NEWNESS UPDATE: Summertime Madness *UPDATED*

Thought BBW was done? Think again. There's quite a few things headin our way for summer

So a very mysterious collection popped up on social media recently; thanks to Lifeinsidethepage, we got a sneak peek of them. People have dubbed them the "cactus candles" as they seem to have a cactus/succulents theme going on. At first glance, it seems to be a watered down version of the ill-fated Desert collection; my guess is this is a feeble attempt to appease the conceptual lovers who were pissed that the collection didn't go wide yet are basic enough to lure in customers with less discerning tastes. The labels look cheap as hell, like CVS/Rite-Aid/Dollar General cheap but at least the names sound intriguing. Now I'm guessing that these have only hit a few locations as almost everyone I've talked to did not see them in their nearest test stores; I haven't even seen these on Ebay or Mercari. And for whatever reason, the few who have seen them are being very tight-lipped about the notes and such. a discreteness you very rarely find in the candle community when it comes to newness/test scents. Anyhoo, enough prattling on; here they are...

  • Blue Agave (I'm hoping this is Desert Rain)
  • Moonlit Lily (Cactus Lily?)
  • Peach Poppy - Soft Peach, Southwestern Poppies, Fresh Mandarin (sounds like Malibu Citrus Glow/Peach Bellini but nope! Word on the street is this may be Wild Poppies aka Poppy Sunshine)
  • Succulents and Sandstone - Sagebrush Leaves, Dark Tonka Bean, Desert Ironwood (sounds suspiciously like Black Tie/Sage & Cedar but again, nope! I was given a headsup from a friend that while it is a mandle, it smells closer to Bowties & Bourbon but not a repackage. The Desert collection a scent called Sedona Sandstone, it could be that.)
Returning scents include Cactus Blossom and Wild Sage and Aloe

Also, a very random last minute addition was recently thrown into the Mixed Materials collection...

  • Wild Huckleberry - Juicy Huckleberry, Ripe Blackcurrant, Green Leaves (oooookay, no clue what this has to do with "mixed materials" but whatever. The theory is that it may be Blackberry Bramble Tea )

Thanks to a reliable source, I heard that another collection is hitting stores. Much like the hot mess that is the infamous "Time New Roman" candles, it's all over the place - no theme, no cohesion. And speakin of Times New Roman, it's back with a vengeance with these candles

  • Sugared Citrus Sorbet - Zesty Mandarin, Icy Lemon Sugar, Juicy Red Raspberry (I'm hoping and praying that it's Slatkin's very popular Lemon Gelato from backintheday but who am I kidding, probably not)
  • Vanilla Berry Cone - Sweet Summer Berries, Golden Waffle Cone, Creamy Vanilla (if this is Berry Vanilla Bean from last Christmas, I'll be highly surprised)
Returning scents include Vanilla Beach Flower, Pineapple Palm Grass, Caribbean Escape, Driftwood Surf and Tiki Beach

Lastly, SAS is just around the corner and we are getting a lot of throwback. And as this seems to be an ongoing theme with BBW lately, the returning scents are random as hell. As far as I know, the following scents are just wf bulbs, no word on if there will be candles as well...

  • Pearberry
  • Plumeria
  • Juniper Breeze (yay!)
  • Fresh Cotton
  • Pink Lemonade Punch
  • Spring (yay!)
  • Lemon Mint Leaf
  • Kitchen Spice
  • Strawberry Vanilla
  • Caribbean Escape
  • Brazilian Blue Waters
  • Fiji White Sands
  • Black Teakwood
  • Coconut Sandalwood
  • Sunset Beach
There will also be summer additions to the WB Core line - Mango Coconut Cooler, Peach Bellini and Island Margarita...yawn! Hopefully we'll see more than that. 

WALK 'N' SNIFF: House of Blues and Mixed Materials

So last Friday I went to BBW hoping snag some newness while there was still a BOGO sale..alas, no. The SA very graciously brought me some candles out from the back but the computer wouldn't let her sell them to me for the sale price. I thanked her anyway and I left. Apparently this has happened to many others...which I'd like to time out to adress something...

Dear SAs...NOBODY is mad at you for not selling new candles. We get it, it's an edict from corporate that you must follow. When and if you hear anyone complain about this on social media, we are not mad at yall but rather the stupid things corporate makes y'all do!

Anyway, I was running errands today (Monday) and I decided to make a stop at BBW since I was in the area so that I could at least write a review. And so here we are.

Let's start with the House of Blues candles. as per usual, I will only talk about the new candles

Honey & Vanilla - so right off the bat, this is NOT a repackage of Honey & Tangerine or Sweet Honey Bee; as far as I can tell, this is a completely new scent...and it's not what you expect. I LOATHE vanilla scents and I'm not a huge fan of honey scents either so I was expecting to utterly and completely hate this one but I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. So despite what the name suggests, there is absolutely no honey and the tinge of vanilla that's there is not the vanilla you're used to from BBW. As a whole, this scents smells like straightup melted white chocolate, like something you'd dip strawberries into; it almost has a Nestle's Crunch Cookies and Cream vibe to it. The vanilla is not vanilla/tonka bean or vanilla powdered sugar or marshmallow but almost milky; think French Vanilla coffee creamer. All in all, it's a very rich, indulgent and decadent scent; it's a good curl up in your blanket and read a book type scent. I'm a little annoyed at the name and marketing as it's a total misnomer; it should've been something like "Milk and Sugar" or "White Chocolate & Creme" or "French Vanilla White Mocha". Honey and Vanilla does it no justice.

Fresh Mint & Coconut - Again this was another scent that I was not expecting to like but it totally surprised me. And again, the name totally threw/turned me off - mint and coconut are not notes that I would think go together...then again I did like Lavender Coconut. Anyway, the scent is a little more complex than the basic name suggests - you do get mint, think freshly picked and slightly muddled garden mint/peppermint which gives the blend a freshness and yet it's surprisingly not very menthol-y. And you did get the coconut but it's more like coconut water as opposed to meat or milk. And there are some green grassy notes behind the mint that almost gives the scent a Green Grass/Snap Peas type vibe. Lastly, there is a faint ozonic seawater/sea air/sea spray vibe chillin in the background. I would say think of this as a summer version of Renew & Refresh, same type vibe but with coconut water. Again, BAD MARKETING. This should've been called something vague and conceptual like "Summer Fun" or "Sea Breeze" "Beach Vibes" or "Beach Shore"and put in the Spa Day collection or one of the beachy ones.

And now Mixed Materials, omitting Tea & Lemon (aka London Calling), Bergamot Waters and Rosewater & Ivy (which smells exactly like the wf bulbs albeit slightly less intense)

Vanilla Birch - so this one seems to have confused a lot of people, myself included. I thought for sure it would Peace ~ Iced Vanilla Woods as it was repackaged as "White Birch" last fall. There was also a Vanilla Birchwood back in the Slatkin days but after sniffing this, this can not possibly be that. After finally sniffing this, I gotta say I kinda surprised if not disappointed that no one figured this out except for Tinadivalicious who talked about it in his recent video   and I am cosigning. Vanilla Birch is a straightup repackage of Wine Cellar aka Smoked Berries & Incense..without a doubt, there's no denying it, I'm goin down swingin to defend myself on this one. I even sniffed other ones to make sure I wasnt just sniffing a mismatched lid but nope, they all smelled like Wine Cellar. VB is a little lighter, a little less robust but that's about it. I don't really understand how a spicy fruity wine scent all of a sudden becomes a woody vanilla scent..there's NO vanilla aspect at all. Speakin of which, this most certainly is NOT Wild Madagascar Vanilla as people have been saying on social. Once a-friggin-gain, BAD MARKETING! They could've called this "Wine & Spice" "Pomegranate & Saffron/Patchouli" "Red Fruit & Oak" ..hello friggin rename it SMOKED BERRIES & INCENSE!!!

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel - so I initially wrote this off as yet another generic savory ooey gooey sticky sweet diabetic coma inducing caramel is kinda. It kinda gives me a Hot Buttered Rum vibe as it a rich caramel scent with a hint of salty savoriness and a splash of sweet dark liquor...although I'm hesitant to see it's a repackage/repackage with a twist. For the sake of argument, I'll just say it's new but familiar. And you do get a boozy kick that separates it from all of the other caramel scents over the years. And I dunno if my nose is trippin, but I swear I got a faint hint of almond but not like roasted almonds or amaretto; it's smells like the generic almond scented hand soap you get from dollar stores..which makes me think this may be a repackage of Toffee Glazed Popcorn/Toffee Crunch from 2012. I didn't like that scent nor do I really remember some another candle connoisseur out there will have to prove me right or wrong.

Sweet Spearmint - so there was a failed test scent of the same name in the Fresh Picked collection back in spring 2014. I'm pleased as punch to report that this is the same scent albeit lighter..which is par for the course with BBW. I stupidly passed on this one when I first moved up here and saw it in GSP back when it was still a test store so I'm glad it's back. The scent is straightforward, it's literally sweet spearmint. Think of this as a spring/summer version of Twisted Peppermint, Twisted Peppermint's twin. You get a Doublemint Gum-esque spearmint note, the same spearmint note you get in Winter Mint & Spruce. It's cooling and refreshing and ever so slightly sharp. And it's sweetened and toned by a sugared vanilla bean note, not as creamy as it portrays itself to be. And that's it. This would make a nice cool you down on a hot spring/summer down kinda scent. Again, BAD MARKETING..that seems to be a friggin theme! Why exactly makes this scent "mixed materials"? Shouldn't the name suggest that? "Mint & Sugar" or "Vanilla Spearmint" Personally this scent doesn't belong and should've been in either the Lattice or Hit Refresh or Summer Fresh collection.


Products: candle   
Area used in: living room
Time Period: end of April - June

Description: Bring home a blend of luscious prickly pear fruit and sugarcane inspired by the exotic flavors of Mexico

Trivia: this and Mayan Caramel (aka Cayenne Caramel) were the only failed test scents from what I call the "Taco Bell" collection - because the chosen scents were as authentically Mexican as Taco Bell

Somehow, thru sheer luck, I managed to snag one lone Prickly Pear Sugarcane long after the collection came out and had every intention on keeping it in my "sniff only" collection. However, luck struck again, I was able to snag another one and I just had to burn that sucker. I figured sometime around Cinco de Mayo would be the most apropos time for it and waited patiently to get my burn on...and I'm soooo glad I waited that and that I had an extra one to burn because it is f***ing AMAZING!!!!

So right off the bat this sucker is STRONG! Even the cold throw is intense; you pop off the lid and it's an instant KO. A few times I had it unlit and sitting on a table and I can still smell it as if it was lit. When I lit it the first time, the scent throw wasn't as strong however after a few subsequent burns, the throw started getting stronger and stronger. I was a bit concerned as it had the wax covered rope wicks with no post burn mushroom tops and that for sure that it would burn like crap but nope I was wrong; perfect burns every single time. 

As for the scent, it's very straightfoward - it smells like legit prickly pears/cactus fruit. I own a bottle of prickly pear syrup  and the candle smells just likes it. If you don't know prickly pears smells and/or tastes like, think a mix of pear, melon and raspberry...very unique. And unlike what the color of the wax may suggest, prickly pear fruit and meat is actually a bright fuchsia/magenta. The notes mention pear as opposed to prickly pear...kinda of annoying that BBW doesn't know the difference. That said, perhaps whatever pear fragrance oil when mixed with other unmentioned hidden notes creates something that smells like prickly pear...who knows. As for the sugarcane, there is a natural smelling drippy syrupy sweetness to the blend. And I get some wet and lush green notes in the background - definitely sometime cactus and/or aloe and maybe a hint of cucumber/melon. As a whole, the scent is perfectly balanced - it's sweet without smelling like candy, fresh without smelling laundry detergent/fabric softener and lush and green without smelling grassy or outdoorsy. It's crisp and juicy and succulent, its one of those scents that makes you feel a little indulgent and decadent.

This is one of many instances that makes you wanna scream "BBW, what the f*** is wrong with you?!" Why, oh why didn't you release it?! Like all of the other unicorn candles of the past, it was a guaranteed hit and there's no excuse why it failed. And unlike all of the bland and basic scents that did go wide this collection, PPS actually had something to do with Mexican culture; hell prickly pear is actually on the damn Mexican flag! But no, instead you release friggin Pineapple Lily, which was STANK and smelled nothing at all like actual pineapple lilies...which is a good thing because they smell like rotten ass. Furthermore, they grow in Africa not friggin Mexico..which you geniuses in the marketing department would know if y'all actually did research! Anyway, I doubt BBW will ever bring this back as good scents always disappear so if you see this on Ebay or Mercari (and it's reasonable) or you have a friend who will sell you one, don't think about it, JUST BUY IT!!!!


Products: candle   
Area used in: living room
Time Period: end of April - June

Description: Tobacco Flower, Black Peppercorn, Spicy Orchid, Warm Tonka

So this review is gonna be super brief cuz I don't really have too much to say about this scent. I really only bought this scent because I wanted a spicy cologney mandle for the boudoir to go with my current Cinco de Mayo/tribute to Mexico theme...and beacuse my bf liked it.

So the performance is good stuff - sturdy wicks, mushroom tops, deep even pool yada yada yada. The throw is soooooo light; you have to hover it to get any fragrances and what little scent has been thrown dissipates  almost immediately after blow the candle out. Even the wf bulb is light; you really only smell it if you're standing next to it. It's one of those scents that you have to step out of the room and then re-enter to get any semblance of fragrance.

Most folks do know this but TF is a repackage and it's a repackage of a failed test scent that few are familiar with or even remember - Mad about Madrid ~ Under the Spanish Moon from spring 2014 and would later be repackaged for fall Tailgate (totally different from the original 2013 failed test scent version) To be honestly, I didn't really care for then and my feelings/opinions about it hasn't changed now.  As you know, I luv me some cologney scents however there's something about this one that rubs my nose the wrong way. I think it's because it's of the warm and spicy variety which is not the kind of cologne scent or even regular cologne that lean towards (my bf likes the spicy cologne/cologney scents whereas I like the fresh/watery or woodsy/herbal ones). The tobacco and black pepper obvious gives the blend the spice. There's also a drippy, polished, almost drippy cedar note and a hint of musk. As for the orchid and tonka...yeah I can't say that get either of those notes. I get the vibe they were going with this scent (even back in the day as MAM); it is a sort of exotic scent but I dunno if I get a Spanish vibe from this. To me, it just smells like a men's cologne; sometimes it confuses me sometimes and makes me think I have similar smelling cologne on.

I think out of all of the cologney mandles that have been on the market over the years, this is probably one of least offensive and most guest friendly ones; it's sweet and warm and exotic. For those who enjoy the spicier cologney scents or if you're typically anti-cologney scents, this is good scent to experiment with.  And that's really all I have to say about it.  

NEWNESS UPDATE: More Random Ridiculousness

So in the past couple of years, BBW has always had a very annoying habit of releasing one collection after the next back to back at neck breaking speed, especially in the spring and summer. This year is not the exception and if anything the habit is even worse and kicked up to hear gear. That being said...

We're getting more candles!!!

Fairly soon, we'll be getting 2 more collections. Don't get too excited though. Like all of the collection we've seen since SAS, it's just more thrown together "fan fav/crown pleaser" candles thrown together in with no rhyme or reason collection with no theme or cohesion. BBW refuse to waste any time putting any thought into their candle collections and coming up with a singular theme with scents that go together; they just throw candles together and hope that they stick.

Anyway, the first collection is the House of Blues collection, I'm guessing it's called that because the labels are watercolor meant mimic textiles and art styles with the main color being blue. New scents are...

Honey Vanilla - Rich Vanilla, Warm Tonka Bean, Wildflower Honey (believe it or not, this is neither Tangerine & Honey or Sweet Honey Bee)

Fresh Mint & Coconut - Creamy Coconut, Bright Mint Leaves, Deep Sea Water (I've heard it smells like Copper Coconut and Mineral Springs...blegghhh) 

Returning scents include Blue Ocean Waves, White Gardenia and Bowties & Bourbon

Do y'all out there get the theme cuz I sure as hell don't!

The second collection seems to be an addition to the WB core collection, like the marble collection. And they also have "White Barn" on the label. And like the marble collection, these candles have a cheap looking wrap around label with mixed textures, ie marble and wood. "New" scents are...

Tea & LemonEnglish Tea Leaves, Bright Lemon, White Cane Sugar (yep, you guessed it - London Calling. I'm glad they changed the name cuz LC has not/does not smell like hot proper English black tea with milk)

Sweet SpearmintGarden Mint Leaves, Crystallized Sugar, Creamy Vanilla (I'm hearing this is the same as the Fresh Picked version that tested and failed in 2014)

Vanilla Birch (I'm gonna assume this is Peace ~ Iced Vanilla Woods especially since it was repackaged as "White Birch" in a failed test collection last fall)

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel (I guess this is either Maple & Sea Caramel or Bourbon Butterscotch from the Artisan collection back in the day

returning scents include Mahogany Stankwood (eyeroll), Bergamot Waters and Rosewater & Ivy (which I'm hoping we get the candle and not just the wf bulb)

With the exception of Sweet Spearmint and Bowties & Bourbon, I'm not even a little excited about any of these. It's like BBW is hellbent on getting money out of me...well it's a -workin!

WALK 'N' SNIFF: Personalized & Summer Fresh Candles

Just for the sake of pure shits and giggles, I went to BBW (another one than usual) to see if they had the personalized and Summer Fresh candles and if they did, perhaps I'd take advantage of the 2/24 sale and 25% off coupon and pick up some Cucumber Melons. Sure enough they did and I was able to get my walk and sniff on

So as you may or should know, all of these candles popped up online just in time for the sale. As for as the personalized candles go, BBW graciously informed up us of what was a repackage of what...
  • ❤ MOM = Praline Pecan (Cobbler)
  • I ❤ MOM ~ Happy Mother's Day = Lilac Blossom
  • Thank you = Blue Ocean Waves
  • Happy Birthday = Buttercream Frosting
  • I Love You = Cactus Blossom\
  • Congrats = Peach Bellini
  • Hello Sunshine = Limoncello  
  • Dream Big = Tiki Beach.
Which leaves these two mysteries...

Happily Ever After ~ Blue Water Lily - so this one has thrown me for a loop. So based on the notes (white petals, bergamot, cedarwood) I thought at first it was Orange Blossom & Driftwood/Coastal Oak & Seasalt...nope. Then I thought maybe Sundress as it has similar notes ('cept Sundress has tonka bean)..but I don't think it is. Actually the closest thing this scent smells like to me..and bear with me cuz it's random..Beach Cabana! It's not a repackage but it's extremely similar. I get an intense powdery white floral jasminey/orange blossom note with a definite summery/beachy ozonic/sea air vibe to it. I even sniffed different ones to make sure I wasn't crazy or if someone put the wrong lid on it but each one I smelled all like similar to Beach Cabana

* I haven't sniffed Sundress in years and it wasn't a scent I was crazy about so my scent memory is fuzzy. If you do have or distinctly remember Sundress, please do a sniff comparison and tell me what you think

ADDENDUM - word on the street is this may be a repackage of  the currently testing Wild Cedarwood/White Driftwood

XOXO ~ Jungle Woods - ok so first of all...Jungle Woods?! There's no nothing remotely jungley or woodsy about this scent at all! Secondly dafuq does kisses and hugs have to do wit the friggin jungle?! Anyway, so I'm pretty darn sure this a repackage of the new and testing Seaside Mist  as they both have the exact same notes ( mandarin, lavender, sea spray/cool waters). So this is a straightup cologney scent; it smells like men's bodywash - think Irish Spring.I can't really get any of the notes - there's nothing remotely watery/oceanic/sea air-ish at all though there is something a little crisp and refreshing about it. The lavender is soooooo faint and the mandarin is nonexistent. This scent is driving a little crazy cuz it smells like a mandle that's been out before - I'm thinkin either White Sand Beaches or Oakmoss & Vetiver , Whitewater Rush or Alpine Suede. Then again it could be new. At any rate, I do like it as I'm a sucker for the mandles and once it comes out as Seaside Mist, I'll be picking one up as I prefer that packaging   

And now the Summer Fresh candles. I'll just talk about the new ones

Toasted Coconut - ok so I'm pretty sure this is a new scent; it's not the original Toasted Coconut from the Slatkin days AKA Pumpkin Coconut nor does it remind me of any caramel based scents as people are saying on social media. First of all, this scent is misnamed as there is nothing toasted about this candle at all. Also it feels very out of place as it smells very bakery/gourmand as opposed to fresh and crisp like the other scents. You get an intense creamy drippy caramel with a touch of vanilla and there is an unspoken unmentioned almond/amaretto that sneaks up and punches you in the nose (I dunno what is up with BBW and throwing in a random almond note; this is the 3rd one) As it whole, it kinda​ reminds me of the WB exclusive version of Pumpkin Pecan Waffles last fall that had a weird unmentioned random almond note. A lot of people are saying they don't get coconut, I totally do - a creamy shredded coconut meat note but it's soooooo faint and hiding out in the background...which is bizarre seeing as though it has coconut in the damn name. If this was called "Caramel Macaroons" and marketed as a bakery treat, this would be a homerun. But to call it "Toasted COCONUT" and there is little to no coconut and then throw it into a fresh fruit in the outdoors inspired collection, fail!

ADDENDUM - many on social media are saying there is a batch variance as they smell something closer to Maple Cinnamon Pancakes/Pumpkin Caramel Latte. I call BS on this one. If its true that there is a batch variance, the batch code of the one I smelled in the store is 7090K3A1

Sweet Honey Bee - so first and foremost, this is NOT Tangerine & Honey, not even close. As far as I can tell, it's a completely new scent...and it smells like a straightup legit honey. There's a tiny hint of lemon, the peel rather than the juice. And maybe it's my nose playin tricks on me, but in the background I get a subtle muted ginger spice with maybe a touch of clove and/or cardamom. It's not mentioned but I also get a floral note like orange blossom; make sense as honey picks up floral flavors from whatever flower has been pollenated by bees. This gets A for accuracy as it smells genuinely like honey. I can't say I'm a big fan of this though(or honey scents in general) 

Cucumber Melon - finally, for the first time this spring, a candle that I'm actually excited about it. There hasn't been an actual Cucumber Melon candle over 8 or 9 years maybe more. Get ready for a blast of nostalgia as this smells EXACTLY like the bodycare..which normally I'm not a fan of bodycare candles however Cucumber Melon was my JAM in the 90s and early 2000s (I hated going in the store so I would get my grandma to buy it for me cuz she loved it too)It's a pretty straight forward scent - you get honeydew and cantaloupe with a hint of freshly cut cucumber with the rind. It's sweet without smelling candy, it's crisp and refreshing; perfect scent for spring and summer.

NEWNESS UPDATE: Personalized Candles ~The WTF-ery Continues...

I don't know what exactly is going with BBW these past couple months. I dunno if the marketing execs are doing shots of bongwater in betweens Breaking Bad meth during lunch..or clueless interns have taken over the marketing dept a la "Lord of the Flies"... or they're taking a page from "The Producers" and are purposely coming out with scents and collections so bizarre and nonsensical that folks wont buy and they can go bankrupt,,or maybe theyve heard whispers in the wind of future competition and have folded in the towel. Whatever the reason is, one thing rings true - BBW no longer cares!

Just when you thought this spring could not possibly get anymore worse, BBW says "hold my beer"
Case in point, coming soon to the BBW...the "personalized" collection

So they are candles with simple "personalized" greetings on the label, some have metallic labels with Arial font (what is the obsession with basic Microsoft word fonts lately) while others have a blackboard appearance with the greeting written in cursive. The idea is hat you can give these personalized candles as gifts to friends or coworkers or relatives (ie mothers) like a card or something personalized to put in a gift bag or basket. In theory, this is a cute idea but, as is always the case with BBW, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. But the packaging is not the problem, its the bizarre choices of scents. And of course you already know they're ALL repackages..repackages of scents that are already in stores or will be in stores soon/still testing

Happily Ever After - Watery White Petals, Refreshing Bergamot, Cedarwood (this one is throwing me for a loop...Bergamot Waters maybe? Orange Blosoom &Driftwood/Coastal Oak & Seasalt)

XOXO - Fresh Mandarin, Cool Waters, Lavender Woods (same exact notes as the test summer scent Seaside Mist)

Dream Big - Vanilla Musk, Orchids, Toasted Coconut (can you say Tiki Beach!)

I Love YouCactus Flower Petal, Sun-Kissed Coconut, Fresh Sparkling Lemon (straightup Cactus Blossom)

Thank You - Coastal breezes, Citrus Sea Spray, Island Flowers, Sundrenched Wood (Blue Ocean Waves all the way)

Hello Sunshine -  Sorrento Lemons, Cane Sugar, Lemon Zest (Limoncello, yawn)

Congrats! - Succulent White Peach, Sparkling Prosecco, Sweet Orange (yay, Peach Bellini...again..for the umpteenth time)

And now, for the most bizarre, random, face-palm-iest, head-scratch-iest, wtf-est one of them all. So we have a candle for Mother's day, which BBW has not had the best track record. First we had Sparkling Icicles (cuz what mother doesn't want cologne) then Tokyo Petals (Mama-san Day in Japan) and then First Bloom (ok, that's not so bad). This year's Mother's day candle...SMH that's all I can

❤ MOM - Southern Pecans, Sparkling Cinnamon Sugar, Warm Caramel (yes indeed yall, this lil ol candle is a repackage of Pumpkin Pecan Waffles/Pecan Praline Cobbler/Candied Pecans because apparently everyone's mom is Paula Deen)

This would've been a perfect occasion to bring back Pink Petal Teacakes as everyone is still begging for it's return and has been a rumored Mother's day candle candidate since it's debut. But nope, yall with Pecan Praline Cobbler. I can't with yall BBW.

NEWNESS UPDATE: Coast to Coast and Times New Roman Candles

Social media has been set ablaze with news of testing summer candles; the excitement, intrigue and, in some cases, head-scratching puzzlement is palpable. So we got a taste of what was to come thanks to Touchthefiretwice having one of said candles in his store which prompted him to make a grand return from his hiatus to do a video. But IG'ers @duchessofwax and @lilnitemakeup broke the internet (not really) with pics of the entire collection in their testing glory.

So the first collection that is testing is the "Coast to Coast" collection; it basically has a..well..coastal, beachy, chillin in your beachhouse/timeshare, watching the tide and listening to the waves type of vibe. The candles has Coastal Cool/Southwest frosted glass with various blue and teal and tan colors to match the beach/coast/aquatic theme with beach inspired stock image labels; the overall look is impressive. The scents on the other hand, not so much. New scents include...

  • Seaside Mist - Fresh Mandarin, Bright Seaspray, Coastal Lavender (this sounds suspiciously like Black Pepper Bergamot, I'm hoping it isn't even though I do love that scent)
  • Coastal Jasmine - Soft Jasmine Blooms, Lush Dewdrops, Sheer Musk (My money is on this being White Jasmine currently in the French collection...which will probably replace White Gardenia as the new white floral scent we'll see in every collection 
  • Beach Sage & Mint - Vibrant Mint Sprigs, Coastal Sage, Crisp Bergamot (this could be new...but probably not. The only thing I could think of is maybe Sand & Sea, a WB exclusive in the Ciao Italy collection. It could also be Pacific Coast Highway aka Winter Sun. However, with BBW's current trend of mixing in seasonal scents where they don't belong, I wouldn't all be surprised if this is Winter Mint & Spruce)

Returning scents include Mango Shores, Midnight Blue Citrus, Turquoise Waters and Salted Vanilla

And the secondly collection...oh boy

It's just all over the friggin place

The theme is all kinds of higgledy-piggledy, summer activities all thrown into one collection - hangin out the beach, chillin on a boat, strollin down the boardwalk, camping in the woods...again, all over the place!

And the look...this collection is by far the worst looking collection I have ever seen. Basic and cheap would be putting it mildly and would also be too kind of a description. The labels literally look like someone in marketing department told their unpaid intern to whip up something quick who took stock images off Google and made labels via the most basic version of Photoshop. And 3 words - TIMES NEW ROMAN. Unless you're writing a high school/college essay (or a blogpost lol), no one uses Times New Roman! And no self-respecting designer with education and experience would use that font on a label they're designing. All of this would be easy to overlook if the scents were knock you out rock your world blow your mind amazing and nosegasmic...yeah no, not even! The scent choices are again all over the place with the most corniest lamest taglines and names. New scents are...

  • SURF'S UP ~ Coconut Waves (Ride the waves and go with the flow) Sea-salted Citrus, Lush Coconut, Sunlit Waves (I heard thru the grapevine that this is new)
  • OCEAN THERAPY ~ Ocean Mist & Citrus (Live in the sunshine, Swim in the sea) - White-capped Waves, Bright Pomelo Zest, Sun-bleached Woods (this is note for note for Waterfall Oasis in the animal skin collection)
  • BEACH GLOW ~ Salted Oak Bonfire (I'm ready for soft summer nights and beach bonfires) - Wave-washed Oak, Glowing Embers, Sea Spray (sadly this isn't Summer Bonfire)
  • SWEET SUNSET ~ Orange Creamsicle (Treat yourself to the sweetness of summer ) - Bright Tangerine, Sunny Yellow Zest, Iced Vanilla (very similar to Sunny Coconut but not a direct repackage)

Returning scents include  

  • COOL OFF ~ Watermelon Lemonade "The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand (of course this crap was gonna be in this collection)
  • SHADE OF SUMMER ~ Suntan "All I need is sun and a little bit of paradise"
  • SUMMER BOARDWALK ~ Salted Caramel Popcorn "Buy the ticket, take the ride"
  • SAIL AWAY ~ Oceanside  "Something beautiful is on the horizon"
And now the final scent in this collection, it's odd and wtf-y and it won't make sense to you at all

  • GREAT OUTDOORS ~ Fresh Balsam "Adventure awaits, Let's go camping!"
Yes you read that right...FRESH BALSAM! It's now a summer scent! 

WALK 'N' SNIFF: French Candles

So over the weekend, the bf and I were running errands. At some point we to had to go the mall to pick up a few things and since were there, we stopped inside WB. This worked out great cuz I finally got to sniff all of the French candles, which I feel like I was the only person on the planet that hadn't sniffed them yet (plus for whatever reason, it seems this collection is a WB exclusive so no trips to the local easier to get to BBWs for me). So yeah I was already unimpressed with both sets of French candles and sniffing them left me even mpre unimpressed; I walked out of the store empty handed. On the review...

Merci Paris - this candle is one of the strangest candles I've ever smelled and one of the few candles that left me utterly perplexed as I couldn't really pinpoint any of the mentioned notes. Its sweet and creamy but I can't say that I smell vanilla. There is a vaguely powdery white floral note but I don't know if it's jasmine. And there is a dark fruity phenolic note lurking in the background but I don't know if it's blackcurrant. All I can say about this scent is that it smells like a very generic bodycare for women; I've heard people online mention Victoria Secret when referencing this candle so there ya go.

Paris Cafe - this seems to be the runaway hit of this collection as everyone is going nuts over and posting pics of it on social media...and I don't know why, I sincerely don't get the hype. Honestly, I thought it's smelled gross. Everyone on IG is all like "OMG, it's smells like Starbucks"..yeah, I'll give em that; it does smells like aroma of stale burnt coffee grounds that lingers in the air at Starbucks so A for accuracy I guess. There is an authentic coffee note, probably the most authentic coffee note that I've every smelled (so yes, this is new and NOT Espresso Bar as some people on social media have been saying). But here's what ruins it for me - the "brioche" (BREE-OSH not BREE-OH-SHAY) note. There is a bready/bakery aspect but whatever fragrance oil compound they used to make said brioche note adds a salty element that almost enhances the bitterness of the coffee note. And in the background, there's a hidden unmentioned almond note that sneaks up on you and boops you on the nose. I think I would prefer if this was two separate scents as opposed to mashing the two together. As a whole, it just smells like leftover stale coffee in/from Starbucks that someone dunked an almond croissant or biscotti into so there are bready detritus in it

White Peach - I don't really know what peach has to do with France but ok. So this was the one I was the most indifferent to but it ended up being the only one I liked..but not enough to buy it. So this is basically a repackage with a twist of Georgia Peach from the Hit Refresh collection..which does not smell like the Georgia/Market Peach of old. It's more bright and juicy with a Peach Bellini type tartness. I say repackage with a twist cuz I did notice a small difference between this and Georgia Peach. I could just be my nose playing tricks on me but in the background I smelled a very sweet white/moscato grape juice note that kinda gave the blend a tannic white wine kind of vibe. That should've been the main note with peach in the background and marketed as a white wine/champagne scent. Anyway, this scent is pleasant but not very exciting and kinda unnecessary.

St Tropez Shore - as mysterious and enigmatic as this scent was in the beginning, it sure didn't live up to the hype. Like White Peach, it's a pleasant scent but not at all necessary. First of all, the candle is soooo friggin light that you have put in the candle practically up your nose to get any fragrance so you already know you're gonna smell practically nothing once it's lit. And the scent itself is kinda blah. It basically smells like if you put the two versions of Suntan together; you get the floral powderiness from Suntan/Beachside and a bright pop of citrus from Suntan/Poolside. It's not a repackage but very similar; it's a summery beachy mature/matronly smelling suntan oil type scent. The notes are kinda bs; like Merci Paris, I couldn't really pinpoint the notes. The coconut is soooo faint to the point of being nearly non-existent. I get floral but I'm hardpressed to say that it's lily. And I get a citrus but I don't know if it's bergamot; if it is, it's different from the usual bergamot oil used in other scents. And there's an unexplained unmentioned wateriness, like a sea air/seawater note so perhaps a bit of ozone and/or cucumber/melon. Again, this is pleasant but not exciting. If you are interested in this scent, I would recommend getting the wf bulb and not the candle.

White Jasmine - oh boy, this sucker is INTENSE. Like Rainforest/White Gardenia-esque punch you in the nose and Riverdance on your sinuses intense. The smell is pretty straight forward, just straight up jasmine with a hint of orange blossom and musk. If you like super heady powdery perfumey indolic white floral scents a la White Gardenia, this bud's for you

Creme Caramel - scents like this truly pisses me off. I do not know what is going with BBW lately with throwing in seasonal scents in seasons where they don't belong - we had Bergamot Waters and Midnight Citrus and Shit Cinnamon Poopkin for winter, we had Leaves and Fresh Balsam with a twist in spring and now this crap. So yes, this ladies and gentlemen is..wait for it...PUMPKIN CARAMEL LATTE! I knew it as soon as I smelled it...WTF?! WTF is this scent doing in late spring heading towards summer?! Even if it was PCL, wtf does caramel have to do with the French Riviera?! I mean maybe it would've worked if you repackaged Twisted Caramel Gelato from Poptails...or Lavender Caramel/Macaron from the Slatkin days, maybe. But Pumpkin f***in Caramel f***in Latte. I can't, I just cant and I won't! Kindly GTFOH with this nonsense BBW!


CANDLE SPOTLIGHT: Lavender Coconut

Products: candle   
Area used in: bathroom
Time Period: whenever, off and on

So when I first heard about this scent when it was testing, I thought to myself "wtf?!"

Lavender and coconut?!!

As you know I have an intense dislike of most coconut scents and combining it with lavender of all things I thought was both lazy and bizarre. But I did some research online and found that lavender/coconut blends are a things common in aromatherapy based bodycare. so in the spirit of keeping an open mind, I gave it a sniff and found myself really genuinely enjoying; even my bf liked it! Once there was a sale, I picked one up to try and I must say, I'm glad I did.

So the performance was A+. The wicks, despite being skinny, stayed lit with tunneling/canyoning. Tall dancing flames, deep even wax pool, gorgeous to watch burn, so much ambiance. And it has that "warm blanket" throw that I absolutely love! The throw is medium-strong, definitely a bathroom/boudoir kind scent.

So right off the bat LC is NOT Paris ~ Lavender Macaron nor is it the legendary Lavender Marshmallow. It's similar and is like a cousin to those two. But it is an entirely new scent. That said, despite being new, it honestly isn't very exciting. Scent-wise it's very straight-forward/meat&potatoes...a little too straight-forward/meat&potatoes. It's just lavender and coconut...that's it. The lavender is astringent and herbal, think French Lavender. And the coconut isn't as obnoxious is it usually is; it smells more like the shaved coconut meat as opposed to coconut milk or cream. That said, it does come off a little bodycare-ish, like a soap or shampoo; it kinda reminds me of the coconut note in Mango Coconut Cooler/Tropical Tango. And there is a hint of vanilla, maybe even tonka bean as well. And maybe some sandalwood as the base which adds to the creaminess of the blend. Think French Lavender mixed with Lavender Vanilla mixed with Mahogany Coconut and that  is essentially LC.

Overall, LC is just ok; it's not groundbreaking - it didnt reinvent the wheel nor is it worth throwin a parade over. It's pleasant and guest friendly but not stock-up-able; I'm probably not gonna buy another..and that says a lot as I'm a die hard lavender lover. It's just odd and hard to place- it's sweet but it's not bakery a la macaroon, it's not exactly aromatherapy nor is it tropical. And like its WB core brethren Black Tea Rose, it was marketed all kinds of wrong; just haphazardly thrown into the WB core collection with no thought or reason. And with a very blah sounding name. Perhaps if it was in the Spa Day collection and collection with a similar vibe and called "Spa Day" or "Beach Resort" or something to that extent. Or if it were a little sweeter, it could've been marketed as a confectionery - "Lavender Macaroons". I do wish more thought was put into this scent as it is new. At any rate, I do think this worth trying. It's a perfect dip your toe into the water scent for those who are anti-lavender. And if you enjoy scents like Lavender Macaron or Peace or Lavender Vanilla, LC is definitely a member of that family. I don't think it's hoardworthy though; like me, you're gonna find yourself most likely being satisfied with only one.  

ON THE FENCE: Black Tea Rose 2.0

Products: candle  and wf bulb  
Area used in: bedroom
Time Period: end of February - mid April

I feel like I haven't​ done a proper candle review in ages. I know it's super late and most have moved on but hey better late than never.  And since I already talked in depth about this candle already, I'll spare you the details and just get down to the nitty-gritty.

So the performance was giving me LIFE! The wicks, despite being skinny, produced mushroom tops and didn't curl. The flames stayed high and dancing their fiery little butts off. And the oh man that throw; I hadn't had  a throw this strong and intense in a really long time. Open the door and expect the get body-slammed by the throw. This is one of the few times I've ever had to blow a candle out because it was too intense. Even the wf bulb was strong; I have NEVER experienced a wf this potent before. All of this would be great If I wasn't so on the fence about the scent itself.

So on cold throw, I was lovin it! Smooth, rich, sensual, elegant! And I got all the notes and then some and they were all balanced. After burning it however, it was a different story. As you burn it, that cedar note becomes more and prominent to the point that it's pretty much all you smelled..and truth be told I'm not a huge fan of cedar-heavy scents. the rose and tea leaves...byebye. Maybe a tinge, a hint of black pepper. And there were times where the other notes would pop up for a visit and the scent would waver between smelling manly and matronly; the wf in particular after awhile became a little too madame-ish for my taste. 

So you may wonder what was the difference between this and the elusive and mysterious black test version....

On cold sniff, there really isn't that much of a difference - a little dryer perhaps, the other notes pushed down. I haven't burned mine so I can't say if there's a difference post burn...though a few folks have said there is a huge difference in terms of strength and balance. Having burned the grey nationwide version, I can totally see that. I do wish they would've released the black version nationwide; the cold throw is sooooo much better and based on pics I've seen of folks burning it, it is gorgeous, ambience out the wazoo! The grey version, not so much. It was an extremely stupid decision to scrap the black tumbler just so friggin Mahogany Stankwood High Intensity could have it. 

Anyway, in conclusion, I just don't know what to think about this. On the one hand, I'm totally here for the newness factor which is quite rare nowadays and I do appreciate it's complexity and uniqueness. However, after burning it, I'm the fence wavering between liking and disliking it.  For anyone remotely interested in this scent and is to keep an open mind and approach it without any expectations cuz it will throw you for a loop

RANT OF THE DAY: So Ya Wanna Be a Candle Reviewer?

When I first started reviewing, reviewing itself kinda hit it's peak of popularity but even then there were handful of folks doing it and doing it well. When I first got in candles, there were even less. But nowadays candle reviewing is all the rage and anyone with a smartphone thinks that they can do..which makes me feel some kinda way. Some are pretty good, most are not.  So I wrote down some helpful points for people who are thinking of being a reviewer or wants to better

BLOGGER: Write in your own voice
It's your blog featuring your thoughts and opinions in your voice. What you write should come across like you having a conversation, not a dissertation, graduation speech or Bar Mitzvah presentation. Yes grammar, punctuation and syntax is important and the points you want to present should be precise and concise but your words shouldn't sound stilted or too polished; your readers might as well be reading an article on Wikipedia. Your posts be should natural and easy and fun too read.

YOUTUBER: Be yourself
Nothing is more entertaining and enjoyable than watching a Youtuber just be themselves in front of the camera. A fake persona could be entertaining for awhile but then it gets old. Same with someone playing a slightly exaggerated version of yourself, it's gets old. As long as you're having fun talkin about candles, people are gonna have listenin to you

INSTAGRAMMER: Get creative with your candle pics
There's nothing more boring than a picture of a lone candle. That's fine if you're posting it on Evilbay or Mercari to say but it's friggin Instagram. The whole point is you posting pictures to get people's attention and like said picture and preferably follow you. Why would anyone do that if your pictures are boring? Wow, you took a pic of a candle of your table or original! Play around and have some fun - use props, use backgrounds, take pics outside. If it's a holiday, use your decorations. Got a pet? Put it in you pic. You don't need a fancy camera unless you plan on being a professional blogger, just use your smartphone. There are all kinds of free photo editing and filtering doo-hickeys on your phones so there is no excuse

INSTAGRAMMER: Write something, anything about the candle
I've made it a point to unfollow people who just post candle pics and write nothing about it. I followed (and unfollowed) one lady who was notorious for this; I asked her why and she said that she didn't have time...didn't have time? Really?! You obviously had time to take the pic, edit the pic, and post the pic but not enough to write a little blurb? GURL BYE! Write something - where you bought, when you bought, what does it smell like, how does it make you feel..anything is better than nothing. Also hashtags are your friends, use em!

YOUTUBER: Watch what comes out of your mouth
The only sounds coming out of your mouth is words only. Be mindful of teethsucking and lipsmacking..though a good ghettorific tongue click is acceptable if you can do one properly but only in small doses. Unless you have a cold, keep the throat clearing to a minimum; and even if you do have a cold, drink some tea, swallow some honey, suck on a lozenge, do you whatcha gotta do. And guys don't burp/belch, it's not cute or funny or attractive. And if you do burp/belch on accident and there's no way to edit it ot, SAY EXCUSE ME! If not, there's this big white stank elephant in the room that takes away from your video. You want your subscribers to follow your every word, not be distracted that your nasty impolite ass didn't say excuse me after letting out a throat fart.

BLOGGER: Pictures are worth a thousand words
Yes the whole point of the blog is to speak your mind with words but sometimes you can save yourself so much time and words just posting a pic. That said, take a candid pic of the candle you're reviewing, preferably lit to show it's performance. Don't just steal pics off of the website. Also take pics of any candle issues - tunneling, puny wicks, etc. There's only so much words, your readers can handle at a time and good way to break the monotony is with a pic.

I've seen some videos where I literally couldn't understand a single solitary word coming from the person; they weren't foreign and English weren't their second language, just a regular ol American. What is the point of doing a video and talking about whatever if viewers can barely understand you?!You can NOT get in front of your camera/smartphone and talk regularly like you do with your family and friends; they understand you cuz they're used to you, the strangers out there watching your videos, not so much. And I'm lookin at y'all, my fellow that drawl y'all. Speak slowly! ENUNCIATE! If you think there's a possibility that you won't be understand or you have a bad case of annoying voice, do a practice run; record a tidbit of your voice and work on any issues. Do a few mouth/jaw exercises to loosen then. If you were a drama kid or a speech and debater backintheday, do a few of the vocal exercises you were taught.

YOUTUBER: The dictionary is your friend
Back when BBW was still writing long monologues for their notes, one fall they kept using the word"autumnal" a lot in several different candles..and a least 5-6 different all mispronounced this word. There's no excuse. If you encounter a word and you don't know either how to pronounce or what it means, LOOK IT UP! Looking and sounding dumb is not cute!

Also if you encounter a fragrance note that you've never heard of, never smelled and/or don't know how to pronounce,LOOK IT UP! Wikipedia that shit!

INSTAGRAMER: Post the damn notes
This annoys me to no friggin end and I've already ranted and raved on IG about this. If you are one of the fortunate few who live near a test store and you want to post newness... awesome, please do! BUT POST THE FRIGGIN NOTES! Just posting a pic of newness is not remotely helpful cuz you're not saying what it smells like. You know people are gonna ask you, so why not post them?!

People break their damn necks to be the first to post newness or test scents...why? It's not a competition and if you think it's a competition, you need serious help. Stop posting in the damn store, just sniff and take pics. It 's easy to get noseblind or discombobulated or overwhelmed while you're in the store. Wait til you get home away from the BBW fumes, the adrenaline rush is over, your brain has calmed and you can make sense. At home, you have no excuse about lack of time or SAs peeking over your shoulder. And if you're about to make a video, take some time to really sniff, do some comparisons and get your thoughts together.

EVERYONE: Do your homework
I have read/heard a few reviewers say rather erroneous things and it grates my nerves. As a reviewer you are an authority figure with more knowledge and expertise than your followers. if you're giving out false info and you're followers know more than you do, what's the point?! One major issue I have is people love to throw around the R word - repackage. Sometimes thing's aren't a repackage but rather a rerelease (a candle with the same name and notes released over and over) or it just happens to be similar or has similar notes. Then when people call them out for being wrong, they either have to backtrack, correct themselves and apologize or they make passive aggressive flippant/sarcastic remarks about being called out. Another issue I have are folks who are relatively new to the candle fandom and​ think that every scent that comes out is new or they have no earthly knowledge of candles prior to the start of their candle obsession. In both cases, there's no excuse - DO YOUR RESEARCH. There are sooo many videos and blog posts (cough cough like mine) with all the info you need. Do sniff comparison. Look up notes on the Internet. Consult with people how have been into candles longer than you. EDUCATE YOURSELF!  

EVERYONE: If you gonna be a reviewer, then REVIEW
Nothing pisses me off more than hearing a reviewer say nothing else about a candle besides "I like this one" or "This is my fav". THAT'S NOT F***ING HELPFUL! No ones gives a flying shit what you like or dislike, what people care about is what the damn candle smells like and what the burn is like. If you're doing cold sniff reviews, say it what it smells like and if you like or dislike, explain why. If you're doing a post-burn review, talk IN DEPTH about the burn performance and the throw strength. People are relying on you and what you say determines if they will buy said candle or not.

Also, I hear soooooooooooo many people on social "I'm not good a describing scents"...which in my opinion is bullshit! Nothing makes me roll my eyes quicker than hearing that. Granted many people are not familiar with certain notes and being able to pick apart a blend and pinpoint notes is a skill that few possess. However if you have a working nose, a functioning brain and a grasp of the English language, you should be able to say, even on a basic level, what a candle smells like. Just say something about it, anything; Id rather you say something than nothing at all. And if you truly are unable to say what you smell, DON'T BE A REVIEWER. A candle reviewer who can't describe scents is like a blind seeing eye dog, cute but useless.

EVERYONE: Engage with your audience
There is nothing worse than a reviewer who thinks themselves too high and mighty to converse with the common rabble that is their followers. And do NOT use the excuse that you're busy. If you have the time to write a blog or post a pic or especially make/edit/post a video, you have time to answer people's comments. And don't just talk to your friends who are following, talk to EVERYONE. You might have people who are new to the candle fandom and have questions; what's wrong with answering them? Granted you may occasionally get a question that's really stupid or is self-explanatory; feel free to ignore those. Or if someone gets irate or you get some trolling, just delete and block. But do try to reply back as often as you can and develop some kind of bond so that they'll keep coming back for more.

EVERYONE: Develop thick skin 
Anytime you put yourself out there, be prepared for haters. That's just life. And the world of candle reviewing is full of em. Unless you're a bitch, most people are gonna support you, have your back and give your all kinds of positive reinforcement. However, a run-in with an asshole is inevitable. You'll have knowitalls disagreeing with you, people who know less than you wanting to critique, people jealous of your popularity, folks who ask incredibly stupid questions, the follow for follow hoes who get salty when you don't follow them,  and of course there are trolls who have nothing better to do than to right nasty comments and goad you into a comment battle. Don't let these bitches get to you; haters gon hate so keep doing you! And the block button will be your best friend, use it well and often

EVERYONE: Don't take yourself so seriously
I've seen some reviewers' inflated ego get in the way and their arrogance increase with their likes and views and follows. They get a little too full of themselves - they think their reviews are holy gospel edicts coming from on high, they focus more on getting more views and follows than actually reviewing and look down on their followers/subscribers treating them quite nastily and confuse their "popularity" for "celebrity". If you aren't getting paid for your antics and/or you don't work or have some kind of working relation with a candle company, I'm gonna need you to slow your roll and calm it the eff down! And even if you are getting paid or not and even if you have several followers or not...YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CANDLES!!! First world problems like a mofo! You're not curing cancer or AIDS; get off of your high horse and treat this like the hobby it was intended to be!

NEWNESS UPDATE: Le French Candles...Oh la la

So mentioned in my last post about the random candle that popped on Ebay and how it'll be sold along with the rest of the French themed candles but I didn't know if there would more candles are just that one..well there are indeed more...

St Tropez Shore - Seasalted Bergamot, Sun Lilies, Cote D'Azur Coconut (new scent)

Crème Caramel - Buttery Caramel, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla (I heard this is a repackage of Pumpkin Caramel Pumpkin Latte..dafuq?!)

White Jasmine - White Jasmine Buds, Orange Blossom, Mimosa (this may be new but I wonder if this is Slatkin's WB era scent Golden Mimosa)

Returning scents include Endless Weekend and Champagne Toast (yep CT in the spring, I said this would happen one day)

Bowties & Bourbon is supposed to be making an appearance in wf bulb but no word if there will be a candle as well. I dunno what that scent has to do with France but whatevs, c'est la vie

And just in case you forgot and don't know about the main French themed candles, they are...

Merci Paris - Creamy Vanilla, Rich Blackcurrant, Soft Jasmine (new scent, everyone says has a feminine bodycare Victoria Secret vibe to it)

Paris Cafe - Rich Roasted Coffee, Sugared Brioche, Vanilla Creme (new scent, not Espresso Bar or Cafe au Lait from the Slatkin days)

Blushing Pink Rose Petals - Soft Rose Petals, White Cedarwood, Luxe Sandalwood (repackage of Winter Rose)

White Peach - Luscious White Peach, French Vanilla, Dewy Ivy (new scent and it seems is going wide)

Returning scents include French Lavender and Citron Cedarwood

I'm pretty sure the next floorset is next week (don't quote me on that as it's subject to change) so we should be seeing all of these in stores fairly soon.

NEWNESS UPDATE: Guess What? More Tropical Candles!

Well gang, we didn't ask for em but we're gettin em  anyway...MORE TROPICAL CANDLES!!! YAY!!!! *EYEROLL

So currently testing is a collection of (at the moment) 6 candles. Look-wise, they're very...umm..different. So the glass tumblers are..wait for it...ANIMAL SKIN PRINT! Snake, tiger, zebra, etc. I dunno what I think about that - on the one hand, animal print will ALWAYS be gaudy but other the other hand, at least they're doing something different look-wise but on the other other hand it's a case of style over substance with more emphasis and effort placed on the look and not the scents themselves.

Anyway, there are 4 "new" scents...

Waterfall Oasis - Rushing Water, Bright Pomelo Zest, White Woods (word on the street its Beach Day..I'm not mad at that! It could also be last year's Sparkling Waves or  2013 failed test scent Whitewater Birch)

Black Pepper & Amber - Warm Black Pepper, Golden Amber, Rare Tobacco Flower (repackage of Tobacco Flower/Tailgate2.0/Mad About Madrid)

Coconut Palm & Lime - Island Coconut, Tropical Greens, Fresh Lime Zest (I was hoping this was Coconut Lime Verbena but I hear it's not and it might be new)

Wild Cedarwood - Dark Cedarwood, Palm Leaves, Wild Neroli (A few folks have posted this and by all accounts, it's new and it's the bomb. That said, I do wonder if it's failed test scent Cedarwood Trail as that had cedarwood and neroli as well)

Returning scents include Rainforest Gardenia (why) and Mango Dragonfruit (again, why?)

for pictures check out my @_scentsgalore and @dennisobsessedcandles on IG

Also a new candle randomly appeared on Ebay recently, intriguing and mystifying everyone on social media...

Ebay: skkm96

St Tropez Shore - Seasalted Bergamot, Sun Lilies, Cote D'Azur Coconut (so I thought this might be either version of Suntan but according to Tinadivalicious in his latest review vid, it's a new scent that smells vaguely like Bergamot Mint)

Apparently this French inspired tropical candle is gonna be released for the La Francaise flooset by itself but there are rumours that will be other candles with this iron wrought packaging

RANT OF THE DAY: Candle Notes ~ More than meets the eye

The Coastal Oak & Seasalt candle scandal raised another issue I have which has prompted me to write yet another rant!

This, like my last one, is directed at snot-nosed knowitall teenybopper SAs who "think" they know all things fragrance. I'm also writing this for other reviewers, Instagrammers and candle lovers in general. This rant is about notes on the bottom of the candle...

Back in the ancient days at the very beginning of Harry Slatkin's mighty reign of home fragrance, there were no notes on the bottom, you just had to make your own guesses and move on. Then eventually, Slatkin started mentioning notes, at least 5 maybe 6 just so folks could have a clearer idea of what they were sniffing. Over time, especially after Slatkin made his grand exit, the note descriptions become more and more verbose and superfluous like chapters out of "War & Peace" with little room for notes, which were whittled down to 3 at the most. Lately, and I must say I kinda prefer it this way, we just get the bare essentials - no more lengthy fluffy narratives but just 3 or 4 notes themselves...

Which brings me to this DO know there are more than 3 or 4 notes in a candle right?

That sounds like simple question with an obvious would think. But if you listen to certain SAs in the store or candle lovers on Instagram or Youtube reviewers, that question isn't simple and the answer isn't obvious. People truly believe that what you see is what you get...and that's stupid!

I like to use this comparison..when you're eating spaghetti and meatballs, are you ONLY eating spaghetti and meatballs? Boiled noodles, tomato sauce and rolled up meat? NO! There are herbs and spices and seasonings and oils involved to add taste and flavor and body to the main ingredients.

I mentioned this in my fragrance terminology post , there are 3 layers to a scents

  • base notes are the glue that holds the entire blend together
  • middle notes give the scent some added uumph
  • top notes are what you smell immediately first and foremost
What you're actually smelling is much more complex than it sounds. You have all these notes that aren't mentioned at all, some are practically invisible to your nose and some you would not recognize or like in it's purest chemical form. And there are notes that are actually a blend of other notes in and of itself. Making several notes come together and smell like a certain thing or concept IS a science! 

Another thing to take into consideration with reading and musing over the notes is how much if it is the truth. BBW often stretches the truth or misplaces one note with another. And it's not just BBW - most candle makers or anyone dealing with home fragrance  and even bodycare all do this all the time. It's called MARKETING!

The most appealing sounding notes out of the formula are used in the description. Sometimes those notes aren't eye catching or doesn't flow off  the tongue or doesn't sound particularly very appealing, so they'll use a note with a similar vibe. The notes on the bottom of the candle aren't there to necessarily tell you EXACTLY what you're selling but rather to entice you and pique your interest, something to make ya go "hmmm"

Think of the notes as free samples in a grocery store. People are handing out those free samples to catch your attention, whet your appetite, pique your interest and if you like the sample, you'll certainly like the product itself and be compelled to buy it. It's the same with candle notes; the notes are there to appeal to your tastes and sensibilities and if you like the sound of those notes and you like the way those "notes" smell, then you'll buy the candle and burn it at your leisure. Marketing/Advertising 101!

And the power of persuasion/suggestion is a biotch! Those "notes" are sending all kinds of subliminal messages into your brain and sometimes tricking you into thinking that some of those notes are real and that you smell or at least get the vibe of what the name of the candle. Again, I was duped into thinking Coastal Oak & Seasalt was new and ended up buying and bringing it home...that never happens to me. And I still laugh at people fooling themselves into thinking that Maple Cinnamon Pancakes aka Pumpkin Caramel Latte smelled like maple drizzled flapjakes and BBW made money off of that little con.

So in conclusion, take those notes with the teeniest tiniest molecule from the grain of salt, cuz for the most part, they're BS! 

And now I have a homework assignment for everyone reading this. This is video from a relatively new reviewer, The Candle Enthusiast. He mainly reviews Yankee Candles (boo, hiss, boo!!!) but he did hit up BBW for the first time and dipped his toe into the water with the Hit Refresh collection. What is remarkable and impressive is that he sniffs that candles without looking at the notes, picks apart the blend and guesses all of these notes that he gets. He knows his shit and is very knowledgeable about notes and what they smell like; it certainly helps have prior past experiences as a wine sommelier. I'm telling he will mention notes that you would've even think were there, a few times he even stunned me! So yeah, check out and..well...take notes!


RANT OF THE DAY: The Coastal Oak & Seasalt Scandal

So, as usual, I found myself in a bit of controversy. On Sunday I posted on Instagram about Coastal Oak & Seasalt  and that it's a repackage of Orange Blossom & Driftwood...and I stand by it. It's not opinion or a theory, it's a friggin fact. I owned OB&DW and only very recently brought it back to the store to exchange. That said, despite not being able to do a side by side, the scent was still fresh in my memory and I instantly recognized the blend in CO&SS; it had the same orange/bergamot/neroli blend that tickled my nose and upset my sinuses that OB&DW, which is why I brought it back to the store.

I also posted the description notes for both candles as they're both suspiciously similar and anyone with a working brain, functioning eyes and a grasp on the English can spot out said similarities...

  • Orange Blossom Petals, Crisp Bergamot, Soft Sea Washed Wood
  • Oceanside Oak, Sparkling Bergamot, Sea Salt Crystals, Sage

So let's break it down shall we...
  • They're both orangey
  • both share a "bergamot" note
  • one describes the wood as "soft sea washed" and the other blatantly says "sea salt"; wouldn't something "sea washed" be..oh I dunno..SALTY
  • in the fragrance making world, "driftwood" is usually a blend consisting of...oak; furthermore in CO&SS, the oak is described as "oceanside". Wouldn't that make it...DRIFTWOOD

I presented my evidence and waited for the comments​. There were some who agreed with me having did a side by side comparison. But then for the rest of the day, all of these naysayers came out of the woodwork saying I was wrong.

Now I admit, I have a problem - I hate being wrong..well that's not true. I'm ok with being corrected...if I'm wrong. And if I am wrong, I will gracefully and wholeheartedly accept defeat and admit my blunder. However, if I'm right, constant naysaying truly pisses me off and I will vehemently defend myself. In this instance however, I was tired of all comments and I deleted the post. And for aninstant, I thought maybe I was wrong. Then I thought "f*** that! I know what the hell I smelled..I'm right..I'M BRONZEBLOGGER BITCH!" Plus other people agreed, which I reiterate they did a side by side comparison.

But here's what truly pissed me off about this incident. Most of the naysayers had the same things in common...
  • they were young (I LOATHE being corrected, right or wrong, by someone significantly younger than me)    
  • they were strangers who didn't follow me; I didn't know them, they didn't know me and I dunno how the hell they even found my post
  • they were SAs at BBW
It's the last thing that really sticks in my craw the most! I've had several run-ins with these bitches on social media and they do nothing but annoy the living piss outta me. They're always some teenybopper barely in their 20s who who don't have a college degree yet or just got it and don't know what to do with it. They're always a girl; some random ass Becky that works at a random ass store in a random ass town...though occasionally I'll get a queen... and there is nothing worst than an young entitled opinionated twink. They never follow me, they never like my posts and they only comment when I post a criticism..which they take personally and with absolute umbrage. How dare I, who don't even work at BBW, say something bad about a product in their store. Apparently just being a SA for whatever amount of time immediately makes you an authority of all things fragrance...much in the same way being a cashier at McDonalds means the person can not only cook a hamburger using the recipe but knows all things cuisine by virtue of standing there in the building.

And their comments ooze and reek of self-entitlement and condescension and youthful stereotypically..millennial..which I hate that word cuz it's used too often with too much misplaced vitriol (and the fact that I'm technically a millennial myself, barely). They essentially talk down to you like you're stupid, throwing useless and regurgitated facts that they were forcefed  from their manager or they base their argument on events and experiences in their store, because obviously what happens in one store happens in them all.Their comments serve no beneficial purpose, they don't enlighten or educate; the aim is to take you down a few pegs which gives them much need validation and smug self-satisfaction. And the few who are trying to be helpful or "correct" me fail in the end because their words are so sarcastic and knowitall-y. And if one more Becky calls me "hun" or "darling" or "gurl", I'm gonna f***ing scream!

First of all, why are you getting so insulted by what I or anyone says a about a candle? Did you make it? Are you a factory worker hand picking and dipping the wicks by hand like they say on the bottom of the candles? Do you work at a fragrance house coming up with blends? Have you intensively studied fragrance notes and the  the science of creating blends? Can you tell me the chemical compound of a fragrance? Do you work in the marketing department at L Brands? Do you have Slatkin on speed dial? Do you, him and Laura hang out at his place, sip martinis and talk shop?

I'm gonna say no to all of that. You're just a SA who stacks, sells, and bags candles...that's it.

Now I don't mean this as an insult nor am I looking down on the profession. I tip my hat to BBW SA's cuz most of them are not treated very kindly by customers or management. I myself do not have the patience, attitude or temperament for the job; my indifference, bluntness and sarcasm would've gotten me fired the very first day. I'm friends with quite a few SAs most whom are cool people; some really love it while others are in it for the paycheck.But then there are the small minority of self righteous douchenozzles who think of themselves and their position way too highly and desperately need a dose of reality.

In conclusion, you don't have to agree with me; it's your God given right to agree or disagree with whatever I say and to speak your peace on what you agree or disagree about. I don't mind debating as long as it's​ civil. However if you get irate or sarcastic or feel the need to talk down to me, read me and put me in place to make yourself feel maam, ain't nobody​ got time for dat! Furthermore if you're some stranger who doesn't know me, doesn't follow me and has never talked to me otherwise, I'm not gonna entertain you or listen to what you have to say. Lastly, I'm gonna need you to be an authority who actually knows their shit to get into a verbal rumble with me; I am not here​ for basic bitches with basic knowledge.

Oh...and I still say Coastal Oak & Seasalt IS Orange Blossom & Driftwood. Perhaps your store has a different batch but I know what I smelled and I know that I'm right. Say my name...BRONZEBLOGGER...I'm out!