RANT OF THE DAY: The Year without an Autumn
Well y'all, Thanksgiving is just a few days away thus fall is pretty much over. I'm still trying to hold on to that fall feeling; as I type this, I'm taking sips of pumpkin spiced coffee, I have a Pumpkin Fireside burning bright nearby and all of my fall decorations are still up in my apartment... yeah I REFUSE to put up any Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. That said, I kept feeling a little over it and secretly wanting these last few days of fall to pass by; I'd much rather Peppermint Mocha in my coffee right now, I'm fighting the urge to play Christmas music and I'm wishing this Pumpkin Fireside was Chestnuts & Clove instead. Why is it that, an ardent autumnophile, have been over fall lately?
Is it just me or has this fall gone by really quickly? Or better, has it felt like there wasn't much of a fall at all? In the earlier part of the season, I was feeling it for sure; I had my fall bae Leaves burning and was blasting my autumn playlist on Spotify as I decorated the apartment. But as fall progressed, I felt myself feeling more and more blasé. First of all, the weather was really bizarre with unseasonably warm temps...though I have to laugh at myself for becoming aclimated to Yankee weather despite coming from a place with sub-tropic temperature 90% of the year where fall itself didn't/doesn't exist. Only recently has there been true "sweater weather". And there were other things that just made this fall not feel like fall. Every single PSL I got tasted like pumpkin spice vomit. There was little to no foliage in my neck of the woods; the leaves stayed verdant for the longest with only a few pops of red and yellow here and there. My bf and I didn't do anything remotely fall related - not apple picking, no pumpkin carving, no trips to farmer's markets. We got tickets to go to Great Jack'O'Lantern Blaze up in Sleepy Hollow only for it to be cancelled due to all day torrential typhoon. We were planning on going to the Halloween Parade but due to all the scary crap that was going on the city that day, we thought it best to stay in. And all top of all of that, BBW..my saving grace, absolutely SUCKED!
BBW in the fall was, until recently, the most amazing time of the year; a hallmark for candle enthusiasts and autumnophiles alike. Much like getting your first PSL or picking your first apple in the orchard or seeing the foliage at their peak, your first step into BBW/WB in the fall surrounded by fall favorites and autumnal newness is truly magical. When you left with your fall haul, you knew the rest of the season was gonna be all good. 2011-2014 were the golden years of fall scents at BBW; soooooo many returning classics and truly intriguing and unique scents were around these years with superb marketing and packaging to match; I feel sorry for anyone recently getting in the BBW cuz it's so not the same. After 2014, there was a slow decline in quality and creativity..and now here we are, an utter shitshow.
It's like BBW put little no thought in this fall's lineup. Scent-wise we just got the bare minimum, the scents that we see all the time - Leaves, Autumn, Sweater Weather, Flannel, Shit Cinnamon Pumpkin etc. Some of the packaging was ok but most were weird and off. Then they brought the same candles only this time with a wraparound label but with the same off looking stock photography. Cranberry Woods (which was more cranberry than wood and smelled way to similar to Frosted Cranberry) and Cider Lane were brought back only to be unceremoniously thrown into the WB Core collection. The fall add-ons to the WB Core line were boring as I dunno what; Peppered Plum was the clear star of the show and the only interesting and new scent the entire season. The wood grain candles had potential but besides Bourbon Maple and Autumn Woods, the other scents were kinda blah. Then there was the fall edition of Elements candles which were just weird. Oh and then BBW had the sheer audacity to tease people with a bakery themed collection called "Sweet Shop" only to fill it with the most basic, blandest, uninteresting and unobtrusive scents that can think of
And here's the weirdest decision of them all... NO PUMPKIN SCENTS!
Due to the popularity of Slatkin era pumpkin scents like Pumpkin Cupcake and Pumpkin Caramel Latte, from 2013 til last fall there have always been an "all pumpkin, nothin but the pumpkin" collection. This year..not so much; we got Caramel Cinnamon Swirl (aka Caramel Pumpkin Swirl ) and Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow in the "Sweet Shop" collection and Pumpkin Apple and Shit Cinnamon Poopkin in the regular collection, that's it. No Pumpkin Caramel Latte or even Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte and surprisingly, despite its popularity and long overdue-ness, no Pumpkin Pie! No don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin scents and these all pumpkin collections never really appealed to me..and lord knows, 90% of these scents weren't so much"pumpkin" per se as they were cinnamon heavy or spiced but still even I knew how popular "pumpkin" scents are. Even if BBW didn't do a whole collection dedicated to pumpkin, they couldve spread some around in various collections but nope, nothin.
And as if this fall couldn't get anymore bizarre, BBW kept throwing all of these random ass spring/summer scents into the mix..Rosewater & Ivy? Fresh Bamboo? Tokyo Petals? Really BBW? And those weird hippie-dippie white witchy Practical Magic mason jar candles..like why? What was the point of those? And they all smelled so spring/summery. And speaking of mason jar, they were on a major mason jar kick this fall; there were 3 mason jar collections, only one of which was remotely fall-ish and even then they were just fall scents that were already out in 3wick form. No marketing, no promotion, no fanfare, no rhyme or reason - they were just there to be there.
Soooooooo many people have been complaining about all of the hot mess-ery going on this fall which turned them off to buying anything or even setting foot in their local store. From July til now, I myself have only bought 7 candles and burned 2 - not even close to fall hauls of yore. The few times I've ever been inside was strictly to WALK N SNIFF for review purposes...and even those I can't say that I was remotely excited to do so.
I've said this once and I'll say it again cuz it bears repeating..Fall is not the time to experiment. I repeat - FALL IS NOT THE TIME TO EXPERIMENT.
Fall is your money-making time, more so than any other time of the year even more than Christmas time (which is also NOT a time to experiment). You wanna re-invent yourself? Fine. You wanna play around with scents and looks and sizes? Fine. You wanna experiment with aromatherapy and "essential oils"? Fine! Save that for after Christmas, do that experimenting BS during SAS or in the spring and summer when you need gimmicks to get people back in the store. DO NOT THAT SHIT IN FALL! People look forward to coming to your store and sniffing around in the fall; for some people (myself included) a trip to BBW/WB is one the highlights of fall. People do NOT want aromatherapy and flowers and summery fruity scents this time of year; people want cider, people want bakery, people want caramel, people want cinnamon and clove and nutmeg..PEOPLE WANT PUMPKIN. If you're gonna experiment, experiment with some newness. Do some research and dig some forgotten classics out of the vault. Work on your packaging and get some stock photos of leaves and pumpkins and apples and cranberry and sweaters..NO FRIGGIN QUOTES!
Get your proverbial shit together and give the people what they want for fall! Fall has always been your time to shine and you have the capacity to go back to your former glory sooo...