Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: White Barn's Fresh Balsam and Mahogany Teakwood (Bath & Body Works Labor Day sale round-up!)

Behold the bearer of good news! Many shops, online and in-store, are having WONDERFUL sales for Labor Day weekend, WOOHOO!

Bath & Body Works is having a 2 for $20 candle 3-wick candle sale, as well as buy 3 body care items get 3 free! Also, for the past 2 days (and possibly until Monday?), their aromatherapy body washes are only $5, marked down from $13! Not sure how often this sale happens, but it seemed that they were running low on their stock, which is a good sign! Soaps are 4 for $15 and 6 for $20, a deal that happens quite frequently.

...I may or may not have gone to the B&BW up the street from our house to smell all of the fall candles.
 Okay, I'll admit it: I did.

And, I'm sorry to say, I do not like a lot of the candle scents this year. Many of them were waaaay too sweet for me unlit/cold, but it's one of those tricky situations where you're not willing to buy a bunch of candles on a whim, even though they'll probably smell better when lit.

After a short smell-a-thon, I went with 2 candles: the 3-wick Fresh Balsam and the 3-wick Mahogany Teakwood; I lit each one shortly after arriving home with my purchases.

Mahogany Teakwood was up first. Cold, this candle smells musky, alluring, and sexy. There are many different woody notes, such as mahogany (obviously!), cedar, a bit of oak, and some sort of floral note. I have had many a candle that smelled of cologne, but this one was just too much. In fact, that's the problem with both of the candles I purchased, they were too overpowering. While I appreciate an excellent throw and powerful scent, this one did not do it for me. The only thing I can remotely equate it to is some sort of Axe body spray that has been used over and over and over, and not in a good way.

The Fresh Balsam wasn't much better. In fact, it took me the rest of the night to get the scent out of the house, and when we woke up this morning, I swear it was still lingering! Last year during the buy 2 get 2 sale at Yankee Candle, I purchased the Balsam and Cedar 2-wick large tumbler, which, so far, has been my favorite Christmas tree fragrance of any company. Something about B&BW's scent was off-putting to me, maybe there was too much eucalyptus, maybe not enough crackling wood smell, but either way...I returned both of these candles. For the first time, I haven't agreed with the majority of candle reviewers, as both of these scents were top rated on B&BW's website.

It seems like I do a lot of complaining about scents I don't enjoy. Trust me, for every one I don't like, there are at least 10 I'm obsessed with. I have never returned a candle once, NEVER; even if I wasn't particularly a fan of the scent, I grin and bear it...but these candles are just too big and expensive to justify keeping if they aren't going to be used.

Upon returning them, I smelled the rest of the ones I missed yesterday and ended up with the same candles I have in mini-form, Leaves (read my review here) and Marshmallow Fireside, review of this one to follow in the next few days because it is AMAZING.

I'm going to try something new: I wanted to start a rating system on my site, and it may take some tweaking, but for now, here's how I'll be rating the candles I review on a 10-scale system (I've also edited old posts with ratings, too!):

Cold Rating: how the candle smells when unlit
Lit Rating: how the candle smells when lit and burning
Throw Rating: the scent distribution, was it good, bad, weak, strong?
Overall Rating: factoring in all of the above, what as the final consensus, with quick notes on what was liked or disliked

White Barn Fresh Balsam
Cold Rating: 5/10, smells like Christmas, candlefied.
Lit Rating: 3/10
Throw Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 5.5/10; missing a key "fiery/crackling wood" component for me, strong throw, underwhelming.

White Barn Mahogany Teakwood
Cold Rating: 5/10
Lit Rating: 3/10
Throw Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 5/10; alluring when unlit but too powerful when burning, smells like Axe body spray, headache-inducing.

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