haul

Yankee Candle Comes to Town & My First Yankee Candle Haul

Fragrance makes us dream

– Francois NARS

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For years I’ve heard about Yankee Candle and have been wanting to get my hands on their candles but the exorbitant shipping to get these heavy items from the US via a third-party forwarder made this unfeasible.

Fast forward to late 2014 and imagine my surprise when out of nowhere, a Yankee Candle kiosk mushroomed unexpectedly at my local mall!

I literally had to rub my eyes when I came across the kiosk at the Great Eastern Mall. The GEM is a great mall for necessities like groceries but it’s small and local and nothing really exciting really happens there…until now, that is!

Since this was my first contact with Yankee Candle at all, I decided to play it safe and stuck to a small sampling of candles as Yankee’s Samplers® Votives which are 49g (1.75oz) each and look to be about double the size of a standard tea light.

Burn time for each of these Votives is said to be around 15 hours and I think this size is a really affordable way to sample a range of candles before committing to a scent in the pricier larger sizes.

Although I ended up leaving with only a handful of votives on this visit, the enthusiastic and lovely pair of staff at Yankee Candle kiosk gave great service and patiently helped me sniff my way around their store by un-lidding jars and offering their own scent suggestions.

I was like a kid in a candy store, leaping from one scent to the next, and found it hard to choose just a few but these were the candles I finally came away with.

Granted, it was a couple of days after Christmas and my final choices are a little Christmas heavy but I love Christmas and nothing captures the scent of the yuletide better than a festively scented candle., don’t you think?

Besides, I was thinking that I can buy Yankee Candle regular stock all year round but Christmas candles are special seasonal items that I assume are hard to get outside of Christmas so this little haul is my attempt to hang onto Christmas a little longer…

Luscious Plum

Scent Description: Exquisitely rich and festive…the scent of sugar-coated plums is a Christmas fantasy come true’

My Verdict: This candle has a lovely sweet and fruity scent. The dominant note is ripe and juicy berries and what appears to be some watermelon notes too.

Even in the votive size, this candle has a great scent throw and fills a large room easily. I like this candle very much and I think it has a scent that can be used outside of Christmas too because the lush fruit scent is absent of the spices we associate with the festive season and I think this makes it more versatile for year-round use.

The scent makes a nice evening candle that fills a room quickly with happy and delicious berry notes. It was one of my first choices of this haul and I think this may be my favourite of the lot. A definite repurchase in a bigger candle size so I’m hoping it’s not just available for Christmas.

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Candy Cane Lane

Scent Description:A favorite holiday place where delicious dreams are made, with tingly peppermint, sweet cookies and creamy vanilla icing

My Verdict: I’m a fan of nostalgic gourmand scents and a peppermint candy cane-laced room scent seemed like it would tick all the right boxes but this candle imparts only a very faint peppermint scent. It may be that the scent throw is weak because of the votive size which is a shame because up close, I find this delivers a lovely crisp and true-to-life candy cane experience.

If only it had a stronger scent throw, this candle would be useful for brightening a room with its refreshing minty flavour. I love mint so much and this is still one of my favourites of the bunch but as a votive, the impact of the scent barely makes a impression in my room. I need to try this in a larger size and hope that the scent is stronger in a jumbo version but I think I may have to wait until Christmas swings around for this one. It’s obviously a Christmas candle.

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Christmas Eve

Scent Description:Tradition reigns on Christmas Eve as anticipation builds for the excitement of the next morning. But on this night, we gather to relax and enjoy a quiet moment before the frenzy begins. The traditional holiday scents of a warm hearth, sugared plums, and candied fruits are the perfect accompaniment to one of the most joyous evenings of the year

My Verdict: Subtle berry notes emerge with the faintest hint of a spice and this candle emits a gentle radiance that is notably Christmassy and reminds me of an ember of hearth fire on a cold evening.

A quiet evening scent with a festive flavour (cinnamon? clove?) that adds a homey feeling to a living area. The scent range is subtle again in this votive size but when I lean in close enough to catch a whiff, it make me think that Christmas pudding is in the air. Yum! Another one to repurchase in a larger size in the hope that the scent might be stronger. I’ll try and get this one before Christmas next time.

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Sea Coral

Scent Description: Like gliding along a tropical reef, this unique watery fresh fragrance surrounds you in the soothing warmth of sea musk

My Verdict: I was nervous about this candle but I wanted something less sweet and fruity than the others I had in basket.

This may have been a mistake for me personally because the scent was very strong and musky after I had removed the plastic packaging and stung my nose unlit but once lit, I found it thankfully to be less overwhelming than I had braced myself for.

The sharp sting of the scent is more muted when the candle is lit but this is definitely a masculine, musky aquatic-type candle and has a pungent sharpness that would better suit a bathroom than a bed or living room.

As far as the fragrance goes, I would say it’s more invigorating than relaxing and definitely more of a man’s scent than something for a girl.

It has an undeniable zing to it and I would call this a Monday morning scent to wake up the senses or something to remedy a hangover.

Ultimately, not really my type of room scent but it might suit a bachelor pad.

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Ocean Star

Scent Description:Soothing and fresh…the scent of peaceful, sun-kissed water laced with aloe, citrus and lotus blossom. Dive in!’

My Verdict: Aquatic but more heavily floral than the Sea Coral candle, there’s a hint of salt beneath the sharp, tart notes. Like the Sea Coral, it smells very strong even before it is burning but some of the candle’s original sharpness seems to fall away after it is lit. I prefer it to the Sea Coral which I find overly masculine but, like the Sea Coral, this is still more of a refreshing and wakeful scent than one that is calming and restful.

For me, this is another bathroom-type scent but this time one that’s a little more feminine with the presence of some modern floral notes though but I’m accepting that I’m not a musky & floral type person at all and I will not be buying this again. Really, it’s not bad at all if you prefer sharp musky scents but this is not one for me.

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Exotic Blooms

Scent Description:Deep in the tropical night, the seductive perfume of island flora creates an air of mystery and romance

My Verdict: Unabashedly floral this little candle might pack a heady floral punch in a bigger candle size but as a votive, it has a limited range and impact.

The scent itself is satisfyingly floral and I imagine a jumble of equatorial flowers all vying for attention. This is a summery candle of big, fat exotic blooms as the name suggests and would sync nicely with a hot and humid night of drinks on a rooftop garden.

Makes me think of the jungle and palm-leaf emblazoned maxi dresses and big hair ala Versace + Gisele Bundchen. Unsurprisingly, this candle makes me think of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness too.

If you already know you love the bright perfume of bold tropical flowers, I would recommend getting this candle in the largest size and skipping the votive.

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Yankee Candle – A Background

As far as candles go, Yankee Candle must have the widest range of scented candles to grace the face of this Earth because there are at least 150 fragrances in their range with new collections launched seasonally.

It’s kind of mind blowing to think that the Yankee Candle story started back in Christmas 1969 from very humble beginnings when American teenager, Mark Kittredge, decided to melt some crayons (!) to make a candle gift for his mum.

Of course, Yankee Candle is no longer melting crayons for their candles. It’s now a huge candle empire comprised of more than 500 company-owned stores and more than 19,000 retail points in just the US alone.

Out of curiosity, I was browsing the official Yankee Candle website in the US and came across some of these fantastically named candles in their range -:

  • Warm Woolly Blanket
  • Beautiful Day
  • Festival of Lights
  • Let Freedom Ring
  • Mmm, Bacon!
  • Wedding Day
  • Buttercream
  • Farmer’s Market

Yankee Candles regularly release a bunch of seasonal scents to reflect the time of year and frequently launch Limited Edition varieties or Online Exclusives too.

As you can see, Yankee Candle have some really wild scents but it’s not likely that the full range will ever available in Malaysia as many are US-exclusives but the brand being here at all is a good start and I’m really excited about their presence.

For Yankee Candle 2015 plans, there is a collection of candles developed in collaboration with the Girl Scouts Association and I really hope we’ll get them here because I love, love, love dessert scents but  it does sound like this exclusive collection may be a US-Only release too. *sad*

GirlScoutYankee

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I tried to get more information about the ingredients used in Yankee Candle and there is no formal ingredients list available as it’s not required by law but I was able to find out the following-:

[Source]

  • Yankee Candle uses safe, pure cotton, lead-free wicks
  • The wax type used in each candle is refined paraffin which is a USDA-approved and food/medical grade wax
  • Yankee Candle is a member of the National Candle Association, US, and follows the standards set by the association
  • On the packaging of each candle, Yankee Candle confirms that they use genuine fragrance extracts and essential oils in their products.

An Indication of Pricing & Value

At my time of purchase I was able to get 3 Samplers® Votives of my choice for RM24.90 instead of the usual price of RM11.90 each but in the US, the votives are only USD1.99 and often go on sale for only USD0.99 (about RM3.50 at the current exchange rate).

The largest jars retail at Rm99.90. In the US, the RRP of this size is USD27.99 but many scents often go on sale at half that price. Lucky folk, you Americans are!

Obviously, the downside to buying the Yankee Candle here, as is the case with most US & European brands, is that they are a bit more expensive here than abroad but being able to sniff them first-hand in a store is a huge advantage of buying them locally.

Further to that, purchasing locally still works out cheaper when you consider the hassle of getting these candles shipped over and paying freight & customs duties on your loot so yes, I think it’s worth paying the little extra to buy them here.

Finally, in retrospect and for burn time value, I think it works out to be more economical to buy a larger candle size than the votive.

I found the scent throw of the votive size to be somewhat unimpressive. Now, I’m not a scented wax expert but it also wasn’t lost on me that for some reason, the scents were stronger for these votives in the hand before they were lit. I wonder why and if you do know why, please let me know.

Anyway, I read somewhere that if scent strength is what you want, go all out for a bigger jar which will apparently contain the best concentration of pure scent extracts so you will get more burn for your buck.

Are you a fan of scented candles and are you as excited about Yankee Candle being in town as I am?

If yes, I’d love to hear all about your favourite Yankee Candle scent – perhaps one you have burned, love and can recommend or tell me about one you like the sound of but have yet to try.

Yankee Candle has permanent kiosks at these locations in the Klang Valley…

Great Eastern Mall Unit G.21

Sunway Pyramid LG1.23 (in front of Toys ‘R’ Us)

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For more information, try these links…

Yankee Candle FB Malaysia

Yankee Candle Singapore

Yankee Candle Official Website

Yankee Candle Official Facebook

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[Notes: Products were purchased by me for personal use. Scent Desciptions in italics are from Yankee Candle Official. Images excepting the Yankee Candles logo and where indicated are all by me and remain the property of me and this blog. Please do not use without permission and a credit back to this blog. Links contained in this post are entirely non-affiliate and included simply for your convenience]