Project Wax Update: Summer candles

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Summer collection

It’s time for a rotation of the summer candles, past time considering it’s July, but I didn’t want to change any out until I finished a few off. I’ve been making stellar progress (for me) on my candle depletion project. Okay, the empties below aren’t super impressive but I wasn’t home much to burn last month. To put it in perspective, my pre-candle depletion numbers totaled 5 empties for the entire year, in a good year. Considering those poor stats, I think I’m doing pretty well.20170709_112454What these finished burns lack in quantity was made up in quality. Early Sunrise and Lake Sunset are two retired favorite Treasures. The Relaxing Rituals line was discontinued years ago. I still have the fragrance oils of this soothing combination of Cardamom, Rose and Cedarwood, but I was sad to say goodbye to the candle. I’ve even finished Black Tea Rose since this photo was taken, giving me a good jump on my next empties post, with my fall collection roll out.

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Bath and Body Works’ Salted Vanilla seemed to take forever to get through for a 3-wick, but it was enjoyable. I’ve heard it reviewed as sour milk smelling, but I got nothing close to that. The vanilla was subtle with a golden brown butter essence and the briny tang of sea salt. Initially, the burn didn’t produce much throw, but by the third go, it threw respectably. Not a repurchase, but not awful. 

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Progress is all jolly-well, but I’m also on a wax and candle buying ban. Early June brought a minor setback when my good friend, who works for Yankee Candle, brought me two Pure Radiance crackle wicks. She knew I loved them and they were being discontinued, I didn’t have the willpower to turn them down! Pumpkin is set aside for fall but Citron smells yummy.

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My seasonal copper tray is the simplest yet: found seashells, a shell guidebook, glass starfish dish from a Charleston, South Carolina honeymoon stop, the nautilus tealight holder was a Yankee Candle clearance item from summer 2015 and retired Sandalwood Vanilla jar with Beachcomber illumilid.

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My mid-to-end of summer burning goal is six candles. I still have spring’s Fresh Cut Herbs going in the kitchen, determined to finish it. My summer stash holds some of my all time favorites, including Mountain Lodge and Campfire Treat. If a candle from my summer collection catches anyone’s eye for a review, let me know, any excuse to burn!

186th Day Recap (aka Midyear)

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Am I the only one who keeps used wax for way too long?

If the 186th day of the year is meaningless to you, that’s because it should be. It is not the midway point of the calendar year, that was July 2nd, the 183rd day. I wished to post my annual mid-year recap then, but was out of town a lot in June, pushing back my monthly Best/Worst to the 2nd. Then there’s a Band of Bloggers post to think about and…you get the idea. All in all, its been a much better year so far than 2016.

Favorite Candle:

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Water Garden-Yankee Candle 

Most Disappointing:

Black Chamomile-BBW Stress Relief. Loved on cold, zero throw.

Best non-reviewed candle:

Black Tea Rose-Bath and Body Works. Cedarwood love.

Top 10 favorite melts (so far):

10.Wine Cellar-BBW. Semi-sale pickup reviewed in January, still holding as a favorite. I’ll be getting this in a candle.
9. Melisandre-House of Phoebe.
8. Blue sugar/Shave cream-Sassy Girl Aroma.                                 
7. Rock Star/Olive Branch-Rosegirl’s (gift). Look, a Lush dupe fave! 
6. Balance+Glow-Candles From the Keeping Room (gift).
5. Briarcliff/Rosemary’s Baby-Super Tarts. I put these 2 together because they were both surprise hits. Briarcliff has an ST mac apple note I can handle and shaving cream I love. Rosemary’s Baby is the first rosemary mint scent to have me enamored. Also, they are good melted together!
4. Delilah-House of Phoebe. I’ve never tried a creamier vanilla.

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3. Sugared Pie Crust-The Bathing Garden. As much as I love TBG, it almost didn’t make the list. Then I remembered this amazing sample. To die for.

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2. Bad Romance-Pour Girl’s Wax. One of the first Vanilla Lace/Shaving Cream blends I’ve heard about back in February. Team fresh heaven!

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1. Fresh Cucumber/Pink Sugar– Rosegirls. This #1 surprised even me because I tend to like more complex blends. So simple, fresh and realistic, but unique and perfect.

Current favorite scent notes: Shaving Cream, Pink Sugar, Cedarwood.

Future favorite prediction: It could be Vanilla Lace, though like nearly everybody else, I’m into Salty Sea Air blends too.

Scent note I’d like to see retired: Fruit Loops, loopy’s, fruity pebbles. Yuck! Cereal seems endlessly popular, however, so not likely.

Top 3 vendors:

Rosegirls-No arguments here as RG is one of the most beloved vendors ever. Availability was the only obstacle compared to my 1+2, but for now, at least mini-melters are open for a few months. I’m hoping with the updated website, and consistent pre-orders, RG will be more accessible from now on.

House of Phoebe-complex house blends in my favorite types, combined with personal customer service and accessibility. Only open less than a year, some growing pains are bound to occur, but it’s a small business vendor I’m proud to support.

Super Tarts-innovative, consistent and constant. Best fandoms and comprehensive scent list. If only Brandy would update on Instagram as well as Facebook. I’d also prefer less broken clamshells, but ST has the strongest throwing stuff around, pushing it to the top.

Favorite Indie body care: Just starting to dip my toes into the body care product pool, I tend to get one or two items from a vendor rather than a full body regimen.

Best product: The Dirty Goat’s natural deodorant. Faster production and newly shorter turnaround time makes it even better. Relieved to be restocked for awhile, I’m going to try for some of the hair products next time.

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Scents: Tonka, Coconut Milk, Mermaid

Best shower scrub: The Bathing Garden’s Shea Butter sugar scrub in Evernight. I aim to try all of TBG’s scrub formulations.

Best lotion: Soak + Unwind’s aloe lotion sample. Many more of these wonder lotions on the way, very excited to have found this brand.

Worst vendor haul: Fresh Picked Scents. Every body product had issues, also my least favorite wax scents this year.

Favorite Wax haul: Pour Girl’s WaxI’m out of nearly all of my PG scents and I’m really missing them, hope to hear of a restocking soon.

What I’m looking forward to for the second half of 2017:

  • The arrival of my Sniff My Tarts custom orders. The waiting is said to be the hardest part.
  • Testing more body care products. I just hauled items from Salted Rock Bath Co.
  • My first Fakery Bakery Wax haul coming sometime in July.
  • Picking up several Rosegirl’s mini-melters after my wax ban ends in August.
  • There are about 15 new-to-me vendors I’d like to try, I think I’ll do a poll to gauge which ones I should order from and review. 

That’s half a year gone. Am I getting old, or are they starting to pass by faster? Any scents or vendors above that you favor too? Surprises? Scents I’ve missed out on, what’s on your best/worst list?

 

Project Wax-candle countdown

In May’s BoB post, Lauren, of Lolo Loves Scents, posed the project wax question; essentially asking if we’ve ever had so much wax product that we felt a purge was needed before acquiring more. My answer is~oh yes, yes I have. It’s been ongoing at a snail’s pace since January and I’ve finally acquired enough ’empties’ to update.

Note that I don’t normally post my empties because I don’t like to see them myself. Something about viewing all of those empty plastic bags, cups and jars makes me cringe at the conspicuous consumption. Inevitably, I start to wonder if all of that plastic is getting recycled, which leads to worry about the environment, which leads to overwrought visions of apocalyptic doom, and honestly, people don’t need to hear about my neuroses. I recognize the benefits of posting photos of one’s empties though, it absolutely holds you accountable, as it’s hard to deny visual proof.

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I started off with a 5:1 ratio of using up jars to adding new, the baby steps approach. With only one semi-sale purchase from Bath and Body Works, I was feeling good. My winter candles lasted through most of spring, but at least I burned my quota. Then one night in March, I got an email for a random $9.50 B&BW’s candle sale and ended up with 3 unintended additions. Major impulse buys that I’m mostly happy with. At least the 3-wicks can be used quickly, compared to the single wick jars from Yankee which take FOREVER.

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I can’t really explain these last two buys, except I got all squealy when I spotted retired, masculine Evening Air for $13 at TJMAXX and this DW home scent is the first Eucalyptus I’ve enjoyed. I didn’t want to chance passing up that lightning in a bottle (jar).

I’m pretty satisfied with this progress actually, because many of these are retired scents that would be hard to repurchase. The old Jay would have burned these 2 or 3 times and packed ’em up for next year. The old Jay foolishly thought she could keep buying candles without finishing them and it would cause no storage/hoarding issues whatsoever.

Tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with so much wax, be it melts or candles, that a “project wax depletion” is required. I’ve since graduated to 10:1 ratio. I declare I won’t get another jar till I’ve used up 10 older ones. 10, I say!

Spring scents & suds

The irony of posting about spring scents today is not lost on me as my area sits blanketed under a half foot of snow that’s been falling since Monday night. It looks more like winter around here than all of January and February put together. Still, what better time to daydream of throwing the windows open and letting in the scents of spring?

I had a request to review recent Bath and Body Works‘ soap purchases that I may or may not have needed. This is my first gentle foaming hand soap review, here goes:

Beautiful Blue Skies– Dewy blossoms, a kiss of citrus & sheer driftwood. Most unique of the bunch that smells sweeter when opening the bottle than it does in use. A pleasing mix of citrus is the forward scent softened by a rain-kissed floral, my kind of bouquet. I detect lemony notes and possibly orange blossom.

While not alcohol fumed, or soapy smelling at all, this scent doesn’t linger on the hands after use except for the gentlest citrus kiss.

French Lavender– a soothing blend of fresh lavender with hints of amber. B&BW’s does lavender well and this is no exception. Smells as realistic as if you’ve crushed lavender buds in your hands. Slightly woody but not overly so, I enjoy the powdery finish from the amber. The longest lasting afterward, it was nice to smell the lavender when lifting my hands to my face 30 minutes later.

Pretty Pink Peony– Blushing peony, jasmine petals & sandalwood. I prefer sweeter peony to headier rose fragrance. This scent carries a strong sugar note in the bottle but has an elegance to it. The most fragrant blooms are present as the lather hits warm water, however, the scent dissipates before the bubbles are down the drain. Wish it lingered a little on the skin.

Cool Coconut Colada– Creamy coconut, lime granita & spun sugar. Yummy! Reminiscent of a frozen Pina Colada, substituting lime rind instead of pineapple. I would love to have this scent in wax, and in a cocktail. Similar to, but not the same as the popsicle label version from last year, due to the addition of lime; perfect for summer. CCC lasted 2nd longest on my skin, with a touch of coconut present a few minutes after.

There was another soap sale this weekend, but I have a little stash going already, so I didn’t partake. I’m still working my way through my Winter bottles, tucking these away for warmer months. My favorite of the festive season scents is hands down VMM:

Very Merry Meringue– Whipped lemon meringue, glazed sugar & a hint of vanilla. Not usually a fan of lemon sugar scents, this one is a perfect balance of sweet cream, tangy crystal citrus and decadent vanilla. It brings me back to a lemon dessert I had in childhood, that I just can’t place. Gorgeous and long lasting fragrance.

 

Spring first edition scents by Yankee Candle:

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Emerald Isle– Top:Fresh Meadow, Mid:Green Tea, Wood Anemone, Base:Musk. For me, these notes don’t represent Emerald Isle’s warmed fragrance well. It’s bursting with juicy grapefruit and a reedy green leaf, the likes found around marshes more than meadows. There is a crispness from the green tea and a complexity to it. Much more than just a fresh, or fruity scent. I’m happy YC broke away from the grassy Lucky Shamrock they’ve done forever, it gave me a headache.

These melt cups have a fragrance life of approximately 24 hours. This throws medium, with alternating notes present.

Honey Lavender Gelato– Top:Blackberry,   Mid:Lavender, Base:Vanilla Cream, Honey. On first impression, a toothy gelato; on second, sweet lavender; but warmed, very, very berry. Like many, I was freaking over this scent when previewed, but it didn’t deliver anything special.

Essentially, it’s berries and cream. At least blackberry is my jam, of the jammy scents. My tart threw medium-strong. A nice berry variant but I wished for so much more.

(Let me know if anyone wants a review of any of the rest.)

Yankee released a second spring edition a month ago which I haven’t yet purchased from, but I’m excited for one that I sniffed, Black Sand Beach. Now I’m waiting for just the right sale.

Which new spring scents are you falling for? Have you tried the new Paradise soaps collection? Hope you’re all well and warm if in this snow storm.

Band of Bloggers

 
Welcome to the March edition of Band of Bloggers!  Hopefully this month begins to bring more temperate weather and the first signs of spring! In my neck of the woods, conditions have been alternating between crazy heavy rain/high winds and beautiful sunshine and blooming flowers. I hope the weather will stabilize a bit this month. Since the month of March usually holds the first signs of spring, that begs the question:
 
What scent are your favorite scents to melt and wear for spring?
Though I wholeheartedly embrace seasonal scents, I’m team fresh all year long. Therefore, I gravitate to those types no matter the season, warmer and earthier versions in fall/ winter, cooler in spring/summer.
There has been no indication of weather stabilizing in Ohio, with thirty-five degree temperature swings within a 24 hour period, no exaggeration. I feel I’m almost ready to jump into spring fragrance, but decided to let it occur more organically; when I’ve used up some of the winter scents and candles I have around, I’ll switch them out.
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I’m still loving The Bathing Garden’s Evernight shea butter scrub, which is rather springy lilac and lavender scented. I have finished my cashmere amber shower gel though, so I switched to the Magic in the Air I was gifted for Christmas. A holiday release, but the notes feel more spring-like to me (“winter” water lily notwithstanding): Top Notes: Sparkling Persimmon, Winter Water Lily, White Iris, Pear Blossom
Mid Notes: Almond Flower, Coconut Crème, Jasmine Petals
Dry Notes: Whipped Vanilla Bourbon, Fluffy Sandalwood, Cloud-Like Musk

Are you a fan of traditional spring scents such as florals, fresh/clean, earthy, herbal, etc?

Light fresh floral violets and orange blossoms work better for me than headier jasmine and freesia. I’ve been loving earthy amber and oak moss lately, but I’m starting to get into herbal scents such as rosemary, aloe vera and chamomile.   

Do you consider yourself a seasonal melter (melting scents traditionally associated with a particular season in that season?)

 A former hard and fast seasonal melter, my preferences are becoming more fluid and mood oriented. I don’t believe you’ll ever find me melting beach scents in winter, but this “in-between” time of year when it’s no longer winter yet not quite spring is more open to interpretation. I’m craving vanilla and coffee fragrances for comfort and woody, lavender and green for freshness.
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My answer to which candle to feature in my coffee table tray falls into the anytime of year category. Yankee Candle’s Silver Birch is a favorite, especially nestled into my birch log filler and silver/rose gold birch hurricane holder.
 
We hope you’ll join the fun and leave your own answer in the comments below.
And we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Comfort

For those times when things don’t go as planned, when life twists and turns unexpectedly, your week feels too long and your to-do list longer, when you’re in pain, or as in the words of singer Daniel Powter back in 2005, you’ve had a bad day; what do you turn to for comfort?

Family, caring friends, cuddling pets, escape through reading, binge-watching and gaming can be sources of comfort. When my personal stress level is too high, I seek solace in solitude. In the past, I’ve dabbled with meditation, even taking some classes which I found helpful. Maybe I’ll pursue it again this year, as it’s a skill that requires practice to call upon in times of stress.

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SAS haul from Bath and Body Works. Relax is my only full-sized candle purchase from after Christmas sales.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that home fragrance is a wellspring of comfort for me. It’s also one of the easiest methods I have to de-stress. Sense of smell can be a powerful force. Though I’m no student of aromatherapy, I believe that mental and emotional moods can be influenced by the senses.

I witnessed a fascinating example of this as I was waiting to take my dog into a veterinary exam. A cat with a broken leg was brought in, it expressed a lot of aggression and understandable anxiety in it’s crate. The vet tech sprayed a cloth with a pheromone spray, draped it over the crate and that cat was instantly calmed down. I thought, I’ll take a gallon of that to go!

Lacking access to a spray bottle of instant calm, these are the comforting fragrances that I’ve had on repeat the last few weeks:

Yankee Candles in retired scents, Do-re-mi (vanilla musk) and Sleigh Bells Ring (soft rose). Both are light but worthy examples of calming scents. Yankee used to have an aromatherapy line and I still have some of the single-scent oils. The cardamom oil adds warmth and spice when used as a mix-in with baking soda for carpet powder and is so inviting in an oil warmer.

I’ve tried two of the B&BW‘s wax melts purchased for 50 and 75% off during SAS. At $4.50 for 0.97 oz, I wouldn’t buy any at regular price, but I was happy to try them in some scents I haven’t had in their candles.

Pure White Cotton– extremely relaxing on cold throw, I started with one wedge, but added a second for the best result.

Walking past my warmer felt as if I was greeted by the sweetest spring breeze. There’s no laundry or starch to this. Just a hint of newly cleansed linen that’s been dried in the sunshine, folded into a basket still warm, filled with freshly-picked bouquets of Freesia and notes of white cotton blossom, anjou pear and soft gardenia petals.

Sweet, simple, natural smelling comfort of warm cloth.

Wine Cellar– as sophisticated as Pure White Cotton is simple. Wine Cellar is comprised of warm cedarwood, sugared clementine, red berry, and dark vanilla bean. To me, these four notes form a nearly perfect blend.

The rustic hewn timbers of the wine barrel, the full-bodied plummy fruit, juicy round flavor of citrus, the richness of vanilla bean skimmed from the fleshy pod. This wine has legs too, a beautiful abundant throw. Nearly as much of a creature comfort as an actual glass of red wine and zero calories.

The Relax candle from the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it aromatherapy line is saved for February, but I can tell you the black chamomile is a delicious essence of herbal tea refreshment. So spa-like I’ve almost forgotten the stress of wading through the store to get it the day after Christmas.

Which scents provide a comforting boon to your senses? Is it homey cinnamon or sugar cookie? Possibly lavender or mint soothes your savage beasts? Smoky patchouli send you off to a calm place? Do tell.

 

 

 

 

Fall Fun-Fall candles feature

 

The day the Candle Enthusiast has eagerly awaited is here, a Fall Fun prompt all about candles:)

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Brief highlights and low lights of my seasonal candles below:

Amber Moon– a Yankee Candle, UK exclusive. I’m in love with amber fragrance. To the lavender fanatics out there, amber is my lavender. So now you know. I can’t explain the reasons for my intense amber addiction, but it must be in part due to it’s ancient, timeless perfume quality. I know there’s no actual gemstone essence in a modern interpretation of amber but it is the richest – smelling scent to my palate.

It may have been the perfume of royalty, but I’m in the minority with my love for this type of fragrance. Not surprisingly,  Amber Moon is on the retirement list this year. That means because Yankee’s no longer making it as a UK exclusive it’s unlikely to show up in the outlets where I found this med-size, a baby jar and some tarts. I’ve decided to save it for special autumn burns. Times when I need a little extra touch of golden grace in my evening. (This has been a perfect week for it) The scent notes are sublime:

Top: Sugared Mandarin, Bergamot, Orange
Mid: Vanilla Petals, Jasmine Satin, Violet

Base: Golden Amber, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla

There have been other amber candles by Yankee, Amber Sunset and Amber Glow, but they are overly sweet or too harsh compared to the smoothness of Amber Moon. It has a clarity and purity that makes me want to drape myself in it (much like George Costanza with velvet!) With a soothing medium strength performance, it will be tough to find a replacement for this gem. I’ll just have to get my powdery, leathery, honey-like golden goodness elsewhere. I hear B&BW’s has an Amber candle…

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Pumpkin Fireside- One of my few B&BW candle purchases. Most people are drawn in with the pumpkin, but I purchased for the fireside. I must have liked this scent on cold throw to have bought it, but my hopes of feeling as though sitting round a cozy fire were mistaken.

Quite disappointed in this; according to the scent notes of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla bean and smoky cinnamon, I should love it, but when burning I get a weird graham cracker, nearly chocolate scent. I don’t like chocolate fragrance unless it’s well blended in peppermint. I think the nutmeg is where it went wrong. Just as too much nutmeg overpowers a dish or dessert, it kills a fragrance if overdone.

It possesses a strong 3-wick throw and was part of the popular early fall ‘pumpkin everything under the sun’ release, but I’m not sure if Bath & Body Works will bring this back. If it’s graham crackers you want, go with the super sugary Toasted Graham Latte White Barn candle. I’ll be watching for a truer cozy fireside fragrance to come along.

Nature’s Paintbrush – Yankee Candle treasure/returning favorite large jar. Scent notes:
Top: fresh notes, aromatics, citrus
Middle: green moss, thyme, sandalwoood

Base: blonde woods, amber, musk

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My favorite photo label
This candle is intensively scented, it’s camphorous aroma builds from a pleasantly stimulating tone to a wall of verdant green potency. Some may find it too forceful upon the senses because its the type of scent that doesn’t just fill the nose, it lingers in the back of the throat. I relish the clean air, tinged with a healthy dose of musky masculine aroma. I also appreciate that it isn’t a typical outdoorsy cologne fragrance, but it’s grounded by the mossy woodsy accords and amber bottom notes.
My love for Nature’s Paintbrush first bloomed upon its release in 2011, and I’m happy for its return this fall. I just checked my local store’s stock to see if I can hold out for semi-sale prices. For a candle of this rare beauty I’d be willing to pay a little bit more if I had to, though.
Cranberry Woods- B&BWs single-wick mason jar. This was my freebie with purchase from two other candles and it’s my favorite new fall scent this year!
I believe my thoughts on syrupy berry scents are well-documented but this is all cran and nearly no berry, and just how I like it. Scent notes of: tart cranberry, cinnamon bark, forest cedar and golden amber make it reminiscent of my beloved Red Berry & Cedar by Yankee but less sweet. Similar in tone to Scentsationals Crimson wax but less woodsy and complex. Cranberry Woods is simple, uplifting and oh so tart. Walking up to this fragrance makes my lips pucker and my mouth water in the best way.
A lighter throw’s expected for these mason jars, but Cran Woods has done well in my spare bedroom and bathroom. The wallflower plug-in was highly potent in my bathroom and hallway too, the woodsy notes seem to dominate more in that format than in the wax. This fragrance makes me happy so I know I’ll be happy to see it return next year when I can stock up.
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Autumn Air-Yankee Pure Radiance crackling wick medium vase. Did you know that Yankee has a marshmallow candle again? Of course not, hardly anyone knows of the Pure Radiance line. One reason for this is because most of the scents are dupes or repackages of the house warmer jars, another reason is due to YC’s laughable marketing of the PR line. In my opinion it would serve them to market these better because they’re the only exclusive product left to the company stores. One can find everything else from YC anywhere from Hallmark to a grocery store. My apologies for the tangent, I suppose the company has bigger problems* to worry about nowadays.
Now then, is Autumn Air the toasty marshmallow blend my nose has been seeking? Probably not. It’s a decent substitute for the retired Campfire Treats, a side-by-side reveals more pink sugar notes of Cotton Candy blended in. Too bad the performance is too underwhelming to get excited about. The only time I experienced this cool airy sweetness was when my heater kicked on across the room, sending a sugary blast of warm candle air my way.
 
*A bit of interesting news for Yankee fandles: Jarden corp, the previous owners of Yankee Candle since 2014, sold the company to Newell Rubbermaid Brands for 13.2 billion in cash/stock, according to the Associated Press. The change went into effect this past summer. Will this switch help resolve the current identify crisis or more likely add to the spiral? Time will tell in 2017.
 -jaybird
P.S. Did I say brief highlights? Ah well, you know I do go on about candles. Can’t believe there’s only one week left of the fall fun blogshare. Join us next week for Thanksgiving dreams and goodies!