Bath & Body Works: Caramel Woods

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Caramel Woods is a 14.5 ounce 3-wick candle from Bath & Body Works that retails for $22.50. It was a new release for the fall 2016 season, and as far as I know, it is not a repackage of any previous release. I am late in burning it this fall, but it is a unique candle that I am happy to have in my collection. This 3-wick may still be available in B&BW stores during the upcoming holiday sales, so keep an eye out if you are interested in purchasing it this year.

I was drawn to this candle because its packaging is gorgeous and festive (and I intend to save the jar for fall decor once it’s finished burning) and because its name stood out to me as it is an original combination. I can’t say that I’ve ever smelled caramel and wood together in a home fragrance before. At first, all I could smell on cold sniff was caramel and toffee with a very faint background note of wood. An hour or two into its first burn, I started picking up on a strong oak scent. Its more of a real wood or tree type of scent note, and it wasn’t artificial smelling to me at all. It was very pleasant. The caramel note was the same caramel scent from the Pumpkin Caramel Swirl fragrance I purchased from Bath & Body Works this fall, and I really liked the caramel and wood duo as I got used to it. It definitely needs to heat up for the full effect.

My instincts were about right about this candle. It was perfect for a late fall burn after a slew of pumpkins and spices. I found that the candle was true to its description, which is not always the case when reading a candle’s scent notes and trying to detect them as its burning. Caramel, toffee, oak, and tonka bean were all detectable to me in this candle in different amounts. Caramel is the most dominant scent to me in this 3-wick, but the wood is strong  too as the wax melts; about a 60/40 split. The toffee and the tonka bean complement each dominant note respectively. It isn’t too sweet like some other foodie scents are, so one likely wouldn’t be compelled to rush out and eat caramels after burning this candle.

The scent strength and throw for Caramel Woods is about a 7 to 7.5 out of 10 while burning in the bedroom. I would burn this outside of the fall season as well, during winter and perhaps during cool spring nights. The only time I probably wouldn’t reach for this candle would be hot summer days, as this scent and its strength would not be pleasant to me in humidity. I would repurchase this candle if it returned next fall and save it for later in the year again.

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Fall Fun Series Finale!

Now that my long Thanksgiving weekend is over, it’s time to put this fall season behind me. It seems like just yesterday when summer was wrapping up and I was looking forward to weeks full of fall fun. I’ve had such a great time this autumn, from pumpkin picking at the farm, to a cabin trip in the Northwoods, plenty of festive Halloween and Thanksgiving events, and way more birthday gift shopping, celebrating, eating, and baking than I do during the entire rest of the year. I got to take part in every fall event that my heart desired and now it is time to move onto the winter festivities.

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Posting for this series each week helped me to be more mindful of my favorite time of year, even if some days it was just for the simple fact that the trees looked awesome and there were pumpkins everywhere! I’ve never been a very consistent blogger, in fact in the past I’ve abandoned my blog for several months at a time. There was a lot about this series that worked perfectly for me: talking about my favorite things, during my favorite time of the year, and doing it regularly on my blog – not to mention, checking in on some other wonderful bloggers to get their perspectives as well. I could have kept going and going if only the fall season were longer.

And then there are the scents. My spare bedroom full of Bath & Body Works boxes, bags, out-of-season products, and the three Facebook groups I’ve joined with “Bath & Body Works” somewhere in the title, is proof that I need to branch out and try new things. I need to spice up my scent world, and I realized it was time to look beyond my Bath & Body Works happy place this season. Reading everyone else’s blog posts was eye-opening in that respect – so much wax. So much festive wax. And plenty of reviews and opinions that I’ve grown to trust over these past few weeks and will use as a guide this winter. Bloggers beware: I’ll be returning to your Fall Fun Series posts just for reminders!

Of course, I plan to hit the B&BW candle sale next month (rumored to be Dec. 3rd?), and I already placed candle and wax melt orders for Black Friday, but my take-away from this series is to explore other scent-related companies and wax vendors more often this next season. There is a sugar cookie wax melt somewhere out there just waiting for me to discover it and fall in love with it, I am sure of that now. No more missing out on the goodies!

To wrap up all of my fall experiences, I will share a top 10 for things I plan to do differently next year:

10. As stated above, try new scented products from different companies.
9. Take a longer vacation at the cabin on the lake.
8. Bake MORE. I made a few birthday cakes and cupcakes, but none of the pumpkin recipes I saved on Pinterest…
7. Make time to craft with my nieces and nephew. Or even just craft by myself.
6. Actually carve a pumpkin, don’t just decorate with them.
5. Find the elusive Cider House Donuts wax melt from ScentSationals.
4. Don’t skip the corn maze at the farm!
3. Drink the Pumpkin Spice Lattes with fewer calories in them. 😐
2. Visit another state and experience someone else’s fall for a weekend.
1. Go all out with home decor. Salt shakers, curtains, rugs, picture frames, cutesy knick-knacks, and anything else. Maybe I won’t miss the fall season so much when its over, if I spend the whole time over-saturated by all things autumnal.

 

I was planning on doing Blogmas this year, which is a winter holiday-oriented blog post every day in the month of December leading up to Christmas day. I do enjoy the spirit and atmosphere of the holiday season, as much as I don’t care for the bitter cold or the miserable mornings shoveling my way out of two feet of snow. I’ll be doing a lot of cookie baking next month, plenty of decorating, binging on Christmas movies and music, and whatever else I can get into while I have time away from school and work. If you’re into that sort of thing, stay tuned for more festive holiday posts starting December 1st. Until then, I’ll just continue transitioning myself and my living space from fall to winter.

Fall Fun Series: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wow, this year has flown by! I gotta say, I’m ready for a holiday like Thanksgiving. I’m spending this evening half lounging, half gathering my things so I am ready to go in the morning. Each year is a little different when it comes to Thanksgiving in my family. One thing I have gotten used to is having multiple Thanksgiving dinners, and this year, that tradition lives on. All that varies each year is who is hosting, what each person is bringing, which days we are getting together, and so on. I’m not hosting this year, and I’m not even cooking much – I’ve been assigned to cocktails and games for the first round.

Wednesday through Friday I will be celebrating out of town with my father’s side of the family at my aunt and uncle’s house, and then Saturday and Sunday will be my second Thanksgiving with one of my brothers and his family. They have very young children that aren’t happy to travel, so my parents and I are spending extra time with them to make their lives easier and allow them a proper turkey day experience. For this particular meal, I believe my mom and I are just going to tag team all of the sides once we get there. I suppose I could end up doing a lot more cooking than I anticipate, so I’ve packed an apron.

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I have some personal traditions as well, but I’m sure they aren’t unique to myself. Of course, I like to start decorating my Christmas trees either the night of, or the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a little difficult to fit that into my schedule this year, so tonight I’m just taking out my trees, ornaments, and lights to be ready whenever I get around to it on Friday. I have five mini trees, two medium trees, and one regular sized tree – all fake ones. My 5 and 8-year-old nieces like to come over and help me decorate the colorful mini trees, but I’m on my own with the bigger three.

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For now, I am just on the couch watching the Netflix series The Crown about Queen Elizabeth II. I made some hot chocolate and put in a Goose Creek wax melt in the scent Holiday Rum Cake. The boyfriend is at a work meeting, but my cats are being cuddly and adorable as usual. I didn’t even need to cook today, aside from tossing a Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie into the oven. There is nothing at all exciting about this day and I suppose that is why I am so content – and so ready for five days of celebrating! I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving has a wonderful time doing whatever it is you plan on doing.

Fall Fun Series: Fall Candles

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Today is the perfect day to do a fall candle post, because unfortunately, I’ll be stashing them away in my closet tonight. Yes, it’s a sad day in my fall-loving world. I’m only going to be home on Monday and Tuesday this week since I will be out of town for a few days celebrating Thanksgiving with family. I’m one of those people that likes to decorate the Christmas tree ASAP after Thanksgiving dinner, so by the time I return home, I will officially be in Christmas mode. It’s only appropriate, then, that my main candle/wax shelf be ready for me with all of my favorite winter fragrances.

Five large jar candles and fifteen 3-wick tumblers were evicted from my shelf and are preparing to hibernate in a cool, dark place for the time being. I think the only ones that I didn’t talk about on my blog were:

Bath & Body WorksFlannel: I can’t not have this candle on hand, even though this year I didn’t burn it. It is what I consider the fall version of B&BW’s Black Tie which I also love. It’s a masculine, cologne-y type of scent (I’ve never been too great at describing those), but since I purchased a Better Homes & Gardens wax melt dupe, I didn’t really miss it in candle form. I’ll save it for next year.

Goose CreekCherry Cobbler: I purchased the candle this spring along with four other fruity/dessert combos. When I lit the candle, I picked up on a spicy bakery note and noticed cinnamon, brown sugar, and buttery cake among the cherry, orange, and lemon notes listed on the website. I had to blow it out and put it away for fall, as it just didn’t feel right for spring. I lit this one a few times in September, but it couldn’t survive Pumpkin Mania and was eventually trapped in the back of the shelf. Perhaps it’s a good late winter candle?

Goose CreekFrench Autumn, and Autumn Romance: These are the backups of two jars that I bought last fall, and despite having Autumn in their names, neither one strikes me as an exclusively fall scent. I decided to save them for another time, but it was still nice to see their colors instead of a sea of orange wax this season. Autumn Romance is a strong one with amber, sandalwood, and musk, while French Autumn is a bit sweet, combining notes of plum, fig, orchid, and again, more sandalwood. It makes me think of a strong, musky perfume mixed with red wine.

 

 

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At the moment, I’m burning Goose Creek Creamy Pumpkin Pie, and Mainstays Pumpkin Spice. I’m also starting to decorate what I refer to as my Autumn/Thanksgiving tree. It’s a two foot tall red Christmas tree which I cover with gold and brown ornaments and clear/white lights. It’s just one out of the six mini trees I have to sprinkle some holiday cheer all over my living areas. I can’t believe I’m already getting ready for Christmas!

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Fall Fun Series: Body Care

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It wouldn’t be a true fall season if I didn’t spend a week of it under the weather, and I suppose that time has come. On the bright side, I’m glad it’s happened while I don’t have quite so many fun fall plans, and I’m certainly happy not to be ill over the Thanksgiving holiday. Drinking lots of tea and spending extra time in bed hasn’t been the worst.

Surprisingly, my favorite fall body care isn’t one of my perfumes, a cute soap, or a bath bomb; it’s my body creams and/or butters. Specifically, it’s the Bath & Body Works body creams that I gravitate towards the most. Each year they release several new fall scents, and the packaging looks so nice that I like to keep them on display – thus, they are always handy, and I’m always using one.

At this point in the fall season, pumpkin scents take a back seat and I tend to grab my other fall scents more often. Where I live it’s already cool and dry, so a thick, heavy cream becomes a necessity for me.

Some of the Bath & Body Works fall body creams I have not yet mentioned on my blog include:

Wrapped in Comfort – Cashmere & Almond Creme
Cup of Warmth – Vanilla Chai & Biscotti
Cozy Sunday Morning – Soft Chamomile & Bergamot
Perfect Autumn Day – Maple Toffee, Amber Woods, & Autumn Air

Fall Fun Series: Beverage & Colors

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October ended with another lake trip, three more birthday parties, and multiple days of Halloween fun. After two fall months packed with activity, November is my calm before the holiday storm. I’m not skipping over Thanksgiving, but that has never been a very complicated holiday for me. Each year it never fails that I have more than one Thanksgiving dinner to attend, and traveling anywhere from one to four hours is usually part of that. I don’t mind it at all, though. I could argue that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It makes me so happy to get together, cook with my family and friends, and spend the day vegging out together either watching football or playing card games. Everyone has “their element” and apparently, this is mine. Up until that week, though, the only thing on my agenda is paying attention to the election and hoping that there is peace in the U.S. once it is all over. Life must go on…

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It’s interesting observing my own patterns and the way I act according to the season or how I categorize things according to the time of year. For example, since it’s November and I know Christmas will be taking over my life soon, I feel pressured to “finish up” with my pumpkin spice body care, home fragrance, and snacks. I’ve had my fill of pumpkin spice lattes, there is no doubt about that, so lately I’ve been making caramel mocha lattes instead. An ex-boyfriend gifted me a latte machine for Christmas several years back, so I get to have the whole cafe experience: frothed milk, coffee infused with syrups and creams, and single or double serving sizes to prevent me from going too crazy and drinking a whole pot. My current boyfriend, on the other hand, does not share in my “everything according to the season” philosophy and will eat, drink, use, and smell like anything at any time of the year as desired. I’m fairly certain he cannot relate to my need to rotate scents, flavors, and colors simply because it is November now. I don’t blame him.

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I’ve removed my Halloween decor, of course, but also switched some other things around. I’ve pulled out sweaters, scarves, and mittens to keep warm, and the contents of my beauty bag have darkened in their shade range. Nothing screams “I love fall!” quite like coordinated lip, nail, and accessory colors. Obviously, scents are included in this November transition of mine. I am a Bath & Body Works junkie first and foremost, so I set aside two 3-wick candles just for the beginning of November: fall 2015 Sweater Weather, and a new release from this fall, Caramel Woods. I have not mentally prepared myself enough to go through my collection and decide which fall scents I want to use before it becomes winter’s turn, but I do know there is a Pumpkin Pie large jar saved for Thanksgiving week.

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