In October I visited the U.S.A with a trip to Bath and Body Works firmly in my sight - man I love their candles and stores. Sure I purchased a few products from Bath and Body Works but I thought that perhaps a better idea would be to shop around; seek out lesser known U.S based home fragrancing options and report back. Maybe you live in the good ol' US of A or perhaps you have a visit scheduled in the near future, either way here are three brands to look out for.
As you can see all of my U.S wax tarts come presented in snap, oyster shell like packaging which believe it or not is something I imagine will become more and more common place. Why? Well frankly such design is so much more user friendly, simply snap off a cube or two, pop into a wax tart burner and burn as normal. No mess, no fuss and the small cubes mean you can mix and match scents (and brands for that matter) to create your own custom blend.
Ambient Escents Tarts ($2.99)
I'm not overly sure if Ambient Escents are exclusive to Bath and Body Works (please feel to let me know within the comment section) or not but it is here that I found them. If you are a fan of woody and musk based scents this is a brand to keep in mind; having said that, the scent range is really varied with fruity, sweet and festive fragrances also included within the collection. I settled on two Teakwood scents: Brazilian Teakwood and Teakwood Noir - both are quite strong and unisex type scents, all the while being fairly clean. Out of the three that I have purchased the wood type fragrances have the best scent throw and burn really well - one cube is more than enough and will last around three days or approx 12 hours. Sadly that is not the case with the Santa's Sugar Cookies, sure the sugary, sweet, vanilla is pleasant and the perfect, cheery scent for the Winter months but its very weak and requires around three cubes to make any impact. If you have access to Bath and Body Works I can not recommend picking up a few Ambient Escents Tarts enough, especially the wood based scents.
Mainstays Wax Tarts (approx $1/$2 each)
If you like unusual and foodie type fragrances Mainstays should be the brand you make a mental note to try. As someone who lives in the UK I'm of course not an expert when it comes to stockists, I found my Mainstays Wax Tarts in Walmart and the range of scents on offer was expansive. No seriously, if you can dream it Mainstays make it. I truly must have spent a good hour, inhaling all the bizarre yet wonderful fragrance options before walking away with the following scents: Apple Pumpkin (thick red apples, warm and rich), Banana Nut Bread (it reminds me of banana flavoured cake batter), Pumpkin Spice (rich and spicy) and Warm Apple Pie (exactly like the sweet treat). Despite being so budget friendly (they somewhat remind me of Yankee Candle both in performance and fragrance offerings) they burn wonderfully and offer a string scent throw, if I had the means to stock up on more I would.
Patriot Candles Wax Tarts (around $3 per tart)
You know the drill, you pop into Walgreens for a Snapple and before you know it you have a basket full of products that you don't really need. Pretty much the story of my life. On one such trip I found myself wandering aimless in the home fragrance aisle and like any normal person I decided to grab a souvenir or two to take home. A wax based reminder because magnets don't quite cut it these days. Truthfully Patriot Candles Wax Tarts are the most basic in terms of scent options, they seemingly have three categories: clean (think laundry type scents), floral and fruity. Don't let this statement put you off as the scents are really well structured and are long lasting. One tiny square is all I need to scent a room for hours on end. Due to the limited range of fragrances I only purchased three wax tarts to try: Fruit Smoothie (sweet and similar to a candied grape scent), Lemon Sugar Cookie (divine, somewhat reminiscent to lemon cupcakes) and Melon Sorbet (fresh, fruity and of course melon based). The next time you find yourself in Walgreens make sure you check this range out.
I'm back in the US soon (New York) so feel free to recommend any other lesser known fragrance brands I should check out, I've already set my sights on the novelty candles at Ricky's (Taco Tuesday is the name of one, hilarious!).