NEWNESS UPDATE: Yay, More Tropical Candles...*UPDATED*

As if this spring couldn't get any more boring and unexciting, it seems we're getting another collection..a collection so lame and uninspired that it didn't even test. And yes, it's of course a yet another tropical beach themed collection. And no BBW is taking us to Hawaii or Fiji or Tahiti or another vaguely South Seas/Polynesian locale, nope it's just "Paradise". And just based on the chosen scents and the look of the collection as a whole, if that's "paradise", hunny I'll gladly stay in Jersey!

So first of all, the collection itself just looks sooooooo cheap and ugly. They all have painted on palm leaves in various colors and few of them have gold labels with the scent name scrawled across. The overall effect just comes across very TJMaxx/Marshalls/Homegoodes-ish.

Secondly, with the exception of one, the scents are kinda blah. At the moment, new scents include...

Sea Grass - Sweet Island Sugarcane, Rustling Sea Grass, Sparkling Clear Water (So word on the street is that it isn't Beach Grass which would make more sense. More than one person has said it's a repackage of..what for it...Snap Peas..dafuq?!) 

Ok so can we talk?!..."rustling sea grass"...really? I didn't think it rustled. And furthermore, what does "rustling sea grass" even smell like"?!

And "sparkling clear water"?! Not ocean or sea water but clear water. Doesn't that smell like..oh I dunno...NOTHING?!

Aloha Kiwi Passionfruit - Tropical Passionfruit, Radiant Kiwi, Juicy Pineapple, Fresh Coconut (so this one sounds intriguing, despite that damn coconut note. I do wonder if it's Bahama Fizz from backintheday; same notes but missing banana)

Beach Orchid -
Pale Orchid Petals, Sea Breezes, Soft White Sands, Luxurious Musk (Party Dress?)

Sun Soaked Sandalwood - Sandalwood, Orange Blossoms, Coconut Water (First of all wtf is "sun soaked sandalwood?! Anyway based on the notes, this sounds like Poolside Daydream)

Returning scents include Mahogany Coconut, Waikiki Beach Coconut, Island Margarita and Mango Maitai (formerly Tiki Mango Maitai)

If these haven't popped up early at your local store, the nationwide release will be in 2 weeks for the next floorset (though there is a rumor that these may appear next week)..I can't wait *eyeroll

For pictures, check out my buddy @candleafficianado on IG

NEWNESS UPDATE: Upcoming Spring "Newness" *UPDATED*

I dunno about y'all but I've been very very bored with BBW lately. Besides bodycare crap, there has been no home fragrance buzz - a bitch needed news of newness. But lo and behold, newness started popping up on social media...which on the one hand is exciting cuz things have kinda stagnant at BBW but on the other stuff that's heading our way is kinda blah

So as you may (or may not know) there's gonna be an American inspired Destination collection with candle for each state with a WB store. At the moment there are 4...

  • New York ~ The Big Apple (I'm assuming this that stank boring Farmstand Apple, though it could be Autumn/Gingham Apple, no has said what it is yet)
  • Texas ~ The Lonestar State (this is the 2nd version of Tailgate aka Mad About Madrid)
  • California ~ The Golden State (this is Suntan aka Poolside)
  • Ohio ~ The Buckeye State (straightup Hot Cocoa & Cream)

I dunno if there will be anymore; I'm sure Georgia and DC will probably get one though maybe not. And I'm assuming these will only be in WB stores

Also there will be new wf refill additions to the Lattice collection. All of the candles except for Lemon Mint Leaf, Strawberry Mimosa, Watermelon Lemonade, Fresh Cut Lilacs and Sunlit Garden are getting one. Two new candle-less additions are...

Mahogany Cotton (which I've already ranted and raved about this mess)

Rosewater & Ivy (if Garden Party and Winter Rose had a baby, it would be RS&I. It's a new scent and it does smell like intense feminine rosewater with a hint of cooling greens. No word if there will be a candle as well)

Both of these are now online

The next collection we'll see is a vaguely tropical spa day inspired collection with the infamous "ribbed  for your pleasure" tumblers, some of which have already appeared online. This collection will include Coconut Sandalwood, Black Pepper Bergamot, Fresh Bamboo, Rainforest Gardenia and Cotton & Eucalyptus aka Frosty Air...lame. There are 2 "new" scent

  • Sweet Peach & Nectarine - Juicy Peach, Sun-Ripened Nectarine, Sweet Orange (this is a repackage of last year's Malibu ~ Citrus Glow which was itself a repackage of Peach Bellini)
  • Palm Leaves & Mango - Paradise Mango, Palm Fronds, Creamy Coconut Milk, Warm Island Woods (I'm REEEEAAALLLLLLLY  hoping this is Mango Beachwood from back in the day)

In addition to that, there is a relaxing at the beach themed collection and it's kinda beautiful - colored nonfrosted chrome-like glass tumblers, paper lids (grrrr) with nice pretty beach scenes and the (very corny) names of the candles in glittery iridescent letters. As pretty as they look, the scents themselves are really boring and lacklaster. They include pretty much all re-releases
  • The Ocean is Calling ~ Indigo Sky
  • I Need Vitamin Sea ~ Salted White Mango (aka Sundrenched Mango)
  • Beach Daze Always ~ Fresh Bamboo
  • eat.beach.sleep.repeat ~ Coconut Sandalwood
  • Mermaid Vibes ~ Blue Ocean Waves
  • Chase the Sun ~ Tiki Dragonfruit (aka Mango Dragonfruit

There only "new" scent is...
  • Make a Splash ~ Water Lily & Palm - Water Lily Blossom, Banana Flower, Palm Fronds, Orange Neroli (word on the street is this may be a repackage of Cactus Lily from the doomed desert/southwest collection but don't quote me on that)
Finally, as you know every single blessed spring season, BBW takes us on an European vacation to either Italy or France alternating every year. Last year we were in Italy with the incredibly lame Ciao Italy collection so this year we're off to France and gay Paree with "Viva la France" collection! "New" scents are...
  • Merci Paris - Creamy Vanilla, Rich Blackcurrant, Soft Jasmine (it sounds suspiciously like the Black Currant Vanilla aromatherapy scent.  People have been saying that get blackberry instead of blackcurrant so I wonder if it's Slatkin's Black Raspberry Vanilla. It could also be Twinkling Night)
  • Paris Cafe - Rich Roasted Coffee, Sugared Brioche, Vanilla Creme (this may be a repackage of 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 (first of all, I dunno what "white peaches" have to do with France but ok. Also it isn't Georgia/Market Peach or French Garden or Springtime in Provence; by all accounts it's a new scent that has a white grape/white wine vibe to it)

Returning scents include French Lavender and Citron Cedarwood

Well I dunno about yall, but I am incredibly underwhelmed though I'm sure my bank account is letting out a huge sigh of relief

For pictures, check out @theshow78, @duchessofwax and @_scentsgalore on IG

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Marshmallow Fireside (2012)

Products: candle  and wf bulb  
Area used in:  livingroom
Time Period: mid-October - Thanksgiving

Description: Celebrate the changing season with a warm blend of marshmallows, smoldering woods and creamy vanilla reminiscent of a cozy evening 'round the bonfire

So everyone and their grandma is OBSESSED with this candle and I've never understood why. Anytime I express my indifference for this candle and say anything remotely negative about it, the Marshmallow Fireside mob comes after me with torches and pitchforks. So this year I decided that I was gonna do things differently, be open-minded and try new things. In the spirit of being open-minded, I decided I was gonna force myself try certain scents that everyone loves but I don't. That said I decided that I'd give MF a try and see what I all the hype was about. I went on Ebay and bought the "cheapest" ol school version I could find.

You may be wondering.."hmm, well Bronzeblogger, MF was available in stores in fall and winter...why didn't you save money and just get that instead?" I'll tell ya why...

So summer of 2013 there was a rustic camping by the lake themed collection called the Lakeside collection  - it was the collection that birthed that candle demonseeds of basicness  Watermelon Lemonade and Strawberry Picnic aka Strawberry Sorbet aka Happy Easter ~ Cotton Candy Marshmallow. It was also the first time Mahogany Stankwood was released as a non-fall scent. Anyway, there was a scent called Summertime Smores ...which was MF-esque but less authentic. The marshmallow note wasn't as marshmallowy, there was slightly more smoke and in the background there was a weird orange/bergamot almost cologney Oceanside-ish note that I suppose was to add a bright summery feel to the blend. I LOATHED this candle; I was already not a fan of MF but this made me strongly dislike any kind of scent like this.

Long story short, ever since that collection BBW has stopped using the original Slatkin  recipe and has been using Summetime Smores instead. Yes, all this time MF was actually Summertime Smores.....a only few people noticed the switcheroo and lately no one knows the difference. Ohhh but I do!  

So what is the difference? AUTHENTICITY!

It does smell like roasting marshmallows on a stick over a fire. The marshmallow is ooey gooey and warm heightened with sweet creamy vanilla with all the Fireside candle notes sans the leather. And while it doesn't have that were orangey/bergamot Oceanside-y aspect that the SS version of MF, there is a weird powderiness that almost comes across as fabric softener or laundry detergent; something floral maybe - like in additional to vanilla bean, maybe there's vanilla orchid flower involved too? Who knows.

So I've burned it and I'm almost done..honestly y'all, I still don't get the hype; I'm not impressed, I'm not won over, I'm still indifferent! And typically love fiery/smoldering woody scents; I LOVE Fireside as well as weird ass Summer Bonfire and even Pumpkin Fireside mananged to win me over. I think it's just the marshmallow aspect I don't like; I can't get down with straightup marshmallow/vanilla scents! And to make matters worse, the performance was less than stellar; the flames were stubby, it tunneled and the throw was surprisingly weak despite the potent notes. Even the wf bulbs were weak as hell.

So yeah, you can't say I didn't try. I wanted to love and appreciate it; I wanted to see thru the eyes of its fans...that said, I've noticed something. Many of the people who hype it allllll say the same reminds them of something - it reminds them of childhood, it reminds them of being out in the woods, it reminds them of camping, it reminds them of campfires and bonfires. Could it be the love for the scent isn't for the scent itself but rather nostalgia that it conjures? As an Southern suburban black guy from a big city, I never did the outdoors thing growing up; I never went went camping, the only outdoors action I got was in my backyard and I did witness my first campfire/bonfire as well as roast something in said fire until well into my 20s and even then I wasn't a huge fan and haven't done it sense. That said, I just don't have that scent memory/nostalgia that most MF lovers have. So yeah, I tried it and I'm glad I tried it but I won't be trying it again.   

THIS IS THE BOMB.COM: Winter Mint & Spruce and Hot Cocoa & Cream

I do realize it is super late to be reviewing these two as a) neither scent are available in stores and b)some folks aren't burning winter stuff anymore. However I really didn't start burning these two til very recently and this "better late than never" edition is for those folks who haven't gotten around to burning it yet

Products: candle
Area used in:  bathroom and occasionally living room
Time Period: December thru February

Description: Sugared Spruce, Crisp Winter Mint, Green Pine, Frosted Lavender

I won't go too much in depth as I've already written a cold sniff review

The performance for this badboi has been outstanding; tall dancing flames every burn and a deep and even pool. And as you can see from the picture, it is absolutely gorgeous to burn - ambience out the friggin wazoo! The wax melts into this brilliant teal/mint green/aquamarine color and the flames makes glitter on the label sparkle and shimmer - just gorgeous.

My only issue is the throw, it could stand to be a little stronger. This is definitely small room kind of scent, the throw would get lost in a big living room or master bedroom.

Warm throw-wise, you get more spearmint than anything else which gives the scent a fresh mentholy coolness. The lavender, albeit faint, follows after the spearmint which adds to the freshness. The spruce note is completely overpowered by the spearmint and lavender but there's just enough to remind you that this a wintry alpine scent. And there's something sweet in the background, almost fruity; I'm convinced that there is some kind of melon note thrown in there; I guess it's to replicate the wetness of snow on the spruce branches? Who knows.

At any rate, WM&S is of the most unique, gorgeous and sophisticated scents to come out of BBW in awhile. I wouldn't necessarily calk this a holiday scent but it is a good post-New Years January/February scent. I would also consider this to be an aromatherapy scent as all of the notes generate a sense of calm, peace, relaxation and serenity; that said, I loved burning this candle while I took a hot steaming bath, sooo relaxing. I do hope this comes back as a winter staple...and with wf bulbs next time but chances it won't be back cuz  the good new stuff never does. That said, I hope everyone has stocked...

Products: candle
Area used in:  living room
Time Period: January thru mid -February (weekend mornings)

Description: Decadent Milk Chocolate, Fresh Steamed Milk, Mini Marshmallow

I was NOT expecting to like this scent at all. By nature, I am easily turned off by things that are overly hyped. Furthermore, I just don't like the smell of chocolate in most home fragrance. However, I decided to take the plunge and get this candle anyway; I'm so glad I did as I found myself absolutely LOVING it.

I managed to grab the brown frosted version from the very beginning of this collection's release and I'm glad cuz, as you can see from the picture above, AMBIENCE CITY! The frosted version is sooo gorgeous to burn; very stupid on BBW's part to change to the regular glass.

The performance was a little iffy at first. The flames were a little stubby and the wax was slow to pool out. After the 2nd or 3rd burn, it somehow corrected itself; full plump mushroom tops (sometimes too plump as they snapped, crackled and popped sometimes), tall dancing flames and deep and even wax pools. The throw was just the kinda throw that I love - the "warm blanket" throw; not too strong, not too weak and just wraps around you like a warm blanket.

And now the scent. At first I was leaning towards not liking this scent. When I first burned it, my bf complained that he smelled something weird. After he said it, I noticed it too. On the first burn there is a weird almost salty, savory/umami like aroma like raw meat marinating in soy sauce. However after that initial first burn, that savory weirdness went away and it smelled closer to what the cold throw was like. There is a little saltiness but I find that in most chocolate scents. For the most part it smells like hot cocoa of the Swiss Miss and Abuelita variety but more like the powder as opposed to the actual hot drink. That said, the other notes smell dry as well; the "fresh steamed milk" (which normally smells sour in BBW's home fragrance but doesn't in this) smells more like milk powder and the mini marshmallows smell like the little dehydrated marshmallow pellets you find in Swiss Miss packets. But don't let that turn you off, it smells less gross than it sounds.

What I love about HC&C  is how nostalgic it is; it conjures up memories of being a kid and making hot cocoa on cold winter day - the scent makes you feel like a kid again. You can start burning this around Thanksgiving, thru Christmastime and straight thru the rest of winter. It's perfect for those cold winter mornings or afternoons on the weekends; it just makes you feel all warm and cozy. Hopefully this will come back as a winter/holiday staple but as BBW is always indifferent to popular scents, who knows if we'll ever see it again. Again, I hope everyone stocked up!

RANT OF THE DAY: In the Beginning ~ Bronzeblogger's Origin Story

I was chatting with my gurl Jenn/@theshow78 about the early days of our BBW obsession and reminiscing about how clueless and naive were back then.

So I first became aware of BBW/Slatkin/White Barn candles back in 2011..probably the very beginning of the BBW candle craze and the genesis of soooooo many amazing scents which sadly only a small handful have stuck around. That said, I didn't buy any...I was strictly a Yankee gurl back then..not that I bought that many of their candles either. Fast forward to 2012 and I have started dating my now partner and he's a Slatkin fan of more normal and sane degree.  He brings me kicking and screaming in a BBW store; I've always resisted as that miasma of fragrance seeping out of the store an into the mall always repelled me. But for the sake of love, I go in and for the first time, I really pay attention to the candles and I'm amazed at the sheer variety of scents; I have an Annie-esque revelation - "I think I'm gonna like it here!"

Fast-forward further to that fall. So because I'm from and in New Orleans where fall just doesn't exist, I'm oblivious to all things autumnal but my bf has actually lived places with fall slowly turns me into a full on autumnophile. So I naively muse to myself if BBW had any scents to get me into the fall spirit..and boy do they. I'm introduced to fall scents that would become the loves of my life - Leaves, Cranberry Woods and my number Black Pepper Bergamot that would have me feening like a crack addict in the months to come. It's also during this time that I have my first run in with the infamous Shit Cinnamon Poopkin that would turn me off to to all pumpkiny scents for years.

Fast-forward to that winter. I dunno what prompted me to do it, but I did a search and typed the name of a candle on Youtube in the hopes that somebody out there loved BBW candles and did reviews about them. I struck gold and found the ultimate candle guru, the grand poobah of candle reviewers - Littleballadeer. That was it, I was hooked. She had been reviewing candles since 2009 or 2012 and I beat myself up that I missed all of these amazing sounding scents. And through I found a gang of other infamous reviewers - mainly Touchthefiretwice and Tinadivalicious as well as many others who have long since stopped doing videos. With candle trifecta - Littleballadeer, Touchthefiretwice and Tinadivalicious, I got all of my candle news and info from them and hung to their every word.

During this time, I was soooooo clueless. I didn't know what were repackages of what..hell, I didn't even know what a repackages was. I had a hazy recollection of scents from 2011 and early 2012 but any re-released or repackaged scent from before then, I had no friggin clue. And don't get me started on test scents... what the hell was a test scent or a test store?! Back in those days you could call the main test stores in either Ohio or New Jersey (major *eyeroll) and order test scents and they'd totally ship test scents to you no matter where in the US you were. As an introvert who HATES talking on the phone especially to order something from a stranger, I just never did it. Then finally I plucked up enough courage to take the plunge and place an order...and it was sooooo easy and painless! I ordered a Tailgate (the original Tailgate NOT the repackaged crap from fall 2014) and an Applewood Bonfire..which was stupid cuz mine was unscented and I ended up exchanging it for a regular Fireside...I should've just ordered 2 Tailgates as that version has never been seen since. So I was sooo proud that I made my first test scent phone order only for them to stop doing it altogether about a month or so later. You need bitches always ruin a good thing - greedy hoes ordering 10-20 scents at time and the true scum of the earth - unscrupulous moral-less assholes who would claim that their order didn't arrive and would demand  replacements.

Fast forward to spring/summer 2013, thanks to the candle trifecta I was up to speed with candles and new releases and repackages but didn't really have anyone talk and commiserate all this with. I couldn't talk about candles all the time with my bf...although he would occasionally listen to Youtube reviews in passing. And i had two close friends who were into BBW but they were both you're..average consumer - go into a store once every couple of months and bought whatever they thought smelled good at the time but didn't care about notes or repackages or test or non-test scents. I needed an outlet. So that's when I started this blog! It kinda killed two birds with one stone - I loved to write and hadn't written in awhile and it give me a release, a voice to talk about something I loved. I had no idea that my blog would eventually get a following and people actually took what I said seriously and my thoughts/opinions swayed people's purchasing's awesome! I would eventually be swayed to do Youtube vids as EVERYBODY was getting on the Youtube review bandwagon. I caved in to peer pressure from a one of the trifecta and did videos albeit not regularly..and I hated it..still hate doing them...and betwixt y'all and me..I've decided to stop making them altogether.

Then sometime in 2014 in a vain attempt to gain more followers (as I was barely a blip on anyone's radar), I got on Facebook with my own Facebook page. I was amazed..I had no idea that there was an actual a community of people who loved BBW/Slatkin/White Barn just as much as I did. I got to talk to people who got into candles around the same time I did and a few were around beforehand during the Slatkin days. Quite a few of these individuals I am still friends with to those and still support and read my rantings on my little blog. By this time, my meager collection of 20 odd candles I had when I first started this blog had grown exponentially filling a 3tiered bin. Most importantly, I was more knowledgeable and could hold my own in conversations about notes and repackages; people saw me as an authority, wanted to pick my brain for info and and were genuinely interested in my opinions. I came a very very long way from that clueless twit who wouldn't even step inside a BBW store.

Looking back I do have some regrets, boy if I knew then what I know now. First of I was sooooo close-minded when it came to scents; if it wasn't fresh or watery or woodsy/cologney, I couldn't be bother. The list of scents I hated was soooo long - I hated sweet stuff, I hated fruity stuff, I hated tropical stuff, I hated vanilla and berry and coconut, and at the top of the list - bakery and pumpkin. I was vehemently anti-bakery and you all known about my love/hate relationship with pumpkin. Because there were so many scents I hated, I missed out on sooooo much especially during that weird period when Slatkin was about to leave and right after he left - sooooo many scents and sooo many classics are gone now never to return. Though lately I try to rectify this by finding scents I missed on Ebay but still there are still some I can't fin even on there. Also I had a very bad habit of just burning candles with reckless abandon whether they came back or not; it just didn't occur to me. On the one hand there is sort of child like innocence of just being in the moment and enjoying your candle only to move on to something else. But on the one hand you have scents that you've really grown to love but you didn't stock up and now it's gone. Even when I got to be more hip to BBW, I wouldn't stock up because I naively believed that I didn't have to cuz they would be back eventually...and because of that naive laissez faire attitude, I lost out on so many amazing scents that I loved cuz they did not come back.

Ad so here we are in 2017; I'm a little older and a lot wiser. I've seen many reviewers come and go, I've seen good replacements and unfortunately a lot of not so good ones. I've watched the candleverse grow and not so good ways. I've seen returning classics, newness that rocked my world and lot rereleased/repackaged over-saturated crap. But through it all, I'm still here!