CANDLE RETROSPECTIVE: History of Pine Candles
Ahh pine scents..it's not Christmastime or wintertime without them. Like eucalyptus or lavender, pine is one of the quintessential and intense notes that is not for pussies; you either love it with a passion or hate it immensely. I myself for the longest time was not a fan of pine scents, they kinda just left me cold; I preferred pine notes that were blended with other palate pleasing notes. But I decided to get out of my comfort zone and give pine and a chance..and I'm glad I did because now I'm hooked.
So in this post I thought I'd honor my love of pine by talking about all of the pine scents (that I know off) in Slatkin/BBW history. Now you do have you pine blended scents like Merry Mistletoe or Tis the Season or Winter but I choose to leave those out and only focus on scents were either marketed as a pine scent or had pine based top notes. So lets start at the beginning...
Evergreen and Fresh Balsam (200?)
So these two have been around FOREVER; they both came out waayyy before my time as a BBW-er. I'm pretty sure Evergreen came first with Fresh Balsam coming in second and the two have been fighting for supremacy ever since..and in recent years, it seems Fresh Balsam has become the more popular one. Personally I prefer Evergreen and think it's far more superior to Fresh Balsam. Despite being pine scents, the two have totally different vibes - Evergreen is more classy and warm and inviting while Fresh Balsam is more intense and crisp. I always describe Evergreen as a Christmas tree inside your home ready to be decorated and Fresh Balsam as a tree outisde still in the ground covered in snow ready to be cut.
Tree (2009 or 2010)
I honestly know next to nothing about this scent and what it smelled like. I do know the notes were fresh Douglas fir, sweet musk, warm vanilla and crisp winter air. Other than that, I got nuthin
Frosted Tree (2010)
Again another backintheday scent that I'm unfamiliar with. By all accounts that wasn't your typical tree scent. With it's added unorthodox notes of amber, rosemary and patchouli, FT had unique herbal/aromatherapy-ish, old-fasihioned/antique vibe. Touchthefiretwice talked about it briefly in one of his videos . The candle and wf bulbs are still available on the black market; one of these days I wanna buy it and give it a try.
Holly Wreath (2010)
This scent was friggin GORGEOUS! It was like a winter holiday version of Sweater Weather; some juniper actions, a hit of eucalyptus, some citrus to brighten it up and a little bit of cinnamon stick for Christmasy effect. And what was great about Holly Wreath was that you could start burning it the end of fall, keep the HW party going thru Christmastime and take it thru the rest of winter. It was brought back the falling year and after that, it disappeared.
Sleigh Ride (2011)
This was one of many holiday one hit wonders from 2011..which was the height/pinnacle/zenith of holiday scents in BBW history. Like it's predecessor Frosted Tree, SR had herbal notes blended in with the pine notes that gave the scent a very antique/old-fashioned/Old World feel to it. To me, on the first initial cold sniff, it kinda smelled like wet lettuce however afterwards you really got a fresh alpine outdoorsiness..like you were out on a sleigh ride
Snowed In (2012)
Since SI's top note is juniper and juniper is a coniferous tree, I'm gonna throw it in the mix. SI, while very unusual and unique, was nice change amongst all of the holiday scents that year. It definitely wasn't a very Christmasy scent but was great for the rest of the post holiday winter season. Crisp and fresh and a little sweet, SI made you feel like you were in cabin in the woods and you opened the door was greet by a blast cold alpine air
Forest Trail (2013)
This was a failed test scent in the Lakeside/Summer Lakeside collection. Along with with Lakeside and Boathouse Row, I had my eye on this one but sadly was never able to get my hands on one. This pine had the sole distinction of being a pine scent sold in the summer...which is probably why it didn't go wide as it would've been a hard sell. They even tried to make sound less wintery with notes of red berries and eucalyptus. If you're interested, Touchthefiretwice did a whole video about this entire collection, including this scent.
Pinecone/Autumn Snow (2014)
This poor scent..this is a perfect example of piss poor marketing. So this was first marketed as a fall scent - the only pine scent, besides Fresh Balsam, to be sold in the fall. Alas, it failed and didn't go wide...mainly because of the bland and basic name that didn't quite capture the scent itself. A few months later it came back as a winter scent..yet it was called "Autumn" Snow..and it failed again. It a shame cuz it was a beautiful high end non-typical pine scent (I finally got my hands on Pinecone a few month ago via Evilbay)
Snow Day (2014)
Ahh, the infamous and sadly now forgotten SD. Because of it's popularity, many of us assumed it would be back as a winter/holiday staple...nope not so much. Had I known then what I know now, I would've stocked up like crazy. The funny thing about SD is that it's so simplistic and basic - Twisted Peppermint mixed with Fresh Balsam. However that combo worked sooooo well together. It made you feel like a little kid enjoying a day off from school because of the snow.
Frosted Pine (2014)
This was quite possbly the most boring, unexciting, basic and runofthemill pine scent ever! It was a weird outdoorsy slightly earthy pine scent a la Fresh Balsam. And the notes mentioned sugar of all things, there was nothing sweet about this scent. This ended up failing and not going wide..which was probably for the best. I happened to find a lone one in a store during SAS and bought it but I found it so boring that I just used as decorations for Christmas and eventually gave it away.
Alpine Frost (2014)
So for whatever reason, BBW didn't release the 3wick but did release the mason jar and wf bulb. The candle smelled pleasant like but the wf bulb smelled dirty Pine-Sol mop water
Alpine Cheer (2015)
One of many new scents that came out that year/season. While this was supposed to smell piney and give you a sense of the outdoors/winter air, it really didn't. It was soooo sickeningly sweet and fruity, like Merry Mistletoe on a sugar high. And for whatever unexplained reason, it smelled like pineapples! Anyhoo, I bought it but didn't really enjoy it because of the overpowering sweetness!
Dashing thru the Snow (2015)
This scent kinda fell thru the cracks with not many people talking about it. Even I didn't pay too much attention it. It was a decent pine scent with a blast of lemon/orange citrusy zest.
Noel ~ Silver Pine & Cedar (2015)
I was reaaalllly hoping this would be a repackage of Sleigh Ride but nope not so much. There's not much to say about this one; to me this smelled like spray you'd use on a fake Christmas tree to make it smell real
Mahogany Balsam (2015)
Snowflakes & Spruce (2015)
Blegghhh...this isn't even worth talking about
Spiced Autumn Wreath/Cinnamon Pinecone/Pumpkin Woods (2015/2016)
So SAT came out in the Thanksgiving collection; it seemed to be a hit as it was a scent that was long overdue. Essentially in a nutshell, it was a toned down Fresh Balsam with Spiced Wreath-esque almost sticky/syrupy cinnamoniness. Then it came back during test phase a few months later for the holidays only to disappear by Mahogany Balsam..total BS. Then this past fall we got a scent that was similar to SAT - Pumpkin Woods. And then this winter we saw glimpses of Cinnamon Pinecone but for whatever reason, BBW decided not to ever release it.
Vanilla Balsam (2016)
I don't really know what was the point of this scent and what it was trying to capture or convey. Let's take Fresh Balsam and mix it with Lavender Vanilla without the lavender. Despite sounding straightup bizarre, it was quite popular..mainly with people with a case of wimpy nose who can't handle straightup pine scents like Fresh Balsam or Evergreen.
Winter Mint & Spruce (2016) and Calming Lavender Spruce (2017)
In my opinion this is the most beautiful, gorgeous and high end pine scent that I've ever smelled, besides Pinecone and Evergreen, Folks, myself included, were a little worried that this scent wouldn't go wide but lo and behold it did...and I could not be happier. I mean spruce, spearmint and lavender...what more can you ask for?! It kinda back this year as "CHILL"; same base notes but with a very heavy intense spruce note.
Iced Balsam (2016)
This collection failed but for some reason this candle randomly appeared during SAS but it was a totally different batch from the one that was testing. Not many people talked about the test version and to be honest I don't remember what little was said about it but the SAS version was HORRIFIC - it smelled like the inside of a barn; straightup horse piss and moldy hay.
Spring Balsam (2017)
What could've been an interesting scent ended up being unextraordinary and completely eclipsed but all of the other new scents on the scene. There were 2 batches - the first batch smelled soooo similar to a failed test scent called Snow & Slopes which was this lovely herbal blend of rosemary, eucalyptus, mint and citrus. However sooooo many people on social media said that it smelled like Fresh Balsam. I ended up smelling at another store and yep, it smelled like a watered down Fresh Balsam.
Frozen Lake (2017)
Take Sweater Weather, mix in Sparkling Icicles and add a dash of Iced Vanilla Woods and you've got Frozen Lake. Intense, manly, a little sweet, a little alpiney - this was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. That said, while this kind of scent is totally up my alley, I passed on it...a least the candle as I just couldn't see myself committing to a whole 3wick but I did indeed up getting some wf bulbs. I thought up just getting the candle just to try but by this point, they had all disappeared.