Amidst 23 different wax vendor hauls (down 14 from last year, but with more multiples from single vendors) in addition to another 17 or so brands generously gifted to me this year, I am not wanting for wax melts. Which means narrowing down to a top ten would be nigh impossible; therefore, I’m highlighting my absolute favorite fragrance notes and categories from the countless scents I’ve tried in 2017. Intrigued? See if you agree or think I’m far off the mark with my best picks of the year:
Best bread: Bonjour Wax Co., specifically the French baguette that Mandi just named part of Bonjour’s signature scent. Turns anything it’s blended with into a fresh, warm and cozy scent.
Best candy: The Melting Duck, gifted. I’ve tried a handful of candy types, and TMD’s Trick-or-Treating with the Barber is a puckery sweet-tart version of the real SweetTarts.
Best caramel: Handmade in Florida. Zahida’s Cosmic Caramel made me fall in love with the gooey stuff that used to turn up my nose, that’s a first.
Best cedar wood: Dessa’s Homespun Scents. Dessa’s does cedar earthier and richer than any I’ve tried, which was quite a few, as it’s become a preferred scent oil. Beautiful by itself and raised to a whole other level in deeply dark, Cold Barn Mornings.Best coconut: Dapper Dachshund’s Pumpkin Coconut. Toasted, nutty coconut flesh, so real one can almost taste it. Honorable mention to Blank Label Products’ Pomegranate Coconut Citrus, gifted.
Best cotton/linen: Pour Girl’s Wax Creamy Cotton. I was lucky enough to grab a sampler based on this crisp, but comforting oil earlier this year. It mellows everything around it, including me.
Best cranberry: Dessa’s Homespun Scents. Yankee Candle turned me off of the festive berry due to their fake, too-sweet versions, Dessa’s turned me back on with an authentic, woodsy tart gem, offered in many variations.
Best earthy: My constant quest for interesting earthy melts revealed several treasures. Stars of this type: Dessa’s Homespun Scents, Ten Digit Creations and Handmade in Florida.Best fizzy: Southern Sisters’ Wax Mountain Dew Key Lime Cupcake ‘Glitzy’ loaf. Haven’t forgotten about the comical and lovely southern sisters, Heather and Alyson. Will have to reorder more in 2018. Thanks for the tangy, bubbly mini-loaf y’all sent.
Best lavender: One aspect that I love about lavender is how varied it can be, also it’s outside the realm of other floral scents to me. Barrett Wax Crafts, Pure Lavender, gifted, is second to the winning Handmade in Florida’s crisp Ritual Lavender and of course, The Bathing Garden’s metallic-tinged lavender is no bridesmaid either.
Best leather: Willow Wax Craft. Liber Arcana is soft, romantic, and raises the status of leather, from the stable to the elegantly-bound library of my dreams.
Best Lush dupes: Rosegirls‘ Olive Branch, Rockstar, American Cream. Haven’t experienced many actual Lush products, but I have in wax and enjoy these fresh interpretations.
Best mango: The Fakery Bakery Wax. I adored many Mango Smoothie blends last summer and FBW’s Twirl parades the sweetest, frostiest one.
Best marshmallow: Rosegirls, be it a smoothie, campfire toasted, or mixed with vanilla, Jenny’s reigns supreme. Period.
Best peppermint*: There are many good ones obvs, I currently have more mint than anything else in my collection. A few stand-outs: The Bathing Garden (Snow Globe World, Storybook Mint, Russian Ice Bath), L3 Waxy Wonders (Buttermint in Snooze Button) Sniff My Tarts (Peppermint Swizzle Sticks) all satisfy my minty lust. *I crave the stuff, but do not like the ultra strong versions that overpower anything else. (lookin at you, RG)
*I know VCS’s mint is highly popular, so much so, I’ve yet to manage to grab any. I guess there’s always next year. Barrett Wax Craft’s famous Snoozy was bold, but my husband couldn’t take it and made me turn it off!
Best pink sugar: This was a tough one because I’ve tried countless blends of one of my fave scents. I think the edge goes to Sassy Girl Aroma, although I no longer support that vendor. That’s okay, I’m taking a Pink Sugar break after smelling too much of it this year. Sniff My Tart’s version is creamy goodness, too.
Best pumpkin spice latte: Willow Wax Craft’s long-lasting, toasty brewed version is better than a lot of mediocre PSLs out there.
Best shaving cream: Fave! Pour Girl’s Wax tied with Super Tarts. Honorable mention to Aftershave, which is close, by L3 Waxy Wonders. These 3 deliver on the airy shaving cream note which get’s lost in lesser versions.Best smoke: Dessa’s Homespun Scents tied with Ten Digit Creations. These ladies know their earthy oils and smokiness is not one to get wrong. Smoky Mountain Christmas (DHS) and Cabin in the Smokies (TDC) are stunners. Wispy, mysterious, warm and cozy.
Best spa: Bonjour Wax Co. Mandi’s a magician with fresh, green tea, sage and other cleansing notes.
Best spice: The Bathing Garden Widow’s Walk, White Magic, etc. Shannon has superior spice blending skills, always strong-throwing with layers of complexity.Best strawberry: Candles From the Keeping Room, gifted. No secret that I have a distaste for strawberry, but in order to demonstrate it can be done well, I was gifted several blends. CFTKR does the berry quite realistically, ripe and juicy. But I will likely still abstain from the berry in wax form.
Best sugar milk: Vintage Chic Scents Milk Glass. Often thought of as love it or hate it, I’ve found there are vast quality differences. Milk glass is creamy with just a touch of caramelized sugar and hint of fruitiness, not spicy, burnt or sour.
Best woods: Dessa’s Homespun Scents, dominating the balsam, fir and pine landscape, Candy Panda’s Meet Me in the Woods, woodsy marshmallow perfection.
Best zucchini bread: Pour Girls’ Wax Fun Bread, honorable mention to Vintage Chic Scents Beehive.
I’d be remiss not to mention the ultimate cream of 2017’s scent crop: Snooze Button Aftershave by L3 Waxy Wonders, reviewed here. I hope I can grab more when customs come around again, if some wax-loving friend would please let me know when that is!
Most elegant orders: Handmade in Florida. Zahida is the queen of presentation with every detail from labeled scent notes, to darling molds, to scent variety absolutely perfected.
Sweetest responses to my reviews: Unless expressed in the post, vendors don’t ask me to review their products and have no obligation to respond at all. Still, it’s rad when they do. The raddest girl bosses who expressed major personal appreciation have been Courtney from Bento Wax Co, April from Gypsy Monroe Wax Co. and Zahida from Handmade in Florida. And although I’ve yet to do a full review post, Amber from Ten Digit Creations is extra cool too. Thank you all, it means a lot.
Most fun photo session: Bonjour Wax Co. Stranger Things sampler, while I’m at it, Best themed samplers: Bonjour Wax Co.
Best body care discovery: The Dirty Goat’s natural probiotic deodorants still rule my world and I’ve blogged them a couple times this year, though technically, I purchased my first two in 2016. As far as recent skin saving beauty gems, Sunny’s Cuticle Oil roller balls are delightfully scented, convenient soothers that I’ve come to rely upon. Thanks to Sandra from Finger Candy for generously sharing!
Now, what did I miss? I’m still hunting for the best apple scent (I think Yankee does apple well) because I’ve tried more I haven’t liked, than have. You’ll notice not much bakery (sorry) or beachy (still lookin for a strong one) or floral. I’ve been gifted a few Golden Willow Wax florals and I think they’re winners, but haven’t melted yet. Let me hear your thoughts and suggestions. I have no open orders, but 3 hauls left to share in January, and I can’t wait for what 2018 will bring.
2018s a’ comin and I wish all of my friends and fellow scent lovers a happy and prosperous new year!