Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: Candles By Victoria

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I don't think I've ever officially reviewed Candles By Victoria, which is really silly because I love them, I talk about them all the time, and I really couldn't imagine living without them.
Obviously from the picture above, I have other candles, BUT, CBV always prevails. Always.
This is also going to act as an overview of the company, since I've tried quite a few different sizes, and scents and I have some comparisons to make as well.
Candles By Victoria is a small business that was started by the lovely (and obviously named) Victoria. She has her whole story on her website, but basically she wasn't pleased with the quality of the candles she had been purchasing so she took the brave path of starting her own business and started making her own, much higher quality, much more potent and much more AMAZING candles.
The thing that stands out the most about these candles is just how scented they are. I'm sure you've all experienced scented candles before, whether it be Yankee Candle, or the Slatkin ones available at Bath and Body works or the generic ones from any drugstore, but I can guarantee you that you have never truly experienced what a scented candle should be until you buy one of Victoria's candles. They're THAT good.
Not only are they highly scented, but there's a specific accuracy in the scents that make them that much more fantastic. Anybody can make a smelly candle, but to make it smell good, and have it continue to smell good when the formula is so potent is the real challenge.
To add to that, she has over 500 scents now. Actually, I believe it's over 600. And you can read them all here. The categories range from bakery (which is basically everybody's favorite), to floral, to dupes of other brand's scents (perfumes, bath products etc).
The range of products is also fantastic. There are small candles, large candles, medium candles, melts, reed diffusers, combination candles and you can even make your own. The good part about this is that if you don't want to commit to a huge candle, or don't want to pay for one, they offer small candles that are $5 each or you can just test scents out with a scent shot, which is like $2 each. They also sell Tart Warmers on the site so you can melt your scent shots, or other melting products that you own.
Shipping is also excellent. Everything comes packed very securely (if you've seen a previous haul video of mine, then you've seen me struggle with opening them.), and everything comes in a timely manner, unless you order near a holiday or huge sale, then you (understandably) have to account for some delays. All the candles are made right when you order them, so they're fresh when they come. No second guessing whether those candles have been sitting around forever. And you can see them make some of their candles on their youtube channel. Plus, whenever you order, they throw in a free scent shot of their choosing. 
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Since I just purchased a lot from CBV, I'll just be going over the scents I got, instead of all the scents I've tried. 
My favorite thing to do is to order the No Frills Sampler Pack, which is a pack of 6 candles, which you get to choose the scents of, and instead of individually buying 6 candles of the same size, it comes out cheaper. There are 3 different sizes to choose from, I normally pick the 9 oz. No Frills Pack, which is $45. 
CBV just had a big spring/easter promotion on April 1st so I took advantage of the sale and purchased another No Frills Pack. They also have a golden easter egg promotion going where throughout all the orders, 20 random orders come with an egg and I don't know if all the eggs have something in them, but mine did. The golden egg is obviously the grand prize and I believe it's a gift certificate in a large amount. Don't quote me on that though. The info for that can be seen HERE.
The photo directly above shows the six 9 oz. candles that come with the No Frills Pack, as well as the scent shot. The photo at the very top of the post shows some of the different sizes that CBV offers.
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This is the larger, 24 oz candle. I don't think it's the biggest candle they have, but it's definitely one of the bigger ones. This particular candle is one of the specific candles they make, called "S'more Galore" and it's on page 4 of her site. I'll go into depth about the candle itself later in the post, but that is how big one of the 24 oz. candles is. 
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This is from the No Frills Pack and it's the 9 oz. size. The No Frills Packs can be found on the second page of their site. It's a decent size, even though it seems so drastically smaller than the 24 oz. These actually last forever. I have yet to burn completely through one of them. I actually pick the 9 oz over the 8 oz packs because they look different... After viewing all of the pictures on her site, I think the 9 oz ones are the smallest candles that come in the cuter, mustard sytle jars. The 8 oz ones come in taller, skinnier country style jars. So really, the reason I buy the 9 oz is for an aesthetic reason. The 8 oz pack is also $40, and the 9 oz one is $45, so I figure, just go the extra $5 for an extra ounce in 6 candles.
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This is one of the smaller, individual candles I was talking about earlier. If you're scared to commit to a scent and want something small, but don't have a tart warmer, I think this is a great deal. This is one of the Mini Jelly Jar candles, which is 4 oz and only $5. This is one of the first candles I got when I was still exploring their candles and I think it's a great way to introduce yourself to the candles. This is on page 14 of the site.
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These are 2 different types of melts you can purchase from CBV. There's an entire different tab on the website devoted to tarts. I think the melts are all really cute, just are harder to use. If you have a tart warmer, which I have (see below), then you just stick one of those in there and it melts the tart and it's a safer alternative if you want to keep a scent going for the whole day or something. It's also a great way to experiment with scents because the scent shots (photo on the left), which are $2 each, can be cut and combined together in a warmer and it's a great way to try a whole bunch of scents without buying like 10 $5 candles. The thing about these is that after you melt them, they cool in the tart warmer and then you're stuck with it in the tart warmer, or you're stuck with it in a very flat, awkwardly shaped disc that doesn't fit into the little cup it came in, and there's the issue of storing it but also labeling it. It's a very lame complaint but at the same time, it's something that I don't really know what to do with yet.
Anyways, the scent shots are available on the first page of the Tarts tab, and are $2 and can be ordered in any of the fragrances they offer. The Cupcake Melts are $14 for 3 cupcake melts, and are on the 2nd page of the Tarts page. I love them. The scent is perfect (actually smells like a freshly baked cupcake with frosting), and they're just adorable. They come with real sprinkles on top. There are other food shaped melts available, like donuts and buns. There are also standard crumb melts and heart shaped melts on there as well.
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This is available on the first page of the Tarts tab. It's one of the tart warmers you can buy. It's $15 and comes in super handy. Not just for candles either. I use it to depot my eyeshadows. The bowl on top comes off (they're 2 separate pieces) so you have just a small heated base and it's like a very large flat iron surface. Granted it doesn't get as hot as a flat iron but I'm never rushing when I'm depotting... anyways, it plugs in and there's an on/off switch on the cord. The light on the front turns on to notify you that it's on and turns off when it gets turned off (duh, right?). They come in like 9 different colors so there's something for everybody.
That all pretty much covers the bases of Candles By Victoria. Really, their website covers everything, from candle care, to company info and a full listing of scents available as well as videos you can watch from people on YouTube like SayAnythingBr00ke. 
The rest is just going to be descriptions of the newest scents I've purchased, as well as some comparisons way down at the bottom to other candle brands. 
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Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
I realize that it's sort of useless to have a photo of something where the main point has very little to do with what it looks like. But, a picture you get. This is from the new batch of fragrances CBV came out with this spring. Of the new scents, I think this is the one that really caught my eye. Or got me curious about what it smelled like. You all get it lol. It's been described by people online as a very lotion-y scent. And that's pretty much it. It's not as sweet as I thought. It's got a stronger oatmeal and milk scent than the honey scent. It's under the Clean category. 

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Bath Time With Pooh
If you're looking for a more concentrated honey scent and for something not so lotion-y, then this is for you. It smells like honey and "crunchy toffee bits". Aka, it smells like Honey I Washed The Kids Soap by Lush. I would say that it's an exact dupe for it, but I won't and here's why:
So yeah, if you're looking for one of those similarly scented candles, go under the Candleman's Closet category of fragrances. 
Regardless, this is one of my FAVORITE candles. And this is my second candle in this scent. 


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Lavender Vanilla
Upon first scent, the lavender is the most obvious scent. It's sweetened and then softened by the undertones of vanilla. I do have the Bath And Body Works Aromatherapy candle in the same scent and they smell totally different. Personally, I was looking for a good, lavender scented candle, that didn't smell artificial, or too pumped with perfume, and this is perfect for me. The BBW one is much more of a vanilla and barely smells like lavender. It actually smells like a baby powdered version of vanilla with the slightest hint of vanilla. That Aromatherapy candle is very calming, as it's supposed to be a "sleep" encouraging candle, so I guess it's good for that, but I would definitely recommend CBV's Lavender Vanilla candle if you're searching for a good lavender candle. They also have other lavender candles, including just a straight lavender candle, and a lemon lavender.

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Fluffer Nutter
On CBV's website there's an option where you can create your own scent by combining any two of the scents available in their line. This one is one of those particular creations that go so popular with the customers on the site and on the forum on the site that Victoria made it a permanent scent. It's under the House Blends category. The scents combined in this candle are Peanut Butter Cookies and Marshmallow Campfire. I have both the scents and the Fluffer Nutter candle is definitely more Peanut Butter than the smokey marshmallow scent. Compared to the Peanut Butter Cookies candle though, the Fluffer Nutter candle is slightly sweeter and well, fluffer-nutter-y. 

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Leesha
This one is named after xSparkage, one of the YouTube beauty girls. It's a mix of Dutch Apple Crunch and Buttery Caramel. It was one of the candles Victoria originally sent to Leesha as a custom mix for her, then Brooke got one, raved about it and from there it became super popular and another permanent fragrance. The Dutch Apple Crunch scent is clearly the most dominating one, but there is a good caramel undertone. I have a scent shot of Dutch Apple Crunch and it was a little too coconutty for me. I would have preferred more apple in it. Mixed in with caramel though, it smells so much better. 

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Apple Cider
There's also a Christmas Apple Cider Snap scent, which I have a scent shot of, and that one has less apple in it. This one has a very nice apple scent, which is paired with a very spicey and very evident cinnamon scent. 
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S'More Galore
Just to make this easy, here is their description of the candle:
I've only burned a little bit of this candle, just so that the lid would fit on the top, but I already love it. It reminds me a lot of the Rockslide Brownie candle CBV used to make, which was also a large, decorated, combined candle. That one had brownies and caramel though. This one literally just smells like s'mores. It's also double wicked, so that it burns evenly. 

The rest of this post will just be some briefs about other candles I have used by other brands. 
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Lavender Vanilla Aromatherapy Candle from Bath And Body Works
This is actually a recent purchase. I've burned it a few times. It's definitely a softer, more baby powder like vanilla scent, with only the slightest hint of lavender. I thought the lavender scent would come out as it was being burned, but it really hasn't yet. It is a very nice, soothing scent, making it appropriate for being advertised as a "night time sleepy time" candle. It's just not as lavendery as I wanted it to be. For the amount, it was also more expensive per ounce than CBV, and it isn't as powerfully scented as CBV. They're not bad candles though. They're still pretty strongly scented. 

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China Pear candle from Cost Plus
This is my favorite scent ever. It just smells so fresh, and juicy without having a false sweetener feel to it.  I absolutely love it. It's not the most powerful candle, but I still love it. I have 2 of them. 

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Christmas Wreath candle from Yankee Candle
The only reason I bought this was because it smells like a christmas tree. No extra scent, no extra anything. Just pine fresh. SayAnythingBr00ke actually recommended it (like most of the candles by CBV that I buy). That being said, it was pretty expensive, and it's not powerfully scented at all. I've burned what looks like a lot of it because I pretty much burned it non-stop during the holidays to get the christmas tree scent everywhere. Other than that, I sort of hate the candle because it's so not strong at all. 

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Autumn Candle from Bath And Body Works
This was a limited edition candle from Bath And Body Works for the fall, and I included this because it's a candle by the same company that makes the Aromatherapy candles but it's part of BBW's non-Aromatherapy line. I LOVE this scent but I also love that it's a pretty decently scented candle. It also lasts quite a while. I've burned this one quite a bit but I still have a fair amount left. The wick is on the thinner side, which I think is what helps.

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