The end of 2018 is upon us and I am not sad to see it go. A few highlights of this personally dismal year have been the exceedingly good wax hauls I’ve enjoyed. Narrowing down scent preferences, veering a bit out of my comfort zone, sampling and embracing types I might have previously run from, have all helped release me from a fragrance rut. Eliminating a lot of the analysis at this point, I give you the Scented Library’s top 8’s in home fragrance.
Top 8 favorite melts of 2018: Each not only smelled wonderful and unique but had to have strong throw in order to make the list. Full reviews linked.
8. Gryffindor– (L3 Waxy Wonders chunk) fireside, mahogany, woolen blankets
7. Frostbite– (That Smell Good Shop cubes) coffee, cornbread, vanilla cookie crumble
6. Dreaming of Dreams– (The Bathing Garden clamshell) french lavender and cool camphor blend with bergamot and clary sage
5. Koopa Claus Needs a Latte- (Rosegirls chunk muffin) espresso, baked zucchini bread, royal sugar cookies, gilligan’s brew
4. Spooktacular– (Lasting Scent Candles-retired vendor) buttery cookie dough, brown sugared apples, toffee bits, creamy caramel and a dash of fall spices
3. Doctor Who- (Super Tarts) red roobios tea, shortbread cookies and creamy custard…minus the fish sticks!
2. Tobacco leaf & Caramel– (Bohemienne Life wax crack) citrus spiced tobacco leaves, undertones of vetiver, whiskey and rich caramel
1.Cardamom apple pie- (The Bathing Garden wax pie) spicy cardamom blends with hot baked apple pie.**
Top 3 favorite wax hauls, these three featured 90% product excellence, had special customer service and made me happy to receive them:
The top 8 list could easily have been ALL The Bathing Garden but I wanted to represent more favorite vendors. Snowman’s Pipe and Magician’s Bonfire are gorgeous scents from my TBG Winter haul, but were slightly lesser in throw. Candy Panda Wax’s Spring pre-order by My Candy Panda thrilled with beautifully serene scents that fulfilled my spa cravings but I could only remember them as a whole rather than individual scents. Boheminne Life was a first for me, but I’ve already received my second order. Kyme’s wax is layered, thoughtful and distinct from anything else out there. I’m so happy this vendor has decided to continue making products.
Retired Vendors who will be missed:
Lasting Scent Candles: gooey, but oh so good, I’m down to my last few cups.
Ten Digit Creations: I was saddened to hear of Amber’s leaving, a bit out of the blue, mostly because she was pretty cool to chat up online. I did grab a tiny order of TDC favorites in October.
I’ve shown dramatic restraint when it came to purchasing candles during 2018, with only 2 per season from Bath and Body Works since last year’s SAS. Even less from Yankee Candle Co, two (!) the fewest since 2011, plus a few small business-pop culture themed products popped up in my candle collection.
Of this small selection, the best have been:
8. Coffee & Contemplation– Get Fictional candles- coffee beans, vanilla and pine trees. My husband was also impressed with this brand and usually he can not care less.
7. Vanilla Birch- Bath and Body Works- white birch, Madagascar vanilla, warm sandalwood. Nice, but I prefer the wallflower scent bulb.
6. Coconut Water- Bath and Body Works-coconut milk, creamy vanilla, pineapple (I was pleased to see this retired scent return, I’ve only ever had the mini version).
5. Custom DIY blend of Birch Wood, Hiking Trails, Peppercorn & Cardamom, Crackling Firewood– Cleveland Candle Co.
4. Apple Garland– Bath and Body Works- eucalyptus, cedarwood essential oils, gala apples and mistletoe. Fruit and woods is my favorite pairing of the year, it also got a bump for sweetest label.
3. Spiced Berry Sangria– Yankee Candle- sangria spiked with berries, apple, cinnamon stick and ginger.
2. last year’s semi-sale purchase of White Woods from White Barn- sandalwood, vanilla, white oak.
1.Snow Mountain Lodge– Bath and Body Works- smoked embers, silver pine, sandalwood. Always at the top of my list.
Evening Hearth– Bath and Body Works-Cedar kindling, warm cider, cashmere. Lovely scent in the jar, zero throw when lit.
Top 8 scent trends:
It’s fun to observe what the trendy new fragrance oil is in the vendor wax world, even if it’s usually not what I’m into.
- Dirt–sounds disastrous but it works, call it perichor, freshly shoveled graveyard or garden soil-to me, it’s a distinctly comforting fresh note. Notable melts: Super Tarts’ Middle Earth, Empire Alchemy Wax-Petrichor, The Bathing Garden-Netherworld Zombie
- Coffee–so, not the newest trend, but either vendors are using it more often or I’m noticing and loving it more. TWO of my top 8 are coffee-forward scents, That Smell Good Shop’s-Frostbite, Rosegirls-Koopa Claus Needs a Latte
- Stainless Steel–gaining popularity from 2017, I’ve tried Rosegirls, L3WW, and Super Tarts but the steeliness delivers a headache–pass.
- Sea Salt–this briny blend enhancer popped up everywhere this year, Shannon, of the Bathing Garden, added it to single powerful notes, I prefer her Salted Lavender.
- Amber Noir–a perfume dupe by Yves Rocher, I haven’t tried it but noticed Rosegirls offered it as the Crooked Broomstick.
- Birch–by itself, with vanilla, or black pepper perfume, this note appeared a lot. I like My Candy Panda’s version.
- Cupcakes at Tiffany’s- I finally sniffed this much-hyped bakery scent oil over Christmas. It’s a toffee-like candy on cold, that I assume packs a sweet punch when warmed.
- Rose–an ancient and timeless floral was made fresh last Spring with Bath and Body Work’s Love and Pink Petal Tea Cake candles. This trend has transcended fragrance, hitting the craft brew market this Winter with a wealth of Rose pink options.
What trends have I missed? I know there’s a sugar cookie ultimate bakery dough combo out there, but I’ve lost track of it. Have you experienced the mostly divine greatness of awaiting a wax order and having it be everything you hoped, or a supreme disappointment? Been surprised by new scents? Found a happy favorite or two? I hope so, I’d love to know.
2018 Final thoughts:
It has been a tough year, professionally for myself and my husband, emotionally with family loss, strain and strife, politically, as both the national and local levels were fraught with turmoil; even physically, each of us experiencing pulled muscles, back and chest pain and inflammation. Full disclosure, I’m writing this paragraph under a medicated haze with the likelihood of strep throat or severe respiratory/esophageal difficulty BUT it hasn’t been a complete disaster. Some wonderful moments were relished from 2018 too:
- the pride of sending our best speech team competitor ever to State Finals and later, Nationals
- more bittersweet pride in observing my nephew graduate with honors and jump into his first year away at college
- speaking of pride, being a Cleveland Browns fan has hardly caused me to hang my head in shame, they’ve been fun to watch
- attending a bucket list performance of the musical Les Miserables
- collaborating with lovely blogger friends on custom orders and tea boxes, dedicating more time to reading and book reviewing-a challenge I’ve enjoyed and will continue in 2019
- sticking to a low-carb diet that produced results
- seeing our dog through risky surgery and being so grateful for more time with him
- graduating to cancer surviorship 8 years after initial diagnosis–it feels good to know my treatment was the right course and I can progress into my forties in stable health
I wish a happy, healthy new year to my family, followers and friends. Cheers!
In no order of importance (obviously, or else your personal unhappys, your health and Johnny’s surgery would be up here)…
1. YES, Cardamon Apple Pie! Good golly, that thing was dee-licious. It actually smelled like pie, not just like cloying apple pie filling and craft store spices. Thank you again for sharing that with me.
2. Koopa Klaus Needs a Latte is incredible, and I thought OG Koopa Klaus couldn’t get any better. Speaking of, that might be THE BEST vanilla bakery smell ever – is it the mythical all-cookie blend you were wondering about? Although, speaking of THAT, one of my custom blends from SMT is something like sugar cookies, ultimate sugar cookie dough and vanilla waffle cone, and it’s great. It has a slightly boozy vanilla scent to it that reminds me of vanilla bean paste. I’m nominating it for best cookie scent ever.
3. Scent tastes totally change. Case in point? This year I’m not much for peppermint. A little is more than enough for me. But the year before last it was all peppermint all the time. This year it’s been Marshmallow Fireside everything, but who knows how long that will last for. So make coffee scent hay while the sun shines. As the saying obviously goes.
4. How often does Destiny’s Child survivor play through your head? It should be all the time, because you are amazing. I hope you take such joy and pride in continuing to put yourself first and tell cancer to go and shove it.
5. I’m so, so, SO pleased that Johnny made it through his surgery okay and you’ve got more time to spend with your beloved doggy. We had not much of a choice to make with Weegie about whether to place her into immediate emergency care or let her go. Believe me, I would have snatched her off the table and run screaming from the room (it was close a time or five) if that had been an option, and we would have done anything to keep her with us, but when the vet gave us less than a 10 percent chance that emerg care would work, well, that wasn’t much of a choice. It’s just too hard to watch our furry friends go through something like that. Yay for Johnny. 🙂
6. Bittersweet…yes, that is definitely the word for 2018. Because there were some really great things that happened, right? Your health, your nephew, your former student’s successes, the Browns! But there was also so much suck, and so many needless gut-punches. I long for 2019 to maybe just be quiet? Can we aim for quiet? Or just a year that IS? You know, a year in which stuff happens that’s neither waaaaayyy up there or waayyyyy down there.
1. What a sweet surprise the Cardamom Apple Pie scent was, especially because I pretty much ordered for the sake of the cute factor. I like an apple scent that isn’t boring apples + cinnamon, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it:)
2. Koopa is killer! I would have never guessed one of my favorites of tons of new scents this year would be a coffee cookie dough, but damn, when ya good, ya good.
3. I love hearing about/monitoring scent preference flux. Lol, I wondered if you would overdose on the peppermints after nearly an entire order of them via SMT. I find I get tired of them quickly unless they’re in extra inventive combos. But yeah, I’ve found I’m in been there, done that territory with quite a few scent categories. I was heavy into MF for the previous 2 years and laid off it a little this past year, now I feel a craving for it every so often, especially in Jan/Feb, it’s extra cozy and comforting.
4. LOL! Never, tbh, I only mention it as an update once or twice a year and never think about it any other time at all anymore. Which is a good thing, but maybe I’ll jam out to I’m a Survivor tomorrow to get me pumped for work.
5.Thank you. I’m dreading the day when I must make that decision. It had to be just awful.
Just yesterday we noticed JFT has developed this bizarre eye condition where his pupils are blue and cloudy and his eyelids are droopy and bloodshot. It’s not uncommon is some dog breeds as they get older, but man, it’s aged him 5 years in a day. A stark reminder that he may not be here much longer, or that we may have to make a difficult decision about his life in the future. It’s sobering, but at least from what I’ve read it isn’t painful. Trying to love him up while we can. I thank you so much for your support and wish you didn’t have to go through that heartache w/Weegie, a profoundly sad trade-off for loving them as much as possible.
6. I get what you are saying 100% The thing is, when you have those quiet years it’s easy to get caught up in other complaints or petty annoyances and not recognize the chill of just being level.
2017 was that for me, but I didn’t realize it until the storm of 2018 blew in around March and completely leveled shit in August. Bring on the quiet, uneventful, less-stressed 2019, for both of us I hope.