WALK 'N' SNIFF: Holiday Candles

So my bf and I went to GSP over the weekend; of course we had to stop off at White Barn to see what we could see and smell what we could smell. Sure enough they had a good size portion of the holiday candles. *SIGH Color my ass unimpressed! I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but real talk I was already unimpressed and underwhelmed when I first heard about the holiday lineup and now having actually sniffed them, I'm that much more unimpressed and underwhelmed.

*Just a heads up, my WB (and from what I heard most other ones too) did not have Cranberry Sugar Cookie (meh), Sparkling Sugarplum (again, meh) and Dashing thru the Snow (I really wanted to sniff this one)

So there are a handful of scents that have changed since testing; the original scent wasn't up to snuff and the wise sages of the marketing department decided release a new (and more generic) safe versions for the nationwide release. The problem is who knows what version your store is gonna get; we saw this recently with Red Radiant Maple which had 3 different smelling batches. So take these with a grain of salt cuz you might have either or in your store

Golden Peach Sparkle
What others smelled: Market Peach - based on the notes it makes sense; what peaches have to do with the holidays is beyond me
What I smelled: Peach Bellini - I've talked to other people and some have smelled the same thing. I smelled heavy black currant as well as effervescence. I sniffed and resinffed and sniffed different ones - I kept getting Peach Bellini. TTFT was the same store right after I left; he said he smelled Bellini Cafe from the Italian Piazza collection in '13. I could see that but I'm leaning more towards Peach Bellini

Joy ~ Peppermint Marshmallow
What others smelled: the same Peppermint Marshmallow  from 2011
What I smelled: a generic vanilla cupcakey frosting scent with Twisted Peppermint-like mint. Think Buttercream Mint from '13. I also got a hint of cocoa which almost made think this was a repackage of Mint Chocolate; it isn't but it's very similar. TTFT and a couple of other candle buddies of mine also smelled chocolate.

Jingle all the Way
What others smelled:  Intensely candy sweet fruit blend that's very similar (apparently) to the Sheer Cotton & Lemonade body care (if that means anything to you) sans coconut
What I smelled: Straightup Oahu Coconut Sunset, which really pisses me off!  Yet another year of BBW  sneaking goddamn muthaeffin coconut in a season that it doesn't belong in!  Please explain your thought process BBW, your rationale; what made y'all think that of allllllllll things that this would make an excellent winter holiday scent. I just can't with this candle! The whole entire marketing department needs to be bitchslapped for this mess!

And as you know Welcome ~ Cinnamon Pinecone aka Welcome ~ Spiced Autumn Wreath has been changed to Mahogany Balsam which makes absolutely no F***ING  sense as it is already in another collection. I honestly do not understand why BBW is pushing Mahogany Balsam so hard cuz it ain't all that! It's very very generic and basic and smells exactly like think it would; Mahogany Teakwood mixed with a hint of a very watered down eucalyptus-less Fresh Balsam! I was hoping Cinnamon Pinecone would be a WB exclusive but nope! So if you liked that scent but preferred the look of the holiday version, you're outta luck! That said, some stores have received CP with MB labels. So sniff whats in the store and look at the wax to make sure!

And now on to the unchanged new scents...

Noel ~ Silver Pine and Cedar - I was really really hoping that this was a repackage of Sleigh Ride which made it's debut/farewell back in '11 and based on the notes, it certainly seemed like it would be. Alas, it ain't! What I think it might be is a reworking of a test scent from '13 that I'm sure nobody remembers or heard of - Frosted Pine. It's a very generic typical pine scent - think Evergreen without the clove and mint and Fresh Balsam without the apple and eucalyptus. There's a slightly medicinal gin&tonic-y juniper with a hint of rosemary that sorta amplifies the pine. All that sounds lovely and right up my alley..the problem is that the blend smells very plastic-y and it's a little offputting. It's like a generic pine candle that you found at TJMaxx/Marshalls/Homegoods and has been siting in your attic wrapped in old dusty bubblewrap. In addition to the waxy/plastic-iness, it smells ancient and dusty and not in a good way. With the surprising array of pine/balsam scents this year, I don't really see the point of this scent at all; they really should've used Sleigh Ride instead.

Peace ~ Iced Vanilla Woods - This one is sooooo weird...and I love it! Now bear with me cuz this candle is very hard to describe. At first I thought this was a repackage of a long forgotten Slatkin scent called Lavender Market, which was lavender and spearmint...NOPE! I also kinda hoped that it was Oakmoss & Vetiver..close but no cigar. What it actually smells similar to is...what for it..SNOW DAY! Think Snow Day but as a man's fragrance. So you get the same sweet Twisted Peppermint-esque vibe, spruce and maybe a little sandalwood. That said, I don't know if there's actually mint in this but there's there's no denying there is an underlying mint like action...which could just be from the lavender which is actually a member of the mint family..and there is definitely a herbal lavender in this. So initally I wrote this off as Snow Day mixed with Oakmoss & Vetiver however I kept smelling something fruity..but not a juicy fruity note but rather a man's fragrance fruity, like a body spray. At first I thought maybe Be Daring but IG buddy @whitebarncandlefan totally called it - Oceanside. There's a weird dry fruity manly smell that you get at the very very end that hangs out to party at the top of your nose. So yeah Snow Day + Oakmoss & Vetiver + Oceanside = Peace. Like I said, it's weird but it's sooooo good!

Snowflakes and Spruce - OY..VEY... talk about going downhill..YIKES!!! This is without a doubt one of the most repugnant and repulsive scents that I ever had the extreme displeasure of sniffing. I was really wishing and hoping and praying that this would be Snow Day or Snow and Slopes..A BIG OL NOPE TO THAT. Then I thought maybe Frosted Pine - pine and sugar..again, NOPE! What it is is an unholy blend of a vaguely vanilla-ish note and a vaguely pine-ish note and the combo just smells all kinds of wrong. And the blend as a whole just smells really waxy - imagine if you will pine scented/flavored Burt's Bees chapstick. Now let's backtrack..notice I prefaced the description notes with the word "vaguely" The vanilla isn't exactly vanilla (more floral) and the pine or rather spruce isn't exactly piny/sprucey, just vaguely green. A couple of people I talked to reported that this smelled strangely tropical, possibly a scent from the old Aloha Hawaii candles. Then it hit me..Rainforest Sugarcane. I had that candle back in the day and I even described it as having a green note that smelled piney. I'm not 100% sure but it might be a reworking of that. Anyhoo, this scent is just straightup bizarre - avoid it all costs!

Pomegranate Prosecco Punch - Many people have said that was a dupe of this fall's Sparkling Riesling...they're half right. It's basically 30% Sparkling Riesling and 70%..CRANBERRY PEAR BELLINI. I think the only difference is that this really sweet and doesn't have the tartness of CPB. You get the blackcurrant that's present in all of the winter bubbly cocktail scents,  syrupy white grape juice and intensely sweet pear. And it's very fizzy. I don't really understand why this scen exists; y'all have a scent that has been insanely popular since 2011 and yet y'all replace it with a scent that smells vaguely similar?

Be Joyful - I've said it before and I'll continue to keep saying it - I LOATHE candles based on bodycare; they never smell 100% right and they always (with very few exceptions) smell basic. And this one is no exception. It's definitely a pink girly-girl coochie scent - a spritz of orange juice/zest, powdery jasmine, something watery like some kind of melon maybe and the note that's found in practically every women's bodycare - amber. It's not very wintery to me and I don't think it belongs in this collection at all.

and finally...

The Original - I have gotten sooooooooooooooooooooo many messages on here and IG and Youtube and my personal email about what I thought of this candle. I had my theory but people didn't wanna hear it. Now I've smelled it and have it in my possession..AND I WAS RIGHT!!!! Wanna know what it is?! Wait for my next blog post and Youtube video!


  1. Dear Donovan, I'm your biggest fan and I may have screen capped 1/2 of this blog post to re-read on days when life is just to much to handle. I do like Noel and don't get the same vibe but you know batches differ. Any who it's sad to now know that we can't only look onto past Christmas scents for possible repackages but to summer!! Is nothing sacred anymore!!! At least you can not be harassed anymore about The Original.

    1. lol I love it!

      I really don't understand the thought process nowadays of how bbw bbw comes up with their lineups. I honestly don't get the decisions they make

  2. Snowflakes and Spruce had a definite tropical note to me. It reminded me a little of a weaker coconut leaves with some spruce notes thrown in. Very weird -- definitely that sweet/fake coconut found in coconut leaves/tiki beach than the more "genuine" coconut found in something like pumpkin coconut.

    1. Its funny you mention this cuz I was at my regular BBW last week and I sniffed S&S just on a whim and I totally smelled that weird tropical coconutiness. The one I smelled at White Barn did not smell like that at all. So it seems this yet another candle with 2 different batches

    2. Its funny you mention this cuz I was at my regular BBW last week and I sniffed S&S just on a whim and I totally smelled that weird tropical coconutiness. The one I smelled at White Barn did not smell like that at all. So it seems this yet another candle with 2 different batches


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