RANT OF THE DAY: Describing Scents ~ To Suck or Not To Suck

You see it all the time on social media

Somebody will post a pic of candle, either new/testing or old. ...and that's it. The person won't say anything about it except a perfunctory "Look what I saw today" or "this smells really good" "or "this label/lid is cute"... that is if you're lucky. Essentially they avoid answering the question that is on everybody's mind - what does the candle smell like?" and will say everything but..if they say anything at all. And you do flat out ask what does the candle smell like, they completely freak out; their nerves get frazzled as if they're back in school and the teacher just asked them answer a math problem on the chalkboard. And this is their response...

"I'm not good/I'm terrible/I suck at describing scents"

 My face when people say that

I'm sorry, but that's bullshit!

If you have a working nose, a functioning brain and a basic grasp of your native tongue, YOU CAN DESCRIBE SCENTS! To say that you can't is a lazy cop out and it is not helpful!

Here's the thing..most of folks with sense are not buying upcoming candles because of what they look like, they're buying them because it sounds appealing scent-wise. And yes posting the notes is always helpful but it kinda isn't because a)most times the notes are bullshit and b)there may be notes that people are unfamiliar with. When you are posting an old or new candle that people have never seen/sniffed before, people are looking to you for knowledge and expertise to guide them in the eventual buying process; again, you not saying what it smells like isn't helpful. 

I am here to tell you that describing scents IS NOT HARD or rather it's not hard as you're making it out to be. I think it's not so much that people CAN'T describe scents but rather they WON'T and there are a few reasons why

1. They are intimidated by actual reviewers 
People think by describing scents that they have to give a depth review and get down to the nitty-gritty and pick notes apart and do superfluous scent comparisons...no, my dears you don't have to do all of that. Leave all of that to actual reviewers. Contrary to popular belief, saying what you think a scent smells like and giving an in depth review are NOT mutually exclusive. No one is expecting you to describe scents and blends and notes like your favorite reviewer, just say what you think it smells like; even if you say something basic like "To me, this smells like blah blah", that's better than saying nothing at all

2. They are scared of sounding stupid and being called out
Unfortunately we live in a day and age where social media has made people feel emboldened and entitled to their opinions behind the safety of their computer/phone screens. Everyone is a keyboard warrior whose duty it is to cyber call out anyone they don't agree with. I myself have fought online valiantly with keyboard warriors who it was their duty to call me out and put me in my place all because they didn't agree with me..only for them to slink away and unfollow me. Because of this, I try to not call out people whom I disagree with but will just shake my head and keep on scrolling (although I do make it a point to call out people who give absolute wrong information). Anyway the point of all this candle enthusiasts see all this and don't want it happening to them cuz frankly it's not fun. Here's my rebuttal - if you post with conviction, there is depth to what you're saying and you can back up what you're saying with something of real genuine substance and you post with conviction. People will always disagree with something you're saying, f*** em. There's nothing wrong with a civil debate but if people start getting crazy, THE BLOCK BUTTON IS YOUR FRIEND; just block and move on! Lastly, if you don't want to sound stupid, DON'T BE STUPID! If you don't know what a certain note is, look it up! There are soooo many websites out there that break down notes. I myself wrote a whole post about notes. Go to a market or garden and smell different herbs and spices. Go to your nearest Ulta or Sephora and sniff some fragrances. Don't know about past candles - look at old reviews on Youtube. Hell, talk to the reviewers and ask them questions; people private message me with questions all the time. EDUCATE YOURSELF! 

3. They're just being lazy
Yknow I get it, I've experienced it; you're in the store and you're bombarded with newness and your brain is going a 100 miles a minute. You're snapping pics on the down low hoping no one will notice and you don't have the time to make a long post. Ok, that's fair. But if you've bought candles and you're at home chillin, you have no excuse! I think some people just want to post what they saw and/or bought and call it a day. To say "I'm not good/I suck at describing scents" just because you don't feel like it is a total cop out;if  you cant be bothered saying what you smell cuz you just don't wanna think too hard and would rather someone else do it instead , that is LAZY!

4. They're just showing off
Let's all be brutally honest with ourselves - any time you post something about yourself on social media, you are showing off - hey, look at me, look at how I look, look what what I bought, look at what I'm eating, look at who I'm with, look at where I am/went. Social media is vortex of commercialism/consumerism and sheer unadulterated egotistic narcissism. With the advent of the social media, the climate of the candle community changed drastically; it went from folks just simply talking about what they've bought and burned to people breaking their next to be the first to post newness and shoving it in people's faces what they bought. These people have no intention on being helpful to their followers, it's all about getting likes and more followers..and that's sad. Before you post your candle pic, ask yourself this very simple question - Am I posting to be helpful or am I posting to show off. What you say in your post, ie what you think of the candle, will make the all difference

Describing scents is like singing; technically everyone candle do it, everyone can emit some sound from their mouth. Whether or not that sound sounds good is a different story. And yes some people sing better than others; for some it's natural and for others they've had years of training and education. But whether you can sing well or not, you shouldn't be comparing it to others because it is uniquely yours. And who knows, your voice might actually be lovely and could inspire others to use their voice but you won't know that until you open your mouth and let your voice be heard. Think of describing a candle like karaoke; no one expecting you to blow and give an all out concert performance; it's just something fun to do with friends with no pressure involved and and happily leaving the real singing to the professionals. Describing a candle can actually be fun if you just give a try!        

CANDLE RETROSPECTIVE: The Applelicious History of Apple Scents

I feel as though I'm in minority of fall-enthusiasts who haven't quite completely jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I've already talked my my long disdain of pumpkin scents due to my first encounter with Shit Cinnamon Poopkin and have only until recent years starting burning anything remotely pumpkin-y. I'm all about apple for fall; I will gladly take apple-cinnamon and apple-caramel over pumpkin spice anytime. That said, for a guy like me, BBW is terribly lacking in apple scents with an obviously biased preference for pumpkin scents and it's really disappointing as there have been soooo many good apple scents over the years that have been neglected and forgotten.That said, this post is gonna briefly talk about them all.

So let's start with these 4 way back in the Slatkin early day. They are all from way before my time so know next to nothing about them nor do I know if they have been repackaged as anything in recent years.

Autumn Apple (200?)
There's nothing like a fresh crisp apple scent for fall and for awhile this was it. But, like most Slatkin era classics, it got eclipsed by newer less refined scents and is now completely forgotten.

Leaves (200?)
Ah Leaves, fall in a jar! Leaves somehow captures the very essence of the season. That spiced/mulled cider note wraps around the other notes like a warm blanket. Sheer appley perfection!

Autumn (200?)
I admit, I don't know which came first but both Leaves and Autumn have been around for several years and continue to rival for people's affections. While Leaves will always have my heart, Autumn is a decent alternative, especially for those who can't handle spicy notes. Autumn always makes me think of going apple picking in an orchard on a crisp fall day.  
Spiced Cider (2009 or '10?)
Spiced Cider was, for awhile, a quintessential fall scent you would expect to see year after year. Then it disappeared and hasn't been back since. To be honest, I personally found myself a little bored with it after awhile as it's not a terribly exciting scent; truth be told it was on the cusp of smelling generic. It didn't really smell like cider per se but just (artificial) apple and mulling spices. And it kinda did have a cheap fall potpourri Michael's craft store vibe to it. It was just ok, nothing really to be missed
Caramel Apple (2010?)
Before there was Cider Lane, there was Caramel Apple. CA never did get the amount of popularity and hype as Cider Lane has despite it being a pretty nice scent. What I loved about CA was that it was balanced - perfect amount of apple/pear, the caramel wasn't obnoxiously sweet and there just the perfect hint of spice. For awhile, I preferred CA over CL as I found it comfy and cozy though now I think my opinion has changed. Alas this one of many scents that have been left behind in the dust...although this was repackaged once as "Home ~ Sweet Caramel Comfort" albeit very watered down.

Apple Crumble (2011)
Friggin mutha-effin Apple Crumble..absolute perfection. Quite possibly one of my favorite apple scents and in my top 10 favorite fall scents of all time! It burned like absolute crap but the smell was so amazing that you gladly put up with it. It had probably the most authentic green apple note I've ever smelled at BBW. The spices weren't too potent and you totally got the crumble aspect. It defies any logic why BBW refuses to bring this back!

Farmstand Apple (2012)
Farmstand Apple, in my most humble opinion, is quite possibly one of the worst apple scents to come out of BBW. For awhile it kinda lurked in near obscurity but lately it has gained major popularity..out of desperation I think. It just smells sooooo generic, like Glade level of genericness. And it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for that unnecessary oak note that just effs up the blend.

Farm Apple Cookie (2012)
Farm Apple Cookie was one of many interesting and unique fall bakery scents to come out of 2012 but alas, it was doomed to be a one hit wonder. While it sounded good in theory, the execution left a little to be desired. It was basically a generic sour apple/Green Apple Pucker note with spices and hint of bakery. If the apple note were a bit more authentic, it could've been hit. Then again, with Apple Crumble around, FAC was a little unnecessary if not redundant.

Cider Lane (2012) and Warm Caramel Cider (2014)
Cider friggin Lane blew up when it first came out! I'll admit, I did not like it all backintheday; the warm throw can be slightly off putting and despite all of the stellar reviews, I wasn't willing to experiment. When it came back the following year, I said I was going try to try but kept putting off actually buying until it was too late. Id have to wait until '14 when it came back (watered down and without the "lane" notes) as Warm Caramel Cider. I tried and I really liked it! Then they kept teasing us and released it late last year and now it's back in action. I do hope it remains as a fall staple; I believe it is good enough and has enough draw/appeal to rank it the echelon of fall scents, right up there with Leaves, Autumn, and Shit Cnnamon Poopkin.
Pumpkin Apple (2013)
 I have to say that I am shocked/gobsmacked/discombobulated at this candle's success over the years. When this first came out, I was convinced that it would be a one hit wonder never to be seen again but lo and behold it became a hit and a fall staple. I think the main reason for its success and popularity over the years is its simplicity - apple, pumpkin and spices..that's it. I personally think it pales in comparison to scents like Leaves or Pumpkin Carving or even Harvest Gathering

Cider Donut (2013)
When this scent was announced, many of us were both shocked that Cinnamon Sugared Doughnuts hadn't returned (yes CSD used to be a fall scent only back then) but at the same time we were intrigued and curious. I, like many others, assumed that this would be CSD with a hint of apple..which sounds awesome. Yeah, no not so much! It was basically Apple Crumble without the crumble and a weird sugary almost caramel like glaze aspect similar to Hot Buttered Rum. Not only was it strange, it was so so friggin light! It wasn't popular at all and was/still is largely forgotten.
Applewood Bonfire (2013)
One of many one hit wonders from that year. It also has the dubious honor of being my first and last test store phone order..which was stupid on my part as it ended up going wide. Anyhoo, this one was pretty popular but personally I found it boring. It was essentially Fireside without leather mixed with Autumn without balsam. It was the apple note that bothered me; it smelled so sweet and artificial. And it didn't help that I got 0 throw from mine.

Harvest Gathering (2013)
This one came completely outta nowhere and I didn't expect this scent to last long. It took awhile but HG slowly but surely started gaining momentum and picking up more fans with each passing year. And now it's in the pantheon of fall staples. That said, it is ever so slightly on the generic side; definitely has that Michael's craft store vibe to it. It is a nice pleasant (late) fall scent but hardly anything groundbreaking.
Apple Ale (2013)
Yet another one hit wonder from this year. This another one of these scents that sounds nice in theory but the execution, not so much. It was apple cinnamon with a bit of fizz. And there was a yeast aspect reminiscent of ale/beer. I wanted to like this but could never make myself buy it. I think most people felt that way
Spiced Pumpkin Cider (2014)
OMG, this damned candle! LIFE! It was one of the few new scents in the Pumpkin Cafe collection and sadly one of the few that never returned. Why I don't know cuz it was awesome! It was basically an updated upgraded version of the original Spiced Cider and, in my opinion, it smelled more like cider than SC did. There was an added pumpkin note and just a tiny hint of orange/mandarin. Just so quintessential fall and one of my fav apple/cider scents ever. Why this hasn't returned even one is just a travesty!

Wasabi Apple (2014), Green Apple Orchard (2014) and Apple Picking (2015)
As a certified apple scent lover, I was intrigued when Wasabi Apple first came out but I was worry that it would be that same sour apple/green apple pucker that's common in green apple home fragrance. Sadly my suspicions were correct. And I didn't think the wasabi (and possibly ginger) mixed well at all. However the scent proved to be (slightly) successful enough repackaged over and over and over with the wasabi/ginger toned down.
Apple Pumpkin Pancakes (2015)
Another one of those theory vs execution type scents. Basically if you took apple Crumble, watered it down and then added Pecan Pumpkin Waffles, that was basically APP in a nutshell. Because BBW refused to bring back Apple Crumble, I (and many others) resigned ourselves to reality of this being the next best thing...it wasn't. I just couldn't do it, I HATE the smell of maple syrup. Otherwise I could've be onboard with this scent.
Red Radiant Maple (2015)
Probably one of the most weirdest bizarre wtf-iest naming/marketing in BBW history. So the scent itself was just Marshmallow Fireside with red apple (which is why I'm mentioning it in this list). Instead of calling it something  "Applewood Fireside" or "Autumn Bonfire" something evoking and mention the obvious apple note, they went with Radiant Red Maple...wtf?! This candle gained quite a bit of infamy that year on social media and brought "batch variances" to the forefront. There were 3 separate batches that all smelled completely different which confounded reviewers like myself and made people turn on us and questioning our noses; one batch smelled the way it was supposed to smell while one smelled almost like Caramel Apple while the other smelled like chemical fumes. I smelled all 3 and found none of them appealing.  

Warm Apple Pie (2016)
It's kinda mind-boggling that BBW only recently came out with an apple pie scent. For awhile at least we had Apple Crumble..but still. BBW was probably the only home fragrance company without one. Then out of nowhere it appeared and there was much rejoicing throughout the land...until people starting burning them. You got apple goodness for sure, like sweet canned apple pie filling but the throw was so weak and the burn was so crappy. It's kinduva shame!
Mahogany Apple (2016)
Remember that time when BBW was OBSESSED with mahogany and mixed it with everything. Even precious apple wasn't safe from the mahogany madness. They took the popular Mahogany Coconut candle and made it autumnal by adding green apple. I flatout ignored when it came out just out of spite. It's back this year and I hate to admit, it's kinda decent

So what are my top apple picks for fall? I'm gonna with
5. Cider Lane
4. Caramel Apple
3. Spiced Pumpkin Cider
2. Apple Crumble
1. Leaves

What's your favorite apple scents for fall?

WALK 'N' SNIFF: Harry Slatkin's Homeworx Candles ~ Storybook Votives

So my bf totally surprised with all 3 Homeworx Storybook tins as a late birthday gift!

Ok so it's time to spill some very necessary TEA hunties! So as you can see, altogether there are 15 votives. The majority of these are suspiciously similar to be BBW/Slatkin classics we know and love; 3 of which are straightup unadulterated dupes. Only 3 out of the bunch smelled new and un-BBW related. Ok, let's begin...

Autumn Pumpkin - if Pumpkin Carving and Porchside Pumpkin had a baby, it would AP. It has the same spiced pumpkin base of PC with the earthy cardamom and woodsiness of PP. I will say that the pumpkin is a lot more authentic and the spice blend isn't obnoxiously spicy. This is probably one of the best pumpkin scents I've ever sniffed..and for me to say that speaks volumes

Deliciously Apple - this is giving me major Autumn Apple vibes. For those of you out who love Farmstand Apple...first of all, give yourself a good swift slap in the face for the wrong choices you're making in life and then take a whiff of this candle. This is what a fall apple scent should smell like; crisp, fresh and juicy. You get ripe red apples with a hint of pear and some greens to tone down the tartness and give it a sense of the outdoors.

Harvest Leaves - so this one is a legit dupe. Leaves would be the obvious choice, maybe Harvest Gathering but nope. Get ready to be surprised...it's actually Cranberry Pumpkin! There's no denying it! It's a little more robust and intense but that's it. It's not even worth describing or going into the notes. If you know what CP smells like, then you now know what HL smells like

Spiced Apple Crumbcake - so everyone (myself included) speculated and assumed that this would be a dupe of the beloved Apple Crumble and there have been reports that it smelled similar. I'm here to tell you right now that the two are very very similar..not a dupe but very similar. The green apple note is more authentic and crisp and there is a bit more spice. And I didn't get it at first but after a few whiffs, I did start to pick up a bit of the crumble. All that said, personally I prefer AC.

Hot Cider Donuts - straightup Cinnamon Sugared Doughnuts..with a hint of apple cider. You get the same cinnamon sugar, the cakey bakeriness and the grease along with a sweet sharp apple cider note.

Candy Cane Kisses - sooooo close to Twisted Peppermint, maybe a bit less mentholy. TP had a strange note in the background that seems to have been amped up in this candle - ginger. It almost gives it an antiquey old world feel to it. I think I prefer this over TP; to me, CCK smells like more like candy canes than TP does

Salted Caramel Cake - so this one threw me for a loop as it reminded me of something caramely from BBW but I could think what. It wasn't Cinnamon Caramel Swirl nor was Hot Buttered Rum or Salted/Salty Caramel. Then it hit me - Pumpkin Caramel Latte. A bit more spicy and the caramel smells brown sugary but PCL all the way

Sugar Plum Punch - this one is totally giving me Plum Wine Amber kinda vibes. This one is probably the least interesting of the bunch, almost on the cusp of being generic. It's basically a sweet berry blend with a heavy plum base and some pomegranate... it's just ok

Toasted Vanilla Cupcake - I was expecting this to be basic ass Frosted Cupcake/Buttercream Frosting but I was wrong. This one surprised the hell outta me as I was not expecting what I sniffed - Sticky Toffee Pudding. Then again, based on the notes, it's not surprising. It's heavy brown sugar/caramel/toffee/maple with vanilla bean lurking in the background. Very misleading!

Banana Maple Pancake - this one smells soooooo much like Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding. The banana note is more genuine and authentic but that's honestly the only difference.

Trim the Tree - I thought for sure this would be the infamous and much acclaimed Winter Garland but it is not. Not only that, it's one of the few completely new scents in the bunch. While it is not the beloved WG, it's close. So basically take Tis the Season, add in Frosted Cranberry and the citrusiness from WG and that's essentially TTT. It's a very bright, festive and jubilant blend that has a very old fashioned Christmas vibe to it. just like WG. If you enjoy fruity piney blends like WG  or Merry Mistletoe or Alpine Cheer, then you'll like this one; it's probably my favorite out of them all!

Holiday Wishes - straightup legit untouched unadulterated pure dupe of Winter! This one isn't even worth talkin about

Deck the Halls - basically a crisper, more herbal, manlier version of Evergreen. There's really not much else to say about it

Merry Merry Cranberry - you would think this is Frosted Cranberry..nope, not so much. This is the 2nd completely new scent and it's a strange one. With it's notes of cranberry and raspberry and currants, you would think this would be extremely tart..nope, just the opposite..it's soooooo sweet. Think Red Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch or Tahitian Treat. And there's a note in there (maybe the clove buds?) that makes it almost smell like iced tea; almost as if you mixed Raspberry Sun Tea with London Calling. This doesn't scream Christmastime at all!

Frozen Balsam - The 3rd and last new scent in the bunch and my least favorite. You may be thinking (as I thought) that this would be a dupe of or similar to Fresh Balsam...not at all!!! That would've been an improvement over this mess! To me, this smells like used men's deodorant! It's just a realy bizarre blend; the combination of pine notes with bergamot and moss gives it an Irish Spring kinda vibe. It has the same noticeably manly/cologney vibe as Sparkling Icicles. As you know, I nomally gravitate to mandles but this is not my cup of tea at all; I find it absolutely repugnant!

Ok so real talk... at the risk of sounding like a shady bitch, after smelling these I know now that I made the right decision NOT to buy any of the 3wicks! I was already slightly annoyed at the fact that you HAD to buy a pair as opposed to just 1 nor could you mix and match. But knowing that the majority of these are just upgrades of scents I could get readily, easily and cheaply at my nearest BBW disappoints me. Now I will say this - the upgraded versions truly smell upgraded and the notes are more authentic. I personally could smell the difference in quality of fragrance oils between these candles and BBW-ian equivalents...but is that worth committing to buying 2 whole 3wicks? I'm not so sure honestly.

All I will say is this - if you are buying or have bought any of these candles for better burn and throw performances, that's reasonable; that may be worth spending a few extra bucks. If you are aware that these scents for the most part are familiar or straighup dupes of scents you already know but want quality and genuineness as for as notes go, that too is fair. But do not expect newness all across the board and don't not expect be blown away and swept into fragrance Nirvana, you will be disappointed.          

NEWNESS UPDATE: Winter 2017 Test Candles

As you may or may not know, yesterday was my birthday. And of the highlights of the day (which could be seen as fun or sad/pathetic depending on your attitude) was seeing the deluge of crew test candle pics inundating social media. My birthday would've been even better had gotten to actually sniff said test scents but a gurl can dream.

Anyhoo, according to sources, BBW is paying attention to customer opinions and critiques and are trying hard to come up with collections this winter to satisfy every taste/palate/preference...dunno, why they are just now starting to do this but whatever.

So at the moment, there 4 groups of scents testing. The first group are the WB core winter additions...

  • Blue Cypress & Vetiver - Blue Cypress, Fresh Vetiver, Patchouli Leaves (sounds right up my alley. Oakmoss & Vetiver maybe?)
  • Peppermint Rosemary - Fresh Peppermint, Iced Rosemary, Eucalyptus (I'm super intrigued about this one. It sounds like failed test scent Snow & Slopes? )
  • Golden Amber & Oak - Golden Amber, Rose Petals, White Oak (this is the original GAO from last fall which would eventually be repackaged into Black Tea Rose)
  • Merry Mimosa - Sparkling Champagne, Red Apple Slices, Iced Sugar Crystals (apparently this isn't Pink Apple Punch. Maybe it's a fizzier version of its twin, Green Apple Champagne. Or maybe White Pear Champagne)
  • Spiced Graham Cracker - Ground Cinnamon, Cardamom, Golden Graham Cracker (Supposedly, it smells like straight up graham crackers.I wonder if this is Honey Cinnamon Crumbcake, which smelled like graham crackers)
  • Grapefruit Gin Fizz - Ruby Red Grapefruit, Sparkling Water, Juniper Gin (though not very wintery, this sound amazing! And I LOVE grapefruit juice and gin!)

Similarly, there will Christmasy additions to the Elements collection as well...

  • Myrrh - Myrrh, Clove Leaf (I got nuthin. Now we're just need a scent for gold)
  • Pomander - Bitter Orange, Clove (If this is Slatkin's Holiday Pomander, I'm gonna lose my shit! It could be Orange Clove from backintheday. Btw pomanders are oranges or other fruits studded with cloves)
  • Peppermint - Peppermint, Creamy Vanilla (Twisted Peppermint all the way)

The next collection is not very interesting. It's a very basic collection with all the typical Christmas staples....and uuuugggly booooring packaging. So far, there is only one new scent...

Returning scents include Tis the Season, Champagne Toast, Cinnamon Caramel Swirl, Vanilla Bean Noel and Winter Candy Apple

The last collection looks really interesting; it kinda has a winter camping trip/roughing it in the woods/ski lodge type theme with a vintage ol school looking illustrated labels, really cute. At the moment, there are 3 "new" testing scents..

  • Campfire Donut - Powdered Sugar, Glazed Donut, Cedarwood (wtf is a campfire donut? apparently this has a Chestnut Glazed Croissant vibe to it)
  • Frozen Lake - Juniper Berry, Eucalyptus, Lavender (I'm really hoping this is Holly Wreath but folks are sayin that this smells like Sparkling Icicles)

Returning scents include Winter, Fresh Balsam, Frosted Cranberry, Flannel, Hot Cocoa & Cream and Spiced Apple Toddy

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Lavender Macaroon (2011)

Products: candle
Area used in: n/a
Time Period: never, sniff-only

Description: An unexpected blend of lavender, warm caramel and brown sugar with just a touch of salt.

So ladies and gents...TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!! And I decided to treat myself!

I finally found a Slatkin era candle that has eluded my grasp for years - Lavender Macaroon!

Some here's some history...

It first came out in 2011 in 1wick form only in a French patisserie themed trio - there was French Caramel Cake (which we now know as Pumpkin Spiced Cheesecake), Spiced Madeleine (aka Pumpkin Coconut) and Lavender Macaroon....Macaron (Shame on you Slatkin and L Brand for making that mistake). The three were later brought back in the fall as autumn themed bakery treats - French Caramel Cake became Brown Butter Praline, Spiced Madeleine became Toasted Coconut and Lavender Macaron became Lavender Caramel (and as a 3wick) Most people were perplexed by this scent (I'll explain later) which obviously means it didn't do well sale-wise and we haven't seen it since; it's all but forgotten now except for a handful of hardcore Slatkineers. When Paris ~ Lavender Macaron made it's debut back '15, many of us ol schoolers hoped and prayed that it would be a repackage...and it was..just not of Lavender Macaroon/Caramel.

So you may be wondering how could such a rare and unique sounding scent be unpopular and go extinct? Two words - bad marketing. Marketing could make or break a scent and unfortunately for LM/LC, it broke it. The scent itself wasn't bad just unexpected..as it says in the notes description. Furthermore, the scent didn't like what the name suggested. There's nothing remotely bakery or cookie like about it to give any semblance of a macaron. Even if there was a hint of almond, that could've worked but nope. Even when it was renamed Lavender Caramel which was closer to the truth, it just didn't smell bakery or gourmand enough nor was the caramel aspect sickeningly sweet and ooey-gooey like most caramel scents at BBW. It smelled oddly conceptual...which most conceptual scents tend not do to well as most BBW'ers are bakery lovers. And to have a bakery scent not smell bakery...utter sacrilege!

So what does this candle smell like? It's a strange scent for sure and very hard to DESCRIBE. So you do get caramel but as I said earlier it's not your standard BBW-ian gloopy diabetes inducing caramel. It smells like caramel made from brown sugar - a little darker and richer and smoother and not as intensely sweet. The caramel note feels more like caramel you would find in bodycare and not  caramel treat inspired home fragrance - it's softer and cozier and not ooey-gooey and gloopy. And you do get lavender, though not as intensely herbal and astringent; it's very soft and delicate like the lavender in Lavender Vanilla (and before anyone says anything, mixing lavender with caramel is most certainly a thing   ) Now here is where it gets truly weird! There's an added unlisted, unmentioned, undeniable green velvetty, pungent sage note. It doesn't lurk in the background and sneak up on you, it's the first note you get and it sucker punches you instantly. While it compliments the lavender, it's weird against the lavender and along with the salt notes adds a distinct savoriness. The combo of the caramel, the salt and the sage has prompted many to describe LM/LC as smelling like "Stove Top Stuffing ". I personally don't think so....but I can see why people would think that.

I really love this scent; I mean anything with lavender gets my attention but still. If this wasn't marketed as a gourmand scent to cater to the sweetie/bakery lovers, it could've stood a chance, had some success and we could've possibly have still seen it for awhile. Because it's such a comfy cozy, that should've been the selling point. If it was called something like "Comfort" or "Home" (like it's fellow caramel brethren Caramel Apple) or "Comfy Blanket" or "Cozy (Autumn) Kitchen and sold around Thanksgiving time. Something to think about BBW....

WALK 'N' SNIFF: 2nd Phase of Fall 2017 Candles *UPDATED*

So my bf and I went to WB for the first time since the beginning of SAS; I was really hoping that my store would have the hookup with some late addition and new scents to sniff and sure enough it did. And of course we took advantage of Labor Day sales and the 25% coupon an got ourselves some goodies. I won't waste your time and mine going into what we bought (if you're interested, I posted our fall haul on IG) but rather will get straight to the point and the reason you're here - sniff reviews

Just a headsup, I wasn't in top sniffing form because I've come down with a summer cold and everything was burning my really sensitive nostrils. I tried to sniff everything new but could only sniff quickly once or twice. That said, sickness aside, I think I've sniffed enough to write a decent review. Ok so here we go!

Honeyed Pear - BBW has been on a major honey kick lately and they were definitely banking on it's popularity with this scent...which would be fine if you actually smelled honey...but you don't, at least not a whole lot. You don't so much get baked pears with a drizzle of honey as the name and notes suggest but rather a pear crumble with the crumble stuck together with honey. You get a sweet baked pear note with a hint of vanilla, very reminiscent of Slatkin's 2012 scent Brandied Pear. I also got a Warm Apple Pie/Berry Waffle Cone-esque buttery bakery note. If this was called "Honey Pear Crumble", it would make much more sense. It's a cute scent but nothing exciting.

Cinnamon Pretzel Twist - everyone is going apeshit for this scent and I don't get the hype. So I will give it points for accuracy, it does smell like a legit pretzel; it's like you're walking by an Auntie Anne's shop in the mall. It's smells like a soft pretzel with a little hint of salt drizzled in a vanilla glaze and cinnamon sugar. Personally I didn't find this combo appealing. It also smelled a little burnt to me; like the same burnt smell you get from Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun. Not a fan of this at all!

Sea Salt & Maple Popcorn - it's really surprising how many soooo many people (*cough cough newbies) think that this scent is new. No my dears, it is not; it actually first came out fall 2014 in the Artisan collection. And it isn't anything remotely special - Summer Boardwalk 2.0

Harvest Pear - I was initially very intrigued with this scent. I was hoping it was a repackage of (or at least similar to) Apple Crumble as BBW tends to interchange apple and pear notes but nope. I heard that it actually smelled like pear which made me happy as I love pear scents. Finally after smelling it, I was a little disappointed. You do get a crisp green pear note, similar to 2014's Heirloom Pear but (like Heirloom Pear) it smells really cheap and artificial. Then there's Apple Crumble-esque crumble bakery note with an almost Buttercream Frosting kind of vanilla note. With a name like "Harvest Pear", you expect it smell fresh and crisp and juicy like an actual pear and not the cheap bakery gourmand scent that it actually is. It's soooo not worth the initial hype and intrigue.

Autumn Apricot - absolute total waste of candle! It just smells like peach; no spice, no woods, no vanilla, nothing to give it some depth or make it smell remotely autumnal. Not only is it boring and out of place but it just smells cheap and generic, like a Glade candle or something you'd find in Rite-Aid or CVS.

Spiced Coconut Milk - another scent that just seems out of place and is a total waste. So right off the bat, this is NOT Pumpkin Coconut; it's a new blend that I actually prefer over PC. If you took Nutmeg & Spice and added the coconut note from Lavender Coconut, that's essentially SPM. It's a creamy vanilla with maybe a hint of sandalwood with a heavy blast of nutmeg and the meat and husk of coconut. It kinda smells like a spiced rice pudding with coconut shavings on top; that's how it should've been marketed and put in the Sweet Shop collection instead.

Peppered Plum - the star of the show!!! The only candle this fall worth the hype! So contrary to what you might hear on social media, this is NOT Wine Cellar/Smoked Berries& Incense..although the two are very similar, they could be twins. It is also not Plum Wine Amber from backintheday either. As far as I could tell, this is a completely new scent so cheers to that! You a get deep very sweet plum, maybe a little hint of pomegranate; it's on the cusp of smelling fruit juice/candy-like but not quite. It smells more like a sweet plum wine rather than plum fruit - think Manischewitz or Asian plum wine. There's an earthy, musky Oriental saffron note, the same note that's in Wine Cellar which is why so many people that it was Wine Cellar. The black pepper note is surprisingly timid and just adds a little warmth. Speaking of warmth, there may be a hint of amber which, like saffron, is often added to wine scents. This also reminds of Black Tea Rose in the sense that it's elegant and sophisticated with a dark, lush, sensual, animalic aspect to it. Scents like this is what keeps me coming back to BBW/WB. If there is one scent to stock up on, it's this one.

Comfort ~Vanilla & Patchouli -the newest member of the aromatherapy gang. As far as I can tell, it's a new scent but hardly anything exciting. It's soooooo heavy on the patchouli, very musky and earthy. And there's vanilla, similar to the creamy vanilla note in Lavender Vanilla.

Happiness ~ Bergamot & Mandarin - honestly, to me this just smelled like Orange Ginger without the ginger

But First, Coffee - total repackage of Paris Cafe.

Eat, Drink, & Be Scary - repackage of Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel

Vampire Blood - same scent as last year, smells exactly like the soap. Smells like those strawberry candies your grandma has in her purse. Maybe a little hint of floral, absolutely no plum

Happy Halloween - Shit Cinnamon Poopkin with added clove and an intense licorice/star anise note. Didn't think SCP could be made to smell worse, but BBW somehow succeeded

Almond - the same Almond that's in the Elements collection aka Creamy Nutmeg

Cardamom & Ginger - I'm almost positive this is the ancient and long discontinued Aromatherapy scent Lemongrass Cardamom. That said, it smells like it sounds - citrusy lemongrass with a little bit of herbal spice from the cardamom and ginger.

Clove - this one was really burning my sick and extra sensitive nose so I couldn't smell it for too long. It smells like a spicy scent you'd have for the holidays; at first I thought it was Shit Cinnamon Poopkin but I think this is good ol Cinnamon & Clove Buds though it could also be Spice. It's one of the 2, but I'm leaning towards C&CB.

Currant - this one is soooo strange, not at all would you think based on the name. It's not nearly as tart; it's oddly sweet with a bit of savoriness and a hint of green in the background. I couldn't put my finger on what it reminded me off but I was talking with fellow candle gurus Touchthefiretwice and and Theshow78, they theorized that it might be a failed test scent from Fresh Picked back in the Slatkin days - Tomato Garden, which based on reviews was very strange, oddly sweet for a tomato scent and had currant notes.

Sweet Fern - this one totally threw me for a loop; it smelled so familiar, like something I sniffed recently. I was going thru all of the fresh, green grassy scents that was in stores lately - it wasn't Wild Sage & Aloe, it wasn't Sunlit Garden/Green Grass and it wasn't Sea Grass/Snap Peas. Then it hit me - I'm 85% sure this a repackage of Desert Rain from the doomed Desert collection. It's a fresh rainy/dewdrop green grassy scent with a bit of dewy floral.

Seattle ~ Coffee House - people were saying that this was a repackage of Paris Cafe but after sniffing it, I'm pretty sure it wasn't. There were theories that it might be Espresso Bar from backintheday, it definitely isn't. I think this might be new. It smells like legit coffee beans/grounds; no "brioche" like Paris Cafe and no unmentioned chocolate like Espresso Bar. It smells legit like you've walked into a coffee house.

* There were two failed coffee based test scents back in 2014 in the Destinations collection - Cafe Italia and Road to Kona. Never smelled either one but CH could possible be one of those

Citrine ~ Happy Dust - straightup repackage of Ocean Therapy/Ocean Mist & Citrus

Jade ~ Healing Spell - I'm almost positive this is Incense from the Elements collection; if not, it's extremely similar

Amethyst ~ Peace Potion - totally Moonlight Path

Aquamarine ~ Clarity Elixir - definitely Beach Sage & Mint without a doubt

*My store didn't have Love Potion but word on the street it's Rosewater & Ivy