Today was the annual $8.95 three wick candle sale at Bath and Body Works. I am a huge fan of Bath and Body Works candles. Lighting three wick candles has consistently been one of the little treats that give me great happiness. In addition, lighting candles helps my small basement apartment from smelling stale.
I’d heard the sale would be happening from comments on a YouTube video about de-hyping Black Friday. Bath and Body Works did a 40% off everything for Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year (I can’t recall which). On Thanksgiving BBW candles were on sale for $12.50. Then the next day they go back up to “regular price” of $24.50 with the 40% off store-wide. So your Black Friday season “deal” is $2+ more than the typical sale.
I was already aware of this chicanery–the items that are usually on sale that go to “regular price” for big, store-wide sales which result in an overall higher price point than the typical sale.
Then I saw the comment about the $8.95 candle sale that happens in December. This was not something I was aware of. To curb my shopping, I take myself off of promotional email listservs so I’m not tempted by deals. I know my love of a good sale is enough to have me sometimes buy things I don’t need or want.
This sale crossed my mind a few times in the past couple days, but I’d mostly forgotten about it. Today I saw a woman outside the mall with a Bath and Body Works bag. I remembered that this sale was going on and needed to check it out.
Going in store gave me the opportunity to try different scents and determine the ones that were best. I typically buy online, so trying a new candle scent is an exercise in knowing if scents that sound good together will actually be scents you enjoy. It’s also a challenge to avoid the cute packaging and naming conventions. Most recently I fell into this trap by buying a “Sweater Weather” candle that I hated. The Juniper Berry scent was way too fruity for a girl who loves musky, masculine scents 80% of the time.
This in-store adventure also gave me an opportunity to work on the list of BBW scents I would repurchase. (Of note: There is a huge candle community, especially regarding BBW candles. I have found this website to be useful for getting some insider tips on notes, repackaging of scents, and the like.)
- Wine Cellar – Yes; would repurchase
Red Fruit, Patchouli, and Saffron
This was a more mellow, earthy candle than the more popular Black Cherry Merlot. I haven’t been able to find it again, but I’m hoping it’s a seasonal candle that will come back in style. I like its more understated but fruity fragrance. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good wine theme.
- Flannel – Meh; will pass on
Orange Peel, Patchouli Essential Oils, and notes of Soft Musk
I’m burning this now. I like the orange musk with it, but I think I want more woodsy scents from a candle called “flannel.” I won’t lie, I’ve definitely been burning this one a little too much, more because I’m eager to use it up so I can move on to the next scent than because I love it.
- Eucalyptus Spearmint – Meh; will pass on
Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Spearmint Essential Oil
I love eucalyptus and spearmint scents. It just may be a little too medical for a candle I burn regularly.
- Mahogany Balsam – Meh; will pass on
Rich Mahogany, Balsam, Juniper Berry
Imagine the Mahogany Teakwood….slightly more Christmasy. And you have Mahogany Balsam. Won’t fool me again, BBW.
- Snowflakes and Citrus – Meh; will pass on
Mandarin and Lemon Essential Oils and notes of Mango
This citrusy scent was refreshing and really lovely, but it was also kind of strange. It’s something I enjoyed for how different it is, but I would not repurchase.
- Silver Pine and Cedar – No; would not repurchase
Silver Pine Needle, Clear Mountain Air, Cedarwood, Bay Leaf, Fir Balsam
This sounds wonderful in theory, but in practice was somewhat generic pine. I just wanted so much more than this candle gave me.
- Fireside – Yes; would repurchase
Smoked Cedar, Clove Buds, Warm Rich Embers
This has the same scent of smoke from fire in a fireplace that I love about the Smoked Birch. It may in fact be very very similar to the Smoked Birch. As I’m writing out all of my opinions, I’m noticing that some of my favorite candles are very similar.
- Black Tie – Yes; would repurchase
Aromatic Sage, Dark Tonka Bean, Rich Sandalwood
This is a little more subtle than the Winter Sage (I mention below). As such, I’m actually more likely to repurchase this one. Winter Sage is almost overwhelming, and this tones it down a tad for longer burning sessions.
- Cinnamon and Clove Buds – Meh; would pass on
Cinnamon Leaf, Clove Leaf Essential Oils
This is the scent of baking and warm ovens. A lot of cinnamon scents can be overwhelming or are paired with something sweet in order to tone down the “bite” of cinnamon. This one embraces it whole heartedly. I prefer the Chestnut and Clove scent I mention below for this type of scent though.
- Tobacco Flower – Yes; would repurchase
Tobacco Flower, Spicy Orchid, Warm Tonka
This is definitely one of my more recent favorites. It has the earthy scent I’m looking for that’s not diluted with any scents that are too sweet or sugary. It’s warm and homey without being as aggressively masculine as some of the more musky scents.
- Spiced Apple Toddy – No; would not repurchase
Cinnamon and Clove Essential Oils and notes of Apple Brandy
I love this candle in concept. In execution the scent is sweet, bordering on sugary. It does smell exactly like hot apple cider–like one of those powdered apple cider packets. The apple scent is dominant and overwhelming to me. This is an example of what I mentioned earlier about cinnamon candles frequently having overbearing sweet scents to compensate for the “bite” of strong cinnamon.
- Black Chamomile – Meh; would pass on
Bamboo Charcoal Extract and Chamomile Essential Oil
This was another very mild but very relaxing candle. I may try it again for the spring/summer. But I won’t be actively seeking it out.
- Mango Dragonfruit – Meh; would pass on
Island Mango, Pink Dragonfruit, Bright Mandarin, Red Currant
This scent is tropical and summery. I love mango and all mango scents. I do really enjoy this scent, but I’ve found that when it comes to “summer candles” I prefer earthy scents–sea salt; rain; grass; etc.
- Eucalyptus and Tea – Meh; would pass on
Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Tea Extract
This was another extremely mild scent. It was calming, but I like something with a bit more “oomph.”
- Mango Mai Tai – Meh; would pass on
Fresh Mango Nectar, Exotic Jasmine, Sun-Kissed Grapefruit
My notes for this one are nearly the same as my notes for Mango Dragonfruit, though I preferred Mango Dragonfruit to this one.
- Coastal Oak and Sea Salt – Yes; would repurchase
Oceanside Oak, Sparkling Bergamot, Sea Salt Crystals, Sage
I remember this as tame but enjoyable. When I think of summer scents, my brain jumps straight to fruity, but I much prefer these less aggressive scents. Super fruity/sugary scents trigger migraines for me, so I can’t be having that.
- Sweater Weather – No, would not repurchase
Fresh Sage, Juniper Berry, Aromatic Eucalyptus, Fresh Woods
The juniper berry was overwhelming for me in this. I wanted the sage, woods, eucalyptus scents, and instead I got “A candle you would very much like with extreme sweet berry notes thrown in.” Never again will I let them tempt me with cute packaging and naming!
- Chestnut and Clove – Yes, would repurchase
Warm Roasted Chestnuts, Fresh Ground Clove, Forest Pine Needles, Cedarwood
This is the perfect kitchen scent. It’s so much better than the Cinnamon and Clove.
- Vetiver Sandalwood – No; would not repurchase
Vetiver Grass, Velvety Sandalwood, Warm Musk
This one may be a little too earthy in a “college student who has stopped showering way” whereas I prefer earthy in a “smell of earth after a spring rain.”
- Black Teakwood – Meh; will pass on
Rich Mahogany, Black Teakwood, Dark Oak, Frosted Lavender
It’s not that this is a bad scent so much as there’s just so many scents that do what this does, but better. The Real Talk about BBW candles blog I mention before says this is just a repackaging of Mahogany Teakwood.
- Smoked Birch – Yes; would repurchase
Silver Birch, Sweet Incense, Haitian Vetiver, Smoked Cedar
This is the closest a candle has ever smelled to the scent of my dogs’ fur when they come inside on a day when we have the fireplace burning. It’s the scent of all that woody smoke in the air. I love it.
- Champagne and Glitter – Meh; will pass on
Sparkling Champagne, White Pear, Vetiver, Cedarwood
This is a fresh, light cedary scent. I’m looking forward to burning it in the Spring but am unsure I’ll repurchase.
- Winter Sage – Yes, would probably repurchase
Clary Sage and Juniper Essential Oils
This candle is basically every hyper masculine cologne you’ve ever sniffed. It’s almost Axe body spray overwhelming. But I love those super musky scents, so I’m in.
- White Driftwood – Yes, would repurchase
Sea-soaked Cedarwood, Beachside Neroli, Refreshing Bergamot
I love this scent. I think I like the Cedarwood notes. They’re just so light and fresh.
- Mahogany Teakwood – Yes, would repurchase
Rich Mahogany, Black Teakwood, Lavandin Essential Oil
A classic BBW candle, this is very masculine. They also have a high intensity version that I’m afraid to try out because I think it will be too much for my small space.