I was chatting with my gurl Jenn/@theshow78 about the early days of our BBW obsession and reminiscing about how clueless and naive were back then.
So I first became aware of BBW/Slatkin/White Barn candles back in 2011..probably the very beginning of the BBW candle craze and the genesis of soooooo many amazing scents which sadly only a small handful have stuck around. That said, I didn't buy any...I was strictly a Yankee gurl back then..not that I bought that many of their candles either. Fast forward to 2012 and I have started dating my now partner and he's a Slatkin fan of more normal and sane degree. He brings me kicking and screaming in a BBW store; I've always resisted as that miasma of fragrance seeping out of the store an into the mall always repelled me. But for the sake of love, I go in and for the first time, I really pay attention to the candles and I'm amazed at the sheer variety of scents; I have an Annie-esque revelation - "I think I'm gonna like it here!"
Fast-forward further to that fall. So because I'm from and in New Orleans where fall just doesn't exist, I'm oblivious to all things autumnal but my bf has actually lived places with fall slowly turns me into a full on autumnophile. So I naively muse to myself if BBW had any scents to get me into the fall spirit..and boy do they. I'm introduced to fall scents that would become the loves of my life - Leaves, Cranberry Woods and my number Black Pepper Bergamot that would have me feening like a crack addict in the months to come. It's also during this time that I have my first run in with the infamous Shit Cinnamon Poopkin that would turn me off to to all pumpkiny scents for years.
Fast-forward to that winter. I dunno what prompted me to do it, but I did a search and typed the name of a candle on Youtube in the hopes that somebody out there loved BBW candles and did reviews about them. I struck gold and found the ultimate candle guru, the grand poobah of candle reviewers - Littleballadeer. That was it, I was hooked. She had been reviewing candles since 2009 or 2012 and I beat myself up that I missed all of these amazing sounding scents. And through I found a gang of other infamous reviewers - mainly Touchthefiretwice and Tinadivalicious as well as many others who have long since stopped doing videos. With candle trifecta - Littleballadeer, Touchthefiretwice and Tinadivalicious, I got all of my candle news and info from them and hung to their every word.
During this time, I was soooooo clueless. I didn't know what were repackages of what..hell, I didn't even know what a repackages was. I had a hazy recollection of scents from 2011 and early 2012 but any re-released or repackaged scent from before then, I had no friggin clue. And don't get me started on test scents... what the hell was a test scent or a test store?! Back in those days you could call the main test stores in either Ohio or New Jersey (major *eyeroll) and order test scents and they'd totally ship test scents to you no matter where in the US you were. As an introvert who HATES talking on the phone especially to order something from a stranger, I just never did it. Then finally I plucked up enough courage to take the plunge and place an order...and it was sooooo easy and painless! I ordered a Tailgate (the original Tailgate NOT the repackaged crap from fall 2014) and an Applewood Bonfire..which was stupid cuz mine was unscented and I ended up exchanging it for a regular Fireside...I should've just ordered 2 Tailgates as that version has never been seen since. So I was sooo proud that I made my first test scent phone order only for them to stop doing it altogether about a month or so later. You need bitches always ruin a good thing - greedy hoes ordering 10-20 scents at time and the true scum of the earth - unscrupulous moral-less assholes who would claim that their order didn't arrive and would demand replacements.
Fast forward to spring/summer 2013, thanks to the candle trifecta I was up to speed with candles and new releases and repackages but didn't really have anyone talk and commiserate all this with. I couldn't talk about candles all the time with my bf...although he would occasionally listen to Youtube reviews in passing. And i had two close friends who were into BBW but they were both you're..average consumer - go into a store once every couple of months and bought whatever they thought smelled good at the time but didn't care about notes or repackages or test or non-test scents. I needed an outlet. So that's when I started this blog! It kinda killed two birds with one stone - I loved to write and hadn't written in awhile and it give me a release, a voice to talk about something I loved. I had no idea that my blog would eventually get a following and people actually took what I said seriously and my thoughts/opinions swayed people's purchasing decisions...it's awesome! I would eventually be swayed to do Youtube vids as EVERYBODY was getting on the Youtube review bandwagon. I caved in to peer pressure from a one of the trifecta and did videos albeit not regularly..and I hated it..still hate doing them...and betwixt y'all and me..I've decided to stop making them altogether.
Then sometime in 2014 in a vain attempt to gain more followers (as I was barely a blip on anyone's radar), I got on Facebook with my own Facebook page. I was amazed..I had no idea that there was an actual a community of people who loved BBW/Slatkin/White Barn just as much as I did. I got to talk to people who got into candles around the same time I did and a few were around beforehand during the Slatkin days. Quite a few of these individuals I am still friends with to those and still support and read my rantings on my little blog. By this time, my meager collection of 20 odd candles I had when I first started this blog had grown exponentially filling a 3tiered bin. Most importantly, I was more knowledgeable and could hold my own in conversations about notes and repackages; people saw me as an authority, wanted to pick my brain for info and and were genuinely interested in my opinions. I came a very very long way from that clueless twit who wouldn't even step inside a BBW store.
Looking back I do have some regrets, boy if I knew then what I know now. First of I was sooooo close-minded when it came to scents; if it wasn't fresh or watery or woodsy/cologney, I couldn't be bother. The list of scents I hated was soooo long - I hated sweet stuff, I hated fruity stuff, I hated tropical stuff, I hated vanilla and berry and coconut, and at the top of the list - bakery and pumpkin. I was vehemently anti-bakery and you all known about my love/hate relationship with pumpkin. Because there were so many scents I hated, I missed out on sooooo much especially during that weird period when Slatkin was about to leave and right after he left - sooooo many scents and sooo many classics are gone now never to return. Though lately I try to rectify this by finding scents I missed on Ebay but still there are still some I can't fin even on there. Also I had a very bad habit of just burning candles with reckless abandon whether they came back or not; it just didn't occur to me. On the one hand there is sort of child like innocence of just being in the moment and enjoying your candle only to move on to something else. But on the one hand you have scents that you've really grown to love but you didn't stock up and now it's gone. Even when I got to be more hip to BBW, I wouldn't stock up because I naively believed that I didn't have to cuz they would be back eventually...and because of that naive laissez faire attitude, I lost out on so many amazing scents that I loved cuz they did not come back.
Ad so here we are in 2017; I'm a little older and a lot wiser. I've seen many reviewers come and go, I've seen good replacements and unfortunately a lot of not so good ones. I've watched the candleverse grow and change...in not so good ways. I've seen returning classics, newness that rocked my world and lot rereleased/repackaged over-saturated crap. But through it all, I'm still here!