Here we are, halfway through the year already. (WTH?) Half of a full top ten felt right for a mid-year recap, so I’m sharing my ‘fave fives’: individual scents, vendors and scent trends. I’ve been ordering wax with abandon (22 hauls!) and have experienced tremendous scent combinations in the first six months of 2019.
Top 5 favorite scents this year:
Pink Sugar Bread– Beezy Wax. Amish Friendship Bread blended with Pink Sugar. One of the few Beezy blends I truly loved, a sugary and spicy dreamboat of a scent.
Coconut Butt- Golden Willow Wax. Think what you might about the butt part, but I cannot get enough of coconut scents lately. Ale’s is the cream of the fruity crop and this rich coconut amber was a stand-out among many beautiful blends in her coco sampler this Spring.
Vanilla Cafe/Victorian Rose/Caramel Marshmallow– Ten Digit Creations custom blend. Chose my own custom scent as a favorite; shameless? Don’t care, it’s yummy. Rose is a gorgeous bakery blender, but with caramel coffee it’s reached a level of warmth and cozy that fresher blends can’t come close to. I originally created this combo by wanting to tone down a Fresh Cut Roses tart from Yankee Candle with some Marshmallow Smoothie. I knew my custom dreams were in good hands with Amber’s blending capabilities. TDC looks to be on vacation until July 8th, but she’s opening for custom orders for the rest of the month until August 18th!
Palo Santo and Shea & Santal- L3 Waxy Wonders. When L3 opened for custom chunks in May, I scanned the scent list and seeing Palo Santo was offered, had to bite. It’s my favorite current scent note (see below). Shea & Santal is “Creamy nuances of shea, heliotrope and exotic acerola…coconut and sweet almond milk.” That refreshing mix means this woodsy melt doubles down on the tranquility factor and I’m so pleased by it.
Sandalwood Vanilla, Caramel Pipe Tobacco, Campfire Marshmallow– Sniff My Tarts Wax. Three gorgeous scents which come together in the deepest, coziest, smoky-sweetest way: check, check and check. I can’t take credit for this combo as it was a leftover custom pour I grabbed in a flash sale, but you better believe I’ll be using it the next time I order customs.
Top 5 scent trends of 2019:
Few things I enjoy more than to observe, predict and pontificate about fragrance trends. Over the past few years I’ve hyped shaving cream, sea salt, tea scents and cedar. I actually only partake in those trends which appeal to my personal scent preferences, but notice the fruity bakery action too.
Bergamot– finally getting it’s due apart from the other citrus aromas, bergamot acts nothing like orange, lemon or lime in a blend. Instead, it’s more subtle, sophisticated, less in-your-face. Bergamia is actually the European fruit (found in earl grey) while Bergamot is the plant. Wild and earthy it has an uplifting herbal lilt, some compare to oregano. Used in complex fragrances, bergamot provides that hard-to-pin-down element that lightens a heavy scent. I was stoked to see Bath and Body Works added it to the aromatherapy collection this year and the Volupsa version is to-die-for. If you peruse any given wax vendor’s scent list, you’ll start to find bergamot appearing often.
Bananas– I blame Bath and Body Works and their Banana Bundt Cake candle for this one. It has to be one of my least favorite fruit notes, but seems to be newly appreciated by wax lovers. From breads, cakes, pies, and pancakes to milkshakes, people are going well, you know, over it. Providing a comforting note, fruity fans can rejoice that banana is showing up in all the latest Fall scent lists.
Rose– cementing the cyclical nature of fads, rose is a timeless scent having a trendy moment. I mentioned it’s appearance in craft brews last winter and have read it’s wondrous qualities in many fragrance bloggers’ posts in 2019. Often overwhelming on its own, rose is outstanding as a blender with fruity, bakery and creamy scents. Creating a delicate balance to the sweetness, roses create a rich, luxurious and refreshing quality in surprising ways. Some rose scents I love (also see my custom scent above): Candles From the Keeping Room’s Rose Cognac Sugar, Raspberry Rose Hibiscus Tea, and Rose & Cake. Bohemienne Life’s Coconut Rose, Rosegirls’ Hello Summer. And of course, the mainstream representation in Bath and Body Works’s Love (Rose and Vanilla).
Churros– the traditional Spanish fried pastry dough coated in cinnamon sugar is everywhere this summer. Spotted in cereal aisles at the grocery store and candle companies like DW Home- churro is the latest thang in bakery blends and it’s popularity is only just heating up. Some of the first vendors I’ve seen offering churros are Candy Panda Wax, Blank Label Products and Midnight Daydreams wax.
Palo Santo- the Palo Santo craze doesn’t seem to be slowing and I am here for it. I featured the real wood back in September 2017 with my handmade Palo Santo burner by CBE Cermics. Now it’s been sucked into the synthetic fragrance world with a fervor (considering the sustainability questions surrounding the wood harvest, that’s a good thing). The Peruvian ‘holy wood’ is unlike any other scent. Earthy, sweet and crisp, palo santo’s most prevalent quality is its soothing aroma. Favorites are my custom creation by L3WW, Voodoo by Rainbow Wax, Spiritual Awakening by Tea Time Wax Tarts pictured above, and Palo Santo/Clean Shave/Coconut Milk by Swanky Candle Co. I think this trend is here to stay and I can’t imagine tiring of it.
Bonus trend alert: Almond Milk. Not just in vogue for coffee creamers, almond milk is trickling into blends from The Bathing Garden to L3WW. I think it’s an up-and-comer that I’ll be watching for this fall/winter.
Top 5 underrated vendors:
We all know of the Big 5 vendors. Based on Instagram followers: Candy Panda Wax, Rosegirls, Vintage Chic Scents, Super Tarts and although only on facebook, Candles from the Keeping Room, are tremendously popular. I have loved and ordered from all of the above, but prefer to shed light on the smaller, undervalued vendors who deserve recognition.
Golden Willow Wax- (open/close restocks and select home goods) I admire Ale’s impeccable style, commitment to female small businesses, appreciation for literature and love of gardening. All of which show up in her scent creations. Not everything I’ve tried by GW has been a favorite, but all have thrown well and those I’ve enjoyed I’ve really loved.
L3 Waxy Wonders– (always open with several custom scent offerings throughout the year in various formats AND a brick-and-mortar store in Oregon). The largest of the underrated and longest operating. I’m unsure why L3WW doesn’t get as much love as others, but I have heard some say their melts have light throw/long cure time. I can attest it seems to take a good month before the oils fully develop, but in my experience, that isn’t as long as other brands, such as The Bathing Garden and Sniff My Tarts.
Quick story on L3’s scent strength: I melted a simple lavender buttercream about a month ago with our living room windows open. Our neighbor stopped my husband in the driveway while grass-cutting and asked him if I was baking a cake because of the amazing smell coming from our home. And that’s with two typically lighter scented oils! L3’s repeat customers already know how great they are, but honestly, it’s okay with me if it remains a secret, more for me in the end.
Bohemienne Life– (a handful of pre-orders per year, bath and body too) Kyme’s blends stand out as some of the most unique I’ve tried. From scent complexity and number of notes to crumbly wax brittle form-Bohemienne Life’s products are vastly different from the wax norm. Coconut Rose (pictured above), Brandied Peach Bread Pudding, Heart and Crown, Blackberry Bordeaux Cookie, Tobacco Leaf and Caramel and Je Ne Sais Quoi are lovely blends I’d re-purchase.
That Smell Good Shop- (always open, restocks monthly with customs every other month, formerly Wilma’s Handmade) I’ve become a huge fan of TSGS in the last half year. I appreciate the creation of a new themed scent list each month using simple blends and tried-and-true fragrances. Like with L3WW, they offer smaller sized custom options which is a major plus for a wax junkie like me who’s always creating scent combinations in my head. I just purchased from their July villains restock and cannot wait to receive my smell goods.
Swanky Candle Co.– (open/close preorders and ready-to-ship) I’m unsure of their restock pattern but I am sure Swanky won’t be underrated for long. Good word-of-mouth paired with highly unique blends and a shabby chic aesthetic has put Swanky on the rising star list to one of the most popular vendors. The shop sells out quicker each time, therefore I’ve only purchased pre-order loaves, like the stunning, rosette heart-shaped one above. Some of the scents are quite subtle, but all beautiful in tone and quality. Marshmallow Musk, Pink Sugar/Black Coconut and Palo Santo/Clean Shave/Coconut Milk are winners.
Vendors who will be missed:
I intended to include Bonjour Wax Co. in my underrated vendors since their samplers are the most fun and well thought out. I’ve received two earlier this year, but unfortunately, Bonjour looks to be on indefinite hiatus. There hasn’t been a shop update, nor a peep about new products from creator, Mandi, since February. I wish her the best and I know many friends and family will miss her scents.
That’s all for now, hope I didn’t half-ass this half-year recap too much. My fragrance blogging is nearly nil but I will share a few hauls I’ve received and intend to recap my end of year favorites in December. Until then, have a beautiful summer friends, and let me know which scents/vendors you’ve been enjoying.