COTM: April – DW Home Sun Bleached Denim

I am loving this Springtime weather! A lot of candle lovers favour Autumn and the Christmas holidays for candle scents, and if you love those rich, cozy, gourmands scents, I can agree. But Springtime scents are just so delightful! Fresh, sometimes fruity, clean and just downright pretty scents are in abundance this time of year.

My favourite this month comes from DW Home Candles again. I love the name of this one, it’s so unusual, but so perfect for the scent. It is that perfect summertime, men’s cologne scent. The notes are: Fresh hints of brushed cotton with bright bergamot, zesty lemon, and herbaceous greens over silver sage leaf, earthy patchouli, and cool woody musk.

Such a fantastic array of scent notes, and quite complex. The green and woodsy notes are very present, but not dominating, and the hint of citrus and musk really rounds it out, but it’s the cotton scent that really lends itself to the sunbleached denim name. It’s clean, fresh and cool, yet hot and sunny at the same time. Absolutely delightful.

It burned like a dream, though I tend to find these small 4oz candles from DW Home always do. And the colour! So darn pretty. It’s a pretty mid blue wax in a perfect bright blue glass jar that I will absolutely be saving and repurposing.

I would definitely repurchase, and go for a larger jar next time, so if I work through my stash quick enough I may just be grabbing more of this one. But oh, what a stash I have to work through first! Check out www.dwhome.com for all the current scents.

I’ll be back very soon with a Top Picks post for May, featuring some amazing garden products, so check back soon for that!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: March – Wax Lyrical Amaryllis

Spring isn’t quite in full swing yet, but the weather has warmed up a little and the daffodils are popping up to say hello.

I noticed these fragranced tea lights in TK Maxx, and as a discontinued fragrance from the Wax Lyrical Royal Horticultural Society line, I knew I had to snap them up. I love Wax Lyrical candles – they are some of my favourite, and the beautifully floral and fruit scents from the RHS range are just as beautiful.

With top notes of citrus, heart notes of jasmine and base notes of musk, these are just what they say they are. Delicate, floral, slightly sweet with a hint of something else… a sharp, zesty green note. The sweetness and floral notes also make me think of sweet peas, or violets and lavender. They’re soft, garden blooms, and as per usual with Wax Lyrical, the smell is just as beautiful when burned as on cold sniff.

The pack claims up to 6 hours burn time from these tea lights – I got around 4, but I was more than happy with that and still think they’re fantastic value. Burn time can depend a lot on the holder, your room and atmosphere, so there will always be some variances there.

I have been burning three at a time, so got three uses from this pack of nine. I found that was a great amount to have in the centre of the coffee table, and offered a subtle, pretty scent. Sadly, dear Fiance wasn’t so keen – probably the sweet Jasmine note was a little too floral for him, but I have to say I really enjoyed them.

For another Wax Lyrical review, check out one of my favourite ever candle scents here, and do check www.wax-lyrical.com for their beautifully British candles. I feel like I’m spoilt for choice with candles at the moment – there are so many beautiful floral, fruity and calming clean scents out there at the moment, so don’t forget to come back to find out what will be my choice of the month for April!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: February – DW Home Candles Peony Petals

It may still be Winter, but as soon as Valentine’s Day hits, there’s a sense that Spring is on it’s way. The daffodil and tulip bulbs I planted have started peeking out of the dirt (a little late due to the lack of sunshine on these chilly cold days) and there’s that noticeable delay in the sun setting each evening.

A short month anyway, February hasn’t seen much candle action from me. I’ve purchased a few (do I need more?!) but I have enjoyed a little of this beautiful, delicate, floral yet clean scent.

It’s Peony Petals from DW Home Candles. I purchased this one, as well as others, from TK Maxx. These small (and oh so cute) glass jars are a bargain at £2.99, and a lot of the medium jars are just £5.99, when you can get hold of them.

I love the pretty pink coating to the glass, and it coincidentally matches perfectly to my calendar this month! The scent is delicate, yet powerful enough. It’s noticeable but not overwhelming, and I find that the scent stays exactly the same throughout the whole of these smaller candles.

I haven’t even burned the whole thing… it’s been one of those months, but what I have burned has been very clean and I can’t fault it at all.

The scent is pretty – a rosy, clean flower scent, not overpowering or old fashioned but fresh and reminiscent of real blooms.

I’d definitely recommend it, and I will (and already have) purchase more from DW Home. Beautiful!

Do you like to match your scents to the time of year? Do you save particular scents for certain holidays and occasions? Or are you more of a ‘whatever I’m in the mood for’ type? Please share your thoughts in a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: January – Yankee Candle Shea Butter

How is January over?! Where did it go. Time is flying by at the moment, and with the wedding just six months to go, a little panic is beginning to set in. You might have noticed as much by the absence of me posting recently.

However, January did come (and go) and as ever, I like a new, fresher scented candle to kick off the New Year. I usually go for clean cotton type scents but a lovely friend gave me this shea butter candle on my last birthday and I felt this was the best time of year to burn it.

It’s a creamier and cozier scent than I would typically go for in January, but wonderful and clean smelling all the same.

The scent notes are:

Top: Orange, Bergamot, Mixed Berries
Mid: Vanilla Orchid, Jasmine, Shea Cream
Base: White Musk, Vanilla Sugar, Guaiacwood

And it comes with the description, “Pure contentment – indulge yourself in this creamy smooth scent with hints of beautiful fruit blossoms.”

It’s interesting because I don’t get a real sense of fruit, or citrus from this. I’m not saying it’s not there, it’s just well blended and has that complete and complex scent rather than a couple of strong, identifiable notes. Going along with the shea butter name, it has a lot of characteristics of a subtly fragranced body cream – one that doesn’t have a named fragranced as such, but just has a wonderful aroma alongside it’s moisturizing properties.

The burn time was good (these small jars suggest 25-40 hours, and I think I got around 32-ish) but the burn itself wasn’t great. I had to persuade it to burn evenly instead of tunneling, which for a candle this size was unexpected, and come the second half of the jar, it was impossible to keep it up. Towards the end, I had to tip some wax out, which obviously ended up resulting in wastage, and not much burn time left thereafter. I sill got a good length out of it however, so can’t complain. It’s a good size for me for a month-long period, as I like candles for occasional evenings and long baths, but don’t like to keep too many half burned larger jars hanging around.

yankeesheabutter

The pictures for this post are few and far between. Admist the New Year, post Christmas and new phone chaos, I managed to delete all the pictures I’d taken of the candle. Luckily, I had a little rescue from my Instagram page, where I’d posted a picture, and obviously you can see the freshly cleaned empty jar at the start of the post.
Oh well! Live and learn. And import.

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: November & Decemeber – DW Home Emerald Balsam

What a whirlind December 2016 was! We had a last minute (month long) dash to the finish line in order to get our living and dining room ready for a big family Christmas, and with my working hours also increased, it didn’t leave a single moment to catch up with you guys, and for that I’m so sorry. Lesson learned, in future I’ll be planning ahead for the blog as well as for Christmas itself.

I hope you all had a fantastic festive season however, and that your New Year has started in fine form. I love the New Year for the fresh start feeling, the post holidays clean up and all things new. And so I won’t post belated Christmas posts, except to keep up with my Candle of the Month post for November, and as it happened, December too. And that’s because this candle could easily take you into January and beyond.

I’m talking about DW Home’s Emerald Balsam. I purchased one of these from TK Maxx towards the end of October, and boy-o, does it smell like Christmas! It smells just like Christmas trees. It’s fresh and piney, but it’s rich and warm and simply wonderful. There are a couple of Christmas home scents out there I really like, and I don’t often stray too far away, but I purchased this particularly for that purpose. I wanted something Christmassy, but something that was different to what I usually go for.

Out of the three sizes, Medium Single Wick, Large Double Wick or Large Triple Wick, I opted for the triple wicked. You get less burn time for a candle the same size, but more oomph. As we were still mid-decorating and minus a floor in our living room, there wasn’t much relaxing time and I couldn’t have the candle in there with me whilst I was decorating. But when I did burn it, it was simply lovely, and I feel I got a little more than it’s suggested 26 hour burn time. With such little usage throughout November, it was more the latter half of December I used it, and enjoyed it so much so, I purchased another, which I will probably save for next Christmas.

DW Home describe the fragrance profile as “Fresh-cut balsam fir and Italian cypress enhanced with sage, and a touch wild thyme” and it really is a wonderfully green scent. It certainly enhanced the slight natural perfume of the Nordmann Fir we bought for the living room. With a back up all ready to go, I will certainly be burning this candle again.

January will see me get back on track with the blog, so please stay tuned for that. There’s still a lot to do in terms of redecorating and renovating, and we also have the fine details of the wedding to sort out, but there shouldn’t be any last minute rushes now and I can dedicate my time here accordingly.

Hope you’re all safe and well, and wishing you a great year ahead,

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Most Disappointing Autumn Candle of the Season

imag3189 I don’t like to post negative things, and so I was going to give this a miss, but then I realised that was unfair – this was such a bad experience, I’d like to advise you against the same.

Although Autumn/Fall is coming to an end, I’ll still leave my thoughts here, should you be buying out of season, or pick this post up a year from now.

So, back at the start of September, I was really ready for some Autumnal scents, and was particularly enjoying my Yankee Famer’s Market at the time, and thinking of more pumpkin noted fragrances ahead of Halloween. Cue, seeing these little lovelies from TK Maxx. The brand is Chesapeake Bay, which appears to be much more widely available in the US than here in the UK. I saw these tealight candles in ‘Creamy Pumpkin’ and the pillar in ‘Wild Pumpkin’ and knew I had to buy both.

On cold sniff, they seemed gorgeous. Not overpoweringly strong, but delightful scents. The creamy pumpkin was very much of a cream cheese and cinnamon noted, almost carrot cake vibe, whereas the wild pumpkin was much more of that Autumnal vegetable scent, but with a hint of spice. Both super lovely. I took plenty of photos assuming I’d be blogging about all their great features.

And then I burned a tealight. And another. And another. Such a huge disappointment! The smell was completely non-existent when being burned. If I got really close, I got the scent of the wick burning, and that was it. No delicate, cakey goodness, no sugar and spice, no pumpkin, no nothing. And not only that, the burn on them was terrible.

They are in plastic containers as opposed to metal, as I’ve always been used to with tealights, but they burned so unevenly, and never to the very end. Either the wick would drown and go out, or they’d burn so unevenly, the surrounding wax would melt away whilst one side was very much full. Very wasteful, and resulted in a pitifully short burn time.

I ended up returning the Wild Pumpkin pillar candle without trying it out, as I was certain it would be of similar quality and didn’t fancy wasting any more money. I paid the discounted TK Maxx prices of £4.99 for the tealights, and the pillar was £3.99. I would say that I’d use up the tealights with my melt warmers, but to be honest, the IKEA tealights I normally use burn so much better, I’m not sure I’ll even bother.

I appreciate I may just have had a single bad experience from this brand, however, it’s put me off enough that I won’t be trying them again any time soon. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

See you soon for some more positive talk!!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Candle of the Month: October – WoodWick’s Autumn

A little later than expected (no thanks to illness, bleurgh!) but today is Halloween, and I’m getting my Candle of the Month post in just in time.

I was out browsing Autumn scented candles and wax melts after a disappointing purchase (post to follow) when I came across the WoodWick stand in one of my favourite shops to buy candles from. I’ve known about WoodWick candles for years, and yet for some reason, never tried them out. The small display I was looking at on this particular day had a very seasonal trend to it – almost everything was of a cozy, Autumnal scent, and I decided to ease myself into the brand, I’d pick up a couple of mini hourglass wax melts.

I couldn’t resist Pear Cider, as there just aren’t enough pear scented candles around, and this one also has notes of ginger, clove and vanilla – it smells delicious. And of course, I had to pick up the appropriately named Autumn. It was, after all, exactly what I’d come to buy – an Autumn scented candle.
On cold sniff, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the notes. It one hundred percent smells like the season, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. There are juicy, almost overripe apples, and something that made me think of golden crunchy leaves. It isn’t as sweet as I usually find with these fragrances.

To learn that the notes are: “Fresh apples and spices, infused with juicy currant and cranberries for a sweet and tart sensation” made a lot of sense. Although there is some sweetness from the apple, there’s also that tartness, which the berries add. I wouldn’t have guessed currant and cranberry at all, but as I sit here with it melting, I do get a strong clove scent, which is wonderful.

Overall, I am fantastically impressed. The throw is fantastic, and the scent more complex than a lot of Autumn home fragrances.

I will definitely purchase from WoodWick in the future, and look forward to trying some candles from them. If you’d like the try this scent, it’s available in the UK in an array of sizes from woodwickcandleshop.co.uk. I can’t recommend it enough.

For a candle that didn’t quite live up to it’s promise, stay tuned for a final Autumn candle post coming tomorrow, and then I will have that upcycled cushion cover tutorial I promised you up on Sunday.

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Candle of the Month: September – Yankee Candle Farmer’s Market

Ahh, the smell of Autumn! I’m not surprised I have another Yankee candle as my Candle of the Month. A few of their scents I return to time and time again, and inevitably, they become my favorite for the month or season.

I believe this is a discontinued scent – at least here in the UK. I first remember smelling this around six or seven years ago, when I purchased a sampler at a similar time of year. Ahhh, it’s heavenly. Farmer’s Market is such an apt name. The peach note is very strong, and very realistic. But there’s also plums and berries, and though not listed as a note, I don’t just get a sweet fruity flavour, but also a little vegetable of some description. There’s also a little spice, definitely cinnamon, that’s reminiscent of carrot cake for me. I think it’s the combination of fruit and carrot and brown sugar and spices that makes me think of this candle.
I managed to purchase this large jar from QVC last year in a duo with Apple Cider. This is definitely my favourite of the two, and the reason I purchased them. Now I only have the smallest amount left, I’m wishing I’d purchased two lots!

It is still available in the US, with the new label, in all sizes. I hope it comes back here again too. Autumn is the perfect season for scented candles. I think so many of the smells associated with this time of year translate so well in candle format, and of course a flickering flame just makes you feel cozy now that the nights are definitely colder.

It burned reasonably well. I had to keep the wick trimmed, and once it got down to the last quarter or so, I did have a poor (probably insufficient length) burn, and ended up scraping away a little excess wax for my tart burner, but after that it burned very well again, pooling right to the sides in a little over three hours.

There’s not much else I can say about it. I absolutely love it. I will get more in future.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Air Wick Essential Oils Infusion Candle Review

Hello Autumn! It’s officially the first day of Autumn today in the UK, and I’m so ready for it! I love changing seasons, and I’ve already walked through crunchy crisp leaves, reached for scarves, and dipped into more autumnal scents with my candles.

I do occasionally check out the candles alongside the air fresheners in the cleaning aisles at the supermarket. I usually get tempted by the Wintery, especially Christmas fragrances (I can’t resist anything that has ‘mulled’ on it, especially the wine!) but they can be very hit and miss.

While some smell gorgeous on cold sniff, they have absolutely no throw when lit, and others just burn terribly. Sometimes, they have the combination of the two, and I ask myself why I purchased this type of candle again.

Well, I needed dishwashing sponges, so I found myself down the cleaning product aisle, and that’s when I noticed this Air Wick Essential Oils Infusion candle. It was on offer, £2 down from £3, and looked to be a good size, so I thought I’d try it out.

I bought the scent ‘Purple Blackberry Spice’ which sounds like the perfect September candle, an introduction to Autumn without being full on pumpkin pie just yet! The description said notes of blackberry and fig, although the pictures show blackberries and plums, so obviously some miscommunication there, but it was a very Autumnal fruit and berry scent, with the very light hint of spice bringing a little warmth, and Dear Fiancé liked it too on cold sniff, so that’s always a bonus.

Out of the box, it’s a pretty frosted glass tumbler, which would be ideal as a votive / sampler holder, though then made me realise the candle was probably smaller than I had first thought. I’ve since thrown the box away, though I don’t recall it mentioning a burn time. I got less than 15 hours from it. But again, for the price, I can’t complain in that respect.

To begin with, I was really impressed with the scent throw. Without being lit, it had a very good fragrance that scented the room anyway, and once lit, this was just amplified. However, it was such a soft wax, I think it hampered it’s burn. I burned it for a good four hours the first time, which for a small candle is more than enough, but I wanted it to burn nice and evenly, and it wasn’t doing too bad. But despite a wick trim, on the second burn it still tunneled enough, that I decided to scoop away the excess wax once it was cooled. I popped this in the top of one of my wax melters, assuming the candle would continue to burn poorly now, and I’d be able to enjoy the last of it as a melt.

However, surprisingly, the last bit burned quite well, nice and even, and pooled right to the sides. On the downside, at the stage the scent had vanished. Literally, poof! Gone! I can detect a strong fragrance still from the cold wax I’d scooped out that’s sat in the open air of my tart warmer, whilst the actually candle had just stopped smelling. Very strange.

Still, now it’s almost done – I think I’ll just remove the wax rather than burn it – I’m left with a decent votive holder, which considering I only paid £2 for the candle isn’t a bad deal.

Would I recommend it? If you like the scent, give it a go. It’s pleasant enough. Fruity and autumnal. Likewise, if you think you’d reuse the holder afterwards, definitely worth the small price. However, I wouldn’t rush out for it, and personally, I wouldn’t re-purchase it. I WOULD however, buy this brand again in future, so I’ll keep a look out for other scents over the coming months.

Do you ever purchase this type of branded candle? Any recommendations of ones to buy or ones to avoid? If so, please comment below and let us know!

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Candle of the Month: August – Yankee Beach Flowers and Bermuda Beach

Before I get started on Autumn scents for this year, I thought what better way to have my home smell summery than some Beach themed scents!

I had the Yankee Candle Beach Flowers tart in my stash for a little while, and decided to make some use of it. And then I also spotted the Yankee Candle Simply Home tart in Bermuda Beach on visit to an Asda store. Not wanting to pass up the chance of a bargain £1 Yankee scent, I sniffed my way through the selection on offer, and purchased the Bermuda Beach, partly because it smelled the nicest, partly because I wanted to compare it to the Beach Flowers. Both votives and wax tarts are just £1 in Asda’s Simply Home Yankee Candle range, however there was no votive on offer in this particular scent. I’ve had several votives in the past from there, with mixed reviews.

As a cheaper range, I had always thought they were slightly less good quality, with not as much fragrance. I’ve had a few Christmas scents in the past that I wasn’t wowed with, and so have not yet purchased a larger size to test the difference in those.

However, I’ve got to admit, with this particular pink wax tart, I was more than pleasantly surprised. It is similar to Beach Flowers, but I found the scent a lot more intense, and it seemed to last longer too. I’ve burned them both for over 8 hours, but I’m still finding a nice, muted scent from them, so will probably burn them once more each before I toss them.

Also, aside from the obvious difference in the style of the front label, they’re almost identical. The labels on the back are the same, and both tarts were stamped with the Yankee Candle Co indentation you see on the wax tarts themselves.

The official notes are as follows:
“Beach Flowers is a lovely scent of tuberose, lily and hyacinth blossoms with soft watery notes to add an element of fresh in a beautiful soft purple colour.”

And for Bermuda Beach:
“This succulent mix of citrus, flowers and vanilla will leave your home basking in nothing less than luxury.”

Bermuda Beach is often compared online to Pink Sands, the scent described as:
“Pink Sands creates an exotic island escape through a beautiful mix of bright citrus, sweet florals and spicy vanilla.”

So you can see the similarity in the description, not to mention the soft pink colour. I haven’t purchased Pinks Sands before, so I can’t honestly compare, but it sounds like it should be similar. However, there are definitely both similarities and contrasts between the two scents I’ve been enjoying this month. They both evoke a warm, sunny floral scent that’s very pretty, but also comforting. Bermuda Beach is much sweeter however, I guess because of the creamy notes of the vanilla, whereas Beach Flowers is certainly more floral and the aquatic note is quite clear, which Bermuda Beach lacks.

My fiance much preferred Bermuda Beach, that is to say, without being asked, he actually commented to ask what scent was burning as he thought it was quite nice. I think I prefer it too. It was certainly the stronger of the two scents, which I was surprised about, especially with it being from the cheaper Simply Home range.

It has definitely given me assurance to buy from the range again, should I happen to find myself in store. I’ll try a few more out sometime and let you know my opinion.

If you’ve got any experience with the Simply Home range from Yankee, I’d love to know. Especially with the larger jars. It would be great to know if they still burn evening across the jar etc. Please comment below and let me know!

For now, with love,
Ellen