My seasonal scent mixology posts are some of my favorites. One of the few times a year I concentrate on melting from my preposterous stash of Yankee tarts and votives collected over many years of sales and employee freebies. Since Spring has finally sprung here, I was quite inspired to delve into sunny scents.
On the last two occasions of mixing these up, the results were pretty equal among successes and failures, but I must say these are my best combinations yet!
French Lavender + Soft Blanket= Provencal Dreams
I adore Yankee’s French Lavender because it’s so superior to their plain Lavender candle and yet it’s simple and true with no filler notes, just strong aromatic lavender. Herbaceous, peppery stems uplift the thickly powdered cotton of Soft Blanket while toning down it’s sometimes cloying muskiness.
The combined scent throw is stellar but remains rich and soothing. *I don’t think I will ever melt Soft Blanket on it’s own again after sniffing what it can be, which might be a problem with only two French Lavender tarts left. I will be scouring the outlets for them when I next make the trip.
Granny Smith + Tiare Flower= Apple Blossom
If I had to pick one Yankee floral I favored, it would be the fair Tahitian Tiaré Flower. It’s bright pear nectar and bergamot match evenly with Granny Smith‘s crisp green apple peels, but tempers the tartness of the Macintosh and sharpness of it’s white birch base. The performance is strong, cool and fresh. I recommend this mix for those not crazy about florals, or apples, like me.
Sun-drenched Apricot Rose + Juicy Citrus & Sea Salt= Liquid Sunshine
Because I’m steering clear of Yankee stores but was intrigued by some of their newest Spring batch, I purchased the 2.6 oz. packs of wax pods sold at Walmart. For $3.93, it’s a better value to buy a single tart; however, I appreciate the ease of use from these cylindrical shapes, perfect for blending without any of the crumbliness found in the tarts.
Bright and bursting with juicy apricot and blushing roses, this scent is just as it sounds. On it’s own, I like it, but it’s slightly monotone. Mixed with the citrusy sea salt it becomes a gorgeous layered cocktail of fruit-infused punch and freshly-squeezed juices topped by sparkling water and a salty rim. A powerhouse performer with throw-open-the-windows strength, these scents were made for each other!
Lavender Sunset + Juicy Peach= Twilight & Daylight
A woodier lavender from cedar, vanilla and musk, this floral is much softer. With tones of night air, it adds complexity to the natural peach character of the fruit. I wonder if lavender fields are ever grown near peach orchards, because these do make a felicitous combo. However, the juiciness of the peaches outshines the green lavender notes. I’d adjust the amount of peach next time, or better yet, add some patchouli to ramp up the earthiness. If you prefer a fruity floral, I think this will be fabulous with Yankee’s new Peaches and Cream scent too.
Peeps + Salt Water Taffy= Peepin’ on the Boardwalk
5 out of 6 combos were winners, but there’s always one stinker and this was it. Although, the sweet marshmallows paired just fine with the fruity vanilla candy, the usually medium strong throw of the SWT was subdued by the lesser Peeps. The best part of the mostly lemony-vanilla taffy is the salty edge and it got lost in that fluffy mallow. Another case for the theory that mixing a medium scent with a light one doesn’t make the weaker strong, but makes the stronger weak. Lesson learned.
Strawberry Buttercream + Bakery Air= Strawberry Shortcake
Undeterred, I tried two more scents on the sweeter side, both medium-strength with greater success. YC’s Buttercream was my first scent love and always rings nostalgic, but the berry version is syrupy sweet for my taste. Adding the whipped goodness of subtly spiced frosting transports the scent to a fuller-bodied bakery experience. The crystalline sugar does lean toward the crispy crunchy side, it may not be for everyone, but I think it cuts through the sweetness of the strawberry just right. Classic the way it is, or made richer by throwing in some coconut (next time) for the best of all fresh, creamy berry worlds. *Strawberry Buttercream is retired but could be duplicated by pairing current Buttercream with Sweet Strawberry.
I hope I’ve inspired a few new blends, experimenting can be a fun satisfying way to break out of a comfort zone. For those who noticed I missed an April recap, it was intentional. Still experiencing the same stressors of last month and there’s nothing productive about recapping it. May will be busy, but I have quite a few items in the works, so I will be popping in. Before then, we are deep in planning the end-of-year Speech team fundraiser this weekend, and duty calls. I will catch up with everyone on the other side of next week. Happy Spring!
Perhaps it’s just the weaker-than-most Yankee scents I tend to favour (Peeps Cake, which has, like, no presence and a couple of the bakery-ier ones) but do you find that your Yankee tarts last? You mentioned you’ve amassed some over years – sure, green apple and some of the more cologney ones are probably still kickin’ out the jams, but what about the others? So curious as to what I’m doing wrong with MY Yankee tarts, because they just sort of poop out on me. I have far better luck with their candles.
I must try that French Lavender – sounds just like the kind of lavender I like, herbal and not too steely. That reminds me, I should buy a few herbs to put out on the balcony. I never do much of anything with them, but I do like to go out and just stick my face down in the lemon thyme or whatever (it’s also pretty great in lemonade, if you pluck off a few stems and stick them down in a jug.)
By the way, I like your Walmart/Not Yankee workaround – tricky, very tricky. 😉
And for real, man, I know Peeps blends are the big trendy thing of the moment, but I just don’t care for them. I have a Christmas Wish Peeps Cake blend from Rosegirls, and the Peeps part kind of ruins it – I don’t like that crunchy (?) sugar scent that Peeps blends impart. I actually made a Mini Melter version of VCS’ Jackie O with Peeps Cake in place of the Birthday Cake, and it was pretty gross – you could smell that crispy (?) note, so weird.
I just want to eat that last one there. Don’t know why, but sitting down and eating a big old bowl of strawberry buttercream frosting seems totally feasible right about now!
You are right on the money with Yankee, nearly all the bakery/vanilla scents are let downs, while the fruity, floral, cologne-y types are beasts when it comes to throw.
Honestly, while I was acquiring these, I had never tried vendor wax and didn’t know what I was missing.
I’ve amassed more than some, I haven’t done an official count but I think I have somewhere in the 300+ neighborhood *said with shame*. I must provide photo proof sometime.
I’m really up against the clock with them too, because as you astutely observed-wax doesn’t last forever in plastic. We tried to pin down a time table while working at Yankee and came up with 2 years. We could visually tell which had been on the shelves past their expiration date (they tend to become extra crumbly). Meanwhile, the candles in jars will last forever as long as the lid’s on properly.
Which brings me to the Walmart pod version, you liked that huh? Do those count as a wax purchase, lol? I don’t know but that Rose/Citrus combo was my favorite mixology ever. The French Lav was tres magnifique too. If I come across more, I’ll send a couple your direction:)
P.S. no more psuedo-Jackie O for you- only the real deal;)