This is what happens when you try to resist the temptation.
I love things that smell nice! Anything that has a pleasant scent just brings me such joy! Perfume, Shower Gel, Wallflowers, Soaps, Body Lotion, Lip Balm, you name it! Scented Candles, obviously fall into that category. Unfortunately, as Cardi B so eloquently put it, “these expensive” (granted she meant Louboutins, not Candles, but same thing). I mean, even with their usual Buy Two Get One Free “deal”, at KD 7/500 (exactly $25 U.S. Dollars) a piece, it kinda’ adds up. It’s fine if you buy a (as in one, as in single) Scented Candle, every once in a blue moon (for special occasions, birthday gift, whatever) but when you buy several at a time (practically stockpiling them), during every single visit, as I tend to do, it becomes a problem. Especially when you consider the fact that not every scent I buy is a “win” (pitiful throw, burns all weird, smelled nicer in-store, etc…). Factor in my tendency to break them (they literally keep slipping out of my hands), the latest victim being a virtually untouched (as unburnt as Daenarys) Tiki Beach Candle (hauled here) and I’m practically hemorrhaging money (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating… slightly). As such, I decided to boycott Bath & Body Works (as mentioned here).
I stayed away from Bath & Body Works for about 7 or 8 months (since the start of March up until the end of September 2017), before finally caving and going back for some Handsoaps (hauled here). Like someone who’d quit smoking for years, but got sucked right back in, from a single drag on a cigarette, I was back with a vengeance! After forgoing Scented Candles for so long, I kinda’ went cray and overdid it, especially considering these Henri Bendel Signature Candles (why are Henri Bendel Signature Candles being sold at Bath & Body Works again?) were actually KD 10/500 (exactly $35 U.S. Dollars) each, which is pretty steep, but there was a Buy 3 Get 3 Free “deal”, so there’s that. Plus, these are Henri Bendel Candles after all, so there’s that too. Truthfully, if Scented Candles make me happy, in this cold and cruel yet beautiful world, then by God, Scented Candles I will buy!
Firewood Scented Candle
Top Notes: Birch, Clove
Heart: Leather, Guaiacwood
Base Notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Amber, Musk
I was immediately drawn to the Firewood Candle! Yeah, yeah, it was the name. Judge me if you must. Despite the colorful outer packaging, each of these Henri Bendel Candles came in a clear, frosted jar, with the soy-based (read: safe) wax itself being clear as well. Surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly (this took place at Bath & Body Works after all), there were no testers for Firewood. At KD 10/500 a pop, I definitely wasn’t going for another “blind buy” (purchasing something without testing it beforehand) so I called someone over and after he wasted some time flipping each of the testers over (to read their names) concluded that they didn’t have any testers for Firewood (well, derrr) and proceeded to tear open a new one, designating it as the new tester, before flitting off somewhere.
It. Smelled. Amazing.
I’m not sure when or why I even developed such an affinity for Woods-y Scents but somehow I’ve become quite obsessed and Firewood (apt name, I must say) what with the Birch, Guaiacwood, Cederwood and Sandalwood, was a full on Woods-y Scent! There was nothing floral-y (thank goodness), sweet or fruit-y, about Firewood. If pressed, some (read: me) might even describe it as a “masculine” scent, based on the inclusion of Clove, Leather and Vetiver. In fact, one whiff evoked images of a hardened man (in my mind, he had the face of Johnny Cash during his later years, may he rest in peace), leaning back in his leather chair, smoking a cigar, and staring into the crackling fire, in the chimney of his log cabin, while a winter storm raged outside. What I’m trying to say is, Firewood is not a cheerful and happy scent, nor is it a young and juvenile scent, or even a sexy and seductive scent. It’s more of a… stoic scent. It might not be to everyone’s taste but I found it absolutely intoxicating! It actually reminded me of “Bukhoor” or “Oud”! In fact, if you don’t feel like shelling out the money for Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot Home Candle (hauled here) then try Henri Bendel Firewood Signature Candle, because it’s slightly similar and at a fraction of the price!
Immediately, I grabbed 2 Firewood Candles and tossed them in my Bath & Body Works Shopping Bag (the canvas one, that they hand out at the entrance). I’m currently working my way through the first Firewood Candle, but sadly it doesn’t seem as potent when lit. Firewood is such a fantastic scent, but the throw is abysmal! To the extent that I can only detect the scent, after Firewood has been burning for more than an hour (such a shame), and even then, it barely scents up a small room! Thankfully, I doubled down and purchased 2, which means I can light them in tandem. My favorite place to burn Firewood is in my walk-in closet area, because it ends up scenting my clothes and that way, I keep getting intoxicating whiffs of Firewood when I’m out and about, throughout my day! Meanwhile, people mistakenly assume that I’ve gone through the effort of burning some Oud or Bukhoor (read: incense), as Arabs tend to appreciate that stuff, when in reality, it’s only this Firewood Candle! Despite all of its issues, I truly love Firewood because it’s such a wonderful scent and most certainly plan on repurchasing even more of it, down the line. Such a great find!
Sandalwood Scented Candle
Top Notes: Cypress, Cedar Leaf
Heart: Sandalwood, Cashmere Musk
Base Notes: Vanillin, Oakmoss
Between MAC Velvet Teddy Shadescent (reviewed here) and Jo Malone Orange Bitters Cologne (hauled here), not to mention many of my other well-loved fragrances, I’ve become simply besotted with Sandalwood. So it was pretty much a given that I’d be drawn to a Candle actually named Sandalwood. As soon as I sniffed the tester, I grabbed 2 for myself, attracting the attention of the other customers. The Henri Bendel Candles area was pretty much deserted, up until I got there. What with me
hoarding stockpiling 2 Firewood Candles and 2 Sandalwood Candles, people started gathering around the Henri Bendel Candles display. For once, not a single one of the ubiquitous Sales Assistants was around to well… assist people (the one who’d helped me had disappeared almost as soon as he’d appeared).
At first, I let people sort things out for themselves but I couldn’t help overhear their conversation. So, I took it upon myself to help them out. I assisted these two lovely young ladies (who happened to be veiled, with only their stunning kohl-rimmed eyes peeking out) and they ended up getting both Firewood and Sandalwood, each, because I’d mentioned that both candles gave off “Bukhoor” and “Oud” (traditional Arabic incense) vibes. After sniffing the testers, both of them coo’d excitedly in agreement and grabbed one of each for themselves. Then I helped an older woman (who didn’t seem Arab) find a tester for Henri Bendel Gardenia Signature Candle. I mean, ewww (floral) but whatever, I was there to help, not judge… actually, I was just there to shop. After a certain point, it started getting ridiculous. People were legit coming up to me and asking me which Candle I’d choose, out of the 2 Henri Bendel Candles that they’d be holding up. The fact that the Sales Assistant (who’d helped me earlier) stopped by, saw me assisting people (that I clearly had no relation to, I mean, we didn’t arrive together or anything like that) and walked off (effectively letting me do his job for him) further highlighted the absurdity of the situation. Helping people out was fun and all, but I kinda’ wanted to hit up some other places (H&M being one of them) before going home. So, I hurriedly grabbed 2 more Henri Bendel Candles (to qualify for the Buy 3 Get 3 Free “deal”), grabbed a bunch of the newer stuff, and made my way to the cash register.
As for the Henri Bendel Sandalwood Signature Candle itself, there is not a single person that would not enjoy its scent! Bold statement, I’m well aware. However, allow me to explain. With other fragrances, you have to already be well-acquainted with the notes and know for a fact (or have an inkling) that you actually enjoy them. Know thyself, and all. For example; with a Floral Candle you gotta’ know that you already enjoy the scent of flowers, with a Gourmand Candle you gotta’ know that you already enjoy some form of Sweet Notes, with a Citrus-y Candle you gotta’ be sure that you already enjoy Zesty Notes, and so on. In my case, I know for a fact that I cannot stand the scent of most flowers (save for Roses and Honeysuckle) and as such, I would never enjoy the scent of a Gardenia Candle. That said, with this Sandalwood Candle, regardless of what you may like or dislike, believe you me, you will definitely end up enjoying its scent! At least, that’s my perception of the Sandalwood Candle and I’ve been collecting nice-smelling things since forever, so I know stuff… about stuff (I help a handful of people out with some candles, and it goes straight to my head).
To me, the Sandalwood Candle smells like… the Elven Queen, Galadriel (from Lord of the Rings), or at least, that’s the scent that I imagine emanating from her. While Firewood was all stoic, masculine and woodsy (despite it’s pitiful throw when lit), Sandalwood had more of quiet strength, with a distinctively feminine yet ageless aura (that was neither juvenile nor elderly). It smelled fresh and earthy but not in a “fresh dirt” kinda’ way, but more of a woodsy way (different kind of woodsy than Firewood, in the sense that Sandalwood was much gentler and warmer and slightly sweeter). The Sandalwood and Cashmere Musk were the most prominent notes, but there was a whisper of
Vanilla Vanillin in there too. I could almost swear that I could either smell Rum (accidentally had it as an ice-cream flavor, once) or Mastic Gum (also known as Arabic Gum), which can smell like Pine, Cedar, or Frankincense, so I’m going to attribute the chewing gum scent (which I actually enjoy) to the Cedar Leaf. All those notes together make for an extremely cozy and comforting, delicately musky scent! It’s such a pleasant scent that I can’t help wanting to burn it, like, all the time, which is why, I’m constantly moving it around, from room to room (at home) and burning it, wherever I end up. The throw on this thing is pretty decent as well. Go to Bath & Body Works (which is where they are selling these Henri Bendel Candles, for some reason) and give the Henri Bendel Sandalwood Signature Candle a sniff. Just trust me on this. Sandalwood is charming musky aromatic with commanding yet subtle grace!
Lemon Verbena Scented Candle
Top Notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Sage, Lavender
Heart: Verbena, Green, Muguet
Base Notes: Cedarwood, Vetiver
Lemon Verbena Candle smelled so good, it made my mouth water! It’s a blatant Verbena scent (which I absolutely love, as evident my past purchases from L’Occitane here and here and B&BW here and even Garnier here), with Lemon being the second most prominent note. There’s an earthy (but in a pleasant way) note, which I’m guessing would be the “Green”. I can also detect the Lavender (normally, can’t stand the stuff) but it’s not quite bad in this particular combo. There’s a whisper of sweetness as well, which I’m assuming would be the Bergamot. Over all, Lemon Verbena is a zesty, uplifting, citrus-y scent that’s too nice of a candle to be wasted in the Kitchen (where most people tend to burn their Lemon-Oriented Candles), and honestly should be showcased somewhere it’d be appreciated more (wherever your entire household tends to gather), because no joke, this thing is a real crowd-pleaser! Also, the throw on this thing was amazing! It literally scented an entire room, and even spread out into the hallway! Everyone who happened to pass by the hall commented on the wonderful scent. Obviously, if you’re not a fan of Lemon Scents, then steer clear. However, if you do happen to enjoy Lemon Scents, well this Lemon Verbena Scented Candle is a bit more sophisticated than your usual run of the mill Lemon Scents (doesn’t smell like Cleaner or Candy), and is definitely worth checking out!
Edit: I’ve already spilled some of this stuff on myself. In my defense, the wax looked like it had sufficiently dried (after I’d blown the candle out). That said, my t-shirt smells quite lovely now!
Blackberry Fig Scented Candle
Top notes: Plum Merlot, Juicy Blackberry, Sparkling Citrus
Heart: Velvet Fig, Apricot, Apple Blossom, Osmanthus
Base notes: Sandalwood, Creamy Musk, Vanilla
Blackberry Fig Candle pretty much smells like Shampoo. You know when the scent of your Shampoo lingers after a hot shower? Well this is kinda’ the same thing. It’s got a nice, clean scent, that’s also a bit fruity. I don’t get much Blackberry (which is a bit disappointing, honestly). It’s more of a generic fruit-y scent. I was about to say “generic fruit-y, kinda’ like something you can find at Bath & Body Works“, except I did buy this at Bath & Body Works lol Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a juvenile scent at all, as the fruitiness is tempered by the “Apple Blossom” (There we go! That’s the Garnier Fructis Shampoo scent that I know and love!) and the “Creamy Musk” (which gives it that calming effect).
I only switched out another Lemon Verbena Candle for this Blackberry Fig Candle, at the very last minute. It occurred to me that x2 Firewood Candles, x2 Sandalwood Candles, and x2 Lemon Verbena Candles, could potentially be a bit… boring. I wanted to get something different (for variety) so out of all the scents available (mostly florals, blech), I settled for Blackberry Fig. Unfortunately, it can get a bit headache-y, if I let it burn for too long, not unlike the Autumn Candle, also from B&BW (hauled here). Both headache-y Candles include some form of Fig (initially I thought it was the Fir Balsam that was irritating my olfactory sense) so I guess from now on, I should avoid anything that includes Fig notes. I mean they both include some form of Apple in the notes too but it can’t possibly be that (Heaven forbid!), can it? Other than that, Blackberry Fig is all right. It’s not amazing, but it’s not bad either (definitely not worth a repurchase, though). Blackberry Fig currently resides in my Bedroom (where I let it burn for a bit, before blowing it out, and going to sleep).
Firewood – smells like a crackling campfire (Stoic, Commanding, Masculine, Woodsy) similar to “Bukhoor” or “Oud which is traditional Arabic Incense.
Sandalwood – smells like a forest (Graceful, Comforting, Feminine, Musky) also gives off “Bukhoor” or “Oud” vibes.
Lemon Verbena – smells like the country of France (Cheerful, Energizing, Gender Fluid, Zesty)
Blackberry & Fig – smells like Shampoo (Cute, Calming, Girly, Fruity)
As you can tell from the date on the receipt, it’s the same day I purchased the H&M Eyeshadows (hauled here) after having an early dinner date with my girlfriends. I also picked up some other stuff from Bath & Body Works (same day, different receipt) but this post is long enough as is. Like I said, I picked up these Henri Bendel Signature Candles (no, but for real, why are Henri Bendel Candles being sold at Bath & Body Works?) because there was a Buy 3 Get 3 Free “deal” on them… only to pass by the same store, just a few days later, and finding them on sale. Couldn’t someone have mentioned that earlier? -_-