RANT OF THE DAY: The Original ~ Jar of Confusion

So as I mentioned in my last post, I received quite a substantial amount of messages on various social media from folks asking what I thought of this candle. Unfortunately I couldn't say much cuz none of my local stores had this candle to sniff. I had my theories but no solid proof...that is until I finally went to WB and sniffed and eventually bought said candle.

This mysterious candle created quite a bit of hubbub and hullabaloo on social media. It's been said that it was a repackage or at least similar my number one bae Black Pepper Bergamot. And everyone who knows me knows how much I loved it and and some folks graciously gave me a headsup about it, which is very sweet. Initially I was intrigued; hello it's a my all time favorite scent that hasn't been in rotation since '13. However part of me was a little leery and suspicious; the notes (black pepper, vetiver, pine needles) just wasn't adding up. And now having sniffed it...



It is sooooo not a repackage at all. It's not even remotely similar, not a tiny little bit. These could not be anymore different!

Here's the problem..everybody who all made these claims all had one thing in common - none of them currently OWNED a BBP (some never owned one at all) and were goin on purely scent memory. Personally out of all the people I know in the candleverse, there are only a small handful of peeps whose scent memory I truly trust...and none of them made these claims. No shade, just truth.

So you're probably wondering..well if it's not BPB, what the hell is it?! And I'll gladly tell you. It's the scent I theorized from the very beginning! People didn't wanna hear it but as it turns out, I was right!

GOLDEN WOODS!!! Need further proof?

from Ebay seller roberte518 

And here are the original notes of GW...

And as it turns out, GW was a repackage of  a scent from the failed Prestige collection - Great Room ~ Fireside Pine. Look at the notes... 

from Ebay sellers rew787975 and julia2868  

So The Original is a repackage of Golden Woods...which was a repackage of Great Room. Now where did Great Room come from...nobody knows. Was that an old scent back in the Slatkin/White Barn New York days which prompted BBW to call this scent "The Original"? Who knows!

So now you're probably wondering what is the difference between The Original and BPB?

BPB is a very warm and cozy and inviting and high end and sensual scent. It's very much an indoors boudoir type of scent. You get a surprisingly smooth and luxurious combo of cracked black pepper that adds piquant spice and warmth along with with cologney bergamot and they're both wrapped in a warm blankety embrace of soft lavender. 

The Original is the opposite! It's a very cool rugged outdoors scent; very much a wood barn or shed in the middle of nowhere in winter. It has the same brisk air feel of Autumn or Sweater Weather or Fresh Balsam. It's not inviting, it's not cozy and it certainly isn't sensual. 

So what does it smell like?

The scent combo is a little weird. The black pepper isn't a warm spicy cracked pepper but more like black pepper aromatherapy essential oil. It's there to add a little umph to an otherwise very dry bland blend. The vetiver is really intense - dank, inky, earthy, grassy, earthy funk found a lot in men's cologne (and cologny BBW candles). There's a little bit of creamy aromatic sandalwood and there's another wood note that I pick up that smells sort of like sawdust or wood chips...again conjuring up the image of wood barn or shed. And finally there's pine needles but it's not fresh needles picked off the tree branch. Actually it's more like resinous pinewood or rather the oil made from it.

And there's something about this scent that smells a little soapy, like a dry bar soap for men, I was talking to TTFT and I likened this to a soap that was super popular way back in the day called LAVA  which was a very dry and rough feeling soap aimed at hardworkin men to get any grime and grit off of their hands. But on second thought what it smelled like was shower gel from a Britain based men's fragrance company Molton Brown called Black Peppercorn - the notes being obviously black pepper, coriander and vetiver...sound familiar? It's always funny how certain BBW cologney candles actually smell like a particular actual cologney scent. 

In conclusion, what do I think of The Original? Real talk, I don't think I like it. It's too dull, too dry, too off. It just misses the mark of being a truly sexy cologney scent and instead smells kinda blah. It's certainly nothing exciting and is not worth the infamy it caused. And BPB is FAR more superior scent-wise. *sigh Honestly I bought this in a moment of weakness and once I was back in my sound mind at home, I found myself not enjoying it; neither did my bf. I have no desire to burn it and will most likely be bringing it back to exchange.

So there you have it. I wouldn't recommend this one at all! Unless you're an extreme collector and absolutely have to have this in your collection or you just love anything and everything cologney and woodsy, go right on ahead! Otherwise, leave it right there on the shelf!

And to this individuals originally claiming that The Original was a repackage of or similar to BPB, go stand in the corner and think about you've done!


  1. Interesting. I'll have to give this one a whiff next time I'm in the store.

    I have been desperate for basic scents. I like my Fresh Balsam during the holidays, but I think BBW has been overdoing it when it comes to thinking of creative combinations of scents - many just don't work for me.

    I used to love Firewood. Literally love. I know it's still available from Henri Bendel but it's a bit of a splurge and they don't have the wallflowers or home fragrance oils - and haven't for years.

    Maybe it's just my tastes as I've gotten older, but scents like Bowties and Bourbon, Firewood (and Fireside is a poor substitute - too intense), Kitchen Spice, Warm Vanilla Sugar. They're my go-to.

    I'd love to see Bath and Body Works go back to doing a few sophisticated scents more frequently. They are too far in between these days in lieu of gaudy "Winter Sunshine" and other convoluted, out-of-place fragrances.

    What? No. Just no.

  2. I think thays where you and I differ - I want strong and intense. Im not a fan of basic scents at all

    I do wholeheartedly agree that BBW needs to bring in a few sophisticated scent; there are very few scents nowadays that can be described as such

  3. I really appreciate your tracing the lineage of "The Original"! However, I have to disagree with you on whether this is a great scent. Out of my hundreds of candles, it's my favorite or at least top 10.
    Also, I don't think it is a repack of Golden Woods. Golden Woods has (a) Vetiver, (b) Pine needles, and (c) sandalwood, whereas "The Original" (using the new 2019 package, not the 2015 package) has (a) Vetiver, (b) Black Peppercorns, and (c) Aromatic cedar. Unless pine needles <-> Black Pepper are interchangeable, and Sandalwood <-> Cedar are interchangeable, which I do not think they are. Pine needles are fresh rather than warm like peppercorn, and same for sandalwood. Great Room/Fireside Pine is closer with (a) Vetiver and (b) Pepper, but with (c) Pine instead of (c) Cedar. The Cedar really makes it warm.
    "The Original" in the amber jar was the first BBW candle I purchased and I love it. I'd been saving mine for years until they brought it out again, and I bought another one. To me it reminds me of a warm sunlit barn repurposed house. It smells vintage and timeless. Not a winter indoors, but a summer indoors. I agree with its Soaring description. I guess we all have different noses and scent preferences. I've never smelled Black Pepper Bergamot, but I have black peppercorn which I find smells somewhat like The Original, and Bergamot scents (Villa Bergamot, Bergomot waters) which I do also enjoy but not as much as The Original


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