My name is Claire Smyth and I'm a scented candle buying addict. It started when Yankee Candle started appearing in shops and garden centres. At last there was a brand of candle that actually filled a room with the smell it professed to be. Over the years I must have spent hundreds and hundreds of pound on the Yankee Candle range. Jars, votives, tea lights, always trying the three new released scents each season, and even buying rare, retired and US-only varieties off eBay. I can tell you my favourite, The House Scent of the Smyth household each Christmas, a retired scent called Silver Bells, which smells like Christmas tree.
To save money, I swapped from large jars to Yankee tarts. This allows me to try dozens of scents without having to burn through a whole jar before I can swap smells. The wax tarts are little discs of highly fragranced wax, which melt in specialised tart burners.
So I've found my Christmas scent, but an all year round favourite candle smell still hasn't been found. ScentedCandleShop.com decided to help me out by allowing me to try out twenty eight different wax tarts, mostly Yankee a Candle brand, but also Bridgewater and Colonial scents. Their easy to use store allows you to browse by candle colour too, great for toning in with your colour schemes.
Here is what I tried, and what each of the tarts smell like.
I began with Yankee Candle's Christmas varieties that I hadn't tried beforehand myself. Red Berry & Cedar - a little touch of berry against a rich Christmas tree scent. Spiced Orange- fruity cinnamon, like a delicious big scone. Red Apple Wreath- similar to red berry, but with a crisp apple smell. Snowflake Cookie- like sugary shortbread. Season of Peace- a soft freesia scent. Snow in Love- clean, soap-like, fresh. Merry Marshmallow- as you would think, fluffy, soft, sugary mallow scent. Christmas Memories- like a holiday season kitchen smell, baking sweet treats.
On to the floral themed wax tarts, again all from Yankee Candle. Vanilla Satin- I always find pure vanilla too sickening, this is a clean, subtle vanilla, very nice. Turquoise Sky- this reminds me of a perfume I used to use, Ocean Dream. A pretty, floral, fresh scent. Under the Palms- I swear I can catch a hint of coconut in this natural, greenery smell. True Rose- a strong traditional Rose candle. Waikiki Melon- smells exactly like melon, but isn't sickeningly sweet. White Gardenia- smells of summer holidays abroad, heavy floral scent.
Champaca Blossom- I'm not sure I've ever smelt Champaca, but it's a beautiful, floral perfume that wouldn't over-power your room. Midnight Oasis- not for me, a bit too much like men's bubble bath. November Rain- an unusual one, I'm nearly sure I can smell liquorice and mint. Pink Hibiscus- a little like Rose, but more tropical and exotic. Lake Sunset- a sugary, floral, subtle scent.
Moving onto non-Yankee tarts. Holiday Keepsake- candy canes and Christmas dessert smells. Ripe Mango- not keen, smells like orange dilute juice. Chestnut & Nutmeg- very subtle, you can definitely tell these tarts are as high quality as Yankee. Lily of the Valley- smells accurate but very synthesised. Clean Caress- now this one is good, clean laundry. Sweet Magnolia- accurate but not strong, maybe Colony Candles are suited for those who like scented candle but not for their room to be overwhelmed by it burning. Midnight Iris- a tropical floral. Pineapple & Coconut- accurate, but lacking the natural quality of Yankee. Fruit Sorbet- I like this one, smells like frozen yoghurt.
So which will become my favourite, house signature smell? I think the answer will come from the burning. I'll keep you updated!