Fall Fun Series II: Crazy for Cranberry

Cranberry Collage

Yeah, sometimes the ol’ Alliteration Generator just completely goes on the fritz and starts spitting out the laziest, most common words it can find.  Cranberry Craze?  Sounds like a flavour of Mountain Dew.  Crazed for Cranberry?  Sounds a bit like a mental health concern.  So basically there’s no unique, alliterative way of expressing my love of cranberry except to say I’m – sigh – crazy for it.

Except…am I?  I mean, I like Bath & Body Works’ Frosted Cranberry scent as much as the next person during the holidays, but otherwise, it’s not really my jam.  For that, I actually prefer lingonberry sauce or my mom’s spiced red currant jelly – excellent on all manner of roast beast. 😉 But cranberry scents?  Eh, I guess, for the Fall and Winter months, if you insist.  It’s not a scent I ever gravitate towards outside of the festive season, and even then, not so much.

Which is, I suppose, why I still possess this nearly two-year-old old bag of Cranberry Marmalade-scented Mini Melters from Rosegirls.  Also because – hoo doggy!- she’s STRONG.  Deeply spiced and a whole lot astringent, this cranberry is here to party.  Spice-haters and those with sensitive sniffers need not apply (this includes me; this wax makes my nose itch and tickle quite fiercely.)

But I thought I could turn this scent into something a little more palatable through the judicious use of more Mini Melters, and so that’s precisely what I did, whipping up two yummy blends – one bakery, one fruity-sweet – that let this nice, but bit-too-much, seasonal scent really shine (also, why all the ice and snowflake imagery in this, the Fall Fun Series?  Because late Fall in Canada actually means early Winter; we’ve already had a couple of didn’t-stick snowfalls and many, many mornings of frost.)

Cranberry Vanilla Bean Smoothie Collage

The addition of Rosegirls’ Vanilla Bean Noel and Marshmallow Smoothie scents proved to be the perfect bakery foil for Cranberry Marmalade’s dark spice notes, combining to create a creamy-dreamy, caramel-topped treat studded with tart, lightly spiced dried cranberries.  I basically made a scone without the scone part!  And it’s scrumptious; Vanilla Bean Noel is fast becoming a blending favourite.

Spiced Cran-Apple Punch Collage

As seasonal ciders and punches are my favourite things to see on a holiday party table, I thought it would be nice to create a spiced punch sort of scent.  Except actual punch (or Koolaid) scents and I are no bueno; they provoke headaches and sneezing fits in both my husband and I.  And so I both tempered AND sweetened-up the Cranberry Marmalade scent with a tiny touch of Cotton Candy Frosting, before adding a rather inspired dash of Apple Clove Butter.  I feared the addition of the Apple Clove Butter might push this scent blend into total spice overload, but my worries turned out to be unfounded – Apple Clove Butter is subtly, subtly spiced, with none of the sharpness of Cranberry Marmalade and all of the smoothness of actual apple butter.  It’s a lovely, juicy scent, and paired beautifully with the other two fragrances, creating something that really did smell like a gently wafting crock pot of some festively fruity concoction.  Yum!

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Fall Fun Series II: I Love You, I Hate You

FFS Main

Today’s Fall Fun Series prompt is one designed to expose our essential contrariness by sharing our autumn scent loves and hates.  I’ve already stated that I blew myself out on apple scents last year – too sweet, too cloying.  Then I went and bought about eight apple-based scents, and much to my surprise and delight, they’re all fantastic.  So there’s that contrary business again!  Or is it simply undecided?

Starting with the bad news, one thing I am quite decided on is that pumpkin scents, no matter the vendor or the blend, give me terrible headaches.  There’s just a sour kind of note there that prompts some nauseatingly fierce headaches.  And that’s a new thing this season – I suppose that makes pumpkin the new apple. 😉  Sorry, pumpkin, I’m sure I’ll be back on your tip next year.

But this year I’m back to Apple Acres, or at least *these* particular apples, Rosegirls’ Mini Melters in Apple Clove Butter, Lambeau Leap and Apple Strudel Rice Krispie Treats.  These showed up on my doorstep yesterday just as I was lamenting a lack of pleasing Fall scents; had actually kind of forgotten that I had purchased them?  But talk about great timing, and talk about great scents; I love them all.

FFS Rosegirls MMs

Apple Clove Butter is probably my favourite.  I’m not sure if it’s close to Beezy’s popular Apple Butter scent, but Rosegirls’ is a keeper – crisp, juicy apples shot through with warm mulling spices.  I think it would be fairly spectacular blended with a rich, buttery bakery (such as Pie Crust or Nilla Wafers) although it’s great all on its own.

Lambeau Leap is, I believe, named after a football team.  Green Bay, maybe (almost said Green Day there, whoops.)  I really don’t know sports (GO SPORTS!!!)  This is an odd fave for me, as it contains Sweater Weather, a popular woods-and-juniper blend from Bath & Body Works.  It’s quite cologne-y, and I’ve never been much for woodsy, masculine scents.  But in Lambeau Leap, blended with crisp apple cider and creamy Vanilla Bean Noel, it’s really nice; reminds me quite a bit of another Rosegirls blend that subs out the juicy apple cider for astringent pine.  Very nice.

And finally, Apple Strudel Rice Krispie Treats, a not-too-sweet, not-too-bakery blend of flaky apple strudel and crispy Rice Krispies.  This is the most linear of all the apple scents, and it’s lovely all on its own – I wouldn’t blend its delicious simplicity with another thing.  Great choices, all.

Mixing In and Melting Down: A Rosegirls Haul

Mini Melters Main Collage

Rosegirls somewhat recently began offering all-the-time Mini Melters, delicious little chunks of blendable wax in single scents or more complex scent blends.  With a number of limited edition summer blends on offer tempting my…nosebuds?…I decided to place a large-ish order to replace the mounds of Mini Melters I’ve melted over the last two years (what can I say, I like expeeri-mintin’ with my scents.)  First let’s check out my order, and then we’ll take a peek at some scrumptious wax “recipes” at the bottom of this post. 🙂

It’s Pride Parade Day in my city, so it’s fitting that we’re starting off with the rainbow hues, a mostly fruity mix of citrus, berries and a little bit of bakery.

Rainbow Mini Melters Collage with Bags

Kaelyn’s Coconut Berry Patch – named after Rosegirls proprietess Jenny Oaks’ daughter, this fruity, creamy and coconutty scent features Kaelyn’s Berry Patch, a blend of Raspberry Sauce and I-don’t-know-what-delicious-else (Strawberry Shortcake?) and super smooth and creamy Gilligan’s Brew, a fantastic coconut cream scent.  A should-have-bought-more-than-one-bag-er.

Pink Sands in the Sun – well, there always has to be one misfire per order, that scent you completely overshoot your comfort level on.  Pink Sands in the Sun would be that scent for me, a too-floral, too-tropical, too-grandmotherly blend of a couple of popular Yankee Candle scents, Pink Sands and Sun & Sands.  Pink Sands is a favourite – I particularly like pairing it with sweet-tart fruit scents – but Sun & Sands, which dominates this blend, is no bueno.  This is just a whole lot of fragrance; too much for me.

Raspberry Coconut – Raspberry Zingers, I believe they’re called – this lovely scent smells like Raspberry Zingers.  Fantastic in combination with Mango Sorbet, and the prettiest pale pink hue.

Florida Key Lime Pie – I’m picky about my citrus scents, particularly lemons and limes, which nine times out of 10 wind up smelling like powdery, off-brand cleaning products. But Florida Key Lime Pie is a winner, a not-too-sweet, not-too-tart blend of lime juice and crunchy graham cracker crust, with none of those unpleasant sour notes I always associate with cream pie-type scents.

Blueberry Muffin – mostly blueberry, not much muffin, but always delicious, and a fantastically fruity delight.

Blackberry – all fruit, no floral, and no Jam Butter Cookies business either – this juicy blackberry is the real (and realistic) deal.

Birthday Cake – confetti cake iced with mounds of sweet vanilla frosting.  This is a great birthday cake scent, not the least bit plasticky or margarine-y.

Peeps Cake – speaking of plastic scents, the last Peeps blend I tried (vendor name withheld to protect the yucky) smelled like burnt plastic for the first five minutes of melting, and then like absolutely nothing at all. This Peeps scent (a blend of yellow cake and sweet marshmallow Peeps) is a gooey marshmallow delight, strong and long-lasting. I particularly like the multi-coloured pastel chunks.

Then representing Team Brown we have a wide array of bakery blenders, from strong chocolates and coffees, to creamy marshmallows and sharp mints.

Browns Mini Melters Collage with Bags

Hot Fudge Brownie – no Tootsie Roll to see here; this chocolate scent is rich, strong and true.  In combination with creamy Marshmallow Smoothie, I think it will be a scrumptious dupe of Bath and Body Works’ Hot Cocoa and Cream scent.

Absolute Coffee – for Mr. Finger Candy, who adores caffeine in all its forms.  This is a sharp black coffee scent, with a hint of sweet astringency.  Like actual coffee, best served with cream and sugar (actually, that’s BS; I prefer my brewed coffee black.)

Waffle Cone – a bit crunchy, a little buttery and a whole lot sugary, Waffle Cone is the secret ingredient in all my favourite blends.  Want to make virtually any bakery blend instantly and appreciatively better?  Stick it in a Waffle Cone.

Vanilla Hazelnut Latte – sweet, creamy coffee and nuts.  This actually smells quite a bit like a Swiss Miss blend.  Not my favourite scent, but not unpleasant either.

Monster Cookie – I once heard someone describe this scent as the base from which all other cookies spring – chocolate chip cookies without the chips, oatmeal raisin without the oatmeal and…well, you get the idea! Buttery, sugary and sweet, this one is downright edible-smelling.

Vanilla Bean Noel – a Bath and Body Works standard.  Caramel cookies with a touch of musk, if you can wrap your head around that (delicious) weirdness.  Lends everything it touches a smidge of scented sass.

Royal Sugar Cookies – buttery sugar cookies, little-to-no crunch.  Dee-licious.

Marshmallow Smoothie – that unidentifiably delicious and creamy note common to nearly all Rosegirls blends?  Pretty sure it’s Marshmallow Smoothie, a sweet and luscious blend of rich vanilla and sticky marshmallow fluff.  I’ve gone through (*does some quick mental gymnastics*) five bags of Marshmallow Smoothie in the time I’ve been whipping up my own Mini Melter blends.  So if Marshmallow Smoothie sounds like a scent you might be interested in – and I’d definitely recommend it; I put it in virtually everything – I’d nab multiple bags.

Gilligan’s Brew – a fast new favourite, this sumptuous coconut cream pairs perfectly with absolutely everything (mint, fruit, bakery, fresh, earthy – like Marshmallow Smoothie, Gilligan’s Brew is an equal opportunity perfectionist.)  Another stealthy scent – you don’t know what smells so great, but it’s probably Gilligan’s Brew. 🙂

Peppermint – sinus-clearingly good!  Also a vital component of my favourite mint blend of all time, Rosegirls’ Peppermint Coconut Mallow…which, oh hey, look, I’ve got all the ingredients for right here (Peppermint, Gilligan’s Brew and Marshmallow Smoothie.) Handy, handy.

Speaking of ingredients, here are some fabulous wax recipes I “cooked” up using my Mini Melter acquisitions, new and old.  Sniffer-tested all, I can assure you that if you try these blends yourself, you will not be disappointed!

Mini Melters Collage Summer 2017

Americana Muffin – Mac Apple Swizzle Sticks, Blueberry Muffin and Marshmallow Smoothie.

Named after Rosegirls’ Americana blends (red, white and blue combinations such as Americana Wafers and Americana Smoothie) my patriotic pick involves sweet-tart Mac Apple Swizzle Sticks, fruity Blueberry Muffin and creamy Marshmallow Smoothie.  This smelled so delicious – just a bit bakery-ish, with the two sweet fruits present in equal measure.

Raspberry Mocha Monster Madness – Absolute Coffee, Monster Cookie, Raspberry Sauce and Marshmallow Smoothie.

This fantastic blend was created by my coffee-loving husband, and if I sound a bit astonished at that, it’s because I am, as I’m a) not overly fond of coffee scents (although I tolerate them on his behalf just fine) and b) his taste in blends tends to run toward the – how to put this politely? – batshit insane.

But this. is. so. scrumptious!  Creamy, raspberry-infused lattes, which is not an animal I’d care to either drink or smell.  But geez, this blend is great.  Spread the word now – Raspberry Mocha Monster Madness for all!  It’s just a bit fruity and a lot creamy, with a pleasantly sharp little hit of coffee that will make you a true java wax believer.

Coconut Mango Raspberry Cream – Gilligan’s Brew, Raspberry Coconut and Mango Sorbet.

Years ago Rosegirls offered an absolutely divine Raspberry Coconut and Mango Sorbet blend that punched up the fruity side of things with a delicious hit of tropical fruit.  But for this even more scrumptious-er blend, I went nuts for the coconuts, adding a healthy dose of creamy Gillian’s Brew to the already fantastic and fruity combination of mango and raspberry.  Next time I plan on incorporating a hit of toasted Waffle Cone; I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything other than completely wicked.

Coconut Berry Cream – Raspberry Sauce, Blackberry and Gilligan’s Brew.

Rosegirls’ Blackberry is a relatively new addition to their Mini Melters lineup, and it’s a great one – tart and fruity, with an almost licorice-type lean.  It’s also not to be confused with their popular Blackberry Jam Butter Cookies scent, which I think smells like none of those things – I’m definitely in the minority here, but I find it weirdly musty.

But this blend is far from weird or musty, featuring a punchy – but not punch-oid – combination of rich, tart raspberry and fresh blackberry, with a ribbon of smooth coconut cream tying the entire delicious package together in a lush bow.  This is another amazing blend; totally went four-for-four on these blending experiments, didn’t we?

Mini Melters Collage

A huge part of the appeal with Mini Melters is the ability to just roll on up to the site any time and nab your favourites (and a few limited time offerings.)  So if you’ve been scared away in the past by timed openings or any shopping experience that can be compared to competing in the Hunger Games, rest assured that you need not play that game; simply go here and get shopping!  And hopefully enjoy your smell-goods, too. 🙂

Meltology!

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Like mixology, except instead of various alcohol combinations, it’s scented wax and…yeah, okay, that might be a bit laboured.  But what else would you call futzing about with dozens of scent possibilities to create (or re-create) favourite blends?  Blendology? Now, that just sounds stupid. 😉

Not stupid?  These terrifically yummy blends I created using indie vendor Rosegirls’ Mini Melters, single scents (also sometimes house-blended combinations) you can combine in whatever fashion you see fit.  Smell fit?  No, no, definitely see fit.

Mini Melters are a product that’s really only now offered a few times a year (announced via Rosegirls‘ quite active Facebook page) and so if you do manage to catch an opening, stock up on a few favourite scents – they’re lovely and convenient to melt on their own (simply toss into a burner, no messy cutting required) and so much fun to combine in infinitely delicious-smelling variations.  Variations such as…

Coffee Shop Favourites, a tart and spicy blend of Cranberry Marmalade, Orange Danish and Lemon Poppyseed.  All of the bright scents of a coffee shop pastry case, minus the people taking up space at tables with their laptops while they work on their “screenplays.”

mm-coffee-shop-favourites-collage

Monster Berry Crunch Donuts, a ludicrously yummy combination that Mr. Finger Candy created featuring Berry Creme Brulee (it smells like raspberry Bubbalicious!), Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Monster Cookie.

mm-monster-berry-crunch-donut-collage

Cotton Candy Fluff Puffs, a recreation of what is surely already an existing Rosegirls scent, a sweet and creamy blend of Cotton Candy Frosting, Monster Cookie and Marshmallow Smoothie (Rosegirls refers to their Monster Cookie-and-Marshmallow Smoothie blend as “Fluff Puffs.”  Basically you can Fluff Puff virtually anything and it will be fantastic.  Also sort of naughty-sounding?  Yeah, I’ll fluff yer puff, heheheh.  See, dirty!)

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Sweet Raspberry Lemonade, a mouthwatering, Lemonheads-like blend of Raspberry Sauce, Swizzle Sticks and Sweet Lemon Confection.  I find I don’t much care for any vendor’s lemonade scent (they all tickle my nose; just me?)  Here the combination of Sweet Lemon Confection and even sweeter, vanilla glaze-type Swizzle Sticks makes a far less irritating alternative!

mm-sweet-raspberry-lemonade-collage

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for more Mini Melter mixology missives in the near future – I’ve been having a blast creating custom scents for whatever the day brings my way, and I’d love to share my cool blending discoveries.  I also now have, like, 8,657 photos of melting wax.  Is that weird?  Yeah, pretty sure it’s weird!  Well, so be the weirdness – at least it smells fantastic in here!

Fall Fun Series: An Apple a Day

use-this-wax-collage

Pretty sure that old saying applies to the fruit, not delicious-smelling, but completely non-edible, scented wax. But I have an absolute bounty of the latter, and seeing as apples are the theme of today’s installment of the Fall Fun Series (actually yesterday’s), I thought I’d melt through a few of my apple scents.  I’m now completely apple’d out; I can’t take any more!  Because while I really love apple baked goods – my mom’s fluffy, flaky, buttery pie is life – it turns out I’m not so fond of artificial apple scents.  They all tend to be very, very strong and need to be handled in small doses, particularly if you’re prone to environmentally-induced headaches, like moi.

Therein lies one of the not-a-problem problems for people with a love of home fragrance, particularly those that lie within the “you could eat this” category – do you actually think that, say, toffee apple ice cream will smell great, or do you just want to eat it?  The answer often lies somewhere in the middle, but occasionally there’s a bit of a disconnect, and that’s what I seem to be experiencing with my apple scents this Fall.

But if I practice moderation with my apples and mix them with other, softer scents to round off the harsh, sometimes even acidic edges, we’re sound as a pound!  So what sort of yummy apple scents have been perfuming my home this week?

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These scrumptious chunks are from Rosegirls, in Crazy Pants Fluff Puffs, left, and Toffee Apple Ice Cream, right.  Crazy Pants Fluff Puffs (that name, right?) is a blend of green apple, strawberry jam and Rosegirls’ Fluff Puffs scent blend, which itself is a blend of their Monster Cookie and Marshmallow Smoothie scents (sometimes I feel like a crazy fragrance Venn diagram would be quite useful in these situations!)  CPFP is wicked strong, a thick, warm bakery freshened up with bright green apples and strawberries.

Toffee Apple Ice Cream, with its less enigmatic – but infinitely more descriptive – name, is just that – caramel apples bobbing in a sea of melted vanilla ice cream.  I found this particular apple scent to be a little too cloying for my taste, particularly when paired with the vanilla ice cream note, which I either tolerate or loathe depending on the vendor. Rosegirls’ is better than most, but I find it just far too one-note when paired with the sweet toffee apples.  But my loss is someone else’s fruitful gain; I’ll find ‘er a good home.

I melted a lot of other apple scents this week – Rosegirls’ Apple Eclipse (very nice; a mild, “adult” apple, sweetly spiked with vanilla and bourbon), Apple Colada (banana?) and Apple Puff Pumpkin Pie (Apple Jack and Peel is hard at work in this one) and Simple Gals’ Enchanted Apple (a perfumey sort of apple scent that I think may be a dupe of Lush’s So White) – but their pictures all turned out quite terribly.  I think that’s because, with the exception of the Apple Eclipse, I didn’t really care for any of these scents too much.  My camera just KNEW!  But again, apple biased.

mini-melter-collage

Unless, of course, I have the ultimate say in just how that apple note is deployed, which is why I like Rosegirls’ Mini Melters so much – just a touch of RG’s Macintosh Swizzle Sticks, a lightly candied apple scent, nestled among other creamy, fruity scents brings out the best in the often powerfully-scented pomme.

For these two favourite blending experiments, I mixed Macintosh Swizzle Sticks with, left, Mango Sorbet and Marshmallow Smoothie, to create a delectable version of Disney’s LeFou’s Brew, an apple-and-mango juice slushie topped with marshmallow fluff (so it looks like a big, sudsy flagon of ale, see) and, right, Pie Crust and Dunk My Donut, a cinnamon-dusted cake donut scent, for a delightful, gas station apple pie kind of scent.  I love these two blends very much, but that’s no surprise, because I made them!

Now off to stick my face directly over a steaming pot of coffee – that should right the ol’ sniffer in no time!