Willow Wax Craft Haul

To my fellow fragrance lovers; have you ever felt as if you met your kindred wax making spirit? You know, the vendor, wax or candle, large or small, with the scents and style that you would create as a vendor yourself? My recent order from Willow Wax Craft is the closest I’ve come to that experience. In need of a new favorite, as one of mine recently closed shop, which makes this a happy haul indeed.

Perusing the fragrance list at Willow Wax Craft‘s Etsy shop elicited a smile from ear-to-ear. The scents are inspired by literary and pop culture references. Two of my favorite subjects combined with my home fragrance obsession and I’ve struck gold. 

Samantha, the wax creator, reveals, “I build fragrance that reconstructs what the inspiration means to me.” “My interests are too varied and ever-evolving to commit to any kind of formal “fandom” collections, but if you get any of my references as a fellow fan, we’ll share a knowing wink and a nod, yes?…” Well, a sly wink, furtive nod and secret knock back at ya’ from this fan. She offers a mix of traditional fragrance inspiration too.

Autumn classics with a twist:
20170918_100739 (1)Pumpkin Spice Latte– “It’s officially the season of that omnipresent autumnal coffee drink- sweet pumpkin, rich coffee, fall spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and clove), all topped with mounds of whipped cream and drizzled with caramel. Cozy up.”  

Bold, but natural smelling roasted beans waft in like aromatic gold. Deep spices, fruit and foodie notes that sing through the coffee, of caramel, nuts and custardy cream. One cube threw strong in the kitchen, also melted alongside Anarchy’s Child, creating a delicious duo. Is it possible I’m turning around on PSL scents? Now that would be buzz-worthy.

Harvest Hayride– “A perfect fall day for the Pumpkin Festival- bright cornflower blue skies, lots of sunshine, and just cool enough for your favorite sweater!” Take a hayride to the patch and pick that ideal pumpkin-crunchy leaves, crisp apple cider, pumpkin, and salty-sweet kettle corn.

I wish I had tried this for the Fall Fun series apple post because I lamented that many apples are overly sweet and artificial, yet here is a perfectly unique blend. Crisp skins and juicy flesh meld with mulling spices of cinnamon, clove, lemon, orange and nutmeg brewing a heavenly cider. Soft hay, light leaves, caramel-kissed woods, both spicy and complex, this is in the running for a favorite fall melt. One cube gave medium strength.

The melancholy mood of Poe’s prose captured in wax melts:20170918_093850 (1)Ghoul-Haunted Woodland-“A dreamy walk through gloomy woods one lonesome October night-propelled by spirits or demons-where?” Cool shadowy conifers, hint of rain, withering leaves, apples and lavender.

Night unrolls, beckoning soft steps upon a moss carpeted forest floor, what will be found in this dark wood? It turns out, nothing too scary. A light bright green fragrance thanks to the apple addition. I love all classes of cedars, cypresses, firs, and pines and this carries an airy blend of such. A soothing scent, with a touch of woody lavender and patches of damp woods, very pretty. Unfortunately, it’s the lightest of the WWC melts I’ve tried. Two cubes threw lightly in the living room.
20170918_094937Ulalume’s Tomb-“At the end of your wandering you arrive at the legended crypt of your lost love.” Haunting blend of rich vanilla, white pepper, black tea, cold stone coated in dust and a whisper of funeral lilies. 

Upon opening the tomb bestrewn with wilted bouquets, a gasp of faded perfume emerges. Apprehensive it might be too floral, but not so. Alight with the aromatic spice of incense, the floral heart is shrouded by vanilla. A mellow, relaxing fragrant oil blend that leaves an air of tranquil repose. One cube threw light-medium in my kitchen.20170919_071922.jpg

Fragrance celebrating rebellious misfits? Heck yes!20170920_101849 (2)Anarchy’s Child- a Halloween scene for all the freaks and geeks. Not too young to raise hell and not too old to canvas the neighborhood for candy.” A blend of nougat-y candy stuffed into a pillowcase, smashed pumpkins 😉 and fall leaves.

My inner late 90s fangirl almost lost it finding this ode to Freaks and Geeks, but I told myself, “Slow down, cool breeze.” Just as Lindsay professed, “Not all good looking people are cool,” not all cool looking wax melts are good, so how is Anarchy’s Child? Like every yummy treat from Halloweens of youth, wrapped in scent. Honeyed toffee marshmallow candy layered with a savory sweet spice mix, reminiscent of carrot cake. Freshly carved pumpkin, cool night air and fallen leaves crunching under Doc Marten boots brought about a jumble of nostalgic 90s feels. One cube was light, two threw medium strength. GOOD STUFF.20170920_102532Legend of the Lost Inferno-“Hey you guys! Go on a treasure hunt for the rich stuff with your best misfit friends, and be sure to watch out for booby traps! The scent of a long lost pirate ship: bay rum, a twist of lime, spicy ginger ale, the memory of musk, murky water, and wet wood planks. It’s your time down here.”

Playful and bubbly, I enjoy the thought put into the interpretation, but fizzy scents are hit-or-miss for me. Those mica-dusted sunken gold bouillons are perfect, however, and what child of the 80s could pass up a Goonies-inspired scent? I’m hoping the musk and wood notes are released upon melting.

The above clamshells are the Fall Duo collection, each pair costs $10 with 15% off Labor Day sale making the duos $8.50. I also grabbed a 4-clamshell sampler bundle, regularly $20 on sale for $17. The scents are choose your own, a scent shot sampler is available too.20170920_093533Walnut Creek Orchard-“By the bushels and pecks-apples everywhere!” Fresh pressed cider, gooey caramel apples, spiced apple butter, cider donuts, and flaky apple strudels.

Reading these notes, I must have been blinded by the description to order something so bakery. Freshly dipped caramel apple notes dominate, yes it’s juicy, but too sticky sweet for me. Can’t do it, but all Cider Lane fans should love it.20170920_094901Liber Arcana-“Peruse dusty wooden shelves and ancient tomes of forbidden knowledge-the library has the answers you seek!” Old leather-bound books, rare herbs, and hints of cauldron smoke, all with a refreshing pumpkin beverage in hand for a long night of studying (or mischief!)

There must be some magic afoot in this library because this is the first leather-focused scent I really like. The leather is sweet and supple, not aged and brittle. Crackling logs lend an atmospheric mood along with sensual musk, smoke and suede, creating a comforting blend. There’s even a creamy note that’s quite unexpected, the pumpkin? A toasted nuttiness exists too, I’m genuinely impressed with the blending skills present in Liber Arcana. One cube is all you’ll need.20170920_104114.jpgSleepy Hollow Day-“The kind of day where the sun never seems to rise, with grey skies and a chill that creeps into your bones.”  Petrichor, moss and vines, distant woodsmoke, wet wood, and a damp persistent drizzle.

Ooh petrichor, that refreshing earth after rain smell when the grass is still warm and wet. A distinctive scent that awakens childhood memories; running back onto the softball fields after a needed cloudburst, exploring the backyard, drawing with sticks in warm clay, scrambling up wet woodpiles, smoke drifting as a neighbor burns green wood and wet leaves, something sweet and wild has been unearthed in the loam. One of the most unique blends I’ve tried, only earthy scent lovers should apply.  P.S. This happens to be inspired by my favorite scary story of all time, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Bonfire Stories-“Caramelized marshmallows, crackling fire, sweet woodsmoke, all the tales they weave.”

The smoky edge in the forefront reveals more than the typical marshmallow fireside fragrance, and I love that! Resinous woods intrigue as campfire smoke curls, the flames have licked the edges but the marshmallow centers remain gooey. With all mallow oils, but this one especially, I detect a jug of spirits has been passed around to help ease the fright of dark and spooky bonfire tales.20170920_103018Samples were tucked inside a darling linen string bag with a bit of candy.20170920_103358 (2)Stay Golden- Sea spray and shady pines, mimosas on the lanai, and a complementary blend of sultry magnolia, gentle tea rose, and bright orange blossom.

The Golden Girls are beloved, but it’s too vegetal for my liking. No, I wasn’t expecting cheesecake, but orange blossom is slightly bitter to me and magnolia cloying. A clean soap appears upon melting and a fizziness. Sparkling, uplifting and slightly bitter? Why, this is The Golden Girls.

Cabana Cake- A taste of the tropics anytime. Brown sugar, pineapple, and yellow cake, all topped with flaked, sweetened coconut. A tropical coconut cake is one I can do, yum!

Samantha showed quality customer service as I raised a shipping question in an Etsy conversation to ask if it was correct. She responded quickly that Etsy’s calculated shipping isn’t always accurate and she refunds shipping costs over $1.00. I’m glad I reached out, she not only put me at ease, but provided a free shipping code if I wanted to combine another order.

I can’t express enough how much I’m delighted by this wax haul (clearly, I can. See above). Did I mention Willow Wax Craft is based in Ohio, and created by a librarian? The packaging, descriptions, inspiration and most importantly, blending abilities, make WWC a stand-out. I’m already plotting another order, Mechanical Heart (Edward Scissorhands)… Espero (The Shawshank Redemption) and many more…

Any brand expressing your wax heart’s desire recently?

12 thoughts on “Willow Wax Craft Haul

  1. Wonderful, I’m so glad you found a new-ish vendor that you’re sympatico with! So many of these blends sound right up your alley, and I LOVE the pop culture inspirations (bit of a bummer about the fizzy in the Goonies, though.) And I love it even more that they sound like they smell great, and they certainly look good (sorry, projecting a bit here – my Super Tarts order (so my big pop culture wax order) was a damn mess. Definitely in the market for somebody else doing something similar, but better.)

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    1. This was a great vendor wax experience! I think because it’s an Etsy shop, international shipping is available, but there’s a note about customers being responsible for customs charges. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs. I’d definitely ask Samantha to calculate shipping first if I was planning to shop international, she is so helpful.

      RE: Super (smashed) Tarts. I’ve always had issue with Brandi’s packaging standards. I don’t know if it’s come through on here, but I’m always asking ppl on IG how many were broken from their hauls. She does give 2 shipping options, but in my experience, the larger, costlier “protected” option has had more breakage than the PFRE bubble envelope with some tissue paper. Not to mention, the very cool, but very fragile layered topcoat is nearly always cracked off by the nature of the design. It’s just not suited to travel, add in Canadian customs rifling and flinging it all about and I”m cringing at the thought of the mess you opened in that box.
      Beyond bummed for you buddy. I hope any and all the remaining wax you order and are gifted this year are winners.

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      1. Ugh, balls to my Super Tarts order, it was thrashed. I remember you apologizing when you sent me my Beetlejuice and The Lost Boys tarts (and Leonard and Optimus, although I’ve already melted through those) for the bustedness of them, and I remember thinking with those delicate little inlays, breakage was probably inevitable. But aside from the state of the tarts themselves, the box was just not properly packed – there was a smattering of peanuts on top and that was it. And those had been shredded by whatever X-Man tore through my package. And then it looked like someone drop-kicked the box into a brick wall. I can’t even type the shipping and customs total out, it’s obscene; you’d think way less of me for ever paying it. I know I’m kind of thinking of less of myself for paying it. But what’s done is done, and lord knows I’m up to my butt now in pop culture wax, so I’m good for a nice long time.

        Thank you for enquiring with Willow Wax as to their international situation. Customs fees are just a beast, and an inconsistent one at that – I went years without getting charged customs on my Rosegirls packages, and in the last three months I’ve paid LOTS more on every single one. We kinda get hosed.

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  2. And vis a vis Freaks and Geeks, I don’t believe I have EVER cringed harder than I did at the episode where Nick auditions for a band. I actually got up and ran from the room, I couldn’t take the embarrassment, he’s such a sweet, drum-loving dufus.

    But Bill Haverchuck for life.

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    1. Aw Nick. I couldn’t relate to his spacey character but he was a fave. Speaking of cringing, nothing was more awkward to me than any time Sam, Neal and Bill ever did, or tried and failed to do, anything. I also cringed from Kim Kelly because she sorta scared me. Perfect awkward casting though, and legendary, even Bill.

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      1. Kim WAS scary – the episode where you get a glimpse into her home life makes a girl like Kim make a lot of sense, but she’s still pretty terrifying. I knew a Kim when I was younger – she pretty much treated me like a pet. 😦

        My first boyfriend was a total Nick, so I feel for the goober. Everything about him is just so earnest and try-hard and sad. He just wants a girlfriend (and to smoke a lot of weed.)

        A favourite, for you:

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  3. I loved reading your thoughts on these scents! And I am a little terrified looking at the Scary Stories book. Man, I used to read those things like eating candy but now just the thought of looking at that artwork makes me get the heebie jeebies. I will definitely order again from Willow Wax but I do wish the scents were a touch stronger.

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  4. Thank you, yours too, always. Samantha brought up a point about that version of Scary Stories I’d forgotten. It’s on the banned books list due to challenges over the artwork. I’ve since added it to our Banned Books week display which happened to be this week:)

    My brother and I loved these stories, we had the audio record too, chilling! I’ll reorder too, feedback is important and I think Samantha has taken our thoughts into consideration on the strength. I’ve had a couple that were fairly strong above though. Great new vendor find<3

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    1. Thank you, I love this brand! If you do check out WWC and aren’t sure about a scent, Samantha is so helpful. I recommend the discounted scent bundles.

      I have not tried HWM, yet, they made my wax vendor poll I did in August, but didn’t won. They’re definitely on my list, such cute designs. Which scents of theirs are your faves?

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      1. I would say my two most favorites from them is Hippie Chick and Circus Magic. There are so many other ones I love as well though, like Fruity Pebbles, Coconut Rose, and Scramblin’ Spiders.

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