Seventy-five: the number of days I lasted in-between wax purchases; not my most impressive achievement, but not a bad start either. My seventy-fifth wax-free day celebration purchase? That Smell Good Shop. The vendor reappeared on my radar this fall after losing track of them for awhile, as the owner converted from former brand name Wilma’s Handmade. I think what’s most appealing are the simple, classic combinations and limited edition monthly releases. I also appreciate the variety of sizes offered in their signature blendable wax cubes.
I ordered the 9-cube packs of 3 oz. for $3.95 ea. The affordable size options and free U.S. shipping for orders over $25 led me to try eight different scents.
Winter is Coming- evergreen + winter citrus + moss. That familiar aroma of fresh-cut Christmas tree is first to emerge, but after a few minutes, out comes the fruit. Tangy citron notes brighten the fir with sparkling verve and zero bitterness that’s too often present in green citrus. Elegant, fruity and invigorating enough to make my cheeks nice and rosy, just as a winter scent should.
The Snuggle is Real- masculine + sandalwood + lightly spiced apple. Eye-rolling groaner of a title aside, this is one sexy fragrance. An immediate presence of husky oriental woody notes, referred to as masculine, imparts a dry earthy spice. The woodland trail meanders through cologne territory before being uplifted by incredibly juicy apple. Striking my imagination as strolling the broad paths of an ivy-league campus on a crisp New England afternoon, it’s rarefied air.
Jack is Back- vanilla bean noel + jack frost. I’m a fan of the fragrant work horse that is Vanilla Bean Noel, a vanilla sugar cookie B&BW’s dupe of the same name, but I’m also an admirer of the lesser fan favorite, Jack Frost-a Yankee Candle dupe. I’ve noted way back in my candle employee days that people believed there to be a kerosene note to Jack Frost, but I never got that. I think what they were smelling was the oily essence from a true peppermint. Not the candied version present in many minty fragrances, but the deep, nasal passage-clearing stuff. Jack is frosted with cool vanilla and has an old-fashioned feel to it; merged with VBN it’s a seamless combination and possible new Christmas classic.
Cabin in the Woods- cedar + fall spices + winter air. The cedar shines brightly in this blend. A similar oil to the snappy variety I’ve tried, notably by Bonjour Wax Co. That lofty air of cracking open a treasured chest in the attic, dry and crisp, rather than a deep musky cellar note. I enjoy both types of cedar but paired with winter air, this version recalls tumbling leaves and the last vigorous rustle of the trees before they shed their autumn garments.
Dead of Winter- blackberry + lavender + vanilla. Hardy lavender meets robust blackberry and stands up well, toned down slightly by a hint of vanilla. Ultimately the berry wins, revealing a fruity floral which is nearer to Creme de cassis than I ever want my herbal melts to be.
Annie Wilkes- bonfire bliss + pink sugar + toasty mallow. Bonfire bliss can be too sharp on it’s own, but the smoky amber is magically transformed by caramelized marshmallows and spun sugar candy. That balance of acidity and sweetness makes me long for the aroma of a fresh cigar box and the scent of melting caramels wafting in the air, blissful indeed.
Marge Gunderson- cornbread + blackberry + toasty coconut. I was most excited for this blend as I recently realized I liked sugar corn pudding fragrance, however, I confused it with this simpler cornbread which isn’t as creamy or mouthwatering as SCP. The crispy bread dominates the lighter coconut notes while the blackberry is a bad fit which smacks of inauthentic fruitiness.
Frostbite- coffee + cornbread + spiced vanilla cookie crumble. A much more harmonious blend, in which the savory cornbread complements the sweetness of the cookie and provides a decadence to the smooth aroma of brewed coffee. The room-filling melt brings to life the yummy warmth of creature comforts in a cup.
Sleepy Hollow- nutmeg + vanilla + cotton candy + smoky fall sweetness. Separately I adore these notes, but together it’s as if a bakery blend was forced into crude outdoorsy submission. The result is a claggy mess with a hazy cloud of potpourri level spice. A strong throw that’s just too muddled for me.
Cedar- that same crackling cedar featured in Cabin in the Woods which I’ll use for blending and woodsifying sweeter stuff.
Carina’s Herb Garden- a clearance melt that I can no longer find on the website. I don’t remember the notes, but for a garden scent it seems awash in laundry soap. It’s hereby relegated to a bathroom melt.
The two chunks are a free sample of The Red Room, scented in oatmeal creme sandwich cookies. Can’t say I’m a fan of any Little Debbie fragrance in wax and find it a curious choice for a melt named for The Haunting of Hill House.
**I used two cubes and was rewarded with solid medium-strong throw for all but Jack Frost, for which I’d recommend three cubes. Besides the copious scented wax selections, That Smell Good Shop offers a library of home fragrance and body care products. I was pleased to stumble upon aluminum and baking soda-free deodorants, and I’m always game to try.
The deodorant does contain fragrance, I chose Amber Romance, a sandalwood vanilla musk. I like the slick gel-like texture without the messiness of a gel. The performance is comparable to other more natural deos, which are never as strong as drugstore brands. I think it may work better on perspiration, or perhaps I’m not sweating much in the chilly temps we’ve been experiencing. At $6, I would repurchase but only in other less subtle fragrances.
That Smell Good shop restocked with limited edition scents on Thanksgiving and Wendy, the vendor, alerted followers and newsletter recipients of a Cyber Monday sale, occurring this Mon, November 26th. *Room sprays, body and pillow mists, perfume and body oils will be 10% off as well as a Ready-to-Ship wax bags. The .8 oz wax cups like those above will be $1 each!
Did you participate in any Black Friday specials, or have your eye on small business or cyber Monday sales? I’ll be attending a gingerbread walk supporting local small businesses this morning and hope to get most Christmas shopping done in the next week or so before I run out of holiday steam. Happy Saturday, friends.