Pre-Christmas Customs with SMT

smt main photo

My big custom wax order from Sniff My Tarts – yeah, the one I placed in early August – finally showed itself a few days before Christmas, sub-zero temps and an off/off postal strike notwithstanding.  But also thanks to what I’m guessing is a bit of both of the above, my box of fragile scented wax arrived pretty well thrashed to pieces, and I do mean that literally – please note the in-bag, as-delivered condition of one of my decorated sheet cakes.  Ouch.

smt smashed

But I’m not going to cry over smashed wax; being in bits like this just makes it easier to share with friends. 😉  However, I’m not sure I can keep buying these random little works of wax creation any more, knowing that at least one of them is going to get damaged beyond all recognition during shipping.  This is the third cake I’ve received in pieces.  And I know looks aren’t everything, but they kind of are in this case – I would have gotten un-decorated sheet cakes otherwise!

But this is scented wax we’re talking about, and it’s the scent blends I came up with that really matter.  And blessedly, with two huge, glaring exceptions – I can’t keep them and I can’t think of a person I dislike enough to bedevil them with – they’re all pretty great; there might even be one or two outstandings in the bunch.  As always, I’m mostly pleased with my order.  So let’s take a peek at the good – and the two way bad – shall we?

Brittle Blends

These fun little shapes are called Brittle Chunks, and they are so stinkin’ adorable!  Each bakery bag contains a nice, large assortment of plain chunks and cute little shapes in your chosen scent blend.  So fun; a nice aesthetic change from the usual.

blackberry marshmallow latte collage

Is that a crueler?!  And a giant purple espresso bean?  Yup, sure looks like it!  This delicious blend is a riff on another favourite of mine you’ll see toward the end of this post that substitutes that blend’s juicy Apple Cider Latte for creamy Blackberry Marshmallow Latte.  The Ice Cream Scoop Bread/Vanilla Waffle Cone base I’ve come up with is a solid one, and it pairs so nicely with fruit and coffee scents, and sometimes – like this time – both fruit and coffee scents at once.

gourmet sugar cookie collage

C is for cookies on cookies on cookies!  This comforting, all-cookie bakery blend (a waffle cone is just a thin, toasted cookie we shove ice cream into) bears a slightly boozy edge that reminds me of the vanilla bean paste I use to make my chocolate chip cookies.  This is just a really outstanding vanilla; basic without being “ya basic.”  Blending job well done, me!

lemon cake pops collage

This strawberry-lemon blend is a little too artificial for my taste.  I think it’s that blasted Fresh Picked Strawberries note, which, come customs time, I always forget I do not like.  We all have those scent blind spots, and this strawberry is apparently mine.  Going way old school here (or maybe just plain old) but it smells like Tinkerbell cosmetics, and the lemon note is practically non-existent.  I do love that gigantic Twinkie shape, though.

peppermint swizzle sticks collage

I was just commenting to a friend the other day that I’m glad I only ordered one blend featuring peppermint during this round of customs, because I’m way off the peppermint scents this season.  I think I might have really overdone it last time with TWO peppermint sheet cakes.  But this is a nice blend – icy, chill and sweet, like a mint Tic Tac.  Also, little baby marshmallows!  I’m seriously so charmed by the assortment of adorable food shapes in these blends.

blackberry cotton candy collage

Finally, we have what is maybe my favourite blend of this order, a hopeful (that it would turn out well!) re-working of a beloved fragrance from another vendor (Candied Blackberry Cookie Bread from K’s Kreations, who sadly went out of business last year.)  K’s had a number of outstanding blends featuring this scrumptious Cookie Bread oil, and I loved them all, so when I saw that SMT had added it to their master scent list, I jumped at the chance to recreate a nearly forgotten favourite.  Okay, so that giant Rice Krispie round is adorable, but how does it smell?  Incredible!  It’s nearly an exact dupe, and I’m so, so happy with how it turned out.  I once made blackberry curd bars with a shortbread crust, and this smells exactly like those yummy treats – sweet-tart berry bakery.  If I conveniently forget my earlier promise to myself to never again buy another decorated sheet cake, I’ll have to get one in this outstanding blend.

Frosted Sugar Cookies

I regrettably didn’t have much luck with my choice of scent blends for these large frosted sugar cookies, the smallest blending option you could choose during customs.  Of the five, one is lovely, one is nice enough, one is pretty much a non, and two are completely wretched.

large frosted cookie collage

Starting off with the very bad, the two blends featuring Salt Water Taffy (blue and red frosting) are terrible.  It is so gross and artificial, overwhelming both blends with a nasty, phony scent that can best be described as “chemical pink.”  It actually reminds me of that cheap neon soap you occasionally find in mall bathrooms.  The very weird part here is I once received a sample from SMT of the Whipped Cream/Salt Water Taffy/Cotton Candy blend; I liked it so much, I decided to recreate it in a slightly larger format during this round of customs.  Whatever I received here smells nothing like that tiny sample; they are night and day apart.  I’ve also used Salt Water Taffy in two previous blends, and once again, it smelled nothing like this chemical nostril assault.  That leads me to believe the oil has either gone off in some fashion, or I’ve got something here other than Salt Water Taffy.  So gross.

Sweet Lavender and Shortbread Cookies, dark purple, is the big eh? of this order.  Lavender scents come in different varieties – herbal, medicinal, floral, gourmand.  Some are quite sweet, while others are steely and astringent, but they all share a fresh, green note that binds them a bit more firmly to the nature from which they’re derived.  This lavender has no fresh note to it whatsoever and it only barely smells like lavender.  It’s unbelievably light; lavender-oid, but not quite lavender.  A real non-starter of a scent.

Black Raspberry Vanilla and Lemon Poppy Seed, pale purple, is a lovely scent, with the Lemon Poppy Seed providing a tart, lemon-glazed backdrop for the slightly fruity, slightly floral Black Raspberry Vanilla.  This is a great lemon oil that I will have to remember for the next round of customs – it’s tart and fresh without venturing into that unfortunate urine-or-lemonade? territory occupied by so many lemon scents.

Honey Gingerbread and Apple Cider Latte, orange, is another lovely, comforting scent – a bit buttery and spicy from the Honey Gingerbread, and a lot juicy from the Apple Cider Latte.  A cozy autumnal scent, for you seasonal melters out there.

Rose Loaf

Yeah, you heard me; rose loaf.  A loaf of roses.  And it was definitely Bon Jovi who said he wanted to lay you down on a loaf of roses – I’m never wrong about these things. 😉

mango rose loaf collage

So pretty, right?  I can’t believe it got here in one piece.  That will make taking it apart significantly more difficult come melting time, but I think I’ll manage – this Mango Sorbet/Vanilla Waffle Cone/Coconut Cream Pie blend is a favourite of mine, and I’ve ordered it every time SMT has opened for customs in one iteration or another.  I think this blend smells like the inside of a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop, all crunchy, toasted waffle cones and creamy, icy, fruity things.  A lovely scent, and such beautiful presentation.

Decorated Sheet Cakes

Saving the big guns (and the big, busted guns) for last, here are the two decorated sheet cakes I ordered.

apple cider latte collage

And hey look, I managed to put Humpty Dumpty back together again!  Or at least I did for this photo.  We shan’t discuss the state of my hardwood floors, however, after this ultra crumbly photo shoot.  Wax smears for DAYS.

Really, though, taking a gander at this gigantic thing, an all time favourite blend of Apple Cider Latte, Ice Cream Scoop Bread and Vanilla Waffle Cone, it’s no wonder it shattered into about a dozen different bits –  it is positively loaded with little wax details, and that heart-shaped waffle in the middle (it’s actually double thick!) acts as a major stress point; all of the fractures in this sheet cake radiate out from that doubled up waffle.  None of that affects the scent, however, which, as always, is wonderful, like a cakey apple fritter.  My husband said after a few hours of burning, it smells like this pipe tobacco he used to smoke in high school (actually in a pipe, because of course he did.)  It really does have that fruity tobacco-type lean to it.  I’ve turned a couple of friends on to this fast favourite, and I absolutely adore it; like the Mango Sorbet blend, above, it has an all-the-time place in my customs cart.

cuppy cake collage

Finally, we have the sheet cake that made it to me mostly in one piece; a number of the little cupcakes on top sprang loose, but I was able to drop them back into place for this photo.  This delightful scent is my attempt at recreating Vintage Chic Scent’s Jackie O blend, a rich, not-too-cloying combination of buttery white cake, fluffy marshmallow cream and musk-tinged caramel.  And that’s very nearly what I got; this is an exceptionally close dupe.  I’m going to put this one away until my birthday, when I’ll finally sacrifice it to the warmer gods by making my birthday wish off its candlelit, mica-dusted top, as I have the last two years running.  That’s a fun little SMT tradition I look forward to every year. 🙂

On the whole, not a bad order, and totally in keeping with the scent success rate I’ve experienced across three other custom orders – it’s mostly all pretty good, if not great, with one or two unfortunate outliers.  Hey, sounds like life, not just wax life. 😉  Now to divvy up some of these goodies among friends and get to melting!

Advertisements

Not Your Usual Holiday Meltdown

Mario Wax 2

After a year spent excitedly throwing myself onto and then most likely staggering off of any number of actual roller coasters, I find myself, here at the end of 2018, riding the Emotional Roller Coaster Express.  It’s been a real “Stop the world, I’d like to get off” kind of month.  But upon reflection, that’s been my entire 2018 – wild vacation highs followed by protracted periods of gutting real life lows.  On the whole, I haven’t enjoyed this ride.  In fact, I’m totally sick of it (instead of just getting sick by it.)  Zero stars on TripAdvisor, this attraction sucks.

Pretty much the only thing I didn’t biff this year was my commitment to cutting back on my discretionary spending.  I mean, I did just turn around and plow that money straight into Disney vacations, so file that one under the “Re-Prioritization” files.  But after 2017, when I spent every bit of money I had on things that I thought would make me happy, but didn’t, I knew a shift was in order, and I curbed my spending HARD.

Part of that curbing was limiting my wax purchases to three orders, a custom order from Sniff My Tarts (due any day now!), a hugely anticipated order from The Melting Duck and this order from Rosegirls, a holiday tradition of mine for three seasons now.  I love receiving these whimsical Mario blends every year; it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them.  Just being handed this sweetly scented package put a smile on my face, possibly the first genuine one in weeks.  Also, not for nothing, but by limiting my purchases to a few absolute must-haves, it made what was becoming kind of boring and accepted (oh look, another wax order) a Very Special Event.  It’s nice to actual derive some enjoyment and delight out of my treats again.

Mario Wax 3

All right, enough emotional shop talk, on to the wax.  Let’s take a look-see and peep the Super Mario-themed blends I picked up in 2018, shall we?

Mario Wax 4

First up, a sextet of adorable little muffins (“Title of your sextet tape!”) in, top row, starting on the left, Jumping on Clouds, a candy floss-dominant bakery blend of Vanilla Crunch Donuts Fluff Puffs, Marshmallow Smoothie, Cuppa Cake and Cotton Candy Frosting, Starbeans Cafe, a gently caffeinated combo of Espresso, Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Vanilla Bean Noel and Thwomps, an incredibly unique, “Wow, this one’s got a taste!” blend of Pine, Peppermint, Sugar Cookie Dough and Campfire Marshmallow.  I’m not entirely sure I like Thwomps, but I don’t dislike it either (which means in about a month’s time it will become my most favouritest scent blend EVER, trust.)

Then on the bottom row, once again starting on the left, we have Warp Zone, a spritely combination of Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs, Peppermint and Vanilla Crunch Donuts, Koopa Klaus is Coming to Town, a rich, ultra comforting blend of Sugar Cookies, Coconut and Baked Zucchini Bread (and an all-time favourite of mine) and Bob-omb Blast, an improbably delicious blend of Blackberry, Campfire Marshmallow, Vanilla Bean Noel and Glazed Donuts.  It is so weird and I love it about as much as I’m confused by Thwomps.  Both feature Campfire Marshmallow; is that the weird at work here?

Mario Wax 4

Finally, we have a pretty random assortment of chunks, top, and a new item called Mario Melts, bottom.  In chunks, I grabbed Yoshi the Red Nosed Dino, left, a beautifully hued and ultra tart combination of Raspberry Sauce and Pistachio Marshmallow Fluff (another favourite, if not THE blend that turned me on to scented wax in the first place) and Go Tell it on DK’s Mountain, right, another “Why do I like this?” fave featuring Fresh Pine, Sweater Weather and Vanilla Bean Noel.  How bizarre that all my Mario usuals are my usual unusuals, no?

Then in the Mario Melters, little layered, bar-shaped wax chunks, I ordered another annual favourite, Up on the Castle Top, left, a bubblegummy blend of Berry Creme Brulee and Rice Krispie Treats (it does not smell like pink bubblegum, but rather this berry Bubbalicious gum I loved as a kid) and then the new wax on the block, Koopa Klaus Needs a Latte, right, a combination of my beloved Koopa Klaus is Coming to Town and Espresso.  Holy smokes, this one is great; Mr. Finger Candy’s going to be all over this coffee ‘n’ cookies combo.  I also think the potential for someone to actually mistake this wax for something edible is nearly guaranteed, particularly at this time of year – it looks EXACTLY like these homemade Twix bars I like to make, and smells just like them, too.

Mario Wax 5

So there we have it, a highly anticipated Rosegirls wax order over one year in the making.  I really wish a lot of things had gone differently this year, particularly in the last month, but I will continue to be proud of myself for reining in my more destructive shopping impulses so that I can once again enjoy the things I do buy, like this special little wax order.  Gotta take pleasure in the small – and smell 😉 – victories.

Sunday Scents

Rosegirls Collage

During my end-of-year State of the Sandra assessment (yes, this is a thing) it came to my attention that during 2017, I spent far, far too much on myself.  “Well, no durr, you went to Disney World twice,” you may be saying to yourself.  Except I’m not talking about the back-to-back Disney vacations we enjoyed in 2017; those were incredible experiences, and worth every penny.

No, I’m talking more about all of the stuff I purchased.  The largely unaccounted-for stuff that ate up every bit of discretionary income I had, and then some.  And the really depressing part is that for the most part, I hardly remember how I spent it.  Wax, for sure; my stores are fit to bursting.  Soap; eight bars’ worth of a product I ultimately wound up binning.  Video games that went nowhere, movies that have languished on to-be-watched lists, and a revolving door of clothes, none of which ever seem to fit my always-changing figure.  Mr. Finger Candy suffers from a similar spending problem with respect to video game DLC and Apple TV purchases.

And as it turns out, amassing stuff, particularly stuff you can’t even remember purchasing, is an excellent way to feel deeply unfulfilled, and possibly a little ashamed that you were such a fool with your money in the first place.

So hot on the heels of two excellent trips to Disney, Mr. Finger Candy and I are setting limits on our mostly mindless discretionary spending, with an eye to another (longer, just as blowout-y) Disney/Universal vacation in 2018.  At this point in our lives, we’ve just decided to prioritize experiences (particularly those of an amusement park nature) above things.  We have enough things.  What we are lacking is living.

And so this may be one of the last wax posts you’ll see for a while; this Rosegirls haul from before Christmas is one of two orders that were waiting for me when I returned home from Florida, and I’m actively avoiding all of my favourite vendors in an effort to curb my over-spending in the new year.  Don’t call it a no buy; it’s really more a low buy, or a moderated buy.  I’m not turning off the tap entirely, just slowing things to a dribble.  I’ll keep you updated on how I do. 🙂

But back in December, when I was spending pre-vacation money with reckless abandon, I placed a rather large order with Rosegirls for a number of replacement Mini Melters, as well as some cute traditional chunks and nearly all of the holiday Mario blends on offer.  I did not exercise much restraint!

Mini Melters Up Close

I’ve shared no photos of the replacement Mini Melters, because for the most part, it was just a whole lot of beige and brown (all of my favourite bakery blenders, from Waffle Cone and Vanilla Bean Noel, to Marshmallow Smoothie and Royal Sugar Cookie) with a tiny bit of Raspberry Sauce red thrown in for good measure.

But of the new blends on offer before the holidays, I snapped up two bags of Holy Cannoli Twinkies (left) and Christmas Wish Peeps Cake (right.)  Christmas Wish, a festive blend of pine trees and iced sugar cookies, is an odd favourite of mine; blended with sugary sweet marshmallow Peeps, it’s positively scrumptious.  And Holy Cannoli Twinkies, a classic Rosegirls Raspberry Sauce blend, is fan-freakin-tastic – a little sweet, a little tart, a little cakey and a whole lot fruity, it was love at first sniff.

Chunks

I love creating my own blends with Mini Melters, but there’s always something to be said for Rosegirls’ classic chunks, and in such charmingly pretty colours, too!  Of the many scents on offer, I grabbed three bags in Crazy Pants Wackadoodle (left), a super potent blend of juicy apples and rich sugar cookies, Strawberry Mango Peeps Cake (centre), a Peeps-enhanced blend of one of my favourite fruity duos, and Dunk My Donut Cuppa Cake Noel (right), a disappointingly light combination of cinnamon sugar donuts, cupcakes and Vanilla Bean Noel.  I get that distinctive VBN note and not much else.  I’m going to tuck this scent away for a bit and see if it comes around with time.

Snowflake Wreath

Saving the biggies for last, these jumbo snowflakes (a bit bigger than my palm and twice as thick) came in an assortment of Rosegirls’ popular Super Mario-inspired scent blends.  It’s been my fun little holiday tradition for three years now to grab whatever’s available in these festive scents; I don’t think it would have felt like Christmas without them. 🙂

Starting with the topmost snowflake in purple, we have Up on the Castle Top, a favourite fruity-bakery blend featuring Berry Creme Brulee and Rice Krispie Treats.  I think this smells like old school berry Bubbalicious bubble gum, the super smackery kind.  Going clockwise, the green snowflake is Go Tell it on DK’s Mountain, a bracingly strong blend of cologne-y Sweater Weather, pine and Vanilla Bean Noel.  I’ve no idea why I like this scent; it’s entirely unlike any of my usual scent preferences.

Continuing on clockwise, the dusty rose snowflake is in the blend that sold me on all things Raspberry Sauce, Yoshi the Red Nosed Dino, a nose-tinglingly tart combination of my beloved Raspberry Sauce and pistachio smoothie.  Yes, pistachio; I stand beside you in your shock!  But wow, this scent is wonderful.  I look forward to melting it all year.  Down in the 6 pm position, the pale pink snowflake is in Koopa Troopa Assault, another bracingly strong blend of pomegranate, lemon, Raspberry Sauce and Marshmallow Smoothie.  With both of these ultra strong blends, I should get a solid six or more melts out of each snowflake.

The turquoise snowflake is in Koopa Klaus is Coming to Town, a warm and cozy blend of zucchini bread, coconut and sugar cookies.  Rich and sweet, this delightful scent smells like the very best kind of Christmas baking.  Finally, closing out the wreath with the rose red snowflake, we have Manic Mario Madness, a new-to-me blend of Mac apple, blueberry and vanilla ice cream.  Apples and blueberries – can’t ever go wrong with that combo.  The three Christmas lights are samples in Up on the Castle Top.

So there we have it, the fragrances that will be scenting my home for what I hope is many, many months to come.  Low buy no buys are so much more satisfying when you have a stash to work through, and boy, do I have a stash!  So I’ll be working through that, all while studiously ignoring all but the most tantalizing of wax offerings.  Gotta keep my eye on that Disney prize. 😉

Candy-Coated Customs: A Haul Post

Pepp Framed SMT main collage

Hey, look what finally showed itself, my MIA Sniff My Tarts custom order!  I placed this order in the summer at the end of June, but through a series of misadventures (some mine, some Sniff My Tarts’, some the doing of the always reliable postal service) it did not come into my possession until two weeks ago.  But it’s here now, and I have some nice blends to share with you, should you share my affinity for sweet, fruity bakery and other candy-coated treats.

But before the pretty, a word to the shopping wise: No matter how you’re shopping – virtually or in the really real world – stay on top of your purchases, particularly if they are of the pre-order or money-down variety.  And if something seems off – say, the order you placed at nearly the same time stamp as a friend, who received her order months earlier? – politely check in with the vendor to see what’s what.  Odds are it’s fallen through the cracks somewhere in the process, and it’s up to you to start hunting it down.

Okay, on with the pretty!  And this order was sooo pretty; colourful, eye-catching and nicely packed so as to preserve all that nice design work.  I was delighted with everything I pulled out of the box, particularly the minty sheet cakes, one of which was broken, true, but that just made it easier to immediately sacrifice it to the wax gods as a sweetly scented offering to the upcoming holidays.  I’ve actually already melted through a solid third of it, and it’s only been two weeks.  Better slow down, Tilly!  There is such a thing as too much mint (NEVER!)

SMT Sheet Cakes Collage

Mmm, and what delicious choices they were, too, although very similar in terms of composition.  What can I say, I clearly was of a mind for mint when I placed this customs order.  On the left we have my attempt at a recreation of Rosegirls’ Peppermint Coconut Mallow, using a blend of Sniff My Tarts’ Peppermint, Sticky Marshmallow and Coconut Cream Pie.  On immediate cold I find the Coconut Cream Pie to be largely absent, although it may be adding an as-yet-undetected creaminess to an otherwise delicious blend of wintery peppermint and whipped marshmallow fluff.  And look at those darn cute little embellishments!

Peppermint Noel Sheet Cake

The second decorated sheet cake I got was a straight-up blend of Marshmallow Noel & Candy (a scrumptious combo of Vanilla Bean Noel and icy peppermint) and Marshmallow Fluff.  This smells quite a bit like perennial Bath & Body Works’ Christmas favourite, Twisted Peppermint.  Or a mint Tic Tac!  I love both, so you’ve got no complaints from me.

Peppermint Mallow Sheet Cake

And no Sniff My Tarts customs order would be complete without at least a handful of delightfully delicious (and absolutely gigantic) frosted sugar cookies.  Each one of these cookies, which span my palm, will give me five or six melts.

Framed Frosted Cookies

The slam dunks of this order were Blackberry, Ice Cream Scoop Bread and Vanilla Waffle Cone (a tart, almost tea-like fruit blended with toasty vanilla bakery, and oh holy cow is it great), Circus Concession and Blueberry Noel (candy apple-topped funnel cakes enhanced with sweet blueberry cream) and Christmas Wish and Vanilla Butter Fudge (pine, peppermint and vanilla sugar cookies iced with smooth butter fudge.)

Ever so slightly less successful, but still quite good, are Pink Sands and Red Delicious Apple (ooh, this one was nearly perfect, but it needs a slightly tarter, more candied scent than Red Delicious) and Lemon Curd, Marshmallow Fluff and Coconut Cream Pie (the Mystery of the Missing Coconut Cream Pie is once again upon us, leaving us with one super puckery, ultra lemony melt.)

The little frosted baby cookies are in Marshmallow Noel & Candy all by its lonesome.  Because simple is highly underrated.

Finally, I ordered a number of singular scents (or scent blends) in these adorable piped hearts, which came in just the loveliest assortment of Fall hues – the rosy pinks and caramel browns are just so beautiful together.  Each one of these hearts will give me three to four melts, depending on the strength of the blend.

Framed Piped Hearts

The big hit of this order was Apple Cider Latte, on whose many delicious qualities I already expounded here.  Of the others, Honey Gingerbread ranks a close, warmly spiced (but not spicy) second, with Under the Big Top (a creamy blend of Circus Concession and Vanilla Smoothie) joining them on the podium in third.  Pumpkin Marshmallow Latte is scrumptious, and actually smells like sweetened pumpkin puree, and although I think Willow’s Cuppy Cake could benefit from a lot more presence (it’s quite light on cold) I love its beguiling bakery blend of what I swear is white cake, strawberries and peppermint?  Or is that just residual mint from the two sheet cakes?  That only affected this one scent?  Hmm, seems unlikely.  And while I know that Ultimate Bakery is a much-loved favourite, I didn’t quite care for its Pink Sugar-laced blend of cinnamon apples and sugar cookies.  Must be that dastardly Pink Sugar at work again; we’ve tried so many times to be pals, and it just never works out.

So there we have it, my second Sniff My Tarts custom order.  ‘Twasn’t without its difficulties, but now that it’s here in my hot little burners, I’m pleased as punch with my choices.

Plucky Duckies

Plucky Duckies Collage 4

Today’s little wax haul comes to you courtesy of The Melting Duck, fine indie purveyors of rainbow-splashed, mica-dusted mini shapes and gigantic wax duckies.  I’ve been smitten with their huge assortment of adorable shapes, unusual colour combinations and pop culture-influenced scent blends for some time now; Halloween seemed the perfect time to test these duck-filled waters (shame my order didn’t actually arrive until the week after Halloween.  Shamer still that at least part of my order was to be a Halloween gift for friends.  Still, knowing my pals, I think they’ll have no problem tucking these guys away until next Fall should they feel that strongly about the very serious issue of seasonal melting. 😉  Me?  I’m jumping in straight away!)

This was such a fun package to open; this was my first order with The Melting Duck, and everything I pulled out of the box (“Whhhaaaattt’s in the booooooooxxxxxx?”) made me grin with delight.  Such detail, such whimsy!  First, let’s examine those plucky little duckies a little further.

Plucky Duckies Collage 3

Except these duckies – The Melting Duck calls them Demented Ducks – are really not so little.  Weighing in at just a little under eight ounces per duck, there’s quite a bit of waxy goodness here.  And look at the mindful little details – the swirls and layers of colour, the very demented-looking googly eyes, the tiny Jack-o-Lantern glitter embedded in the middle duck’s wing.  Adorable!  Because you can’t get a good sense of the scale of these massive shapes as measured against each other, here I’ve set a Demented Duck in Heads Will Roll, a pumpkin cupcakes and candy corn blend, beside a favourite 60 ml bottle of perfume from Solstice Scents.  They’re so big, it’s totally quackers (wah-waaaahhhhhh.)

Plucky Duckies 3

I actually chose just two scents in ducky format, Heads Will Roll and Briarcliff, a pumpkin, vanilla and marshmallow blend.  But a few days before my order went out, The Melting Duck said that owing to a bit of a pouring snafu, a scent I had chosen in the mini shapes – Duckin Donuts, a coffee-and-pastries blend – would no longer be offered in those shapes; would I be at all interested in some Demented Duckin Donuts?  I was, and so that’s how this charming little coffee brown duck (and a couple of his melt-mates) wound up rounding out my trio of fabulously fragranced foul.  I’m so glad I nabbed this one, too – had contemplated the refund The Melting Duck nicely offered, but chose to move ahead for my husband, who would mainline coffee in all its various forms if only he could.  He loves his mocha scents, and he’s going to love this one, too, because it’s a goody – smells JUST like the inside of a chain coffee shop, right down to the pleasant, comforting fragrance of fresh brewed coffee and glazed, yeasty pastries.  On an ounce per ounce basis, this very plump duck and the three cups (already melted one) worked out to more wax than I would have received in the bakery bags of mini shapes; an appreciated little bit of overage for the manufacturing goof.  Twas a nice touch.

Plucky Duckies 5

I also picked up two bakery bags of mini shapes (plus a couple for friends, which I had to hold myself back from photographing, because they’re not mine!)  I chose a couple of very unlike me scents, All Hallow’s Eve (the purple, black and orange shapes, a sweet and creamy blend of candy corn, pumpkin cupcakes, buttercream crunch cake and caramel corn) and Ghost Stories By the Fire (the orange and grey shapes, a candy-sweet, almost floral blend of Marshmallow Fireside, Earl Grey tea and vanilla ice cream) – unlike me in that I’ve had quite a bit of trouble with pumpkin scents this season (headaches) and also because both fragrances contain scent notes that typically send me fleeing (candy corn, Earl Grey tea, Marshmallow Fireside in anything aside from all by its lonesome.)  But I really like both of these blends – actually, I like all the scents I chose, even the ones I gave away – probably precisely because they’re not my usual.  It’s good to change things up every now and then. 🙂

Plucky Duckies Collage 1

Ugh, and how stinkin’ cute are these little shapes?  I die for the wee little duckies in both blends, but the Dia de los Muertos skulls, baby broom and grinning Jack-o-Lanterns of All Hallow’s Eve are outstanding.  Such lovely design work, it almost seems a shame to melt them.  But melt them I will – I’ll just try not to stare directly at the duckies while it’s happening.

Plucky Duckies Collage 2

If you’re interested in getting in on all this sweetly scented ducky action, you can join The Melting Duck’s Facebook group to stay up-to-date on future pre-orders and new releases.  They actually just held the final pre-order of the year for a number of holiday-themed blends, although I managed to abstain; I’m pretty flush with wax at the moment.  But no doubt they’ll be back and raring to go in the new year with all sorts of adorably fun shapes and colours and scents, and we’ll be there then!

Super Tarts

Super Tarts Order Full

Straight off the top, I’m of two minds about this rather large order of scented wax from Super Tarts, a pop culture-minded vendor out of the United States.  On the one hand, I’m delighted with the absolutely gigantic selection of themed scents, from The Walking Dead and Ghostbusters, to Harry Potter and the Ninja Turtles.  I had a total blast perusing their 26-page-strong product list in search of waxes, soaps and scrubs in scents inspired by Egon, Hagrid or CORAL!!!  Coincidentally, that’s also how I wound up placing a maybe-too-large order (okay, definitely too large) for my first time at Super Tarts bat – I was just dazzled by all that fun choice.  And any vendor that offers products themed to Beetlejuice and The Lost Boys is more than all right with me.

But on the other hand, this order arrived on my doorstep absolutely thrashed.  Shipping was obscene – I’m too ashamed to share the amount with you – and the packaging slight.  The clamshells, packed tightly together, had just a handful of packing peanuts tossed on top of them, which offered zero protection from the X-Men who vetted my package at customs (fairly certain Wolverine had a go at this poor box.)  When I opened the parcel, this is the sight that greeted me.  I spent half an hour picking tiny, shredded flakes of packing peanuts off my clamshells, and in some cases, from INSIDE my clamshells (never let it be said the postal system is not thorough(ly useless.)

Busted All to Crap

And while I recognize that postal snafus are outside of the purview of a vendor, there was an evident lack of care in the packaging of this box; over half of my clamshells arrived broken, gouged or otherwise.  Made me wonder precisely what that exorbitant shipping fee had bought me.

Super Tarts TWD Collage

And I was also dismayed to find that for the most part, that lack of care extended to the products themselves – most of the seams of my clamshells were smeared with bits of dried wax, the labels were wonky, and in a few distressing cases, the clamshells themselves seemed to be disintegrating beneath the wax.  It wasn’t much of a first impression.  In fact, it will most likely be my only impression; this was not a good enough retail experience to warrant a repeat visit (with absolutely no shade directed towards my friends who love Super Tarts and suggested I try them out; you don’t know until you try, and everybody’s experience is just a little bit different.)

Super Tarts Harry Potter Collage

But on the other-other hand (lot of hands here) – the one that’s attempting to make lemonade out of very expensive, very damaged lemons – I’ve been having a lot of fun melting through this wide assortment of scents.  There’s a little bit of everything here – Super Tarts touches on so many different fandoms – and so far I’ve really enjoyed their scented take on superheros, Harry Potter and favourite horror movies of my childhood.  Many of the unique scent blends are delightfully unexpected successes, and wonder of wonders, Super Tarts’ pumpkin is one that does NOT set my head a-thumpin’.  The delicate little overlays on top of some of the clamshells are also quite cute.  You know, the ones that aren’t smashed all to crap. 😦  I particularly like the horror movie blends – Day of the Dead, a non-cloying blend of pecan pie, creme brulee and waffle cone, and Psycho, an unexpectedly delicious blend of pumpkin bread, sour cream coffee cake and raspberries, are real standouts.

Super Tarts Scary Tarts Collage

Anyhow, focusing on the positives here and trying to learn from this lesson – as in, don’t go big until you know precisely what you’re dealing with.  Expect the postal service to savage your parcel.  And if a shipping fee seems too high, that’s because it is.  So maybe heed that sensible voice inside telling you to approach a first-time transaction with some degree of caution, yeah?  I stumble so that you may learn and all that good stuff.

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. 🙂