CANDLE RETROSPECTIVE: The Applelicious History of Apple Scents

I feel as though I'm in minority of fall-enthusiasts who haven't quite completely jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. I've already talked my my long disdain of pumpkin scents due to my first encounter with Shit Cinnamon Poopkin and have only until recent years starting burning anything remotely pumpkin-y. I'm all about apple for fall; I will gladly take apple-cinnamon and apple-caramel over pumpkin spice anytime. That said, for a guy like me, BBW is terribly lacking in apple scents with an obviously biased preference for pumpkin scents and it's really disappointing as there have been soooo many good apple scents over the years that have been neglected and forgotten.That said, this post is gonna briefly talk about them all.

So let's start with these 4 way back in the Slatkin early day. They are all from way before my time so know next to nothing about them nor do I know if they have been repackaged as anything in recent years.

Autumn Apple (200?)
There's nothing like a fresh crisp apple scent for fall and for awhile this was it. But, like most Slatkin era classics, it got eclipsed by newer less refined scents and is now completely forgotten.

Leaves (200?)
Ah Leaves, fall in a jar! Leaves somehow captures the very essence of the season. That spiced/mulled cider note wraps around the other notes like a warm blanket. Sheer appley perfection!

Autumn (200?)
I admit, I don't know which came first but both Leaves and Autumn have been around for several years and continue to rival for people's affections. While Leaves will always have my heart, Autumn is a decent alternative, especially for those who can't handle spicy notes. Autumn always makes me think of going apple picking in an orchard on a crisp fall day.  
Spiced Cider (2009 or '10?)
Spiced Cider was, for awhile, a quintessential fall scent you would expect to see year after year. Then it disappeared and hasn't been back since. To be honest, I personally found myself a little bored with it after awhile as it's not a terribly exciting scent; truth be told it was on the cusp of smelling generic. It didn't really smell like cider per se but just (artificial) apple and mulling spices. And it kinda did have a cheap fall potpourri Michael's craft store vibe to it. It was just ok, nothing really to be missed
Caramel Apple (2010?)
Before there was Cider Lane, there was Caramel Apple. CA never did get the amount of popularity and hype as Cider Lane has despite it being a pretty nice scent. What I loved about CA was that it was balanced - perfect amount of apple/pear, the caramel wasn't obnoxiously sweet and there just the perfect hint of spice. For awhile, I preferred CA over CL as I found it comfy and cozy though now I think my opinion has changed. Alas this one of many scents that have been left behind in the dust...although this was repackaged once as "Home ~ Sweet Caramel Comfort" albeit very watered down.

Apple Crumble (2011)
Friggin mutha-effin Apple Crumble..absolute perfection. Quite possibly one of my favorite apple scents and in my top 10 favorite fall scents of all time! It burned like absolute crap but the smell was so amazing that you gladly put up with it. It had probably the most authentic green apple note I've ever smelled at BBW. The spices weren't too potent and you totally got the crumble aspect. It defies any logic why BBW refuses to bring this back!

Farmstand Apple (2012)
Farmstand Apple, in my most humble opinion, is quite possibly one of the worst apple scents to come out of BBW. For awhile it kinda lurked in near obscurity but lately it has gained major popularity..out of desperation I think. It just smells sooooo generic, like Glade level of genericness. And it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for that unnecessary oak note that just effs up the blend.

Farm Apple Cookie (2012)
Farm Apple Cookie was one of many interesting and unique fall bakery scents to come out of 2012 but alas, it was doomed to be a one hit wonder. While it sounded good in theory, the execution left a little to be desired. It was basically a generic sour apple/Green Apple Pucker note with spices and hint of bakery. If the apple note were a bit more authentic, it could've been hit. Then again, with Apple Crumble around, FAC was a little unnecessary if not redundant.

Cider Lane (2012) and Warm Caramel Cider (2014)
Cider friggin Lane blew up when it first came out! I'll admit, I did not like it all backintheday; the warm throw can be slightly off putting and despite all of the stellar reviews, I wasn't willing to experiment. When it came back the following year, I said I was going try to try but kept putting off actually buying until it was too late. Id have to wait until '14 when it came back (watered down and without the "lane" notes) as Warm Caramel Cider. I tried and I really liked it! Then they kept teasing us and released it late last year and now it's back in action. I do hope it remains as a fall staple; I believe it is good enough and has enough draw/appeal to rank it the echelon of fall scents, right up there with Leaves, Autumn, and Shit Cnnamon Poopkin.
Pumpkin Apple (2013)
 I have to say that I am shocked/gobsmacked/discombobulated at this candle's success over the years. When this first came out, I was convinced that it would be a one hit wonder never to be seen again but lo and behold it became a hit and a fall staple. I think the main reason for its success and popularity over the years is its simplicity - apple, pumpkin and spices..that's it. I personally think it pales in comparison to scents like Leaves or Pumpkin Carving or even Harvest Gathering

Cider Donut (2013)
When this scent was announced, many of us were both shocked that Cinnamon Sugared Doughnuts hadn't returned (yes CSD used to be a fall scent only back then) but at the same time we were intrigued and curious. I, like many others, assumed that this would be CSD with a hint of apple..which sounds awesome. Yeah, no not so much! It was basically Apple Crumble without the crumble and a weird sugary almost caramel like glaze aspect similar to Hot Buttered Rum. Not only was it strange, it was so so friggin light! It wasn't popular at all and was/still is largely forgotten.
Applewood Bonfire (2013)
One of many one hit wonders from that year. It also has the dubious honor of being my first and last test store phone order..which was stupid on my part as it ended up going wide. Anyhoo, this one was pretty popular but personally I found it boring. It was essentially Fireside without leather mixed with Autumn without balsam. It was the apple note that bothered me; it smelled so sweet and artificial. And it didn't help that I got 0 throw from mine.

Harvest Gathering (2013)
This one came completely outta nowhere and I didn't expect this scent to last long. It took awhile but HG slowly but surely started gaining momentum and picking up more fans with each passing year. And now it's in the pantheon of fall staples. That said, it is ever so slightly on the generic side; definitely has that Michael's craft store vibe to it. It is a nice pleasant (late) fall scent but hardly anything groundbreaking.
Apple Ale (2013)
Yet another one hit wonder from this year. This another one of these scents that sounds nice in theory but the execution, not so much. It was apple cinnamon with a bit of fizz. And there was a yeast aspect reminiscent of ale/beer. I wanted to like this but could never make myself buy it. I think most people felt that way
Spiced Pumpkin Cider (2014)
OMG, this damned candle! LIFE! It was one of the few new scents in the Pumpkin Cafe collection and sadly one of the few that never returned. Why I don't know cuz it was awesome! It was basically an updated upgraded version of the original Spiced Cider and, in my opinion, it smelled more like cider than SC did. There was an added pumpkin note and just a tiny hint of orange/mandarin. Just so quintessential fall and one of my fav apple/cider scents ever. Why this hasn't returned even one is just a travesty!

Wasabi Apple (2014), Green Apple Orchard (2014) and Apple Picking (2015)
As a certified apple scent lover, I was intrigued when Wasabi Apple first came out but I was worry that it would be that same sour apple/green apple pucker that's common in green apple home fragrance. Sadly my suspicions were correct. And I didn't think the wasabi (and possibly ginger) mixed well at all. However the scent proved to be (slightly) successful enough repackaged over and over and over with the wasabi/ginger toned down.
Apple Pumpkin Pancakes (2015)
Another one of those theory vs execution type scents. Basically if you took apple Crumble, watered it down and then added Pecan Pumpkin Waffles, that was basically APP in a nutshell. Because BBW refused to bring back Apple Crumble, I (and many others) resigned ourselves to reality of this being the next best wasn't. I just couldn't do it, I HATE the smell of maple syrup. Otherwise I could've be onboard with this scent.
Red Radiant Maple (2015)
Probably one of the most weirdest bizarre wtf-iest naming/marketing in BBW history. So the scent itself was just Marshmallow Fireside with red apple (which is why I'm mentioning it in this list). Instead of calling it something  "Applewood Fireside" or "Autumn Bonfire" something evoking and mention the obvious apple note, they went with Radiant Red! This candle gained quite a bit of infamy that year on social media and brought "batch variances" to the forefront. There were 3 separate batches that all smelled completely different which confounded reviewers like myself and made people turn on us and questioning our noses; one batch smelled the way it was supposed to smell while one smelled almost like Caramel Apple while the other smelled like chemical fumes. I smelled all 3 and found none of them appealing.  

Warm Apple Pie (2016)
It's kinda mind-boggling that BBW only recently came out with an apple pie scent. For awhile at least we had Apple Crumble..but still. BBW was probably the only home fragrance company without one. Then out of nowhere it appeared and there was much rejoicing throughout the land...until people starting burning them. You got apple goodness for sure, like sweet canned apple pie filling but the throw was so weak and the burn was so crappy. It's kinduva shame!
Mahogany Apple (2016)
Remember that time when BBW was OBSESSED with mahogany and mixed it with everything. Even precious apple wasn't safe from the mahogany madness. They took the popular Mahogany Coconut candle and made it autumnal by adding green apple. I flatout ignored when it came out just out of spite. It's back this year and I hate to admit, it's kinda decent

So what are my top apple picks for fall? I'm gonna with
5. Cider Lane
4. Caramel Apple
3. Spiced Pumpkin Cider
2. Apple Crumble
1. Leaves

What's your favorite apple scents for fall?


  1. Like you, I much prefer apple scents over pumpkin ones. My all time favorite is the Warm Caramel Cider. If they ever bring it back, I will buy out the store. Harvest Gathering is another favorite and you can't go wrong with Leaves (which is my fall back scent considering it's always available). The Apple Crumble sounds AMAZING and I'm sad I never got to experience it.

    1. do know Warm Caramel Cider and Cider Lane is basically the same right? I mean there are small differences but the basenotes are the same. Plus Cider Lane is in stores now

      As for Apple Crumble, there's no reason for you not to experience. The wallflower bulbs of it are online and you can easily get the candle on either Ebay or Mercari

  2. what about spiced apple toddy? One of my favs.

    1. Well, I skipped that one on purpose as this post is about fall apple scents and SAT is considered a winter/holiday scent. Besides it's just a repackage of Leaves which I already talked about

  3. What a great little history lesson for newer BBW candle fans! I also LOVE apple scents. They are my favorite. Thanks :)


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