Bath & Body Works: Beach Nights

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I have been so into sweet vanilla scents, and so not into the typical fruity, beachy summer body care that comes out in the warmer months. So when I heard about Beach Nights: Summer Marshmallow, I knew I had to try it out ASAP. I’ve been waiting for fall to arrive simply to get my hands on some scents in candle and body care form that are more to my liking. I’m a fan of cooler weather and strong, spicy scents, but I’m also a sucker for anything like vanilla cupcakes, cookies, and s’mores. Beach Nights was the clear answer to what I’ve been missing from Bath & Body Works all spring and summer, so I went out and bought some of it as soon as I could. I’ve used it enough times to determine that I enjoy the scent, and I’m happy to own it, but I’m not sure it’s one that I would repurchase.

I wish I could say that this scent is Marshmallow Fireside in a lotion and fine fragrance mist, but it isn’t. However, I’m sure that’s expected, since it is packaged as a summer scent instead of a new fall scent. What’s missing from it is, obviously, the smoky, woodsy, firey notes in the candle. In its place I can definitely pick up on the beachy, aquatic notes (sea salt breeze) and the slightest hint of a floral background (orchid). Still, vanilla and marshmallow stand out in the fragrance and the other notes (driftwood, musk) mix in perfectly. My initial thought when I smelled the body cream was that it was like Bath & Body Works’ Suntan had a bunch of vanilla dumped into it, but then I got the musk and the s’mores notes in the fragrance mist, and it all blended together (and faded pretty quickly). It really is an interesting and unique scent, though. I don’t think that this scent is strictly for lovers of sweet scents or foodie scents, or “immature” scents, because Beach Nights is a lot more versatile than its name suggests. In a way, it has something to appeal to all fragrance types.

The one disappointing thing I’m getting from this scent is that it just isn’t very strong or long-lasting. I smelled it in the store a few times to confirm that I like it and want it, but once I got it home I had to keep reapplying it for the rest of the night because I kept feeling like I just couldn’t smell it very well. I know that this is a complaint many have had about Bath & Body Works fragrances since the most recent bottle redesigns, but for me personally, I’ve always been able to capture the essence of a scent after a layer of lotion and spray, and it will last 3-4 hours before reapplication. Each time I spray the Beach Nights fine fragrance mist, the alcohol smell is a little overwhelming, and I think this is because, although their mists always smell a little alcohol-y when first sprayed, this one in particular just didn’t have much scent-strength to disguise it more. As Beach Nights nears dry-down on my skin I already begin to struggle with detecting this scent without sticking my nose in it.

I’m not going to judge these products too harshly because of the scent longevity. I appreciate that it is intended to be used during the summer, and that heavy fragrances don’t work too well in the heat, especially outdoors. I have plenty of scents that are quite strong after layering with body cream and fragrance mist, but this one seems to be light no matter how many applications I slap on in a day. This is the perfect summer scent for those occasions when you aren’t trying to impress someone with your fragrance, but you still want to smell great if they happen to come close. Since it’s so versatile, I think I will experiment with mixing Beach Nights with something stronger, like Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte from the fall collection.

Finally, I’m a sucker for packaging. Bath & Body Works in particular can get away with murder in my eyes because they get me on the adorable packaging every time. Beach Nights is no exception! I’m tempted to go back and purchase the shower gel I passed on, but I may have to exercise some self control because fall (at Bath & Body Works) is right around the corner!

 

Kringle Candle Wax Melt Haul

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This is my first online order from the scented wax company Kringle Candle. Let me just start out by saying that when I received my package and started smelling the melts that I chose, I was blown away by how unique and pleasant they all smelled. I hadn’t had the chance to become familiar with any of the scents before placing my order, so I had to rely on the scent descriptions included on the website. I am really happy with my choices and also happy that I didn’t let my lack of experience with the company or the scents deter me from placing the order.

Some stand-out scents to me were: Watercolors, Spellbound, Grey, White Pumpkin, Cozy Cabin, and Blue Spruce. Don’t get me wrong – I loved them ALL! – but these are the ones that I kept picking up throughout the night just to experience the scent over and over again.

 

A few thoughts that I have on the wax melts:

Spellbound is very similar to the Victoria’s Secret body care scent Pure Seduction. Autumn Rain, although a very lovely scent, isn’t a distinctly autumn scent to me; this could be enjoyed out of season, but certainly during fall as well. To me, Blue Spruce is an earthy pine scent that is similar to Bath & Body Works’ Fresh Balsam. Cozy Cabin is a sweet, smoky type of scent that is similar to Bath & Body Works’ Marshmallow Fireside, and Goose Creek’s Campfire Marshmallow, except that it is more woodsy and smoky rather than sweet and marshmallow-y. Pumpkin Latte packs a punch to me that has a distinct cinnamon note in it. Pumpkin Frosting smells to me like a pumpkin pie and vanilla bean combination. Picket Fence comes off to me like a floral deodorant, in the best way possible. I love the scent, but my first impression was that I’ve bought many Secret scented deodorants that smell like the wax melt. I have no problem filling my home with a scent like that.

The rest of the scents, I have to explore a bit more. Blueberry Muffin wasn’t quite what I expected; it’s a bit more tart than the type of blueberry scented candles I have, and I appreciate that this is an original take on a blueberry-bakery scent. Peppermint Cocoa, Rainy Day, Coconut Snowflake, and Holiday Cookies aren’t exactly what I expected either, but that’s not a bad thing. They are all still lovely scents, and very appropriate for their respective seasons. White Pumpkin blew me away with its originality. I didn’t expect it to be sweet and earthy at the same time. If I had to single out just one, White Pumpkin is a solid contender for a representative Autumn scent. It’s just amazing and it evokes feelings and memories associated with a cool, cozy fall season leading into the holidays. Watercolors is a fruity-floral, feminine scent that makes me wish it existed in a lotion and soap so I could wear it on my body! Finally, Grey is quite possibly the best masculine, cologne-y type of scent that I own. There is so much more to it than just being “like a cologne,” but I can’t put it into words. It’s best to try it out for one’s self.

Again, I am so happy about this order and the quality of these scents. Kringle Candle threw in a complimentary air freshener in the scent Pumpkin Patch, which I was so thrilled to see in my package! I originally had a wax melt in that scent in my order, but ultimately decided that I had enough fall scents to try out for now. I will most definitely be ordering from Kringle Candle again in the future.

 

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Small Haul & First Impressions

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Before the Bath & Body Work’s semi-annual sale ended this month, there was a brief sale for $5 select Aromatherapy items. I wanted to try some of the scents, but I did not want to go overboard when I was placing my order online, since I barely remembered what they smelled like and wasn’t planning on heading back to the mall.

I thought that trying body creams was the best option, and I chose four different kinds: two “sleep,” one “sensual,” and one “stress relief.” In the sleep category, I ordered Lavender Chamomile and Lavender Vanilla. The sensual scent is Jasmine Vanilla, and the stress relief scent is Eucalyptus Tea. I also have a body care fragrance mist (signature collection – not Aromatherapy) in their stress relief scent Eucalyptus Spearmint, and a 3-wick candle in the same scent. I enjoyed this fragrance, so I figured I might like the others as well.

 

First Impressions

SLEEP:
I heard plenty of good things about these fragrances – enough to feel safe blind-buying them online when I couldn’t remember what any of them smelled like. I’d heard that they were effective in making people feel relaxed enough to drift into sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep most nights, and that is why I bought two scents in the “sleep” category and none in the “energy” category. Lavender Vanilla, in particular, seems to be a favorite among those that I asked about the Aromatherapy products.

What I get when I smell the Lavender Vanilla body cream, is not an overwhelming scent of lavender or vanilla. What the smell reminds me of is sun block my mother would make me wear as a child. It’s very “lotion-y,” which of course, can be expected of a thick body cream. However, lavender essential oil and vanilla absolute are listed as scent notes in this product, and what I imagined it would smell like is very far from the reality within this body cream. It’s not a bad scent, but since I am a fan of florals and vanillas in particular, it just wasn’t what I expected. I think I would have better luck trying this scent again in mist or gel form.

Out of all four of the scents I purchased, Lavender Chamomile instantly stood out to me as my favorite. I drink a lot of chamomile tea, so I’m familiar with the scent in that form. I wouldn’t say that I get that chamomile tea type of scent out of this body cream, but it is a very pleasant scent nonetheless. I was worried it would be too identical to the Lavender Vanilla, but they are really nothing alike. I could see wearing Lavender Chamomile just as a normal day-to-day fragrance, because it is lovely, but not too strong. It’s a clean, sort of perfume-like herbal scent that would be appropriate for any time of day, not just before bed.

What I really wanted to know: Do these products make me feel relaxed or drowsy? So far, I can’t say that these body creams have put me to sleep. Perhaps the pillow mist, or a combination of the Aromatherapy products in each scent would do the trick a lot better than just the body cream. I think I need to give each one a few more tries.
SENSUAL:
Jasmine Vanilla: Wow! The jasmine in this scent is a lot stronger than I thought it would be. I do pick up the vanilla note, but it’s a much more faint background scent. Does the fragrance inspire sensuality? Sure, if you or someone you like is a fan of jasmine, then I can see how this product would be very alluring. It is strong, and it is jasmine all the way! It doesn’t strike me as an everyday, all day type of scent; more of an evening, and cooler weather type of scent – but to each their own.
STRESS RELIEF:
Eucalyptus Tea: This scent doesn’t seem to be as powerful as the Eucalyptus Spearmint that I have in fragrance mist and candle form. Again, it could be because I chose body cream instead of a different type of product. This is still a really nice scent, and is a little similar to Eucalyptus Spearmint. I can also see how this would be a soothing scent. It gives off a natural, herbal, but medicinal vibe. This isn’t one that I would wear any time of day, or for any activity, but if I was feeling overwhelmed or sick, this is definitely something that I would grab after a shower. It’s a scent that screams “wellness” to me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

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I chose this shot to share for the Weekly Photo Challenge theme of look up. State Street in the busy downtown area of Madison is always a great place to shop, eat, and socialize during the spring and summer months. I finally tried French Macarons for the first time, as well as a cheeseburger from Five Guys. I looked at some gorgeous skirts and handmade jewelry, and I sniffed plenty of incense. Additionally, I practiced a lot of self control and did not pull out my credit card every two seconds like I wanted. What I did do is plenty of walking, eating, drinking and browsing, and had a great time with others. The sights went beyond what was inside each shop or restaurant, as I spent plenty of time taking in my surroundings as well.

The New Bath & Body Works Secret Wonderland

Sometimes change is good, but I think most people are naturally resistant to change anyway. All of the drama (and some hype) surrounding the Yankee Candle label redesign has made me a little more aware of how appreciative I am of simply the look of the products with which I fill my living space. Let’s face it – a bottle of lotion decorated with graphic art that resembles something I would love to own as a print and hang on my wall, is better than a clear bottle with 2 plain-text black words on it. (Or is it? We all have our own taste…)

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The new packaging for the Bath & Body Works fragrance Secret Wonderland wouldn’t receive any negative criticism from me if these were brand new items. However, the former look of this scent was nearly half of its appeal for me, so this is a resistant-to-change moment for me. I found the name and the style of Secret Wonderland beautiful, whimsical, and alluring; more importantly, it lived up to its name, and it was something I was more than willing to display on my dresser. I loved it.

I don’t hate the new packaging. With the name “Secret Wonderland” stripped from the designs, it’s perfectly fine (the font is a little lackluster, but it’s not the end of the world). I love flowers, I love the colors used in the new repackaged products. I just think it’s a downgrade from the original style. A single blue flower doesn’t convey to me the essence of a secret wonderland. It doesn’t really convey anything to me at all except that it’s an ordinary floral scent.

Oh well, it is what it is. There are much more important things to worry about, right? I have always paired Secret Wonderland and another Bath & Body Works fragrance, Be Enchanted, together in my mind. Could Be Enchanted be the next scent to go under the knife for a make-over?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

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The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is opposites. The candles in this photo are called Party Dress and Black Tie and were part of the Bath & Body Works holiday collection this past winter 2015. The impact of this pair comes not so much from its sight, but in its scent. The lovely pink candle, Party Dress, has a floral, almost musky feminine scent to it, while Black Tie smells like a typical men’s cologne. When they’re burning together, it’s a little confusing, but pleasing, to the senses. Each scent is as sophisticated and formal as their names would suggest, and are definitely best suited to special occasions.