Friday, August 31, 2012

Rincon Scents - Tarts

 Ok, yeah, I know I said it gets boring just following the shopping trends on YouTube, but here I am doing it again.  Doh!  And like I need anymore tarts . . . *blush*  But anyway, this is a shop on Etsy called Rincon Scents, located in Puerto Rico.  When I browsed her shop and saw she had a Fall & Christmas Sampler, I grabbed it.  I'll just do a quick list and scent descriptions here, and will post my thoughts on individual scents on the Facebook page later as I melt each one.

  • Pumpkin Spice - 'Blend of cinnamon & clove with vanilla & coconut.' Quite spicy, and I do pick up a mild coconut note.  Interesting.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake - (no description available)  Something almost chocolate-y about this one.
  • Pumpkin Zucchini Bread - 'Hot sweet zucchini bread, with a hit of spice, pumpkin chunks all blended together to give this traditional holiday bread.'  Bready, strong salty note.
  • Apple Pumpkin - (no description available) I only get apple with a teeny bit of spice right now.
  • Cinnamon Apple Berry - 'All three scents come alive when mixed together to make a sweet scent with just a hint of kick.'  I don't get any apple in this at the moment, but very spiced-berry-ish.
  • Pumpkin Cornbread - (no description available) Very much a cornbread scent, maybe a bit of pumpkin after-note.
  • Caramel Pumpkin - (no description available) Strong on the caramel, a bit of spice and pumpkin.
  • Pumpkin Cookie - (no description available) This one is interesting.  Sweetness of a sugar cookie, and the pumpkin lurking right behind.
  • Funnel Pumpkin Cake - (no description available) Very sweet, does not remind me of funnel cake OR pumpkin, but not a bad scent.
  • Apple Pomegranate - (no description available) A lot of apple again.
  • Christmas Wish - 'The scent of fresh balsam and warm vanilla cookies sprinkled with sugar sparkles.'  Very first note is the balsam but the warm sweetness of the cookie rushes in underneath.
  • Sugared Spruce - 'A most unique scent that combines sweetness and greenery.'  Very 'piney.'
  • Holiday Homecoming - 'Home baked goodness of the holidays greets you with this rich vanilla sugar and spiced cinnamon combined with baked apple, nutty chocolate, caramel and brown sugared vanilla.'  Spicy but in a soft way, a bit of sweet fruitiness, and then the warm bakery notes.
  • Winterberry - (no description available) Something almost like strawberry, and a light spicy or minty note.
  • Hot Apple Pie - (no description available) Ohhh, super yummy pie and spice filling and faint notes of crust.
  • Berries & Pine - (no description available) Pine/evergreen hits you first but it's not strong as usual so something is toning it down but that something is not specifically identifiable.  I do not get any berry notes in cold throw.
  • Smell of Christmas - (no description available) Sweet but spicy, possibly orange and clove and something else.
  • Candy Cane - (no description available) Sweet peppermint and vanilla.
  • Holiday Cookie - (no description available)  I think it's just a typical sugar cookie scent.
  • Vanilla Bean Noel - 'A warm blend of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel and rich, comforting cream.'  The popular Bath & Body Works scent, vanilla-y and caramel-y and yummy sweet.

I also received two freebies . . . a little package of Cucumber Melon gumdrop and heart shaped tarts, and an extra tart cup in the scent of  Country Bakery, which there is no description available for on the site but smells something like Banana Caramel Cupcake so I am totally ok with that!  There were also two types of business cards in the package.

This sampler pack contains 20 1 oz. scent cups, and sells for $15.00 in the Rincon Scents shop on Etsy.  Even coming from Puerto Rico, shipping was fast.  I ordered on a Thursday afternoon and received the package the following Thursday.  I usually don't prefer the cup style tarts, but I do like this small, 1 oz. size.  You can just pop it out of the cup and into the warmer.  No hassle with trying to cut something into halves or quarters.  They don't want to stack as evenly as the larger cups though, and a lot of the caps don't stay, but oh well.  They are cute in their fall and winter colors, and they're all quite strongly scented. 

Have YOU tried tarts from Rincon Scents yet?  Did you find a favorite in the list above?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bubble & Geek - Tarts

This was a totally unplanned, laughing my butt off, couldn't resist haul . . . and I was soooo excited to come across this shop.  Ok, the other night I was absolutely bored and found myself browsing Etsy again, but this time doing random searches for anything and everything that popped into my head.  When a search of 'Warcraft' showed tarts in the results I was like 'What. The. Heck?' and of course had to click and check it out.  That is how I found Bubble & Geek.  It only took a couple seconds to fall in love because all of the candles and tarts (and some other goodies) are geek inspired, like from video games TV shows and books.  When I saw not only Harry Potter and World of Warcraft inspired scents, but also Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones (!) I knew I had to order!!  And I never stopped giggling about it!

Treacle Tart - 'A treacle tart is a traditional British dessert, perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. This scent combines deliciously sweet shortcrust pastry with a thick filling of golden syrup, breadcrumbs, and lemon juice.'  I don't know if this is meant to relate to Harry Potter, or just that it's yummy, but in my mind I lumped it with Harry scents and had to order it.  And yummy it is!  It is a sweet bakery scent, not spicy at all.  It's a deep, rich sweetness too, not like a headache inducing candy-sweet.  At first I think there is maple, but it's probably that 'golden syrup,' and you get light notes of crust, and then the faint note of lemon kinda sneaks up to brighten it all.  Super yummy!

Pumpkin Pasties - 'This scent is of  pumpkin pasties, which are cinnamon sugar-covered pastries that contain sweet pumpkin filling. Yum! Just in time for fall.'  Another of those Harry Potter type scents, this one even looks cool.  Whether intended or not, there is a light colored ring around the edge that makes this look like a tiny pumpkin pie.  This one is a strong pumpkin scent, and spicy but not overly so.  This is possibly my favorite pumpkin scent out of ALL the fall tarts I've gotten so far.

Butterbeer - 'This scent combines deliciously sweet butterscotch and vanilla with a faint background of sweet alcohol.'  You can't know Harry Potter and not know about Butterbeer.  When I saw this was butterscotch, I knew I'd be getting it.  I think the 'sweet alcohol' is really playing with it though, because my very first reaction to this was 'Eeeuw, bummer.'  After many more sniffs and some time to sit out, it's not quite as 'eeuw' but it's still nowhere near as yummy as I'd imagined it would be.  There is a warm, sweetness, yeah . . . but there is something sour or tart or whatever, from what must be the alcohol note.  It's not a bad scent, just not what I'd expected.

Khaleesi - 'This fragrance is a luxurious blend of sugared orange, mulberry, and a hint of spice, and is how I imagine Daenerys Targaryen might smell when she is NOT traveling across the desert with a Dothraki horde.'  I admit I am far from current in my Game of Thrones viewing, but I do know what/who Khaleesi refers to and have always loved the name and the character.  This is the surprise favorite of my little order.  It is a FABULOUS scent!  You get the orange first but it is quickly mixed with the sugar and mulberry and then that little bit of spice makes it perfect.  It's a soft, warm spice . . . not sharp and overpowering.  Oh my gosh, I just love this one!!  Even hubby loves it, although I think he just liked the idea of sniffing Khaleesi.  *rolls eyes*  I might have to get a candle in this scent.  Lovelovelove it!!

Ice and Fire - 'This scent blends the fiery aroma of cinnamon with an icy mint bouquet and adds a vanilla undertone that results in a unique and beguiling fragrance.'  One of the free samples I received is another Game of Thrones inspired scent.  I'd been debating getting this one when I was ordering the above tarts, and in the end decided to wait till next time.  So I was thrilled to see it as a sample!  This is very minty, with the cinnamon giving it a sort of 'dry' spicy kick, and all of it is then softened just slightly by the vanilla.  At first I didn't like it, but now I'm warming up to it.

Hobbit Garden - 'What does a hobbit garden smell like, you ask? Well, this one smells of a relaxing combination of English ivy, oak moss, fruits (particularly juicy apple), and a hint of garden mint.'  The other free sample I got was another I'd seriously been considering getting.  I don't think I've mentioned it for a while but I *love* Lord of the Rings!  This one is very nice, and quite far from my usual bakery type scents.  There is a very soft mint note but this one mainly reminds me of a 'wet greenery' scent, if that makes any sense.  I do get a bit of sweetness, somewhat recognizable as apple, and a bit of a wood note, but overall it's a really nice wet spring morning type scent.  Gah, I hope you know what I'm trying to babble.

The regular size tarts are 2 oz. and sell for $2.50 in the Bubble & Geek Etsy shop.  That is a bit more than other shops I've tried lately but sometimes it's just worth it for the sentimental geek factor.  The two sample ones are .5 oz each.  Shipping was crazy fast!!  I ordered late Friday night and received my order Monday morning!!  And Cathy, the owner, was so prompt and friendly in replying to my messages of gushing geeky adoration.  There isn't a huge selection of scents in the shop right now but there are several sizes of candles to choose from, as well as the tarts, and also some body products like lotion and roll-on perfume.  I really hope she comes up with more inspired scents.  This is one shop I will be keeping an eye on!  My next order will be for some Doctor Who scents, hehe!

So yeah, pure fun is what led me to try this shop.  I'd never heard of this one before I stumbled across it.  Hopefully I can help connect some other geeky folks like me to some uniquely scented wax goods.

Do YOU have a geeky side?  What inspired scents would you be thrilled to find?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Palm Wax Update

In my post last night about Comforts of Home tarts, I was excited to be trying palm wax.  Unfortunately, it is not working so well in a tea light warmer.  This picture was taken after an hour of the tea light burning.  Not only was it barely melting, but it actually stuck to the bottom of the dish.  You can see on the left side where it sloshed over the edge when I tried to break the sticky thing free.

I left it in there, and when I looked again after about two hours of the tea light burning it was finally completely melted. Sadly though, I am getting absolutely no scent from this.  I don't know if it's just this particular scent or tart, or if it's the palm wax in general.

I only use tea light style warmers.  Maybe this wax would work better in a 24 watt hot plate style?  The only other tarts I've had non-melt problems with were from Candles By Victoria, which is another hard wax.

Oh well, bummer.  I probably won't even bother with the other two palm wax tarts I got.  I'll put them in a giveaway prize or add them to a swap box or something.

If you've used palm wax tarts, I'd love to hear about it.  What style warmer did you use?  Did they melt ok?  Was the scent throw/duration any different?


Starlight Chandling - Tarts

The final of the Etsy shops I discovered while browsing that day is Starlight Chandling.  This is the one I was most excited about, because of the prices and because the owner has been so helpful and friendly.  As with the other shops I'd found that day, I messaged to ask if she'd be adding more fall scents.  She assured me she had tons more and since this was a brand new shop she would be adding a few (fall and general) each day.  I waited and watched for a few days before placing a small order.  (And yes, my order was small . . . she was just very generous with the extras.  LOL)

Falling Leaves - 'A most delightful Fall fragrance. Reminds you of walking and crunching leaves under your feet on a crisp, cool Autumn day taking in the clean air and the smell of Fall.'  Hmm, no specific scents in the description so I'll have to wing this . . . and I don't know what to say.  There seems to be a wood note, and maybe some type of greenery note (maybe like cut grass?), but I can't really narrow it down.  Seems like there might also be some musk.  It has a bit of a cologne air about it.  It's nice and it does indeed kinda remind me of being outside on a fall day.

Fall Harvest - 'A wonderful Fall fragrance bursting with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves lovingly enhanced with sweet vanilla. Harvest time is truly here again.'  This one is pretty much straight up spice.  I don't really get the vanilla note at all, at least not on cold throw.  I like spice scents but I'm not sure how I'll like this one.  And I don't know why I keep ordering it because I got one called Harvest from another vendor that I think might be the same, and I'm not fond of that one either.  Ah, someday I'll learn.

Sugar Corn Pudding - 'Notes of fresh corn, butter, creamy milk and sugar.'  This is SUCH a warm, inviting scent.  I also have this from another vendor and had mentioned that it reminds me of my mom's kitchen on Thanksgiving morning back in my childhood.  You do get a corn scent, and while that might sound corny (ha!) it really is a nice scent.  The butter and cream really soften it and warm it up.  I never would have guessed I'd like this scent so much.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee - 'Creamy pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, cardamom, Vermont maple, rum, french vanilla and caramelized sugar are the components of this amazingly wonderful scent.'  Of course I had to get something pumpkin scented, hehe.  The maple and rum add a mild unique twist, but you still get the traditional pumpkin notes.  Can't wait to melt this one!

Granny's Zucchini Bread - 'Hot sweet zucchini bread, with a hint of spice and pumpkin chunks all blended together in this traditional holiday bread.'  I am not into the current zucchini bread blend craze but since this one mentioned pumpkin I decided to give it a try.  I smells like the other zucchini bread tarts I've come across, which isn't bad but I just don't understand the craze.  It does not smell like plain ol' bread though, so that zucchini and/or pumpkin really is adding something to it.  This one has a bit of a salty note to it.  This will be nice when we get into the colder days of late fall and into winter.

Mango and Tangerine - 'An exotic fusion of fresh mango and ripe tangerine. Subtle tropical notes of papaya, peach and creamy coconut create an awesome Summer fragrance.'   I picked this one because I wanted something that was still summery, something I could melt now to see how these tarts are . . . and because the shower gel that the boys have is a mango/tangerine scent that I think smells fabulous.  LOL!  It's such a happy, summery scent.  I think the mango outweighs the tangerine, but you do get that sweet citrus zing.  Love it!

Pumpkin Souffle - 'An irresistible bakery fragrance bursting with the delicious aroma of fresh pumpkin complemented with butter, sugar and spice (everything nice). A must have fragrance for fall.'  As mentioned above, shop owner Donna was very generous with extras.  She included this one because she said it was her favorite of the pumpkin scents.  And oh yeah, it is a nice one.  It smells like a traditional pumpkin pie to me, and that's ok because it's freakin' awesome.

Coconut Lime Verbena - This is not currently in her shop so I couldn't get the scent description, but I'm pretty sure any scent lover is familiar with this one anyway.  It's another bright, summery scent, and a pretty even mix of coconut and lime.  This one is a smidge more 'powdery' than the one I used to use when I was making soap.  It's still very nice though, and I know my sister quite likes this scent so maybe I'll pass it on to her as she ventures more deeply into this waxy world.  (I bought her an electric warmer for her birthday.  Yay!)

Peach Grove and Citrus Blossom - 'A wonderful blend of ripe peaches and citrus. A hint of lemon leaf with fresh lemon peel and grapefruit zest. Peach tones are present with a creamy base of vanilla.'  Another freebie, this is one I probably never would have picked on my own but it does sound interesting.  That's one of the fun things about getting free samples . . . a chance to explore things you  might not ever try.  This one is very citrus-y, and even has an effervescent quality.  I do get a bit of the peach but it's more of that citrus fizz type thing.

Passion Melon - 'This fragrance is the essence of passion melons combined with ripe figs and the berries of a Myrtle bush. It is a vibrant scent that is clean and natural.'  And the last of the free extras, this is another I don't think I'd ever choose on my own.  But it's also one I'm surprised by.  I kinda like it!  If I didn't know better, I would say this was a peach scent.  Looking at the description, I don't really know what figs or Myrtle berries or even passion melons smell like.  I guess combined they smell like peach.  LOL

I also received a very cute card with a handwritten note inside.  I love those extra touches.  And I really have to thank owner Donna for all those free tarts!!

These are the usual scallop style tarts, and are all around 1.2 oz.  They sell for a mere $.80 in the Starlight Chandling Etsy shop!  Shipping was quite fast . . . ordered on a Thursday morning and had the package the following Thursday.  There are only tarts and votives in the shop right now, but she plans to add candles soon.  And she's adding new scents everyday, so be sure to check back often.  You can also message her and ask about scents.  She says she has nearly a thousand in her inventory!

As always, I will post my thoughts on these over on the Facebook page after I melt each one.

So, with a thousand scents available, what would YOU be looking for?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Comforts of Home - Tarts

The third of four shops I discovered while boredom-browsing Etsy about a week ago is Comforts of Home.  It was the price that drew me in again, but I was also curious because this shop uses palm wax for their tarts.  I've been seeing people talk about it on YouTube and they all comment on the crystallized look of it.  Like the other shops I discovered that day, I messaged the owner to ask if she would be adding fall scents.  She said they would be added after September 1, so I decided to go ahead with a small order just to see how the tarts are, and to decide if I would go back and order more later.

Caramel Kissed Latte - 'Decadent heavy cream topped with freshly brewed cappuccino and sweetened with sugary caramel.'  There is not a huge selection available in the shop, but I did see several scents that I wouldn't mind trying.  When I saw this one, I knew I'd be starting here.  I love caramel scents.  I love coffee scents.  I figured I can't go wrong!  This is really lightly scented right now.  I don't know if it's a trait of the wax or what. Hopefully it's stronger when melted.  From the little bit I can smell, I don't get any coffee notes.  I do get a sort of warm, gooey sweetness that must be the caramel, but not much else.  I will post more about this on the Facebook page after I've had a chance to melt it.

Totally Twisted Pound Cake - 'Warm cake, sweet almond, zesty lemon, a splash of lime, vanilla, and sugar. A customer favorite!!!'  This one is nice.  I mainly get the cake note, plenty of vanilla, and then the lemon is mixed in there.  I don't really detect the lime or almond specifically, but there is indeed more to this scent than just an ordinary lemon poundcake type.  Can't wait to melt this one.

Monkey Puddin' - 'Meringue topped banana pudding atop vanilla wafers! YUM!!!'  I received this free tart with my order.  (Thank you!!!)  This one is also rather lightly scented at the moment.  I think I'm mainly getting the vanilla cookie notes right now, with just a hint of the banana.  Again, hope this one comes alive more when warm.

So how cool does that palm wax look?  It really does look crystallized!  And it feels so . . . different.  A lot of times tarts have a sort of soft, oily feel from all the fragrance oils packed into them.  These feel absolutely dry, and kind of light.  I've read that they are much easier to remove from the warmer, and I believe it just from feeling them unmelted.  I also like the presentation of these particular tarts.  They have such a clean look about them, being wrapped in paper (as you see in the top photo) and then inside the little zip bags that remain so spotless.  I was surprised and impressed to find these paper wrappers are simply cupcake papers!  Clever!  Kinda like the one soap vendor I posted about who used plain ol' coffee filters to wrap their bars. 

These tarts are .75 oz and sell for $.99 each.  I really liked that they are sold in single packs instead of the multi-packs you usually find.  This allows you to try a scent or just the tart in general to see how you like it without committing to a larger amount.

Shipping was a bit longer on this one, but still not bad.  I ordered on Thursday morning and received the package the following Saturday.  Shipping cost was very reasonable.

I'm very curious about how this palm wax will work.  Will the scent be stronger?  Last longer?  Or no noticeable difference?  We'll see!

Have YOU tried Comforts of Home?  Or palm wax in general?  I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mainstays (Walmart) 3-Wick - Pumpkin Spice

In a recent post I mentioned the first of the fall scents I'd noticed in Walmart's candles.  I had mentioned I was tempted to go back and grab one of the 3-wick bowls in Pumpkin Spice.  Around that same time I'd seen a YouTube video where someone showed their newly purchased triple scent jar candle . . . in pumpkin scents.  What???  So yeah, I had decided the next time I was in the store I would have to look for that sucker!

Well, I was there today and I did indeed find it.  Yay!  It was an 18 oz. jar candle in the Mainstays line, located right next to all the other Mainstays fall scents.  It costs only $5.98, and the three scents in it (it's layered) are Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Maple, and Pumpkin Bread.  Oh my gosh.  I grabbed it and put it in the cart.

And then reconsidered.

We really don't burn candles very often.  I already know the scent throw from the 3-wick bowls is awesome.  I don't, however, know how those layered jars are.  After debating for a while, I put the triple scented jar back and grabbed a 3-wick bowl in Pumpkin Spice.

This 11.5 oz. candle from the Walmart Mainstays line sells for $3.25.  That is an amazing price.  I've had one of these bowls in a different scent and was greatly impressed with the strong scent throw, and how effortlessly it burned.  As for this particular scent, it is fairly heavy on the spice but you do get that nice pumpkin note in there.  This is going to be sooooo nice come October or November.

I'm still considering getting one of the triple scent candles though.  LOL!  I'm hopeless.

Other triple scent (layered) candles I saw in this line today are Mulled Cider/Caramel Apple/Apple Butter ... Fresh Baked Cookies/Pumpkin Pie/Spice Cake ... Black Cherry/Tart Pomegranate/Raspberry Ripple.  I'm considering grabbing the apple mix one to melt during September.

What do you think?  Will YOU go grab some?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Black Lace Creations - Tarts

Black Lace Creations is another shop I discovered while browsing Etsy last week.  The low price was what sucked me in, even though there isn't a huge selection available.  Single scallop tarts are only $ .65, and a three pack is only $1.50.  You can also get one dozen for $6.00.  And in these multi-packs, you can pick your own scents.

There were not many fall or winter scents when I was looking at this shop.  I did message her, asking if she'd be adding more.  After a very brief reply that seemed to indicate no, I decided to place a small order anyway because those prices were awesome.  And I realized it didn't matter that there weren't many seasonal scents because I've been ordering so many of those from other places that I'm now running out of summery scents that I can still enjoy in these last few weeks.

Blueberry Cobbler - 'Top notes of butter and juicy blueberries with a background of freshly ground cinnamon bark and warm vanilla.'  I will definitely need to let these sit for a while so they can air out and cure, because right now I'm just getting a weird sort of soapy waxy scent.  I detect some very faint hints of blueberry and spice, but not much else at this point.  I'll do a better scent review over on the Facebook page after I get around to melting this.
***UPDATE***  When I finally melted this several days later, it still had that weird note while cold but once warmed it bloomed beautifully into a super yummy bakery scent.  Mmmm!

Strawberry Shortcake - 'The aroma of buttery vanilla cake with notes of freshly sliced strawberries, with base notes of rich vanilla cream.'  Not sure why this one is purple and the next one is red, when it seems that colorwise it would be the other way around.  At first I thought maybe they were just switched in packaging.  I can't really tell from the scent either because there is that weird soapy waxy scent again.  I'm not getting any sort of vanilla or cake or butter or anything.  There is something that might be fruity but it's just sort of a candy sweet smell at the moment.  Again, I'll let this sit for a while and do a better review over on the Facebook page after I melt it.

Berry Bewitching Brew - 'Begins with top notes of peach, apricot, and blackberries; middle notes of mandarin, cinnamon, and rose; and nicely balanced with just a hint of woodsy musk.'  Ok, yeah, I think this one and the previous one are in switched packaging because reading this and going back to smell the purple one, I can see how that candy sweetness might be peach and rose, etc.  It also makes sense that a Halloween type would be purple.  OK!  So, I hadn't noticed when I took pics that this one has white on the bottom . . . one more reason I think this might be the Strawberry Shortcake.  Going back up to THAT description, yeah, I can pick up slight vanilla cake-y-ness, and something lightly fruity.  Again, needs to sit because there is that odd note to it.

Red Hot - 'Like the candy red hot.'  I was surprised to find an extra tart in the tiny little envelope these came in.  I was thrilled!  You know how I love those extras.  Thank you, Megan!!  This one is probably the strongest of them all, and the most recognizable beyond that soapy waxy note.  It is pretty much straight up cinnamon, maybe a little sugary because it's like the candy.  Again, more in depth review will be posted on the Facebook page later, after I've melted this.

Shipping was fast.  I ordered Thursday morning and received the package in Monday morning's mail.  There was a business card with a handwritten message on the back, and of course that free tart that I mentioned.  At first I was a little disappointed when I saw the size of these tarts.  I'd thought the prices were SO great, but these are smaller scallops than the ones Sweet Fixations or Tiffany Candles has.  These only weigh about a half ounce each.  After my initial shock, I'm ok with it.  The prices still come out comparable to other places.  There are some nit-picky irks I have about the shop itself (scent list blurs together, etc.) but I noticed it is also a fairly new shop, so maybe she's still getting settled in and used to things.  I really hope the scents bloom and become clearer when warmed.  Even if they don't though, I'm glad I gave this shop a try.  Sometimes you just have to veer away from where the crowd flocks and give someone else a chance.

Are YOU familiar with Black Lace Creations?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Makes Scents of New York - Candle

I'd never heard of the Make Scents of New York candle company until I saw a post on someone's Facebook page.  The company was looking for people interested in trying their candles and spreading the word about them.  All you had to do was 'Like' and 'Share' their Facebook page and then send them a message to let them know you'd done so and were interested.  (I think the offer is still going.  Check their Facebook page to sure.)

Hmm, ok, easy enough to do.  And who doesn't want to try free candles???  Two days later I received an email from the company, letting me know I'd been chosen as a winner.  WOOT!  Within the week I received a package from them and inside I found one very pretty and very nice smelling little box.

How cute is that?  Look closely . . . there is even a bit of bling on the box, in the upper center.  Already this thing is looking rather high-end and elegant.

Inside the top flap of the box is this sticker, 'As Seen On TV Land.'  I don't know if the candle was seen on TV Land, or the company?  Do they advertise on TV Land?  I'm not sure.  I don't watch much TV.  There had also been several glossy postcards included in the box, apparently indicating which magazines the candles or the company have been in.  Again, whether it's featured or advertising, I'm not sure.

When I pulled out the candle itself I was in love.  I was all 'Oooohhhhhhh myyyyyyy,' and impressed all around.  Mine is the How You Doin' candle, all pink and pretty and girlie.  And there is a repeat of that bling on the actual candle label too.

This is not some skimpy, cheap sample product.  This is the real deal.  There is not much information on the candle or the box, but a bit of browsing on the website says this is a 14 oz candle and they use 'a high quality paraffin soft blend that allows for slow burning and maximum fragrance hold.'   It is a heavy, frosted glass container.  This one sells for $16.50 on their website.

The wax is indeed quite soft.  I can make an indent with my finger without too much pressure.  This one is a pale pink color.  Mine looks a bit faded near the top, but still looks a more true pink towards the bottom.  The website describes this one as a hot, bold pink.  Mine definitely looks faded when I compare it to the one on the site.  Oh well, it's still very pretty and very girlie.

One small irk I have about the website is that the scent descriptions are not very descriptive.  For example, this one is listed as 'Light top notes blend with tropical bold base scents to make a wonderful scent for the home or office.'  Heh, that's not very helpful at all.  Light top notes of what?  I understand that companies don't want to give away their secrets but when it comes to scents, I think a bit more detail is better.  So, in trying to figure it out on my own I'll start by saying . . . I love this scent!  When hubby and I were trying to decide what it was, my first impression was that there is vanilla in it.  He thought he detected peach, but I don't get that at all.  I almost thought there might be rose in it.  After letting it sit, and going back for the occasional sniff throughout the day, it eventually dawned on me that I'm smelling coconut.  There might still be vanilla, and I still don't know what those 'light top notes' are but I'm quite sure now it is predominantly coconut.

 The scent throw from this candle was amazing, covering the whole downstairs of our house.  It didn't take long to get the scent, and it remained strong the whole time we had this lit.  The actual burning of it had some minor problems though.  Since it is recommended to burn candles one hour per inch of candle diameter to ensure an even wax pool, that's what we did.  The picture above was taken after about two hours.  You'll notice it hasn't yet melted to the edge on one side.  We let it burn about four hours today and while it did get closer to the edge than in this pic, it never quite made it all the way on that one side.  It was minimal, but noticeable.  Part of the problem might have been that the wick was not centered to begin with.

Speaking of the wick, it did some major mushrooming rather early in the four hours we burned it, and it did drop some black speckled bits into the wax.  You can see some mushrooming in the picture, but by the time we blew it out for the day, the glob was huge.  I did not notice any soot or smoke though, so that's good.

Overall, I'm impressed with this candle because the scent throw was so good.  Usually I find candles to be too weak for my taste, and that is why I prefer tarts.  I love the look of the frosted glass and the label.  I love this particular scent.  I'm so glad I was given the chance to try this!

Thank you, Makes Scents of New York!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Plum Wild Creatives - Tarts

While bored earlier this week, I decided to browse Etsy for some new tarts.  YouTube is a good place to find out about vendors you might not have heard of, but it can also get kinda boring when everyone flocks to the same shops at the same time.  I used to love Etsy so much and I've sort of wandered away from it over the past 6+ months, so that's what drew me back.

Plum Wild Creatives is one of four shops I discovered that day.  Their fall scents aren't going to be listed until early September, but I decided to place a small order now so I could see how I liked the tarts in general and then decide if I'll go back and order more in September.

Cappuccino Hazelnut - '. . . the aroma of fresh brewed coffee with the delightful warmth of roasted hazelnuts.'  This was in the clearance section, and tartmaker Linda told me it was a leftover from last year.  It does look a little rough, but the scent is still strong.  There were some coffee beans on top for decorations.  This is a good ol' coffee scent.

Sugar Plum Berry - 'Sugar plums, holiday berries, and a touch of spruce lightly coated with sugar. This fragrance captures the beauty of the holidays!'  This was another from the clearance section, another leftover from last year, again looking a bit rough but still seems to have a decent amount of scent.  I don't think I'd recognize it as spruce if I didn't know it was in there.  It's a sweet and pretty scent, somewhat fruity, and then what must be the spruce gives it a very subtle 'sharpness.'

Harvest Moon - 'Spicy cinnamon blends wonderfully with orange peel, creamy vanilla and light fruity undertones.'   I really like this scent and can't wait to melt it.  It's not too spicy, so those who shy away from cinnamon shouldn't automatically disregard this one.  It has the soft sweetness of the vanilla, and something pretty ... the orange?  the 'light fruity undertones'? . . . and only hints of spice.  It's like a 'bright' fall scent.

You get three individually wrapped tarts for $2.00.  (The clearance packs were only $1.00.)  I don't like that they are shrink wrapped.  The plastic looks sort of rough and messy, and is a bit of a pain to try and cut or tear off.  Each tart is right around 1 oz., which makes it easy to just pop one into the warmer without having to worry about cutting them in half or anything.  I was also given a coupon code for 20% off since this was my first order.

Shipping was quick . . . ordered on Tuesday evening and received the package in Friday's mail.  There was no business card or invoice/receipt included, and no free sample or extras.  Still, the scents are nice, and seem plenty strong on cold throw, and the price is decent.  And it was fun to just venture out and try new shops again!

Are YOU familiar with Plum Wild Creatives?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tiffany Candles - Tarts

Tiffany Candles is another shop all the YouTubers are crazy about at the moment.  I always tell myself I'm content with the few tart sources I already use, but as you've seen if you follow my blog, I tend to cave when the evil YouTube enablers keep raving about certain shops.  I'd browsed Tiffany's site many times and never ordered.  Not sure what made me do it this time.  Maybe because I saw some fall/holiday scents that weren't available at my other shops yet?  I'm not sure.

So let's see what I got in my very first order from Tiffany Candles . . .

Mrs. Frost - 'Cinnamon with hints of candy cane (A Tiffany Candles Blend)'  Love this one!  At first I thought it was stronger on the cinnamon, but after more sniffing I think it's a nearly equal balance.  Very Christmas-y!

Pumpkin Pie Spice - 'Pumpkin, spices & a touch of vanilla whipped cream.'  This one has taken many sniffs, and some time to air out, to get a better idea of what it's really like.  At first I thought it was more spice than anything and was a bit disappointed, but now I'm easily getting the pumpkin, and even the sweetness of the vanilla cream.  It's not really a *pie* type, but it's really nice.

Christmas Tree - 'The smell of a freshly cut 8’ pine!'   I don't think I've ever really had a good pine tree scented tart for the holiday season.  I seem to remember the Walmart ones last year were more of an outdoorsy blended scent.  And the one I got just recently from another vendor was also more of an outdoorsy type.  So I figured I'd try this because it's just a basic pine.  Oohhh yeah, this one absolutely reminds me of Christmas trees.  Can't wait to have this one going once our tree goes up this year!  (If Minion lets us put it up, this is.)

Christmas Cookies - 'Candy Cane blended with Sugar Cookies (Created by Christy, A Tiffany Candles Blend).'  This is a little bit heavier on the candy cane than on the cookies, but I think once it's warmed the cookie undertones will come out more.  Another very nice, Christmas-y feeling one.  I'm excited!

Pumpkin Supreme - 'Fresh baked pumpkin pie.'  I'm a little worried about this one.  It seems rather lightly scented at the moment.  Hopefully it changes as it sits for a while.  It almost seems too bright and fruity to be pumpkin pie.  I mean, there is a bit of a spicy note in there but it's nothing like the previous pumpkin scent, which was sort of rich and 'dark' and warm.  We'll see later when it's melted, I guess.

Caramel Apple - 'A juicy apple covered in soft gooey caramel.'  Mainly apple, but then you realize how that sneaky caramel sweetness really is blended in there.   This is a fun one.

Winter Fall - 'Vanilla with hints of peppermint (A Tiffany Candles Blend).'  I came to love the vanilla-mint scent of Jack Frost back when I was still making soap, so when I saw this one I knew I had to try it.  And it is NICE.  At first I thought this was the sugar cookie-mint one, it's that warm and yummy, but it must just be the rich, sweet vanilla that's making me think that.  The mint in here is soft, more the background note.  Ohhh, this one is soooo good.

All of these tarts came from the Ready To Ship section of the Tiffany Candles website, and cost $1.99 for each 3-pack.  I love the presentation of these.  The packaging and labels have an elegant minimalist feel.  The packages lay flat and are easily stackable.  The tarts themselves look so clean and crisp, some with minimal sprinkles of glitter.  There are other types of tarts and wax available on the website too, if you're looking for something different.  Of course there are candles too.  There are also fragrance oils, and tart warmers, and even some mud masks!

Shipping was fast.  I ordered on Monday morning and received the package on Friday morning.  I believe she does refund shipping over-charges, so that was not a concern.  Everything was nicely packaged.  There were two types of business cards, as well as a handwritten thank you card.  That is always a nice touch.

Customer service is great.  Everyone says that Tiffany is very involved in social media and will do whatever she can to help you.  Sure enough, I forgot to include a coupon code during my checkout process, and when I emailed her to ask about still getting the deal, she assured me it was no problem.  And that code was for...
. . . a free 4 oz. candle with any purchase.  Yay!  She asked what scent I would like and I told her to surprise me with whatever fall or winter scent she had available.  I got Winter Dreams - 'Festive aroma of cinnamon, clove & mulberry w/ hints of pine,' and oh my, this is a fabulous holiday scent.  The spicy notes are very soft, just enough to put some zip into it.  The mulberry lends just enough fruity sweetness, and it almost seems like there is vanilla in there.  I don't think I'd recognize the pine without knowing it's in there.  This is just such a festively yummy scent, perfect for an afternoon of wrapping presents or an evening of watching a movie while the tree lights twinkle across the room.  Love it!  (I'd like to get this scent in tart form now too.)

Tiffany's 4 oz candles come in mini jelly jars, and sell for $3.99.  I love this size and type of jar, short and wide so you still get a good sized wax pool.  I hope it burns without hassle, because I am already considering ordering more.  I'm already thinking about Christmas gifts, hehe!

I also received this freebie tart with my order.  Caramel Apple Cinnabon - 'Cinnabon blended with caramel apple (created by Sandra; A Tiffany Candles Blend).'  The caramel apple comes across first, but it also reminds you of an apple cinnamon scent.  The bakery notes of the rolls are subtle and far behind everything else.  This is a great fall scent.  Yummy!

Thank you, Tiffany, for the free candle and the free tart . . . and for the excellent service all around.  I already see a bunch more fall/winter scents that I'd like to get, so I'm sure I'll be back for more.

Have YOU tried Tiffany Candles?  What are some of your favorite scents and recommendations?  I'd love to hear!

(I will post pics and brief scent reviews over on the blog's Facebook page later, as I melt these.)