[AD: This post is sponsored by Notino: all candles purchased by me…]
Hi, my name’s Amber, and I’m a Yankee Candle addict: because that’s totally a thing, right?
I can’t go to the supermarket without coming home with a candle. It’s the only reason I even GO to the supermarket, rather than just ordering groceries online, to be honest.
Ditto the garden centre. (Well, is it MY fault that they have such a huge selection of scented candles? I think not.)
No matter how many candles I own, I will always be able to find room for one more – and will argue to the death, if necessary, that, YES, ‘Clean Cotton’ really IS totally different from ‘Fluffy Towels’ so I really need them both.
I can’t help it, though: there’s just something so comforting about scented candles, isn’t there? I don’t mean just the smell of them, either: it’s the names, the colours, the ritual of lighting them… it just makes me feel calm something, and like everything is right with the world. Plus, a new candle is a pretty affordable kind of treat, too, which is why I’ve told all of my nearest and dearest that if they ever feel they have to buy me a gift for some reason, a scented candle is always a safe bet. Always.
Over the last couple of years, I have, as you know, spent quite a bit of time in garden centres – mostly just opening the lids of candles to give them a quick sniff – which means I’ve become quite the candle connoisseur, really. (Note: Not really.) I firmly believe there’s a Yankee candle for every single occasion (In fact, I’m still not over the time Terry tried to light my ‘Christmas Eve’ candle in the middle of summer. I mean, WHY WOULD YOU EVEN DO THAT? WHY? But I digress…), so here’s my quick guide to some of my favourite scents – all available from my sponsors at Notino. (Who, on the subject of gifts, have tons of Yankee Candle gift sets on their perfume gift sets page, as well as more traditional fragrances from the likes of Hugo Boss and more. Go check them out. Don’t forget to come back, though…)
You know that wonderful, fresh scent you get when you’ve just washed your bed linen, and hung it out on the line to dry? That’s the smell of Clean Cotton, and it. is. sublime. I like to burn this one while I’m cleaning the house: I find it helps motivate me to clean when I”m surrounded by the fragrance of … well, clean things, basically. Because you gotta love clean things, don’t you? It’s also one of the most comforting scents around, somehow, which is why this is one of the few candles I actually burn so often I have to keep replacing it…
“What the hell does warm cashmere smell like?” I hear you ask. It’s a good question, and, I have to admit, I asked it myself, when I found it on special in the supermarket one day. Now, I don’t know about you, but I imagined Warm Cashmere would smell kind of warm and comforting, and, yes, I was right – it totally does. It’s really hard to explain this one, because it doesn’t actually smell like cashmere – or not any cashmere that I’ve ever owned, anyway. It’s still a really good name for it, though, because while Yankee Candle say it smells like sun-kissed orange, cashmere wood, golden amber and cardamom, I say it smells like a giant hug, and that’s good enough for me.
No such difficulties describing this one: it smells like – yes, you guessed it – bananas. Nah, OK, you’re right: it’s Black Cherry. Obviously. It’s a bit less exotic than some of the other candles I have known, but I still love it: partly because it really DOES smell like cherries, but also because it’s a nice reminder of our trip to Kent last year, which is when I bought it. So, yes: not just a great gift idea, but a great memento, too.
A CALM & QUIET PLACE
OK, I admit it: I bought this one purely because of the name. What anxious girl WOULDN’T, though? Oddly, this smells less like A Calm and Quiet Place – or, indeed, like mandarin leaf, jasmine and cedarwood, as claimed – and more like A Perfume I Used to Wear in My Early Twenties, Which I Can’t Remember The Name of, But, God, This Takes Me Back!” That’s not quite as catchy a name, though, which is why I’m not going to suggest it to them, and will, instead, save it for when I start my own candle company, with names like ‘Rotting Leaves’ and ‘Downward Spiral of Despair.’ (I STILL think that’s a good idea, btw: no one steal it, OK?) Regardless of what it reminds me off, though, I find this one really comforting, somehow, so I guess it lives up to its name.
Pink Sands is a lovely shade of pink, and there’s a picture of a beach on the label, so that was enough for me to want to buy it, basically. It also has a gorgeous, super-sweet scent (Citrus, melon and berry, according to the brand), which might be a bit too much for some people, but which makes me want to eat it, basically. (I won’t, though: because we already have one candle-eater in the house, and it’s not me (YET) and it’s not Terry, so I’ll leave it up to you to work out just who it might be…)
(I have this one burning on my desk as I write this, and, yes, I definitely feel like I’m at the beach right now. Absolutely.)
One of the reasons the Yankee Candle Company has been able to suck me in so effortlessly over the years is the fact that the candle names can be so evocative. It’s a bold and cynical marketing move for sure, but yes, it absolutely works: as my purchase of ‘A Calm & Quiet’ place aptly demonstrates. Right now, for instance, I’m imagining a bunch of executives sitting around a table at Yankee HQ, all rubbing their hands together, and going, “Right, then: Pink Sands made Amber feel like she was on a tropical island, even although she was just in her living room, so let’s release one called ‘Misty Mountains‘ and see how long it takes for her to feel like she’s in Lord of the Rings…”
The answer? Not long at all, really. I’d wanted this one for ages, and finally succumbed last week, when the thought of a log cabin in the (misty) mountains suddenly seemed WAY too appealing. This one smells like pine cones, fresh air, and hope. I am a big fan.
As part of my attempt to start loving autumn, like a proper blogger, I have a tendency, at this time of year, to start buying autumn-scented candles, thinking they will make me feel all cosy and happy, the way normal people apparently do in autumn. As it turns out, though, I still hate autumn (Sorry, I’ve tried, but I loathe it…), but I DO like the smell of autumn, so I guess that’s better than nothing, right? Autumn Night smells like wood smoke and magic: it’s a bit muskier than I’d normally go for, but that’s autumn for you, right? I’m also itching to try ‘Autumn Pearl‘, which is described as, ‘an airy, clean fragrance,’ which sounds totally my kind of thing. I will survive this season, one scented candle at a time…
Speaking of surviving seasons:
Because autumn isn’t the only season I struggle with, I also bought Winter Wonder, thinking it would help me through the darkest months of the year. This one actually came as a bit of a surprise, because I was expecting it to smell all spicy and cinnamon, like Christmas, but it’s actually quite sweet and fruity, with base notes of vanilla when you burn it. It doesn’t really scream ‘winter’ to me, but I’m willing to forgive it, because it means I can burn it all year round, even although the name on the jar makes that feel all kinds of wrong to me. A candle is for life, after all, not just for Christmas…
My final two selections, however, actually ARE just for Christmas, namely:
I mean, it woudn’t really matter WHAT this one smelt like, the fact that it’s called Christmas Magic means I will only be able to burn this one in December. Because we’re not savages, TERRY. The scent IS actually also a factor here, though, because, unlike its sidekick, Winter Wonder, this candle is basically Christmas in a jar: so it’s spicy and warm, and makes me think of Christmas cookies, and other good things. I’m really looking forward to lighting this at Christmas time: not before, though. NEVER before…
ALL IS BRIGHT
I actually regret this one slightly, purely for the fact that I now have two Christmas-themed candles to burn, and that’s a lot of pressure, isn’t it? All is Bright, however, is much less traditionally ‘Christmassy’ than Christmas Magic, and is actually another citrus smell that could work at any time of year, really. So, who knows, maybe I’ll go wild and light in it November, say? Because, that’s the kind of kerrazy move that counts as ”living with gay abandon” around here, so, you never know, I might just throw caution to the wind, and go for it. (I won’t, though.)
And that’s my (current) top ten! What about you, though? Are you a Yankee Candle fan? What are your favourite scents?