you've ignored it, the next time you see it doat least give it a sniff. 

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Alpine Cheer


Products: candle and wf bulbs
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: mid-February - mid-March

Description: Add cheer to your winter with the crisp fragrance of mountain balsam, cedarwood bark and snow white cranberry

So late winter is a weird time for me scent wise; I'm tired of all heavy holiday-ish pine and spice and bakeriness but I'm not ready for springtime florals. Around this time I tend to lean towards dark fruity but still wintery scents - cranberry, blackcurrant, pomegranate, pear. My late winter jam is Merry Mistletoe but BBW foolishly didn't release it this winter. I had my eye on this scent as it seemed like a scent I would like so I decided to give it a try.

Burn-wise, this candle is a beast! That said it burns a little too quickly for me, quicker than usual. I have to be really sparing with how long I let it burn. The flames were always ridonkulously high and wax pool melted very quickly. It did stub out towards the bottom but once I did the infamous cottonball trick, I went back to normal. Throw-wise, I'd say it's medium-strong; I don't think I like this scent enough for it to be knock you out strong. It does  manage to fill my living room and scent lingers for hours after I blow the candle out. The wf bulbs were super strong at first but then totally mellowed into borderline nonexistance.

And now the scent.. y'know, every once in awhile BBW releases a scent that completely throws me for a loop. I remember when I first sniffed it in the store and it smelled so familiar. Even now I can't think of what it could be a repackage of. I've thought of every piney/balsamy candle I could think of - Fresh Balsam, Evergreen, Frosted Tree, Frosted Pine, Alpine Frost, Holly Wreath, Winter Garland, Holiday Pomander, Sleigh Ride, Snowed In, Apple Garland, Pinecone. The closest thing I could think of was Merry Mistletoe; it's definitely not a repackage but it's close, similar vibe scent wise - in fact I daresay Merry Mistletoe is like Alpine Cheer's big brother.

It's a hard and peculiar scent to describe. You get balsam but it's a lot sweeter than it usually is, not nearly as intense as Fresh Balsam. I also get a heavy blast of cedarwood, I think I get more cedarwood than balsam. The cedarwood note has a resinous feel that reminds me a lot of Evergreen. And now the fruit notes - I don't get cranberry at all! What I do smell aren't mentioned in the notes at all - apple and orange. I get the rind of a Macintosh apple and zest/oil from a mandarin or clementine. I also smell something else and it's very bizarre - pineapple. Tinadivalicious said it in his review and I was like "dafuq?!" But I totally get it and the note intensifies the more the candle burns. I dunno if there's actually pineapple in this; maybe the combo of apple and along with the sappy resinous cedarwood comes across as pineappley. Although back in the day Slatkin did have a scent called "Pineapple Wreath" which I know little to nothing about..perhaps this is a repackage of that and BBW hoped that know would be familiar enough with it. It would worked for Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake aka Brown Butter Praline.



This scent is aiight; it's not terrible by any means but it's not the best and I could think of several scents that they could've brought back instead...including Merry Mistletoe. If you're not into heavy pine scents and prefer scents that are a little more sweet and fruity, then you'll love AC. It's an inoffensive new scent worth trying but real talk I won't miss it once the candle and bulbs are done nor will I miss it if it never came back.


RANT OF THE DAY: Please BBW, no more Hawaii candles!!!

So for the past couple of years BBW has been suffering from Hawaii-itis. It first struck in 2014, then raged virulently in 2015 and now it's back like fresh batch of herpes.

BBW has a very bad habit of beating dead horses into a bloody meatloafy pulp. Look at "all pumpkin and nothin but the pumpkin" collection we get consistently every fall. And there's the Watermelon Lemonades, Mahogany Teakwoods, Peony Petals and Vanilla Bean Marshmallows that are pushed in our faces every given opportunity.

It would be one thing if we got some bomb ass (NEW) scents in these Hawaiiany collections and we did the first year...not so much lately. Just repackages or bodycare candles or repackages most of which have little to nothing to do with Hawaii - any excuse to have a bunch coconut/mango/hibiscus scents.

Newsflash BBW, there are other tropical locales out there...

How about...Jamaica? Personally I would never visit there as Jamaica is insanely homophobic, so a Jamaican themed collection would be the next best thing. You could bring back scents like...

How about somewhere truly exotic and unique...how about maybe Bali?

How how about a place BBW has NEVER ever utilized...Africa!!! How about the island of Madagascar?
The possibilities are endless with the right amount of creativity and research! BTW when I came up with these locations, I actually did RESEARCH about the vegetation/resources/imports of each places then picked scents to match!

And notice there's little to no coconut or mango action in my choices!

So yeah, in conclusion..let's take a long extended break from Hawaii and Fiji and Tahiti and every other Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian tropical isle y'all can think of..it's been done to death, resurrected as a zombie only to be killed again. We're over it!

And while we're at...please no more France and Italy too! 


NEW IDEA OF THE DAY: Hawaiian Candles (and what I'd replace em with)

So here we are with yet another colllection "Hawaiian" themed scents..and I dunno about y'all but I'm kinda sick of em. BBW has simply done Hawaii and tropical scents to death. And it would be one thing if the scents they chose were truly provactive and truly tied to/inspired by the Hawaiian/Polynesian/Tahitian/Maori culture..nope not so much. You just get vaguely tropical sounding scents with a kitschy cliched names that have little to nothing to do with Hawaii. And this collection is the most annoying as all the scents are either based on bodycare or they're re-releases that we've seen over and over again and folks (myself included) are already over them.

If I had my way and oversaw the conception/marketing/publicity of this collection, I'd do a complete overhaul. First of all, I'd gladly say aloha to the Hawaiian-esque theme altogether. I'd go back to basics - summer at the beach. I'd also take out all of the coconut heavy scents (4 coconutty scents in one collection is just too many) and I'd bring back some classics from back in the day.


Mahogany Coconut - ok, this one can stay cuz I did actually really like this scent

Honolulu Sun - does anyone really enjoy this scent, cuz I don't really hear too many people ever really talk about this scent

REPLACEMENT: Suntan/Poolside - it's very odd that BBW has yet to bring this fan fav back. Even though I was never a huge fan of this scent myself, even I have to admit this scent was summer in a jar

Tiki Mango Mai Tai - if this truly smelled like a mai tai and was fizzy and citrusy with some alcoholy/rum/amaretto notes, I'd be on board but sadly it doesn't - it smells like candy sweet bodycare

REPLACEMENT: Calypso Sun - this would be a more appropriate replacement as it actually sounds like a drink - mango, peach, mango, passionfruit and RUM!

Rainforest Gardenia - UGH..I am BEYOND over this scent - it's in the overkill category alongside Mahogany Teakwood, Pumpkin Waffles, Peony Petals and Vanilla Bean Marshmallow

REPLACEMENT: Beach Cabana - it's just not summer without this badboi

Golden Pineapple Luau - ok I will admit, this scent is decent and it's really the only scent that makes sense in this collection but the fact reminds it just not very exciting

REPLACEMENT: Bahama Fizz - another forgotten Slatkin era fan fav that has disappeared off the face of the planet. Look at the notes - banana, kiwi and pineapple..tell me people wouldn't go apeshit over this candle?!

Waikiki Beach Coconut - again, like GPL, this scent is decent but nothing special. This should've just been bodycare only, not a candle

REPLACEMENT: Tiki Beach - one of the few coconut scents I can deal with

Fiji White Sands - this is sooooo close to Tiki Beach, it's ridiculous

REPLACEMENT: Beach Day - this was such a sexy ass scent; it screams hot guy at the beach. It was only around once, bring that beat back!

Hawaiian Hibiscus - ugh..this candle has the double whammy of being over-hyped while smelling underwhelming

REPLACEMENT: Sunkissed Blossoms - I never smelled this candle but based on the notes, it sounds absolutely gorgeous - peach nectar, jasmine, freesia and lilac

OR: White Orchid Lei - this was a failed test from the original Hawaii themed collection in '14; smelled kinda like tropical Starburst with a hint of floral but still better than Hawaiian Hibiscus. Bring it back and give it another try!

And there's so many other scent that would work in this collection...

Coastal Sun, Island Colada, Island Waters, Paradise Daiquiri, Summer Melon,  Starfruit Crush, Sparkling Mojito or Coconut Lime Verbena, White Citrus, Pomelo Grapefruit


And now that fancy glass lidless Hawaiian candles. I have yet to see or smell these just yet but just based on the notes, they don't sound exciting at all.

Island Getaway - while I do love anything with pear, it just doesn't scream "island getaway" to me

REPLACEMENT: Coco Lobo - come the eff on - coconut milk, papaya, passionfruit, sugarcane and macadamia nut...now THAT sounds like an "island getaway"

Blue Ocean Waves - Turquoise Waters...yawn

REPLACEMENT: Seaside Escape - come on, this is AWESOME! Watery but not salty or "cologney" and fruity without being cloying and candy-ish

Vanilla Beach Flower - if this isn't Tiki Beach or Meet me in Tahiti or something similar to those two, I'll be highly surprised

REPLACEMENT: Aloha Vanilla - vanilla, coconut, mango and lotus...tell me that doesn't sound amazing?!

Mango Shores - just based on the notes, it sounds too similar to Mango Coconut Cooler

REPLACEMENT: Mango Beachwood - so not your typical mango scent. Just fix the burn (this candle had a notoriously shitty burn) and this would be the bomb!

WALK N SNIFF: Hawaiian Collection *UPDATED*

Since I was in the area, I decided to mosey on over to BBW to see if they had some of the new Hawaiian candles and lo and behold they did...well the main ones (except Fiji White Sands) and not the fancy glass ones.

Alright, on with the review; I'm only gonna talk about the new scents (ie no Hawaiian Hibiscus, Rainforest Gardenia, Mahogany Coconut and Honolulu Sun)

Waikiki Beach Coconut - Y'know, I've said it before and I'll say it again..I am not a fan of candles based on/inspired by bodycare. And on top of that, it's a coconut scent which as y'all know I loathe with a white hot passion. That said, I must say that this surprised me as I didn't dislike as much as I thought I would. So as y'all may (or may note), this based on the bodycare of the same name. The coconut note on top isn't as obnoxious as it usually is in BBW candles; it's a fresh slightly sweet coconut water with a sprinkle of sea salt. The middle notes are a blend of powdery tropical floral notes typical in summery/beachy/tropical feminine scents - gardenia, frangipani, passionflower, jasmine. Finally there's a heavy sandalwood note hangin out in the background. Also there is hidden fruit note that they arent tellin us; its a candy like tart sweet amd sour note, like Green Apple Pucker. As my candlebuddy @whitebarncandlefan so aptly described it, its "à watered down Beautiful Day mixed with Honolulu Sun. Overall it's a very safe and unassuming feminine fresh summery/beachy scent in the same family as Rainforest Gardenia, Endless Weekend, Baja Cactus Flower, etc

NOTE: Tinadivalicious said in his review video that it was a repackaged as Beach Breeze (which was accidentally mislabeled as Sunkissed Days. My WB store got them very late; I sniffed them both and wasn't a fan. Frankly I don't remember how BB smelled so I can't agree or disagree with Tinadivalicious.

Golden Pineapple Luau - sigh..so pineapple is one of those fruit notes that BBW doesn't seem to get right; it just always smell slightly plasticy. This scent unfortunatly isn't the exception however it's not that bad. So right off the bat GPL is not that plasticy overrrated overused hot mess Pineapple Mango, it's not Pineapple Palm Grass (not as fresh and doesn't have that outdoorsy grassy note) and it's not Spiced Pineapple Samba (not as ooey-gooey and obviously no spice) What I think it might be (and other fellow Slatkineers seem to agree) is Pineapple Punch from spring '12. And based on the notes (pineapple, sweet cherries, mango sorbet, coconut milk) it makes sense. If it's not PP, it's quite similar. The pineapple note is sweet and drippy but still ever so slightly plasticy. I don't get either papaya or hibiscus as GPL's description notes suggest. There are fruity notes behind the pineapple top note that they aren't tellin us..again, this is why I think it may be Pineapple Punch. That said, it does smell like a syrupy sweet beverage - think flat and bubbleless pineapple Fanta or, for my fellow Louisianians, pineapple Big Shot.

Tiki Mango Mai Tai - this was the only scent in this collection that I was drawn to (and I did end up buying it) I'm almost positive that this is a candlelized version of the Mango Maui Mai Tai handsoap. You get a very subdued "bodycare-ish" mango top note - sweet but not very juicy or fresh and borderline syntheticy. It says grapefruit in the notes which I kinda get but I also get a noseful of mandarin and blood orange. And there's a small tiny hint of floral action peaking out from the crowd to say aloha; it's says just jasmine but I think it maight be the same tropical floral/"solar musk" blend that I mentioned in WBC above. That all said, it doesn't smell nearly as juicy as it all sounds, its very much on the candy side. TMMT is just aiight, it definitely did not blow me away means. I wish it smelled less like mango flavored candy/gum and more like the actual fruit or rather the actual drink

Fiji White Sands - this was the one scent that I was kinda intrigued with and of course despite the hype, it ended up disappointing me. It smells soooooo close to Tiki Beach; I even did a side by side sniff comparison to make sure I wasn't nuts. It's not a repackage of Tiki Beach but it's damn close - practically cousins. The only difference is it's much sweeter and you do get a nosepunch of sandalwood. And despite no mention of coconut in the notes, there is no denying that intense Tiki Beach-esque coconut! I don't remember how the soap smelled, but I dont remember it smelling like Tiki Beach. Quite the disappointment.

Overall, this collection is nothing exciting. yet another lazy and uninspired "Hawaiian" collection. I just wish BBW would get out of this tropical Hawaii/Tahiti/Fiji hibiscus mango coconut kick that they've been on lately; 3 years in row, enough is enough!!! And if I see Rainforest f***ing Gardenia one more, I'm gonna scream...though y'all already know we will as well as more mango and coconut BS as we get into spring and especially summer. I don't mind a summer/beach collection but all this vaguely Hawaiian or some other tropical island collections needs to stop; ya'll are going to anger the Tiki gods! BBW, just stop and think of something else, some other tropic location..better yet let's skip tropical all together for awhile. Candle fans thank you and so does Hawaii!




CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Paris ~ Pink Champagne



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

Description: Light up your holiday festivities with a sparkling blend of French Champagne grapes, nectarine and a pop of black currant inspired by the City of Light

So for Mardi Gras, I like to have juicy bubbly dark fruit based candle. I've played around with scents in the past - Wine Down ~ Pomegranate Sangria, Sugarberry Spritzer and of course the classic Cranberry Pear Bellini..which oddly was missing this winter. I had absolutely no interest in CPB's replacement, Pomegranate Prosecco Punch but I didn't have any other options. I contemplated getting a CPB off Evilbay when lo and behind Paris made it's grand appearance in the Holiday edition Destination candles. It was kismet - it was a dark fruity alcoholic-ish scent so it was just what I was looking for. And it's a French themed candle and Mardi Gras (and New Orleans in general) has French roots so it worked. But by the time I made this realization, it had disappeared online and few stores near me had them anymore; luckily I found some in a store in NYC.

The performance has been aiight, nothin  to throw a parade over..get it?! *rimshot

The wicks were kinda puny yet the flames were still high. It kinda took awhile for the wax to pool out completely but once it did it was beautiful; this is a lovely candle to burn especially at night. The scent throw was kinda weak, medium at best.

And now the scent, which has been a matter of debate amongst candle connoisseurs. Some say it was straight CPB while others said it was Champagne Toast. I agree with both as I smelled both. Actually to me it smelled like a hodgepodge of every wine scent that's been on the market. I got a little bit of the orange and blackcurrant notes from Champagne Toast as the base notes. I was get dark sweet yet tart frosty pomegranate notes from Wine Down. And now the CPB aspects that people kept picking, I get it...mainly the pear. What I actually get is an old scent from 2013 called Bellini Cafe from the Italian Piazza collection; the notes were apple, berries and grapes...all of which I smell in Paris.

So Champagne Toast + Wine Down + Bellini Cafe = Paris

I can't make up my mind as to whether or not this blend is inventive or lazy. It's certainly not anything exciting or groundbreaking. Honestly, it's just aiight! If you missed out on this one, you're really not missing much!

   

CANDLE RETROSPECTIVE: Black Pepper Bergamot ~ MY BAE


So as y'all know, after a 2 year absence, my bae is finally back in action...and I for one could not be happier! Granted I'm a little annoyed that it's a WB exclusive but hey beggers can't be choosers right?! I had two old BPB from '13 left, one of which I burned halfway thru last fall. And you could not find this damned candle anywhere, lord knows a bitch has been searching! So when I got wind that BPB was coming back as an exclusive and then finally seeing it for myself in person in the store (I did have a littel freak out cuz I didn't see it and a SA pointed it out to me) I was in my happy place and twerked with joy!

I remember when I first huffed BPB, fall of 2012. This was back when I still lived in NOLA. My bf and I were in BBW sniffing all of the fall candles and we both came upon good ol BPB. We both looked each like "dafuq?!" Seriously what kind of scent combo is black pepper and bergamot?! And lavender?! We summoned our courage and take a sniff...

ORGASMIC!!!

I sweartagawd, we both came at the exact same time!

You know that music that always plays with man and woman running into each others arms in a meadow? We both heard that music we sniffed BPB together!

We were hooked from that instant! Even after it disappeared in stores, we stocked up and burned thru them with reckless abandon almost all year round. We did eventually burn thru our stash and we both patiently waited for it to make its reappearance next fall.

Fast forward to fall 2013. BPB is back in action. The scent is significantly weaker than the year before but who cares, I was just glad it was back regardless of strength. My bf and I were like crack heads in need of fix; we'd go to the store wild eyed and foaming at the mouth. Every single time we went to BBW , we would ALWAYS get BPB! Much to my delight, BPB stuck around well into winter. There was a rumor that BPB as well as Mahogany Teakwood were sticking around as core scents all year round; the fact that it stuck around so long seemed to confirm this fact...

Fast forward that February, the butt end of SAS. My bf and I went to the store for the sole reason of picking up more BPB. Imagine my shock and dismay when I went inside and didn't see any! I ran around like a madmen determined to find at least one hidden somewhere but nope! Disappointed but still determined, I immediately went on my phone to the website in order to make an online order as I had just seen them that morning. Of course you already know what happened...they were GONE!!! I was almost in tears. Though I still held on to the hope that it would be back the following fall

Yeah no!

I watched with melancholy and disappear as two autumns went by without BPB. I watched as Mahogany Teakwood kept being brought back time and time again and not just in fall but summer and in winter as well. I watched as BBW desperately tried to make Villa Bergamot a thing. I watched as people lost their proverbial shit over Black Tie yet ignored it back when it was called Sage & Cedar. I watched as a cavalcade of basic cologney scents passed by - Autumn Sky, Sparkling Icicles, Mad about Madrid, Lakeside Sunrise. Where oh where was my beleoved BPB!

As I mentioned earlier, eventually only had two BPBs left and I searched ardently online but to not avail. Then the candles god granted this lowly mortal a boon - BPB was back, we were finally reunited! The heavens parted, spilling golden beams upon the; angels sang, birds took flight, blossoms bloomed and there above me was a rainbow! I was not longer forsaken, no longer had to do without! All was right with the world!

So you may be wondering, is BPB worth the hype? And my answer to you is..HELL F***ING YES!!!

NEWNESS UPDATE: Hawaiian Candles

Oh great, we're getting more Hawaiian themed candles...yaaaaaayyyyy! *eyeroll

It looks like we're getting a trio of Hawaiian scents. The first group have really pretty tropical themed illustrations for the labels. Scent-wise it's half new scents (which seem to be inspired by soaps/bodycare) and half returning scents. New scents include...

Tiki Mango Mai Tai -Drink in a tropical blend of mango nectar, jasmine flower and sunkissed grapefruit...now who wants to hula (I'm assuming this is inspired by the Maui Mango Mai Tai soap/pocketbac)

Golden Pineapple Luau - Enjoy the fragrance of an island sunset and a Maitai in a blend of Maui pineapple, tropical hibiscus and luscious papaya (this could be White Island Pineapple..or the Pineapple Palm Grass candle.. or even Pineapple Punch from back in the day. As long as it isn't Pineapple Mango, I'm good)

Waikiki Beach Coconut - Dream of a Hawaiian beach escape with the fragrance of fresh coconut, saltwater breeze and sunbleached woods (obviously based on the bodycare)

Fiji White Sands - Sail away to a South Seas paradise in a fragrance made from fresh cut sugarcane, white nectarine and sundrenched sandalwood (obviously based on the soap)

Returning scents Rainforest Gardenia, Honolulu Sun, Mahogany Coconut and Hawaiian Hibiscus


Then there's a group with colored decorated tumbler glass like last year's Thanksgiving candles. Nothing new in this collection - Sunset Beach, Black Sands, Ocean Driftwood, Honolulu Sun and Coconut Leaves.


Finally there's a group of candles with "ribbed for your pleasure" tumbler glasses..and SIGH, they're lidless. The new scents sound intriguing and high end but I'm sure they're all repackages of something

Island Hideaway - Slip away to your very own island hideaway with this exclusive blend of amber, rich vanilla and a hint of pear (I don't usually think of pear as tropical but hey, what do I know? Could this be Fresh Picked Pear? Or Brandied Pear? It could even be a return of Prickly Pear Sugarcane)

Blue Ocean Waves - Be inspired by breathtaking blue ocean waves captured in a sea spray, creamy sandalwood and fresh citrus breezes (Turquoise Waters all the way)

Vanilla Beach Flower - Stroll along the shore and breathe in the fragrance of vanilla flower petals, sheer coconut and soft beach musk (Tiki Beach? Meet me in Tahiti? Coconut Vanilla? Aloha Vanilla?)

Mango Shores - Discover beautiful new tropical shores with the scent of fresh mango, creamy coconut and Caribbean Island blossoms (if this isn't Mango Coconut Cooler, I'll be highly surprised. It would be amazing if this was a repackage of Mango Beachwood )

Returning scents include Ocean Driftwood, Coconut Leaves and Oahu Coconut Sunset)

I believe these will be later this month...but don't quite me on that though. And I have no earthly idea if this various candles are all coming out at once or separately. And I don't if any of these will be WB exclusives

Check out +Stephanie Marie (Stephan1eMar1e) for pictures





NEW IDEA OF THE DAY: Ciao Italy Collection (and what I'd replace them with)

Okay y'all, can we talk about this collection? Is it just me or is this collection just all kinds of random? Why Italy?! What about these scents makes this collection Italian-y?! Tiki Beach..Fresh Bamboo...Sundrenched Mango...how is those Italian?! If BBW had just left this collection with no locale/destination attached to it and kept it as a vague summery/beachy /spa resorty collection, they would've worked but to call this collection "Ciao Italy"...really BBW?!

Tiki Beach - Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy this scent...but wtf does this have to with Italy? Hello TIKI Beach!

REPLACEMENT: Suntan/Beachside - this scent just makes more sense; it has that summer at the beach vibe - it reminds me of an old sunkissed fashionista getting her tan on at her beach resort

Seaside Citrus - this is nice but it just doesn't have that interntional summer at the beach vibe that this collection is trying to convey

REPLACEMENT: Lemon Cucumber - I friggin LOVE this scent; it was a failed test scent that wasn't marketed very well and was completely overlooked. It's such a juicy, fresh and refreshing summer scent; if this was marketed right, this would be the bomb! An you can still keep the name - "seaside" would be the cucumber note as that is usually used in seawater scents and the "citrus" would the lemon note.

OR: Beach Day - this was such a sexy watery/oceany beachy scent and it's a shame that it was only released once. It's smell like a hot Italian or Greek model fresh and salty from a dip in the sea. Again you can still keep the name "Seaside Citrus" as the notes were seawater and lemon leaves

Coconut Sandalwood - ugh! I've said it once and I'll say again...I do not understand BBW's obession with coconut! Plus this scent is already in the Core line so why put it in the collection?!

REPLACEMENT: Coconut Lime Verbena - at least with this scent the citrusy notes are more prominent and the coconut is subtle. In my opinion, CLV smells more summery and beachy than CS.

White Gardenia: BBW has been a major gardenia/tiare flower kick late and I just don't get it

REPLACEMENT: Beach Cabana - it's just not summer without Beach Cabana

OR: White Citrus - this was a beautiful signature scent turned home fragrance from back in the day. It's such a gorgeous summery floral/citrus blend - lemon, grapefruit, ginger and water lily..tell me that doesn't sound lovely as hell?!

Sundrenched Mango - WTF does friggin mangoes have to do with Italy?!

 REPLACEMENT: Calypso Sun - now granted this has mango in it but at least it's not the prominent note. It's just a nice juicy tropical fruit blend perfect for summertime. Plus this scent hasn't been in rotation in years so give it a chance

OR Pomegranate Spritzer - this was a delicious scent that not everybody got to enjoy because it failed. Just market this as a delicious cold and refreshing beverage to drink on the beach. Plus pomegranate is way more European than friggin mangos

Turquoise Waters - ok, this scent has been done; every single summer/tropical/beach collection in the past 3 years has this scent in it. It's ok but it's nothing exciting

REPLACEMENT: Island Waters/Sunrise Lagoon - I still stand by my opinion that this is the best oceany scent that BBW/WB/Slatkin has ever made

Fresh Bamboo - again I ask the question wtf does this have to do with Italy?!

REPLACEMENT: Beach Grass - this just makes more sense! It's a summery scent that has the same dewy grassy/floral vibe that FB

OR: Verbena Waters - OMG, this scent is the BOMB! Why oh why hasn't BBW brought this back?! It has a little someth'n someth'n for everybody - it's a little zesty and citrusy, it's watery and refreshing, there's a little hint of some woods and a little hint of musk..just perfection!

White Sand Beaches - I don't really see the appeal of this scent; it's just so basic and boring and un-summery

REPLACEMENT: Villa Bergamot/Bergamot Woods - now this is a nice cologney scent. And it made it's a debut in a spring/summer Italian themed collection..it just makes scense to bring it back for this collection

Sand and Sun - this scent just isn't very exciting

REPLACEMENT: Nantucket Sails - I can't lie..I like the mix of Black Tie with grapefruit and sea salt..the addition of those notes certainly made this feel very summery

OR: Summer Bonfire - this was such a weird ass scent...but that's why I liked it; it was unique and different and NEW

Endless Weekend, Indigo Sky and Mediterranean Melon can stay

WALK 'N' SNIFF: White Barn Core/Ciao Italy

The bf and I decided to take a trip out to GSP to advatage of the 2/24 sale and to sniff/buy some new candles. They didn't have the Southern/80's wallpaper collection (oh well) or the Hawaiian collection (again, oh well) and Mediterranean Melon (once again, oh well) was the only scent missing from the Ciao Italy collection.

Ok, let's begin with the White Barn Core exclusives...

Black Pepper & Bergamot - omg..OMG...MY BAE IS BACK!!!! As elated as I am for its grand return, I must bear ever so slightly sad news....it's not exactly the same. The notes all smell the same
but there's something different. Perhaps BBW used different or cheaper oils for this version but just doesnt smell as robust and bright as the old version. However other than that, its pretty much the same scent that I know and love!

Spring - another amazing Slatkin era scent that I love that has made a grand entrance after an unexcusably long absence. But again, much like my bae, there's something different. Again, maybe its due to cheaper oils but it just doesn't have the same robustness and vibrancy. But other than that, it smells the same.

Golden Grapefruit - unfortunately this is not Pomelo Grapefruit but it's quite similar - think PG but without the mouthpuckering sourness and juiciness and added intense sweetness, like grapefruit flavored hard candy. And there's an added tartness that smells like lemon zest/lemon peel. I don't get blackcurrant at all. They really should've just brought back Pomelo Grapefruit cuz that's so much better.

Suncrisp Apple - straightup repackage of Farmstand Apple...such a waste!

Cashmere & Oak - so right off the bat, this is definitely a "mandle" and a very familiar smelling one. At first sniff I thought it was The Original...it definitely isn't. Then I thought maybe Be Daring... close but no cigar. What I think it might be as an unfamiliar mandle calles Alpine Suede based off of the men's signature body care. Unfortunately there was no candle of it but the bodycare was there and after sniffing it, I'm pretty sure that's what this scent is. It's a very wood heavy scent - some oak, some sandalwood, maybe some some cedar too. I also get hint of a vetiver. I also get some pine/pine needles this gives this scent a fresh alpiney vibe. All in all, its very similar to The Original but its much better. As much as I like this scent, I think its an odd choice for spring as it does seem more like a late fall/winter type scent.


And now for the new candles in the Ciao Italy collection...

Sand & Sea - this one is really strange! It has a cologney mandle type vibe but I can't say that I like it. It has an intense sage note which I usually like in home fragrance but not in this one. It's really sharp and does not mix with whatever other notes are in this. There's definitely some musk action and some earthy dirty notes and salt - on the whole it kinda smells like a man's musty sea salt encrusted swimming shorts covered in sand and kelp. It definitely lives up to its name!

Coconut Sandalwood - oh boy, what a waste of a scent this is! Why does this exist?! Tiki Beach is already in this collection, Mahogany Coconut is in other and then Coconut Leaves is yet another. And it's not like this is a kickass coconut scent cuz it ain't it, in fact this may be the worst one. First of all, there's more sandalwood than anything else and it just gives this scent ol lady perfumey vibe...and who likes sandalwood?! It almost smells like Vanilla Sandalwood but more perfumey. There's a Vanilla Coconut like coconut note that's surprisingly light but it doesn't mix well with that damn sandalwood. Think a super musky perfumey feminine version of Mahogany Coconut..which isn't as intriguing and pleasant as it may sound!

Indigo Sky - yep, so this is definitely Baltic Black Pearl from Intrigue & Opulence. It's an odd yet pleasant high end cologney scent, a little too high end for this collection. It has a vaguely oceanic vibe like Oceanside and Sea to Santorini. And there's an interesting mix of mandle type notes - sandalwood, vetiver, and black pepper. On top of that, there's an odd but pleasant powdery orange blossom note. And I usually loathe amber in home fragrance but I like it in this; the amber gives it a very sensual and exotic Eastern vibe. They should've kept the name "Black Pearl" cuz it's more fitting; Indigo Sky, not so much!

Seaside Citrus - time to throw some shade. So I've seen at least 4 or 5 different people review this scent and all of them said all kinds of things about it except the obvious... IT'S A FRIGGIN REPACKAGE!!! And it's not like it's a repackage of something ancient but something relative recent - SUNSHINE aka LEMON VERBENA!!! They even have the EXACT SAME NOTES!!! There's a  very slight difference - the citrusy tartness from the verbena is more prominent but other than that, its pretty much the same.

Sundrenched Mango - Ok so I sniffed this one at 2 different stores and there were definitely two different versions. One version is a repackage of last year's Guava Colada...why I don't know. The second (and decidedly better) version is a repackage of Barcelona ~ Mandarin & Mosaics aka Caribbean Salsa. It a juicy and sweet melange of fruit notes - mango, peach, orange, pineapple all sweetened with a hint of creamy vanilla.

These are what I wound up getting!


And please watch my Spring Haul video!


NEWNESS UPDATE/NEW IDEA OF THE DAY: Southern and miscellaneous candles (and what I'd replace em with)

So in a post I wrote awhile back, I mentioned with surprising optimism that at first glance that spring might not be a hot mess as it was in the past and that we might actually get to see some good stuff. Well I was wrong! It seems that BBW still refuses to learn from their mistake and are continuing to repackage trifling scents in uninspired collections with cutesy cutesy packaging to get the basic bitches of America happy!

So let's start at the beginning...

As y'all know, a new candle has popped up simply called "Love"; crimson red wax with the same down home country packaging as that White Barn bakery collection. Intrigued? Don't be! It's the same "Love" candle from the Happy Home collection...aka Mother's Day 2014/Pink Petals aka Peony Petals aka Electric Tokyo/Tokyo Petals...really BBW?!

REPLACEMENT: Pink Petal Teacake: come the f***  on BBW!!! Give the f***ing people what they want! You know folks have been clamoring for that friggin candle since it first came out..or would you rather people buy on Evilbay?! Futhermore PPTC just makes sense...waaaayyyyy more since than goddamn muthaeffin Tokyo Petals. I sweartagawd, you guys obsess over the most basic of scents!

For Easter, we unfortunately will see the dreaded return of Easter ~ Cotton Candy Marshmallow..the same Easter candle from last spring which had nothing to do with Cotton candy or marhsmallow (and wtf is a cotton candy marshmallow?) or Easter for that matter and was a repackage of Saltwater Taffy aka Strawberry Picnic aka Strawberry Sorbet. Given the outcry from diehard fans (myself included), it's pretty damn ballsy for them to release this again. And to insure their lazy success, they raised the cutesy ante on this bastard - tri color pastel wax colors and a drawing of a (creepy) bunny and eggs. It isn't even in stores yet and basic bitches are creaming in their yoga tights!

REPLACEMENT: Cotton Candy - I know..you probably thought I was gonna say Lavender Marshmallow...which under normal circumstances I would. But seeing as though we currently have Paris ~ Lavender Macaron which smells extremely close to LM, it just wouldn't make sense. So instead I'm going with this Slatkin classic since BBW insists on this cotton candy marshmallow BS. You already have a cotton candy scent in your vaults, USE IT!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Surprise surprise, we have yet another tropical beachy Hawaiian collection...yay. Given the onslaught of tropical island scents we endured last spring/summer, you would think BBW would've chilled out this year...nope! It just in't spring/summer at BBW without a barrage of tropical coconutty bullshit!

Rainforest Gardenia - ugh this scent just came out not to long ago and I'm already sick of it

REPLACEMENT: Beach Cabana - just a much bertter alternative, it's not summer without it



Ocean Driftwood - ...... no comment

REPLACEMENT: Mahogany Coconut - I can't believe that I'm defending this scent but it's actually really good! And it has a much more summery/beachy vibe to it than OD


Honolulu Sun - basic, basic BASIC

REPLACEMENT: Suntan/Poolside - People went apeshit over this scent so why not bring this back?!


Sunset Beach - another basic scent

REPLACEMENT: Caribbean Salsa or Calypso Sun - both of these are so fresh and juicy and tropical, waaaayyyy better than SB

So many scents could be added - Coastal Sun, Pineapple Palm Grass (or Pineapple Punch or Pineapple Orchid), Bahama Fizz (or Banana Kiwi Colada), Starfruit Crush, Tropical Spice, Island Waters, Beach Day, Mango Beachwood, Aloha Vanilla, White Palm, Coconut Water, White Orchid Lei, Hawaiian Hibiscus..the list goes on

Coconut Leaves and Black Sands can stay

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And now, last but certainly not least, the real reason for this post... this damn Southern collection...Lame, lame LAME from the top to bottom! It only has two new scents...

White Tea and Ginger - Our classic White Tea and Ginger fragrance balance delicate white tea leaves with sparkling citrus and a hint ginger for a fresh irresistible fragrance (I've heard it basically smells like Eucalyptus Tea mixed with Orange Ginger)

REPLACEMENT: Raspberry Sun Tea - an actual tea drink that people actually drink; I think most Southerners would drink raspberry flavored ice tea than ginger white tea. Plus this scent hasn't been in rotation in years, give it another try!

OR: Peachy Tea - again, this just makes more sense. Plus this is "peachy" so it would fit the Southern theme


Strawberry Vanilla - Add a juicy sweetness to any spring day with the scent of ripe garden strawberries infused with fresh vanilla (I wonder if this Wild Strawberry from Fresh Picked/Market 2012)

REPLACEMENT: Strawberry Rhubarb Marmalade - this was extremely popular scent and the most authentic strawberry scent to date, why not take advantage of it?!


Returning scents includes...

Sundress - ugh, such a lame scent and strangely un-feminine despite what the name suggests

REPLACEMENT: Sunkissed Blossom - now this long-forgotten scent would make a better alternative. I mean look at the notes - peach nectar, jasmine flower, garden freesia and lilac...tell me that doesn't sound like a Southern Belle...hey, that could be the name!

OR: Sunflower: another more appropriate alternative. Again look at the notes - mandarin, grapefruit, green tea, sheer musk and white woods... doesn't that sounds more "Sundress-y"?


Praline Pecan Cobbler - If this isn't one of the most over-rated scents EVER! What the hell is a "praline pecan cobbler"? If they called Southern Pecan Pie, that would make more sense...but it would still be a lame and basic scent

REPLACEMENT:Home ~ Sweet Caramel Comfort/Caramel Apple - this is such warm cozy and comforting scent and much more delicious and inviting you than PPC.

OR: Summer Boardwalk - Given how people were OBSESSED over this scent back, it's kinda strange that BBW hasn't brought it back to capitalize on it's past popularity. People would lose their proverbial shit if this sucker came back!


Beautiful Day - this is one of those scents that BBW is obsessed with and makes any opportunity to shove it our faces. Including this one, there are already 3 versions out all at the time

REPLACEMENT: Garden Party - this was such a GORGEOUS floral scent and it was only out once ...why oh why hasn't BBW brought this back?! It was rosy and feminine without being powdery or perfumey and dewy and fresh without smelling moldy. It's sooooo much better Beautiful Day. I'm begging y'all...bring this back!


Sweet Pea - this is a cute lil scent but certainly nothin special

REPLACEMENT: Southern Magnolia - this came out twice and both times it failed. Bring it back and try again. Plus it has friggin SOUTHERN in the name..hello!!!

OR: Bloom/First Bloom - such a beautiful, fresh dewy floral, perfect for spring


Georgia Peach - ughhhhhhh

REPLACEMENT: Summer Melon - again, came out twice and failed both times. I dunno why BBW is so hesitant to put out melon scents, it just doesn't make sense. Can we PLEASE  a melon scent?!

OR: Cucumber Melon - since y'all seem to be bodycare turned home fragrance kick, bring back this awesome signature scent and gives us some nostalgia of better days at BBW


Eucalyptus Mint & Rain - ok I can't lie I do like this scent but I feel like we can do a bit better

REPLACEMENT: Renew & Refresh - it's very strange that this spring staple wasn't brought back this year. And this just seems to fit the country day in the south feel more than


Watermelon Lemonade - ABSOLUTELY NO COMMENT

REPLACEMENT: Summertime Soda - come the eff on! Yall know people even after all these years are clamoring for this failed test scent; why do yall outright refuse to bring this back?!

Bowties and Bourbon can stay

NEW IDEA OF THE DAY: Destinations '16 (and what I'd replace em with)

Ok sooo, I dunno about y'all but I am sick to damn death of Destination candles. This collection just gets lamer and lamer and as usual catering to the basics. As usual, I've thought of better more fitting options...

Brazil - this isn't going wide but still I think we can do better than friggin Mahogany Coconut

REPLACEMENT: Rainforest Sugarcane - this was kinda weird but still nice...and it just makes more sense. Brazil is none for their rainforests...hello the Amazon! And there were note blends that were very similar to Brazil's nation drink - the caiprinha

Hawaii ~ Oahu Coconut Sunset - I dunno why BBW is pushing this scent so hard. And why didn't they name this candle after a city instead of the whole country like the rest of the candles in this collection. Very silly and lazy.

REPLACEMENT: Pineapple Palm Grass - instead of catering to the basic bitches of America buy repackaging a bodycare based candle, release a candle that actually has something to do with with Hawaii. And I could be wrong but I feel like Hawaii is more known for pineapples than coconuts

Paris ~ Lavender Macaron - ok, applause to BBW for not repackaging Paris Daydream again! And I also applaud BBW for creating a new blend. And as good as this scent is, it is kinda basic and is only there to cater to the pink cutesy-cutesy girl-girl bakery lover

REPLACEMENT: Fleur de Provence - a scent that combines two famous/popular fragrance aromatherapy notes from France - lavender and verbena..it just makes moer sense. Plus the scent didn't go wide when first came out in '14, bring it back and try again!

Amsterdam ~Spring Tulips - don't get me wrong, Flower Shop is the bomb! However we've seen this scent as Amsterdam 3 times already. And FS just doesn't really convey what this candle is trying to convey

REPLACEMENT: Pink Tulips - hello, the candle is talking about tulips...why not use the actual tulips candle?!

Tahiti - applause for BBW for not bringing back Passionflower cuz it's not all that. And the "new" scent is nice but nothing special

REPLACEMENT - Seaside Escape - come the eff on BBW, this scent is AMAZING!!! And we haven't seen since this bad boy in years..bring this sucker back!

Capri - now I do enjoy Freshwater and Seasalt/Sea to Santorini, but were starting to see it way too much. And it's already in the core line, it's not that good a scent to have twice

REPLACEMENT: Suntan - the Beachside repackage from the Nantucket collection last spring. A little old lady-ish but there's something so summery and beachy about it; makes me think of rich old heiress getting her tan on at her private beach resort

Istanbul - I am OVER Sensual Amber...period

REPLACEMENT: Morocco Market - I think this scent captures the mystique and exoticness of Istanbul way more than Sensual Amber

London Calling - I'm sure what I'm about to say will incur many people's wrath but...I am sooooo over LC, over it officially! It has been done to death. And it doesn't even smell like the proper tea a true Londoner would sip, it smells like ice tea...which is consider sacrilege across the pond!

REPLACEMENT: Boathouse Row - for some reason, this scent reminds me of London or more to the point, men in London - a proper gentlemen walking down Savile Row, a sexy bloke hanging at Picadilly Circus or even better, a hot guard standing outside Buckingham Palace

Aruba - Oceanside? Really? How original!

REPLACEMENT: Calypso Sun - one of many Slatkin classics that has not seen the light of day in years. It's tropical, it's fruity, it's juicy, it's refreshing..what more can you ask for?

Havana - so this is the only one I wouldn't change. But can this finally go wide now?! It's failed 3 times so far - once as the original Havana Heat then again as Ski Den and again as Leather & Agarwood...wtf?!

Can y'all bring some old Destination candles back? Bermuda Break...Emerald Isles...Sydney Harbor...South Beach Sun

Futhermore can we get some new more exotic (more ethnic) locales?!

Shanghai or Hong Kong -  Green Tea and White Pear, Lotus Flower, Orange Clove

Osaka or Kyoto - Nectarine Green Tea or Fresh Bamboo (no more Tokyo and no more "cherry blossoms")

New Delhi or Dubai - Mango Cilantro or Vanilla Chai

Jamaica - Tropical Spice or Paradise Daiquiri

Nairobi - Jungle Kiss or Verbena Waters

Cairo - Morocco Market or Vanilla Birchwood

Or instead of all of these international locales, can we have an American Destination collection? Places tourists would probably go to in spring summer...

New Orleans - Southern Magnolia

Houston - Tailgate...the old Tailgate

Miami - Sparkling Mojito

Malibu - Suntan/Poolside

Washington DC - Peony Petals

Seattle - Espresso Bar

St Louis - Vanilla Firewood

Chicago - Renew & Refresh
Instagram