Yeah, I know. You came here to see what wax, soap, and perfumes stood out this year and made the best of 2015. But I wanted to start out showing one of my favorite moments of 2015. Our yearly family vacation. You see, we normally go alone, just the four of us, but this year my sister and her husband came along and it was so much fun. It was like going to Disney but then there are no lines to wait in and the food is free. Great made even better. And this photo captures that. My husband and brother-in-law goofing around at Rock City while my youngest looks on with her hand on her hip going "what are those knuckle heads up to now?" Darby and I melting wax and burning candles in the cabin, then going on the porch to drink coffee, stare at the mountainous vista and chat about the day to come. Making her watch "When Harry Met Sally" for the first time. I have been incredibly blessed this year. I got to visit one of my best friends half way around the world, talk with special friends both online and in person every day, and watch my girls grow into themselves and my husband succeed at being a manager for the first time. I hope you share some of your 2015 highlights too.
Now on to the smelly stuff!
I am listing my top favorite vendors of the year with my picks for favorite scent(s) from them as well as some thoughts, all my own, please chime in if you wish!
Top Ten Scents of 2015:
1. SMT Pink Peppermint
2. CFTKR Balsam and Citrus
3. TBG Ever Night
4. Rosegirls Rosegirls' Garden/Raspberry Sauce/Vanilla Bean Noel.
5. LSC Sweet Embers
6. CFTKR Tokyo Nights
7. Rosegirls Monkey Business Fluff Puffs
8. LSC Sweet Dreams
9. TBG Belladonna Tincture
10. LCP Warm Cider and Falling Leaves
Top Scent of the Year:
Cinnamon Broom- loved it from Ava's Country Cupboard, Long Cane Primitives, and Rosegirls Scoopables.
Top Five Vendors:
Candles From the Keeping Room- Yes it can be difficult to order and the rules are a bit much but honestly, if it is good wax I am after, I go here. I know the chances of a good throw are high and I know I can wait a year and it will still perform. I wish she was still on Etsy where I could happily stalk an announced opening. But I will take what I can get. Even if that means only ordering a handful of times a year. My all time CFTKR faves: Fresh Picked Strawberry, Summer Strawberry Taffy, Tokyo Nights, Balsam and Citrus, Apple Dumpling, Ice and Snow.
Rosegirls- Ah. My heart broke when Jenny announced no custom opening on the horizon. In my opinion, Rosegirls did the best custom options and products out there. I can't quite get on with the Mini Melters. I have ordered quite a few and been gifted quite a few. But at the end of the day, there is magic in Jenny's custom creations. Of course, my opinion does not amount to a hill of wax crumbles because Jenny has to do what is best for her and her company and she does an amazing job. She will never be able to please everyone and looking forward towards her company's growth is the bottom line. She has to follow her gut. She will do great I hope and know. I am looking forward to her sale of house blended pies and bags. So as far as single scents go, here are the Rosegirls stand outs: Gilligan's Brew, Swizzle Sticks, Sweet Lavender, Raspberry Sauce, Streuselkuchen. House blends: Americana Wafers, Berry Lovely blends, Wonders of the World, Cool Beans, Peppermint Coconut Marshmallow, Monster Cookie Fluff Puff, Monkey Business Fluff Puff, Donkey Kong Destruction.
The Bathing Garden- Shannon popped back into my wax heart after being absent for a while. I had heard murmurs of poor performance so I shied away. But once she opened her website permanently, I began to sit up and take notice. Shannon adds new releases seasonally and takes away older collections. The TAT is about 6 weeks, so not bad for basically a custom order. I have had excellent quality from: Ever Night, Belladonna Tincture, Sea of Tears, Alice in Gold (or sometimes known as Ophelia in Gold).
Lasting Scent Candles- This is the year that LSC made a comeback. Sadly, the comeback was as they were planning to wind down. Pam and Jennifer announced they were running through the last of their oils and supplies before shutting for good. They opened three times and I placed orders each time. Not sure if there will be another one after the holiday orders ship, but just in case: Sweet Embers, Sweet Dreams, Candyland Dreamin', Sweet Decadence, Wedding Cake blends, lavender blends, lemon blends. I have had good throw and great quality from them.
Sniff My Tarts- Amy and Donna open a couple times a year, allowing for custom blending with their great wax list. I get consistently good throw and they have many wonderful scents to blend with: Marshmallow Noel and Candy is my new favorite from 2015. Other faves include: Marshmallow Noel, Pink Sugar, Pink Noel, Peggy's Blueberry Noel, Rosemary Mint, Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake, Honeyed Gingerbread.
Sugar and Spice- For fast custom blending, always open store and great scents, Sugar and Spice really cannot be beat. I made one or two custom orders this year but resolve to do a lot more in 2016. Some of my favorite scents from Shanna include: Serendipity, Marshmallow Fireside, Leaves, Pumpkins in the Fire, Marshmallow, Butterbrickle, Birthday Cake, Ghost Munch, Funnel Cake, Blue Ribbon Cookie.
Best New Vendor:
Pocket Full of Peonies- Great shapes, good throw and unique blends and beautiful branding. The rose loaf is amazing. I don't have much experience with her scent list but I did enjoy: Pink Peppermint Frost, Sweet Nothings. I do look forward to trying out more of her line.
So there were a couple vendors I stopped ordering from in 2015. Front Porch had an unpleasant scandal earlier in the year that made me step away. Also Ten Digit Creations did as well, with some thoughtless naming of products that has since been fixed. I am of two minds about these things: 1. I really would like to buy wax just for the sole purpose of the quality of wax. But. 2. I also am very aware of how spending my money shows a support of vendors and their actions. Everyone has different hot buttons. Some people can over look things. I, however, have made these decisions and in no way expect others to follow me. I am just being open and clearing the air in case anyone wonders why they do not see Front Porch or TDC orders on here any longer.
Two soaps stood out to me the most this year so they are tied:
FuturePrimitive Jilted and Crushed from their Valentine's Day release (Rejoice! It is returning!).
Handmade in Florida Moroccan Tea Mint and my husband loves it so much he got two bars in his stocking which he promptly shook at me and said "And these are mine!"
My top fragrance experience this year was visiting Le Labo in Tokyo. The neighborhood it resided in was beautiful, the store was exquisite and the Tokyo exclusive, Gaiac 10, is gorgeous. I am so thankful and happy Ashley and I went.
Fragrances I bought full bottles of in 2015:
1. Gaiac 10 by Le Labo
2. Chergui by Serge Lutens
3. Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
4. Rose Flash by Tauerville
5. Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin by Dame Perfumery
6. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau by Diptyque
My Top Five Fragrances I Sampled in 2015:
1. Pacific Forest by Sonoma Scent Studio
2. Bergamoss by Aftelier
3. Conjure by Solstice Scents
4. En Passant by Malle
5. Woodcut by Olympic Orchids
Rose sure had its year with me. So I am doing my top five roses for 2015 (my official note of the year):
1. Rose Flash by Tauerville
2. Mohur by Neela Vermier Creations
3. Intense Cafe by Montale
4. Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens
5. Rose Mallow Cream by Solstice Scents
Haus of Gloi Butterbombs are an affordable way to get an incredibly scented moisturizing bath. My favorite scent of the year was Silver Fir but there was not one I did not enjoy.
FuturePrimitive Vanishing Milk Baths were a luxurious was to experience both a milk bath and a bath tea. The scent I enjoyed most was Opium Den.
Solstice Scents Dead Sea Bath Salts in Lavender Vanilla (but any scent will do!) provided an indulgent luxury when Angela restocked them on occasion. Not sure if she will be making as much of her body care as she delved further into EDPs.
Lush French Kiss Bubble Bar is still my favorite way to get big bubbles in the tub.
Haus of Gloi pumpkin butter in Moon Dog had to be my best lotion of the year. I loved it.
FuturePrimitive 3 in 1 whipped soap, hair conditioning rinse, and body whip in Indian Temple Attar. (Yes another rose).
L'Artisan The et Pain d'Epices was my favorite high-end candle of the year. Its subtle warming spices created a relaxing atmosphere in my bedroom.
Bath and Body Works Peace candle was my favorite overall candle this year. I very much enjoyed the sweet vanilla woods fragrance, but only in the 3-wick version. It still was about a medium-light in my bedroom but perfect for my nightstand.
Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Coconut was my favorite heavy hitter of the year. That beast smelled up my whole house with rich coconut and bakery yumminess.
What a list! I had fun exploring new scents this year and I look forward to expanding that again next year. What are some of your favorites? Do we have any in common? What vendors should I try in 2016?