CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Beach Glow ~ Salted Oak Bonfire *BF PICK*


Products: candle
Area used in: living room or bedroom
Time Period: whenever

Description: Wave-washed Oak, Glowing Embers, Sea Spray

This is another candle that my bf picked out and bought however unlike the last candle, this was one that I was initially intrigued with and actually enjoyed post sniff and post burn. So when this scent made its debut on social media, I was really hoping it would be the grand return of summer '15's Summer Bonfire..which was such a weird scent but I really like it. Sadly it wasn't that but it actually turned out to be an entirely new scent which is always a welcome surprised. I probably would've picked this one up at some point however I'm glad my bf was interested in this one enough to give it a try; he and I both enjoy woodsy/bonfire scents so it was a win-win situation.

So we've been burning this off and on on the weekends recently. The performance has been pretty decent so far - the flames have been high and there has been a consistent deep and even pool. The throw is shockingly light for scent of this kind. The scent will get lost and dissipate in a big room so it's better to try it in a smaller room like the bathroom or your boudoir.

So this is one of those confounding scents to describe as it's both simple yet complex. The best way I could describe is it's a summery/beachy version of Marshmallow Fireside. Imagine Summer Bonfire and Pumpkin Fireside making love on the beach with SOB being the end result. I get a little bit of both of those scents in this one - I get a creamy wood with salty air vibe from Summer Bonfire and embery woods with a hint of dark sweetness from Pumpkin Fireside. The notes mention oak...I mean I guess. It's not mentioned in the notes but I get an intense cedar note that definitely evokes Fireside/Marshmallow Fireside/Pumpkin Fireside. There's amber that gives the woodsy notes some warmth - amber is common in most bonfire/fireside scents. There is a beachy salty ocean air vibe, almost borderline laundry detergent/fabric softener-esque. Finally there's a bunch on unmentioned notes floating around in this scent which makes me wish BBW would be more honest with their notes. I get Summer Bonfire-esque citrus, like a orange peel and/or orange blossom/leaves. I also get a dark sweet spicy nuttiness like nutmeg or candied chestnuts which makes me think of Pumpkin Fireside. Lastly, the main thing I get (and I'm flabbergasted why BBW didn't mention it) is unavoidable and very detectable marshmallow; it's so pronounced and in your face that it's really bizarre that it's unmentioned and ignored. You can't get around it or avoid; many on social media have picked up the marshmallow aspect and have compared it the Beach Nights bodycare     with it's top notes of marshmallow.

All in all, SOB is a very pleasant scent. I do think it was marketed all wrong as well as misnamed. Despite BBW ignoring it, there is an obvious gourmand aspect to this scent; it smells less like a roaring fire at the beach and more like roasting marshmallows or making s'mores at the beach. Anyway, I do think this is a scent worth trying; the wood notes aren't intense enough to scare away bakery lovers and the sweetness isn't obnoxious to drive off the outdoors/woodsy lovers. Now is this a stock-up-able scent? Ehh, no not really. It's a nice scent but not enough to want to burn all the time; just pick up on or two and you should be good.

CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel *BF PICK*


Products: candle
Area used in: living room
Time Period: whenever

Description: Barrel-aged Bourbon, Soft Caramel, Coarse Sea Salt

So ladies and gents, this is a special edition of "CANDLE SPOTLIGHT" as this is a candle my bf specifically sought and bought.

My bf is OBSESSED with anything salted caramel; whether it's a coffee drink or ice cream or even home fragrance, he goes nuts for it. That said, when he spotted this at our last trip to WB, he was drawn to it like a moth to a flame and immediately put it in his basket to buy. As you already know, I despise most caramel scents and avoid them like the plague with very few exceptions so I grimaced when I saw him huff it with reckless abandon and then place it his basket. Fast forward to about a week or so again, we're having a relaxing weekend at home and we decided to give this sucker a burn. The bf was absolutely loving it, me..not so much.

So burn-wise, this candle started out a little on the iffy side. On the first initial burn, it took waaaaayyyyy too long to pool out and I thought for sure it was going to tunnel but it didn't. After a few hours, it finally pooled and it's be burning correctly ever since. The throw on this badboi is so friggin intense. Caramel in and of itself is never subtle and most scents with that note is like a sticky suckerpunch to the face and this scent is not the exception. The throw is incredible and sort of sits in the air like a heavy fog. Those who enjoy sweet/bakery/caramel well certainly enjoy such an all encompassing scent but for me, it makes feel sticky and want to take a bath. And it lingers in the air for hhoooouuuurrrs, typical of caramel scents; I burned it one night, blew it out and went to bed and had to open the window the next morning cuz I could still smell it in the air.

There's some contention online as this scent smells familiar and must be a repackage of a past scent. Most say that this is a straightup dupe of Hot Buttered Barf..I mean Rum because both are caramel scents with dark sweet alcoholic note in the background. For a hot second, I thought these folks were right...until I burned it; I'm 90% sure this isn't HBR. Some suggested it might be Bourbon Butterscotch from fall 2014's Artisan collection but I don't think it's that either. I personally thought it Toffee Glazed Popcorn from fall 2012; I deferred to a candle buddy who had one in his collection and let me know that it wasn't that either. My final opinion is that while that may smell familiar, I don't think this is a repackage of anything years past.

So scent-wise, you do get warm, overwhelmingly sweet, gloopy, ooey-gooey salted caramel. And in the background there is an aged woody brown liquor note that adds a darkness to the blend and intensifies the sweetness. Lastly...and I thought I was imagining things but other candle buddies of mine admitted that they smelled it too..I smell almonds/amaretto but I dunno if there is an actual almond note or if its the accord that's replicated the "bourbon" playing against the caramel. Whatever the case is, it's strange but I don't mind it.

In conclusion, I don't really understand why this scent exists or more importantly, why BBW felt the need to throw it into the Mixed Materials collection..what is mixed? If they threw in a wood note or something musky like leather or cashmere or suede ie Havana/Havana Heat/Ski Den, that would make sense. Couldn't BBW have waited and release this in the fall? Anyhoo, this scent is sooooo out of my wheelhouse and had my bf not picked it up, I wouldn't have even thought about trying it. It's not a bad scent and bakery/caramel lovers  will enjoy it, but this scent is just not for me. But the bf is happy with it so that's all that matters.              

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM: Pomegranate Lemonade (2016 vers.)



Products: candle   
Area used in: living room
Time Period: end of May - 4th of July

Description: A fragrance inspired by an ice cold glass of fresh squeezed lemon juice, pomegranate nectar and a touch of sugar

Original Notes: Juicy pomegranate, pink grapefruit and lemon zest blend deliciously and then are infused with rose petals, sheer woods and sugared citron for a refreshing treat.

Trivia: Pomegranate Lemonade was last seen in store spring/summer 2012


As you may (or may not) remember, a bunch of late additions were added to the WB core line last summer and the sat on the shelf full price for the longest time. By the time a decent sale came along, summer was almost over so I bought a few to save for future summers. Fast forward to 2017, it feels like summer outside and I am ready to get my Pomegranate Lemonade on!

So the performance for this bad boi has been amazeballs! The flames are high and the wax pool is deep. And with the hot pink/magenta glass color, it is absolute gorgeous to burn, ambiance throw the roof! And the throw is an absolutely knock-out! Instant fragrnce all over the place! And because it's such high octane citrus scent, it's a great deodorizing scent guaranteed to get rid of household funk.

And now the scent...which in my most humble of opinions doesn't really smell like "pomegranate lemonade" per se but rather the process of making pomegranate lemonade if that makes any sense. In other words, it smells like you've just sliced a fresh lemon and are de-seeding a cut pomegranate in order to make pomegranate lemonade. You get a noseful of bright sparkling effervescence from the melange of mouth-puckering citrus notes; with lemon, the grapefruit and the citron, you really get the juice from the fruits and the peel. Then you get the dark, tannic and almost seductive pomegranate juice which adds to the already present tartness of the blend. And I do get a hint of floral lurking in the background, like dried petals/potpourri this gives this scent a distinct home fragrance vibe. As a whole, PL is just a perfect summer scent; it's relaxing but at the same energizing/revitalizing as well as refreshing. And it totally makes you wanna run into the kitchen and fix yourself a pitcher of homemade lemonade, pomegranate or otherwise.

There have been may PL clones over the years - Pink Sangria, Pomegranate Spritzer, Strawberry Mimosa, Sugared Citrus Sorbet...all are cute in their own way but can't compare to the original. Unfortunately, despite it's popularity and it's credibility as a Slatkin classic, it has not returned. If you see this candle, no matter the year, and it is reasonably priced, don't think about it just get it!       

ON THE FENCE: Driftwood Surf (2016 vers)


Products: candle and wf bulb
Area used in: bedroom
Time Period: end of May - 4th of July

Description: Hear the sound of rustling palm leaves above white sand beaches when you breath in the scent of Caribbean coconut, watery citrus and sea salted driftwood

New Notes: Salty Sea Breezes, White Pineapple, Warm Coconut Wood

As a rule, I tend to prefer manly "cologney" scents in my boudoir and well, manly cologney scents are very few and far in between in the summertime lately. I saw this in the "Beach House" collection last summer and grabbed it out of desperation. I assumed since it was a new, decent, non-basic conceptual scent that wasn't going to come back but sure enough it reappeared in the Ribbed for your pleasure/Times New Roman" collection this summer.

So I was kinda diggin it on cold sniff; definitely can't deny that it's a masculine scent - very bodycare-ish like a summery body spray for men (it also ever so slightly reminds me of the Paris bodycare for men). However it's one of those scents that confounds and I can't exactly pinpoint actual notes. I get the driftwood aspect - oak perhaps, a little teakwood with a salty ozonic sear air vibe. I get coconut but it's not coconut water or meat or milk but rather the husk, like a uncut coconut fresh from the tree. Speaking of trees, I sorta get something green in the background, like palm leaves. Then there's the citrus; the this year's notes mention pineapple...maybe? It's tricky, I guess I can smell that but it may just be the notes playing subliminal games with my nose. Whatever the "citrus" may be, it isn't your typical lemon or lime or orange; I dunno if it's pineapple per se, but it is a sugary sweet summer fruit note.

So yeah, the cold sniff was pleasant enough for me to buy it as it fulfilled what I was looking for - a summery manly scent. However, I started burning it recently and whatever slight satisfaction I had for this scent went right out the window - it's smells like straight up chemicals, almost bug spray-ish. And despite having skinny wicks, the flames were high and burned really quickly. Sometimes you would get small whiffs of what the scent was supposed to smell like but for the most part it just smelled plasticy and chemically and eventually I would have to blow it up. The wf bulb on the other hand is really pleasant; the throw is the strong and the notes are balanced. I will say, even though I'm not a huge fan of earthy brown/tan/sand tones, this candle is gorgeous to burn - amibience out the wazoo! Too bad I'm not a big fan of the scent.

If you're intrigued with this scent, buy with caution. Hopefully BBW fixed the chemical smell probably with this new version and it's totally possible that my 2016 version was a dud..you just never know. Air on the side of caution when buying this candle and keep your receipt for an exchange.

WALK N SNIFF: Coast to Coast Collection

Well gang, since the start of SAS I have been to 3 BBWs and 3 WBs and have yet to see any Coast to Coast 3wicks despite it randomly popping in some stores across the nation. No one really knows what the deal is with this collection; wf bulbs popped online and should be in most stores yet the 3wicks are only making random appearances a few BBWs and WBs here and there. Also candles with clear tumblers and colored wax have been popping up so obviously there has been a re-pour. So has it failed and stores are getting the remaining leftover rejects? If that's the case, I think it's pretty shitty that it failed and the basic ass Times New Roman candles didn't! Or because there were re-pours, will we see them after SAS is over? Who the hell knows! I know one thing, I'm tired of the games and BS with BBW and testing/failing scents really needs to stop!

Anyway, one of my stores did at least have 1wick testers to sniff so I'd least a got a taste of what the new scents in this collection smell like

Coastal Jasmine - It looks as if jasmine is replacing gardenia as BBW's premier white floral scent du jour. I don't think "coastal" jasmine is actually a thing...unless they are referring to confederate jasmine which is popular in the South and can grow in seaside/coastal areas but let's be real I don't think BBW put that much thought into the name. Anyhoo, I'm about 85% positive that this is a repackage of Jasmine Water from the post winter SAS tropical collection; unfortunately the store didn't have any to compare so I'm only going by scent memory. There's really not much to say about it - it's a heady powdery slightly nectary jasmine note wrapped in music with a cooling ozonic watery note in the background. It's a cute scent if you like jasmine.

White Driftwood - So BBW seemed to really like this scent but really didn't know how to market it. It first appeared in the animal skin/zoo collection as "Wild Cedarwood" and then it appeared in the personalized greetings collection repackaged as "Happily Ever After ~ Blue Lily Water" And now it's back as "White Driftwood". There's really not much to say about this one either - it's a masculine woodsy repackage with a twist of Beach Cabana. Some exact notes from BC mixed with a soft dry cedar note and a hint of sea salt/sea air. It's a nice scent but not really necessary.

Seaside Mist - Like its brethren White Driftwood, this was also repackaged in the greetings collection as "XOXO" and was erroneously labeled as "Jungle Woods" online only to be changed a few weeks later as "Seaside Mist" The scent seemed to befuddle everyone, myself included. The notes sounded suspiciously like my bae Black Pepper Bergamot but it wasn't. Everyone all had the same thing to say about it - "it smells so familiar." Everybody was coming up with repackage hypotheses - Oceanside, Crisp Morning Air  , Blue Sandalwood and Sage...close but no cigar! It took 2 trips to BBW and a consultation with my candle buddies but I finally unlocked the mystery - Whitewater Rush.  It was part of a trio of men's bodycare (along with Mahogany Woods and Alpine Suede) winter 2014. Around the same time,  few stores got a limited supply of 3wicks    of them as well. Obviously this a cologney scent...GASP!!! It smells like a men's cologne of the fresh/watery/aquatic variety. The notes mention mandarin which I call BS on that; what I get instead is bergamot which a) is one of the top notes of WWR and b) it was probably changed because so many BBs complain about too much bergamot and that it smells cologney. It got some Mahogany Stankwood-esque woodsy action - some oak maybe, definitely cedarwood , again one of the top notes of WWR. I'm not sure about the lavender; like it's other cologney comrades Mahogany Stankwood, Villa Bergamot and Black Pepper Bergamot, the lavender note is way pushed down. I'm not 100% sold on this scent; even though I love cologney scents and watery/oceanic scents, SSM isn't a winner for me.

Beach Sage & Mist - When this collection first started testing, this was the scent that I was the most intrigued and knew I had to get my hands on. Fast forward to SAS and everyone and their grandma are posting pics of their BS&Ms that they randomly found in their stores which made me very jealous. After smelling the tester candle (and buying a few wf bulbs despite them not being $3), I decided somehow, come hell or high water, I'm gonna get this damn candle because it is LIFE!!! It is EVERYTHING! This is the of candle that I love - a strong herbal conceptual scent. So basically if you took Cucumber Melon and mixed it with Bergamot Mint    and a hint of Wild Sage & Aloe, that's basically BS&M. Also, think of this as a summery/beachy version of Winter Mint & Spruce; the two have a similar vibe and could totally be twins. You get a basenote of a sweet and watery cucumber/melon blend with a layer of cologney bergamot and melange of earthy sage, cool refreshing mint and some other unlisted herbal notes, possibly thyme (there was a Slatkin era failed test scent called Honeydew & Thyme, I wonder how close BS&M is to that) The mix of all of those random note sound bizarre together but trust me, they blend together perfectly! And does smell beachy (beach sage actually exists but I don't know how close this smells to the real thing). This scent is just great - it's calm, it's relaxing, it's guest friendly; it totally feels like your relaxing in your rented beach house with the ocean breeze on your face and listening to the waves crash.

RANT OF THE DAY: Exchange Policy ~ Too Much of a Good Thing?

We as human beings have ingrained in our DNA the innate talent of messing up a good thing. Throughout our history on this floating dirtball, whenever there is something awesome in our lives, people will inevitably screw it up and ruin it for everyone. If there is any possible way to get over and take advantage, folks will find a way to do it and their hubris and selfishness blind them to the fact that their actions are wrong. And is always the case, the good suffers for the bad and that awesome thing is nothing more but a mere memory.

We've seen this over the years at BBW. Perfect example - phone orders. Back in the good ol days, you could call a test store, order a few test scents and have sent to you with $5.99 shipping...awesome, right?! It was great but then as usual, people had to mess it up. You had greedy bastards ordering 10-20 candles at time and not just one of everything but 10-20 of ONE SCENT! Or you had lying assholes saying that their order wasn't delivered and the store would have no alternative but to send replacements so these assholes got double the candles. Meanwhile the stores were running out of candles to sell to customers who were actually in the store. Corporate said "screw this"  and sent a mandate to stores saying no more phone orders all because of people's greediness and dishonesty. In 2014 they brought phone orders back but thru Customer Relations but people were pulling these shenanigans again and after a few months phone orders were no more and this time for good.

What else have we seen disappear over the years? Survey coupons...BBW Insiders program...free candle giveaways...3day grace periods. It's easy to scream and yell, gnash your teeth and shake your fist in the air angrily while declaring that BBW is being unfair. However, perhaps we should save our self righteous ire for the unscrupulous members of our candle community instead.

Which brings me to the point of this whole rant - exchanges. As you know, BBW has a lovely exchange policy - if you're unhappy with your candle for whatever reason, just bring it back and exchange for another candle that is more to your liking. Sometimes the SA will ask you for a receipt and your ID, but for the most part they SA will graciously do an exchange for you no questions asked. But as always, people try to get over and pull a fast one. You have folks...

  • bringing in a completely burned candle to exchange and because of the return/exchange policy, SAs have no choice but to (begrudgingly) do an exchange
  • exchanging 10-20 candles all at the same time   
  • the newest trend - buying candles (especially if there is a glitch online) that they have no intention on burning and keeping them to do an exchange when a new collection comes out and/or there is a sale
I personally don't do any of this. In all the years I've been shopping at BBW, Ive returned maybe 4 or 5 burned candles and they were only burned once not all the all way to the bottom. The most I will return is 3 candles at a time and even then, I kinda feel a little guilty about it so I'll buy something after the exchange - whether its another candle or soap or even a pocketbac just to make my conscience feel better. Plus the SA gets some commission action - win win situation. And ALL of my returns are candles that I have already bought and are chilling in my collection.For every candle I buy, I keep the receipts (in chronological order) in a manila folder just in the off chance I decide to exchange something. I say all of this not come off holier than thou and sanctimonious but rather I just like the feeling of doing the right thing.  

Also have you ever heard what happens to candles that have been exchanged?

  • Candles in a current collection in stores are put back on the shelves
  • Candles from old collections no longer in stores are boxed up and kept for SAS 
  • Burned candles are destroyed and thrown away
The point is no money being made!

Here's the problem - sure, you're getting all of the candles you want, so you're happy. That's all well and good for you but what does BBW get it out of it? What money is being made from all of your exchanges? Where's the profit, the revenue? You forget BBW is a company and business and for a company/business to maintain itself, it needs MONEY! BBW is bleeding money with all of these crazy exchanges! And do you know what the after-effect is? PRICE INCREASES!!! BBW has to make up the cost somehow! It's easy and convenient to vilify BBW  and say they're being greedy (and to a certain degree they can be) and lord knows I was one of many ranting and raving about that... but now I get it. Exchanging candles ad nauseam isn't solely to blame for price increases but there is no denying that it is one of the major causes!

My biggest issue with folks doing these exchanging tomfoolery is that they're bragging about it on social media! "I got all these candles and didn't have to pay anything" Yeah you sure did...at BBW's expense! SHUT THE F*** UP!!! STOP RUNNING YOUR MOUTH AND BLABBING! YALL TALK TOO DAMN MUCH! First of all, everybody is seeing this and thinking it's ok for them to do as well! Furthermore, do you honestly think BBW isn't paying attention to this candle chicanery? Trust me they are highly aware of what folks are doing and eventually at some point, they are gonna do something about it.

I can't tell people what to do as that is not my place. All I can do is spill some T and hope folks gather around to take a sip. Everyone exchanging 10+ candles or buying candles to exchange later, you are NOT being as crafty as you think you are and bragging about it on social media is only gonna hurt you in the end. Stores have already started implementing "if you don't have a receipt, you have to pay the difference " rule..which I was totally against at first but now I am all for it! It's a great deterrent cuz I'm almost positive most folks doing these crazy exchanges are not bringing in their receipts. Y'all keep on playing around and corporate is gonna make this rule official for all stores. Or worse..corporate will get rid of the exchange policy permanently!


WALK N SNIFF: Summer Boardwalk/Times New Romans Candles PT2

So yesterday the bf and I planned a shop til we drop day. Of course because it's SAS, I had to check out WB though I must admit I was a bit pessimistic about finding any goodies and as it turned, my pessimism was right; the store didn't have SHIT! Needless to say I was ever so slightly annoyed. And it didn't help that we were accosted by quite possibly the most obnoxious SA ever! She spoke to both of us as if we were stupid - gurl I don't need you to tell us that BBW and WB are connected and we can walk thru the middle to get to either side! Really bitch?! And of course because my bf and I are both men, she immediately starts pushing the new men's bodycare in our faces and practically shoving the Bourbon shower gel up our noses. She couldn't pick up any hints that she was truly pissing both of us off!

*deep cleansing breaths Dear SAs,

1. DON'T TALK TO CUSTOMERS LIKE THEY'RE STUPID! And never EVER assume that every customer that walks in has never ever shopped there before!

2. NEVER ASSUME THAT ALL MEN LOVE COLOGNE SCENTS. I've ranted about that shit before, it is sexist AF!

Anyway, since we there we decided to make the most of it and buy some; the bf bought some candles and a few wf refills for work and I bought some soaps

The schlep to WB wasn't a complete waste as they did have the second phase of Times New Roman candles and I have to say that the new scents pleasantly surprised me (I didn't see Ocean Therapy ~ Ocean Mist & Citrus.)

Sweet Sunset ~ Orange Creamsicle - Now you would think this would be a repackage of last summer's Sunny Coconut which actually did smell like an orange creamsicle. Nope! As for as I can tell, it's a new scent and it's actually nice! There's really not too much to say it's a pretty straightforward scent - you get a blend of juicy orange notes with a hint of lemon zest to brighten and perk things up. And there is a slight sweet vanilla creaminess following after the orange-ness. And I don't know how but there is a cooling effect that does gives the impression of a citrusy frozen treat. I can easily see this scent being very popular for summer.

Surf's Up ~ Coconut Bay - As you know, me and coconut are not the tightest of friends and most coconut scents at BBW just smell super generic to me and this is most certainly not the exception. I'm almost certain that this is repackage of one of BBW's myriad of coconutty summer scents but don't ask me to say which one. You get coconut, a little hint of citrus and some saltiness. If that sounds appealing to you, go for it!

Beach Glow ~ Salted Oak Bonfire - While I was quite disappointed that this wasn't a repackage of Summer Bonfire, I'm glad BBW played around with a new conceptual outdoorsy and woodsy scent with no traces of sea salted coconut, mango, driftwood or mahogany. I would say the best way to describe this scent is think of it as a summer beachy version of Marshmallow Fireside; it also reminds me of last fall's Pumpkin Fireside. So right of the bat, you get instant wood notes; the notes mention oak but I pick a lot of cedar. There is some warmth which I can only assume if from amber which is usually added to fireside/bonfire scents to give the illusion of fiery embers. And there is a smooth and rich marshmallow like sweetness, some vanilla and maybe a bit of sandalwood; that said, I can totally get the Beach Night body care reference that everybody on social media has used to describe it. And it could be my nose playing tricks on me but I get faint hint of some citrusy, like a orange peel; unless your nose is super sensitive, you may not pick it up. Overall, it's really pleasant; you do get the sense of being out at the shore at your beachhouse timeshare roasting marshmallows with your friends in front of fire watching the waves crash. It's warm, calming and comforting; a good relax and read book scent. If you're intrigued with this scent, I would suggest you stock up cuz weird but nice conceptual scents like this always tend to disappear.  



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