DROPPIN CANDLE KNOWLEDGE: The History of "Mandles"

So this post was inspired by a video I made several months ago and forgot to post on Youtube; it was about my favorite type of fragrance from BBW - "cologney" scents or "mandles" as I like to call them. Cologney scents tend to get a lot of hate-ration from BBW community...mainly from the cupcake frosting caramel candy sticky sweet ooey goeey lovers whose brains short circuit at the very mention of a non-bakery conceptual scent. It also doesn't help when people with a basic sense of smell describe scents as "cologney" or "blah blah mixed with cologne" as if a) smelling like cologne is a bad thing and b)all colognes are cheap smelling and offensive. I always found calling something "cologney" or "mixed with cologne" (btw hat the hell does that mean?!) as very lazy. Anyway I digress... If, like me, you much prefer deep high end manly woodsy/herbal blends, then this bud's for you!

Fireside (200?)
smells like: a DILF butt-naked on bear-skinned rug in front of the fireplace

I'm including this one cuz a lot of people describe this as cologney due to that sexy leather note. Now this bad boi has been around for YEARS, waaaay before I became an avid BBW connoisseur. This to me is the epitome of a manly scent; woods and leather - it doesn't get more manly than that. Yet it's warm and indulgent and sensual. And it's a nice departure from all the pine and spice and mint and bakery scents that we're usually assaulted with during the holidays.

Mahogany Teakwood (2011)
similar to: A&F's Fierce
smells like: a shirtless twink at an A&F store

This is, in BBW's opinion, the most popular cologney scent ever. It's certainly one of the oldest. In 2011, BBW was testing a collection called the "Passport" collection, a higher end precursor to the Destinations. In it, there was Indian Mahogany and Bergamot..then it was changed Mahogany and Bergamot...then Mahogany Leather and then finally Mahogany Teakwood. It became a fall scent in 2012, a summer scent in 2013 and now we unfortunately see it every single season. It became Black Teakwood in the Brazil collection last spring, it was given a beach/oceany feel as Ocean Driftwood summer of '14 and now for the holidays we have an unholy blend of MT and Fresh Balsam - Mahogany Balsam. Can you say Mahogany Teakwood overload? Sadly I don't see this scent disappearing anytime soon.

Black Pepper Bergamot (2011)
similar to: there is a cologne that smells exactly like this but I don't know the name of it
smells like: how you would imagine George Clooney to smell

In the same collection marked the birth of my bae! Back then it was known as "Peruvian" Black Pepper Bergamot. The Peruvian aspect seemed to be a little too exotic for the average consumer so that was removed and was called simply Black Pepper Bergamot and eventually it would be marketed as a fall scent (there was also a version of BPB blended with rose called Passion). I have gushed over this candle for years and the fact that it hasn't returned is absolute a crime and travesty. This was one of THE BEST scents EVER - sleek, indulgent, sophisticated, sensual, inviting, warm, sexy. Simply orgasmic! *sighs

Mountain Leaves (2011)
smells like: a sexy Canadian Mountie leading you down a wooded trail..eh

This was a fall failed test scent that has completely disappeared and I don't know why..well I do know why - it's a fall scent that isn't bakery and has no cinnamon, apple or pumpkin. The closest scent that I could compare this to is The Original but this is soooooo much better and sexier. It's a brisk outdoor scent like Sweater Weather and Autumn; a little bit of earthy vetiver, some pine and just a splash of citrus. I was really hoping that Autumn Sky was this but nope. BBW really should revive this and give it a second chance.

Acorn & Figs (2011)
smells like: a farmhand ravaging you on a haystack in the stable

This was a suprisingly high end fall scent back in the day amongst all the cinnamony appley pumpkiny scents. The name was later changed to Autumn Day, was given different (and way off) notes and for awhile was a fall staple. I never cared for this one to be honest but I kept saying that I would give it a try..then it disappeared only to reappear as the newly remixed/revamped Autumn Night with added woods and smoky notes. I actually prefer Autumn Night to Autumn Day

Paris Daydream (2012)
similar to: Hugo Boss's Boss
smells like: Jean Dujardin or Maurice Chevalier in the rain

PD was part of French themed trio alongside French Garden (lavender and peach) and Lavender Market (lavender and spearmint). PD is a scent that you wanna love cuz the notes (which are always different with each appearance) sound rather lovely but after awhile you just get bored with it. It for awhile it seemed that it would never disappear. When we did get a break from, it reared its French face again as Fresh ~ Spring Blue Skies in the Happy Home collection. And if PD wasn't bad enough, we get two other PD clones including...

Oceanside (2012)
smells like: a lifeguard with too much body spray on

Oceanside is like finding a hot guy on Grindr; the picture looks good, he seems to have the qualifications of a good time but you discover all too late he's a big douchebag. The notes for (the original) Oceanside sound refreshing as hell and on cold sniff, it smells pretty darn nice. Then you light it..and you get straightup Paris Daydream. It's never been proven that one is a repackage of the other, but there's no denying the similarities. I never understood the appeal of this candle; it's not summery, it's not fresh, it's not oceany, it's not beachy.

Oakmoss & Vetiver (2012)
smells like: a guy with a faceful of lathery shaving cream in an ol school barbershop

This was part of a quartet of cologney test scents. I randomly found a 4oz of one and completely burned it down and eventually throw it away like an idiot. And now it's near impossible to find and I can't see BBW bringing it back anytime soon. This scent reminds me of Suntan/Poolside in the sense that like Suntan/Poolside smelled EXACTLY like suntan lotion, O&V smelled EXACTLY like shaving cream. And it's awkward cuz the name didn't quite match the name. It should've been called "Barbershop" or "Fresh Shave"

Whitewater Birch (2012)
similar to: Cool Waters

This was another candle in that cologney quartet. Like O&V, it would completely disappear. By all accounts, it smelled exactly like Cool Waters

Sandalwood Citrus (2012)
smells like: a butler using lemon Pledge to clean dusty wooden furniture

The third member of the quartet. It felt like for awhile BBW was really trying hard to push this scent but it just wasn't happening; it's just not that great of a scent! Even when it was given a new French makeover as Citron Cedarwood, it still wasn't flying off the shelves.

 courtesy of Littleballadeer
Sage & Cedar (2012)
smells like Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Great Gatsby"

This was the one true success of this quartet; the Justin Timberlake of this candle boyband. And like JT, it revamped it's image and became a hit. This is a true a testament to the power of marketing and renaming. As S&C, it was pretty much ignored. Then in Winter '13 it was given a new look, new wax color and more importantly a new name - Black Tie. It's been a hit ever since.

Sparkling Icicles (2012)
similar to: Giorgio Armani's Acqua di Gio
smells like: a cologne Snow Miser would use

The second Paris Daydream clone...although candle guru TTFT theorized that it was a repackage of Flirt from the Good Life aromatherapy collection back in '11 or 12(?). On the one hand, it's a nice departure from all of the stereotypical holiday scents - pine and mint etc. But there's nothing very holiday-ish about this scent at all. Yet we've seen year after year every wintertime

Villa Bergamot (2013)
similar to: Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy
smells like: a bronze hairy chested Italian man singing opera in a gandolier

This was a bit of dark horse; it (and Dolce) slipped in under the cover of night well after the other Italian Piazza scents came out. I remember hoping and praying that it would go wide nationwide and that my stores would have em. They did and I was very happy. I liked VB but didn't fall quite in love with it as I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, it was a really nice scent but it lacked a certain uumph. BBW tried to breath it new live and marketed it as a fall scent like it's brother Black Pepper Bergamot and called it Bergamot Woods. I think that name change marked its doom cuz it hasn't been seen since.

Boathouse Row (2013)
similar to: Burberry London
smells like : Benedict Cumberbatch

With the absence of BPB, I needed a new cologney scent to give me much needed life. And the candle gods blessed me with this bad boi. I remember I (and my bf) were listening to TTFT's review of this and we both said that we had to get this candle. (when TTFT said it smelled like Burberry London, my bf eventually bought that cologne and it's been one of his fav scents to wear ever since) Despite it being marketed a summer vacation by the lake in the woods scent, it was far too classy of a scent for this collection (hello Watermelon Lemonade, I'm lookin at you!) It was gave off an English vibe, it always made me think of the guards around Buckingham Palace or something equally as British) Alas, I naively thought it would come back so I didn't stock up nearly enough and, like most undercover hits, disappeared.
Flannel (2013)
smells like: Paul Bunyan

When this came out fall of 2013, no one could've convinced me that it would not only become a fan fav but a fall staple. But sure enough, that was the case - 3 consecutive years in a row. The funny thing about Flannel is that it's the only cologney scent that EVERYBODY seems to love. Most other cologney scents get a lot of hate but not Flannel. The ladies LOVE it. Personally I found Flannel odd; a weird mix of Mahogany Teakwood and Villa Bergamot with a hint of Snowed In. Meh, to each their own I guess.

courtesy of Littleballadeer

Tailgate (2013)
smells like: hot sweaty guys playing tackle football on a crisp autumn afternoon

Tailgate has the dubious honor of being my first and last test store phone order and I still kick myself for not buying more. It wasn't the best cologney scent on the market but it was definitely unique. And any scent with leather makes me tingle in the dingle. This also would've made a sexy body spray and shower gel for men cuz this scent had "DUDE" written all over. For some strange and unexplained reason, BBW brought Tailgate back in the fall '13 but it wasn't the same scent. Instead it was a repackage of Mad about Madrid which had nothing to do about guys playin football. Very LAME!

Vanilla Cedarwood (2013)
smells like: Hugh Hefner's bedroom

VC was interesting; I remember both me and my bf really liking this one though for some reason, neither of us ended up buying it. Looking back I should've at least for the sake of collecting cuz now you can't find this scent anywhere. It was a very mature old-smelling scent; it smelled like a masculine (and less pukey) smelling version of Cashmere

Great Room ~ Fireside Pine (2014)
similar to: Molton Brown's Black Peppercorn

This was part of the hoity-toity ski lodge themed Prestige Collection that many people did not get to experience. It was later repacaked as Golden Woods in the equally expensive and hoity-toity Intrigue and Opulence collection. It has recently been repackaged as the less expensive and extremely mysterious The Original. 

Havana Heat (2014)
smells like: hot Cuban guy smokin a cigar in a bar in a leather chair

Tobacco is one of those fragrance notes that is super hard to sell, especially to the ladies. Immediately when you think of tobacco, you think of a stinky stogie thus having tobacco in the notes can turn people off. This was later repackaged as Ski Den ~ Leather and Sweet Tobacco and eventually just Den in the Atmosphere collection and again people weren't havin it (well that and the fact it was $30). It has recently been repackaged and is testing as Leather & Agarwood so let's see how that goes.

Mad about Madrid (2014)
smells like: what you'd imagine Zorro (or Antonio Banderas as Zorro) to smell like

This was one of many scents that I was able to order thru customer service, back when you could actually do that. I wanted to like this one but I just wasn't feeling it. My biggest issue was that the notes were so vague and I had problems trying to describe this scent. Think Villa Bergamot mixed with Black Pepper Bergamot. Sounds sexy, but it wasn't. MAM would eventually be repackaged as Tailgate, why I don't know!

Black Sands (2014)
smells like: a hot male hula dancer on the beach with waves crashing behind him

This was the token cologney scent in the Aloha Hawaii collection. There's really not much to say about it; it smells like Eucalyptus Mint & Rain with a hint of Black Tie. With it reappearance last summer, it seems destined to continue being the token cologney scent in any tropical island themed collection

Beach Day (2014)
similar to: Azzaro's Chrome
smells like: a Jersey Shore guido fratboy in swimming trunks and pooka shells fistbumpin on the beach

This was my jam and has become one of my alltime must have summer scents. There's something quintessentially beachy about this scent without a hint of mango, pineapple or coconut. To me this was so much better than Oceanside and totally could/should have replaced but it ended up falling off the face the planet. 

courtesy of Kelley Wilson

Pacific Coast Highway
smells like: freshly applied deodorant on the armpit of a sweaty surfer

This was one of two failed test scents in the Coastal Cool collection; I really was hoping on the loving this one cuz the notes were right up my alley but nope! For those who never got to smell this one, fear not! It has recently been repackaged as...Winter Sun!
Autumn Sky (2014)

If this isn't one of the lamest and most forgettable scents ever, I dunno what it is! When it first came out, I was really hoping it was Mountain Leaves but nope noppitynope! 

Ski Lodge (2014)
smells like: what you'd expect the inside of Genie's lamp to smell like

This was a pretty interesting fragrance that even now I don't what I think of it. I'm not a huge of fan of incense-like scents although this one wasn't so bad. I think what made me slightly unsure was almost chocolately/cocoa-like note lurking in the background. Anyhoo, we have a dramatically watered down repackage of SL as Cozy Cabin and it'll also be back as "Swiss Alps" in the Holiday Destination candles

Baltic Black Pearl (2014)

Honestly yall, I don't remember what this smells like. Despite it being a sexy sounding cologney scent, I paid little to no attention to it due to the price

Sapphire Sky (2014)
similar to: Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue

Again, I ignored this scent because of the price. It was repackaged this fall as Lakeside Sunrise.

Be Daring (2015)
similar to: Gucci Made to Measure pour homme

I really really wanted to like this one but it was kinduva hot mess. First of all it was one of the worst performing candles ever. It would've been worthwhile if the scent blowed you away...it didn't. To me it smelled like pencil shavings and Craisins

White Sand Beaches
smells like: a white guy in Hawaii for the first time wearing linen and leis the whole time and says aloha to every Hawaiian chick he meets

This is one of those scents that sounds interesting but isn't so much once you've lit it. Totally forgettable.

Bowties & Bourbon (2015)
smells like: a seersuckered Southern gentlemen drinking a mint julep

Not since BPP and Boathouse Row have I sniffed a cologney scent that totally gave me nosegasm. I had my doubts at first but they were unfounded and it was love at first sniff. Yet again here was surprisingly high end and sophisticated manly scent amongst not very classy scents (I'm lookin at you again Watermelon Lemonade) I made sure to stock up on this one lest it doesn't come back. I hope it does; please BBW, call this whatever y'all want but bring it back!
Nantucket Sails (2015)
smells like: Leonardo diCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street on a yacht

This was a very unexciting and forgettable scent; it was essentially Black Tie with a hint of grapefruit and salt. It's"like a hot guy..wearing a black tie..eating a grapefruit...with sea salt...on a boat...in Nantucket"  

Porchside Pumpkin (2015)
smells like: a hot hipster carving a pumpkin on his front porch

This was a very sophisticated and understated but unfortunately overlooked fall scent. While everybody else and their grandma was goin apeshit over Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, Shit Cinnamon Poopkin, etc, I was losin my shit about this badboi. Unfortunately it's downfall was that it was a pumpkin scent that wasn't bakery...and the basic bitches of America wasn't havin it! It was ever so slightly Michael's craft store-ish but a little more high end. It was like a manly version of Pumpkin Carving and I loved it. Alas it has pretty much disappeared from stores and the few that are on Evilbay are super expensive. I've a feeling we are never going to see this scent again. 
Peace (2015)
smell likes: how you'd hope Frosty the Snowman smelled if he hugged you

I'm gonna include this one cuz there is a manly woodsy element to it. If this was a body spray or shower gel, I would totally rock it during the winter. It's like a masculine version of Lavender Vanilla/Snow Day and I absolutely love it! Definitely a stock up/hoard scent. And everybody, men and women alike, seem to be diggin it. Will its popularity make it a winter staple and save it from being a one hit wonder (like it's brother Snow Day) and disappearing, who knows...


  1. Lmao at the who it smells like portion!! I smell like Martin M jazz club for men! Ladies Rick it too!! Think tom ford tobacco vanille with leather and rum!!

    1. That should read rock not Rick but all that man talk has me thinking what would Rick grimes smell like on the walking dead

  2. LOL I love this post and the descriptions of who each candles smells like. You crack me up


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