Happy Holidays! I’m back with my same crew, Jackie, Jen and Meredith, to round out the year with our Holiday Smellabration. In our past reviews of Bath and Body Works‘ 3-Wick candles, we’ve each had our definite fragrance lanes that we prefer: I like musks and woodsy, masculine (but in a good way!) fragrances. Meredith prefers beachy and traditional seasonal smells. Jen loves the gourmand (fancy word for food) fragrances, especially leaning toward fruity elements and Jackie is our purest. She loves the essential oil infused candles and anything clean and authentic.
But this time of year you’ll find that our lanes most definitely crossed. So when you find a fragrance that more than one of us liked, chances are, it’s a winner! It’s going to be a scent that will appeal to several different tastes, which makes it a tremendous gift for someone you might not know very well. There’s no time to spare on our review and Holiday Smellabration. Black Friday is right around the corner y’all. We gotta move!
As I mentioned in our fall review, Jackie is due with her first baby in December, so she did early reconnaissance on her candle loves for this holiday season. I’m not sure if the full compliment of fragrance offerings was available at the time that she went, but I think we covered the spectrum pretty well. Here’s how she weighed in:
FRESH BALSAM – Jackie felt this was a good traditional balsam pine candle. This fragrance is made with pine, cedarwood and eucalyptus essential oils. This scent is available in the 3-Wick Candle with a variety of glass jar labels to choose from, Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, Concentrated Room Spray, Mini Candle and Fragrance Melt. (This is my second personal favorite that I will burn all January to keep that happy Christmas feeling flowing through my home just a little longer.)
WINTER – Jackie found that Winter was also a fresh smelling fir needle scent that would play nice all winter. Winter contains the mixture of pine needles, sparking clementine, and spiced cloves. This fragrance is available in Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, 3-Wick Candle, Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, Mini Candles, and Fragrance Melt (This is my all-time personal favorite, especially for Christmas.)
FROSTED CRANBERRY – Jackie reported that Frosted Cranberry was very clean, tart smelling without being overly sweet. This scent profile consisted of frosted cranberry, red delicious apple, and blonde wood. It is available in Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, 3-Wick Candle in a variety of glass jar motifs, Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, Exfoliating Hand Soap, Mini Candles, Concentrated Room Spray, Fragrance Melts, Medium Candles and Scentportable Fragrance Refill.
HONORABLE MENTION – FLANNEL – Jackie admitted that she had a hard time not buying Flannel, which was unusual for her because she doesn’t usually gravitate to musk scents. She felt that Flannel had a cleaner musk fragrance. She attributed it to the use of the essential oils in the candle that kept it smelling so clean and real. This scent is a mixture of crisp autumn air, bergamot, heirloom mahogany, and soft musk. (Flannel is my go to in February. It just smells cozy.)
Jackie added, “I could have walked out with all of them and that never usually happens.”
Since Jackie went out early on her smellathon, and actually chose my top two fragrances of Fresh Balsam and Winter, I set out to try to find something new for myself. Although nothing to me is better than Winter (and I swear, if they ever stop making this one, I may never speak to them again) and Fresh Balsam, I was impressed with some new comers.
FRANKINCENSE (Essential oil candle) – I was surprised to find this offered! I really enjoyed the lighter hand this candle had in the spicy family. This fragrance is a mixture of cedarwood essential oil and notes of frankincense. You can purchase this scent in Wallflowers Fragrance Refill and the 3-Wick Candle.
MYRRH (Essential oil candle) – Let’s stay biblical, shall we? This was another shocker for me, having never smelled Myrrh before. I liked it! I love pine scented home fragrances and this one fit right into that category but with a decidedly gentler delivery. This contained a combination of myrrh and clove leaf essential oil. Who knew? This scent is only available in 3-Wick Candle form.
HONORABLE MENTION – CIMMAMON & CLOVE BUDS – This candle had a very strong cinnamon calling card. Sure to fill even a large space with the spicy scent. One of the purest combos I found, this contains only cinnamon leaf and clove leaf essential oils. It is only available in the 3-Wick Candle and the Wallflowers 2-Pack Refill.
On to our Gourmand friend. Jen did not disappoint and stayed true to her favorite genre. Jen’s top pick for the season was WE WHISK YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS – This was actually the message on the front face of the glass container holding the actual scent called CINNAMON MAPLE PANCAKES – The scent profile combo for this treat is warm maple syrup, fluffy buttermilk pancakes and fresh ground cinnamon. Jen confirms that she can smell each element. Yum! I searched on the website, and did not find either of the afore mentioned fragrances. Having said that, I can only surmise that this is only offered in 3-Wick candles and only available in stores.
CINNAMON CARAMEL SWIRL: Jen’s next fav. This scent contains gooey caramel, grated cinnamon, and vanilla bean. Delish! You can purchase this fragrance in: Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, 3-Wick Candle, Creamy Luxe Hand Soap, Scentportable Fragrance Refill, and Fragrance Melt.
TRIED AND TRUE – VANILLA BEAN NOEL – As per the official Bath and Body online Gift Guide, Vanilla Bean Noel has been a holiday favorite for over 15 years! Although never experiencing this fragrance of fresh vanilla bean, warm caramel, sugar cookies, whipped cream and snow-kissed musk, this is Jen’s “all-time favorite” for body lotion. She wears it every November and December. (I must concur. I also layer Vanilla Bean Noel body products through the holidays.) This makes a safe gift to give to anyone. You can obtain this fragrance in the following products: Ultra Shea Body Cream (yes please!), Body Lotion, Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, 3-Wick Candles, Creamy Luxe Hand Soap, Shower Gel, Scentportable Fragrance Refill, Fine Fragrance Mist, Fragrance Melt, Concentrated Room Spray, Travel Size Body Lotion, Lip Gloss (seriously?!), Creamy Body Scrub, Travel Size Body Butter, Diamond Shimmer Mist, Super Soft Body Butter, 2-in-1 Bubble Bath and Body Wash, and several gift sets. Come on! This is a no brainer. Winner! Oh, and most products are offered in a variety of packaging styles. Again, Winner.
So where does Meredith weigh in? She gravitates to the more traditional spicy scents of the season. Here’s where she landed.
TIS THE SEASON – Mere’s new favorite. A great scent for the holidays and all winter long. The scent profile mixes red delicious apple, sweet cinnamon bark, and cedarwood. Bath and Body went all in on this new holiday staple. This scent is offered in Wallflowers Fragrance Refill, 3-Wick Candle in a variety of glass jar styles, Scentportable Fragrance Refill, and Concentrated Room Spray.
Her second choice, WINTER. (Yeah girl! My go to for years.) Meredith adds that the Winter fragrance gives her home a smell of a real Christmas tree versus her “no maintenance, I can’t kill it” artificial tree.
I think we were all in agreement that Bath and Body Works hit a home run on the labeling and overall holiday theme this year.
The Holiday Smellabration is my candle super bowl. This is the time of year that we are all indoors more, so the smell of our homes can be even more impactful. I believe in the power of aromatherapy, ‘cause I know that I am ten times happier when I have my candles crankin’. I also love how a scent can draw you back to a memory almost instantly. One of my biggest “smell” thrills happened last year, when I lit my go-to holiday scented candle, Winter, for the first time of the season. My son came home from school and walked in the front door. I heard him gasp and say, “Oh it smells like Christmas.” I feel like even after my kids are out living on their own, that if they were to smell that Winter smell, it will bring them home to me in their minds; a happy memory of family Christmases when they were young. Love.
And if the Holiday Smellabration wasn’t enough to get you moving on your Christmas and Hanukkah shopping, you are in for a real treat. Below I have put together a list of great gift ideas from Jennifer the Beholder 2017 featured Guests. Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!
***********JENNIFER THE BEHOLDER’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!!!***********
As you all know, I like to make it my business of helping others with… business (see what I did there? Lol). My goal is to help promote local entrepreneurs, artists, and makers. BUT, I also want to help you.
We all have a million and one people on our holiday shopping lists. I have compiled some fantastic gift ideas for everyone on your list to help make this season’s shopping easier for you. From hostess gifts for holiday parties, to that impossible person to buy for, you’re sure to find something right here on the….drumroll please…. Jennifer the Beholder’s Holiday Gift Guide! (cue confetti cannon) Happy shopping everyone!
Ocelot Brewing Co – Ocelot sells super cool 32 oz and 64 oz growlers. Drop by the brewery, order a flight and select your favorite beer to purchase to fill the growler. Makes a great gift for the craft beer lover on your list or a killer hostess gift. Visit Ocelot’s brewery to purchase at 23600 Overland Dr, #180, Dulles, VA 20166. (Obviously, must be 21 years or older to purchase.)
Flight of Fancy LLC – Flight of Fancy has a great online store with a multitude of fun home furnishing and accessories. For anyone who loves home interiors and fashion accessories or would make great teacher gifts! https://squareup.com/store/flight_of_fancy
The Vintage Key – Super special handmade jewelry pieces. Excellent gifts for any of the ladies in your life and even the fellas. There are several choices of really cool cufflinks for the guys. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheVintageKeyByKama?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Shop Swatch Box – For the knitter or crafter on your list. Outstanding products shipped directly for you. She often has boxes for kids too! Choose from “knitting” themed boxes (pictured) or “stitch” themed boxes. Great as a one time give, or a subscription with delivery throughout the year. https://shopswatchbox.com/
Elizabeth Shaffner Design – From stocking stuffers to a grand gift, Elizabeth offers her awesome magnets for stocking stuffers to full art pieces for a very special someone. Access her wares at https://elizabethshaffner.wixsite.com/esdesign
Pure Love Macaron – Custom gift boxes containing this very special confection. Makes an outstanding hostess gift or teacher gift. Made with organic eggs, sugar and butter. Seasonal flavors like Peppermint Candy Cane, Egg Nog, Hot Chocolate and Pistachio are on the menu. Available in Half dozens and Dozens. https://www.facebook.com/purelovemacs/
Sweet Pea Studios – Book a mini photo session! This is the ONLY time Sweet Pea Studios offers mini sessions for ALL OF 2018! Mini sessions include a 30 minute session at the location of the photographer’s choice, an online gallery, and your choice of 10 hand edited high resolution images with a download code for personal use. Visit the link below for more details. (Link will go live on Wednesday, November 22.) https://www.sweetpeastudiosva.com/the-best-newborn-family-photographer-northern-virginia/
T’Kila Latin Kitchen and Bar – Gift cards are available for dining at this great neighborhood restaurant. An excellent gift for a family, teachers and coaches or the mailman! Drop by the restaurant to purchase: 42010 Village Center Plaza #170, Aldie, VA 20105
Beyond the Barn Doors – Although they don’t have an online store, you can shop their Holiday Show on December 1, 2 & 3 at The Vale School House located at 3124 Fox Mill Rd., Oakton, VA, for fantastic home accessories. Great gifts for the home interiors enthusiast and teachers. You’re also sure to find a terrific house warming gift for anyone celebrating their first Christmas in a new home.
BT Graphics’ Christmas book, The Other Side of Christmas – This sweet book makes a great gift for children of any age. I purchased a copy for each of our Sunday School Teachers! Order at www.theothersideofchristmas.com.
**The next set of gift ideas are from Guests scheduled to post in late November and December. I don’t want you to miss out on these gift giving options.**
Kathy G Designs – Spectacular holiday home décor. Excellent gifts for anyone who loves to add holiday cheer to their home. Also fantastic options for teacher gifts! Access her online Holiday Market from November 17 – December 8 at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1994359934113298/
Stylist Kristal Eastman – Have someone on your list who would love a fresh new do in the new year? Visit LifeTime Fitness at 5900 Trinity Pkwy, Centreville, VA 20120 to purchase a gift card in the Spa.
Catoctin Creek Distillery – Visit the distillery at 120 W Main St, Purcellville, VA 20132 to sample and purchase a super fine bottle of spirits made right here in Virginia. Or, visit their website at www.catoctincreekdistilling.com to see other locations where you can buy their outstanding whisky. Makes a perfect gift for the cocktail lover on your list. Also makes a superb hostess gift.
Northern Virginia Style & Living Magazine – For the fashionista on your list or for someone who just loves Northern VA and it’s fantastic culture, dining and entertainment. Go to www.northernvirginiastyle.com and order a subscription! First issue hits news stands January 1.
1 Pic from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMFEI6dX0gA. (If you have time, watch this video. He’s great. This guy is ALL IN with B&BW candles.)
2 Pic from www.memecenter.com
* Pics from http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/