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It was in 2004 that I discovered Yankee Candle scented candles and by now if you’re getting fed up reading the same old story with the more economical purchased wax tarts I’ve continually preached about and continually promoted, this product isn’t anything like a wax tart candle. It’s a plug in scent, a product that has been out since the 1980’s from American companies like Airwick who produced one of the very first plug-in scented products on the market and as a result Yankee Candle followed suit with a few classic scents like “Cinnamon Stick,” “Clean Cotton,” “Lavender,” “Home Sweet Home,” and more recently “Good Air.” Yet here’s a wee tip you’ll never know – the original slim Airwick plug cartridge can also use Yankee Candle plug-in scented refills as they are the same design that Yankee Candle used when they searched for a producer for their plug-ins – not all Airwick plug-in plugs however are the same, so look out for the photo here at the end so that you’re aware of the Airwick plug type that the Yankee Candle plug-in bottles can be locked into!
Versatility Versus Safety
From time to time dependent on the need, I find plug-in scents to be very useful. Some products smell too synthetic, a result of the more obvious fact that all you’re doing is heating up chemical scented oil and allowing a small burner element to pervade the fragrance in the room that the plug is situated in. But then again, with so many scented candles available these days – unless they are all soya based, which they aren’t – scented candles are exactly the same, albeit a bit more dangerous because of the fact that they get lit! Other scents from Yankee Candle that are available aren’t as synthetic in their approach and thus not as artificial, often lending buyers a safer and more versatile approach to a lit candle. When it comes to travelling and staying in hotels or B&B’s, I’ve often taken a tinned candle with me or a plug-in scent to give the rooms a fresher smell rather than put up with the stale smell that air conditioner systems tend to leave, or the smell of hotel bed sheets that often have an accompanying staleness to them when they are left in cold lock ups before the beds are made.
The Product, The Price & The Promise
As a fan of Yankee Candle’s sweeter-than-Cinnamon-Stick, “Home Sweet Home,” scented candles, I have to be in a particular mood whenever I want the smell of sugary sweet cinnamon in the home. Whilst the candle in its original sense – wax tart to medium and large Housewarmer jar ranges – is very strong and can be intoxicating because of its strength, it was no wonder that I jumped the chance at trying the plug-in version of “Home Sweet Home.” Priced on average between £14-95 to £16-95 for the Plug itself, you’ll get two 18.5ml bottles of the Home Sweet Home formula to get you started or optionally if you have the plug already (or go with the tip I gave earlier by seeking out the cheapest Airwick plugs with the ribbed control at the top) you can pick up replacement 2 pack bottles at a cost price between £5-99 to £8-99 dependent on seller. In either case, the bottles contain a dark burgundy liquid, as opposed to the original dark pinkish colour that the scented wax can be found in and both bottles have screw caps – which I don’t recommend throwing away.
Yankee Candle’s plug in product has an average duration time of 6 to 8 weeks before a bottle needs to be replaced and there is a 3 stage variable setting complete with a neat little shade that slides on top of the plug-in to mimic the shade accessories you can buy for the real-life Housewarmer scented jars that Yankee Candle sell.
What Does It Smell Of?
Over the years I have purchased a few different plug-in scents from Yankee Candle, and only a few have been a success from the original range with others that aren’t so good. “Lavender” smells like rotten furniture polish, the “Mandarin Orange,” is lucky of being obtainable at all and smells eventually like artificial synthetic Orange, “Fresh Cut Roses,” is very fresh but also liable to induce sneezing whilst “Baby Powder,” is also another love/loathe product! So, as you can see, even if I haven’t written reviews on all of these plug-in scents, there are few you could avoid!
Sadly, “Home Sweet Home,” in its plug-in concept isn’t any near as strong as the scented candle. The tones that come out of this product mirror cinnamon, but there’s very little body to be had here and very little of the sugar promise that makes the original candle scent so appealing. Instead, there is the tinniest hint of apple, mimicking the apple pie like quality that the original candle portrays, but even on the highest setting, this plug-in comes across as very disappointing, often leaving rooms with a strong, alcoholic smell of apple cider than of truer spicy and sweet cinnamon.
Strength & Delivery
The best way of getting the best amount of scent out of this plug-in product is to plug it into a room that is well ventilated but not liable to suffer from draughts and with the room permanently closed over. Again, because of the lack of strength, the scent that comes out of the product is very weak, even if I leave the plug switched on continuously. I thought initially that I had bought a dud product and upon taking it back to the shop and getting a new plug with fresh bottles, there was no improvement at all in the delivery – this product just isn’t a good alternative to the candle – or the room spray if you can find it!
For the price here, the expression of pervading perfume isn’t as good as Yankee Candle make out. On the one hand if you are looking for delicate cinnamon, by all means consider this product, or a different format – this plug-in requires at least 6 hours before it starts to come alive and that’s only if you leave the plug at the 3rd highest setting and not the first two.
There are other downsides to this product but like all plug-in scents, Yankee Candle aren’t alone here. So, if for example the product is spilt, it can mark carpets and varnished surfaces. The scented oil is also flammable.
However, when considering the actual Yankee Candle plug-in, it's not necessarily good news either. The plastic quality that the plug is made out of doesn't always feel the best. The action of putting a bottle up into the lock of the actual plug holder can sometimes not lock properly, often requiring a hefty push of the hand before the bottle locks in and sometimes you won't hear the click that the bottle locks into. Whilst the plug is reasonably well made in terms of being durable, the top of the plug has a sizeable hole in which the perfume is allowed to evaporate – but if the plug is used continually – the hole can harbour dust and dirt very easily, making it harder to clean. The little shade that slides on the front of the plug is nice to look at the time, and although it adds a cute little aspect to the plug-in, it is liable to fall off at the slightest touch. Luckily the plug in has an all-in-one colour of beige, so it mirrors the best from Ambi-pur and other brands in terms of being able to blend in with a lot of home colours. But the whole concept should be better made for the asking price, here.
Another issue I find is that the liquid refills or the one that you get with the plug in doesn't last the duration that Yankee Candle claim. Not if you leave the plug plugged in and switch it on, using it for a couple of hours per day. In general, I find that the plug bottles last up to a month before they need replaced. They will last the duration claim that the American company suggest - simply by not using much of it - and at least with the clear glass bottle look, you can see how far down it is going as it burns.
Over time Yankee Candle’s purchase here doesn’t make much sense, if the scent that you get isn’t worth considering. Whilst “Home Sweet Home” appeals to me from its scented candle range, there is no way I would ever recommend the plug-in version. The smell isn't sneeze inducing, but neither is it as natural as the candle and that alcoholic scent does nothing for me, other than to switch the plug off when it all gets too much!