Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Fun Series: Big Whiff Candles

Browsing Etsy for new vendors entertains me much like a treasure hunt. Sifting through pages and pages of results from searching "wax tarts" reveals some hidden scented gems. I can be slightly picky though. I look for vendors that appear to put effort in creating their own house blends, take the time to create pleasing presentation and offer their product at reasonable prices. There were a few that tempted me, but $6 or more for a clamshell seems insane even to me. Enter: Big Whiff. At $3.95 per clamshell (they offer candles, woodwicks and tealights as well) for intriguing scents, I quickly placed an order. 

I ordered nine clamshells. The shipping came to just over $11 but when the package tried to arrive, the post office held it hostage and demanded an additional $6.14 shipping in order for me to pick it up. I went there and saw that Big Whiff shipped it in a regular Priority mailing box, rather than a Priority flat rate box. The shipping label read $6.10 for small flat rate shipping (where did the other $5-$6 go?) and I had to pay extra to get it. I contacted Big Whiff and Lindsay Holmes, the owner, responded with an apology and refunded the $11 shipping so in the end I ended up paying the $6.14 shipping anyway. It was a strange and frustrating situation (I really dislike going to the main post office- it is always a mad house) but I know people make mistakes so I am not going to let it sour the experience.

Brushfire Fairytales- Bergamot, coriander seeds, oak, vanilla, caramel.
The oak and coriander seeds with that tang of aged bergamot have a slightly cumin lean but I love it. The slight swirl of vanilla and caramel make it even richer and a touch sweet. Magical bonfires that hint at fall.

Wild Wild West- Leather, tumble weeds, peppery basil, tonka beans, suede.
Sexy man, sexy man, smelling like a sexy man can. At first rawhide leather swoops out of the clamshell but as the tanned leather abates that underbelly of crushed basil and woods lift up with the aid of that furry sweet tonka bean. A Julie scent for sure.

Black Mambo- Tangy citrus, spice, red berry, musk, cedar.
This one is all about the juicy citrus and berries. Sweet and realistic, not candy-like at all. Only the faintest back note of cedar to elevate this from being a typical fruity scent. Not overly spicy either. Just a whisper of Christmas rather than obvious cinnamon or clove. The throw was medium-light in my bedroom and light in the larger kitchen and living room area.

Indigo Stars- Woody pines, lily, rich amber, musk.
Aquatic lily pushes the pines to a lakeside, which is ideal of stargazing at any rate. Double the stars reflected in the water as the sky. The amber and musk combine to create a slight animalic warmth that suggests you may be star gazing with a beloved pup or kitten. Cozy, fuzzy and warm. The throw was a touch light though for me. 

Twilight Woods- Crisp spruce, fir needles, citrus.
As you can see from the notes, this is not a Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods dupe. Rather, it reminds me of my beloved Christmas time scent, Balsam & Citrus, but a little more creamy and sweet. Like if Rosegirl's Swizzle Sticks were blended within. I am nuts over this scent. Absolutely bonkers. It is amazing. 

Sunset Walk- Crisp leaves, mountain pine, cedar, forest berries, sage.
Wow. Outdoors without being masculine. Musky dried sage that has hung from a dusty old rafter, primitive pines and cedars supporting the sky with their uplifted branches, glassine leaves that reflect the orange and red sunset at your feet. All of this sweetened just a touch with tiny wild mountain strawberries. Warmed it did not do as well. There was a medium-light to light scent using half a clamshell in the kitchen warmer and the other half in the living area. It gave off a deep musty musk scent that really did not come across as what it smelled like on cold.

Autumn Moon-Spicy cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla, apple.
The vanilla leans towards vanilla oak, and the apple and cinnamon smell aged rather than fresh. A rustic Autumn Moon full of spooky cobwebs and haunted hollows. Sadly, it melted very light. I could only get a passing whiff of an animalic musk. 

Winter Sparkle- Enchanted spruce, sparkling cider, cranberry and plum.
Oh man. Another holiday favorite of mine, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. But again, more sweet and creamy like Swizzle Sticks has been added. 

Sweet Peppermint-Cool peppermint, sugared snow and sweet vanilla.
Candy canes and a touch of sugared musk. Icy and vibrant. Chilling to the nose. This one was incredible when warmed. A nice medium to medium-strong throw of creamy peppermint in the bedroom. Even Savanna commented on how nice it smelled in there.

- Super soft wax that does not pop cleanly out of the clamshells on the majority of the tarts.
- A slightly animalic musky undertone to a lot of the scents (I like it, but I could see how some might not dig it).
- Shipping kerfuffle.
-Way too light of a throw for the vast majority of the scents. I used 3 cubes in each warmer which should have been plenty enough.

- Reasonable price point.
- Interesting branding.
- Scent descriptions on the labels.
- Unique scent blends.

Overall I would maybe order again for more of the peppermint. No free samples, but those should not be expected anyways, though they did include a fake rose scented in Cinnamon Broom.

Have you tried any new-to-you vendors recently?


  1. These scents blends sound so unique and sophisticated. I could see myself really liking many of these, it's a shame the throw was so light on a lot of them, though :(.

    1. Don't they?! And on cold they really knocked my socks off but I just could not get the same results once I melted them. Sad panda. My search for amazing earthy, elegant and unique scents continues.

  2. I have an order from Cross Creek Country Candles that I am waiting on that is going to deliver today (so excited!) that is a new to me vendor that I have been wanting to try for awhile now. Her shapes are just too cute to not jump in and place an order. So we will see how it goes!

    1. WHOOHOO! Love trying new vendors! I hope you have amazing results with Cross Creek. My sister gifted me two scents from there but it was years ago. The shapes are really cute. Back then it was bones and apples. Hoping yours does well!

  3. Thanks for sharing! This vendor sounds very interesting from the descriptions most of the scents sound like ones I would love! It's a shame they are mostly light throw though. I hate having a scent I love in the clam but can barely smell when melting.

    I have tried a ton of new vendors recently, including two that I posted about today. I also just received a package today from a brand called Live Love Wax Co that I found on IG. They smell great on cold sniff and included several generous extras.

    1. I hate that too. Especially when I adore the scent on cold so very much.

      I love when there are a couple samples thrown in. It usually opens my eyes to new scents and will get me to order again. A great marketing tool! I hope you love all your new orders! My hunt is still on. Must find some new wax in scents I crave. Those woody dreamy scents.

  4. Aw, that's too bad about those issues, particularly the light throw, because it really sounds like those types of scents are completely up your alley. So many vendors are super duper bakery-heavy, but this one seemed to lean more towards those earthy, spicy, herb-y kind of scents you like.

    The first wax I purchased was a small order from an Etsy vendor who shall remain nameless, because it was pretty awful. I don't even know if they're still in business. Five of six scents smelled legit rotten - maybe that's that animal-y, musky kind of scent you referenced, but it smelled more like oil that's gone off - as in the fragrance oil. You know, that would also totally affect the consistency of the wax, too, as in it wouldn't hold together pretty well...sorry, just thinking out loud here now!

    1. Yes, it is a major poop-a-doops. I get underwhelmed by the scent choices from a lot of vendors. I hope that doesn't sound too snobbish, but I really don't lean toward fruity bakery and that seems to be what the vast majority carry. Just like you said. Ah well. The search continues.

      Ewwwww... that is awful. Yes. Sometimes wax does have a funky undertone. For sure. And bad FO are certainly out there. And you are totally right. Consistency can be key and this wax would hardly come out in one piece. I figured it was just too soy heavy for clamshells, like LSC but even hers does clamshells well sometimes. So there is something definitely off but with over 800 sales, they must have a decent following. I guess just not for me. And that is ok too. I need heavy hitters and not everyone likes strong scents. Hope you have a nice Thursday night!