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Many years ago when I first got into Yankee Candle reviews, let alone scented candles and away from endlessly reviewing household appliances and gadgets, I came across a candle that I absolutely refused to tell anyone about. The White Company made it and the candle was called “Wild Mint.” It was the most glorious scent of fresh, sweet and deep mint I had ever sampled in a candle product and the year after when I had bought my first sample when just about ready to share my experiences with the public online, The White Company went and stopped production of the scent as well as another favourite, “Winter Fig,” which only appears seasonally now and is always sold out by Christmas. How they manage to stay in business I’ll never know! So, when it comes to mint candles by other brands I’m not aware of many, even though Yankee Candle do produce a fair amount, and just like The White Company, they use their marketing skills to bring out the minty fragrances just before Christmas in the hope that buyers like me are killing themselves to purchase the products from stockists!
A Christmas Scent?
“Winter Wonderland,” has been around for a few years, best appearing only in the last 3 or 4 years alongside more classic Christmas scents like the creamy, sugary “Jack Frost,” “Welcome Christmas,” “Christmas Eve,” and just about anything else with the name “Christmas” added. Frankly I’m surprised Yankee Candle haven’t done “Grit with Snow” for all that they know how to drum up cutesy, homely names to reel the buyers in! My first experience of this candle was given in gift form as a medium jar candle, but as I recall it didn’t smell of very much and I was quite disappointed.
What Does It Smell Of?
It only takes a few seconds for this candle, in wax tart form to fully come alive and it smells wonderfully woody with hints here and there of Yankee Candle’s Balsam and Fir candle without the peppery over tones of Balsam and more Fir like. It is no surprise then to find that my original product of this scent came with another medium Housewarmer jar candle bearing the latter name and these sets appear “just for Christmas,” though may still be available on EBay at reduced costs.
The first tone is exactly what comes across with the similar candle, but it has a wilder, more open minty fragrance that lacks the creamy, sugary over-handedness of “Jack Frost,” and has an undeniably dry character against the understated appeal of the latter candle. The second tone here seems to be composed of menthols and spearmint even though there are slight shades of peppermint as well that lifts the candle into a freshening purpose rather than a candle you could carry off with you for relaxing purposes. If you have a cold like I do currently, the menthol tones are warm and wafting with an ability to clear nasal passages, but without doing it to induce tears or coughs. If you want true clearing out of nasal blockages, add a teaspoon of Vapour rub into a glass tumbler of warm water – but you may find you’ll conk yourself out and the rest of your home in the process! This candle is very soft and smooth once it starts to burn, but its power is relentless and consistent.
The third tone is that of vanilla – it is quite apparent when the candle is extinguished, but it isn’t the type of “French Vanilla,” that Yankee Candle substitute here to blend in a sugary tone, but rather just a humble, mild vanilla that carries all the other additives along nicely. The tail end of the fragrance when burnt for 4 hours ends up giving a rather pine-tree scent, similar to the smell if you vacuumed up pine needles off a Christmas tree!
Strength, Scent Delivery & Safety
An early downside I’ve found to this candle is that it is quite strong, so you may find that it only requires one hour of burning to freshen a room. Usually Yankee Candle wax tarts last for 8 hours before they, themselves conk out but sometimes you can find a winner that will last for longer than YC claim. This product format is one such type – I found the candle scent was still apparent by the seventh day, dying out just towards the end, but in each case whenever it is burnt, the scent lasts for a long time and doesn’t infer the need for freshness daily.
In terms of strength, Yankee Candle have built this candle with natural additives but the golden ticket winner here is the fact that the scents are never too synthetic in their approach and over mass supermarket types where you’d get a thin layer of scent, “Winter Wonderland,” is a complete departure and reaffirms the quality one would expect from this American candle company. Although formed in the 1970’s, Yankee Candle have produced wax tarts from day one and you will find that this round, fluted wax disc does not have a wick but will require a hot oil/potpourri burner supported by a tea light candle to get the solid wax melting into a hot steaming oil.
Therefore where safety is concerned, the additional burner to use needs to have one with a deep concave at the top so that all the wax tart can be used, otherwise it will have to be cut in two and only one half slice used to avoid hot oil steaming over in the scent release process. Even with this novel way of using hot wax, you have to maintain safety and logic at all times - and you may find that the oil burner gets hot on the base as well as the top making it unsuitable to be moved around and to avoid surfaces being burnt, always use a heat proof coaster to keep the burner balanced and heat insulated.
Removing the candle is easy though - once the hot oil burner has cooled down, take out the tea light candle and insert the whole burner into a freezer for a minimum of 15 minutes or 30 minutes in a fridge. Afterwards tip the burner over and with a slight tap to the top, the wax tart should fall out easily. This is a much better procedure than pouring hot oil down a drain since it can block drains, or into a kitchen towel which can burn through and spoil work surfaces etc. Always sniff the base of the candle though when it falls out - if you can still smell scent - then the candle still has life in it to burn the next time around when you choose to burn the candle.
Wax Tart (22 grams, 8 hour duration, 90p/£1.05 each.) Votive candle (1.75 oz 15 hour duration, average price £1-75 to £2) Small Housewarmer jar candle (7 oz 25-40 hours duration, £5-99 to £7-99) Medium Housewarmer jar candle (14.05oz 60-75 hours duration, £13-99) Medium 2-wick tumbler (12.5 oz 45-50 hours duration, £12-99) Large Housewarmer jar candle (22 oz 100-150 hours duration, £17-99) Large 2-wick tumbler (22.7 oz 70-90 hours duration, £16-99) Lidded glass tumbler (7oz 35-45 hours duration, £8-99) Tea light scented candles (240 grams, 4-6 hours per candle, 12 in a box £5-99) Aerosol Room Fragrance Spray (1.5oz, 400 spray limit £4-69 to £5-99) Reed Diffuser (limited edition) (£11-99/£13-99 8fl. oz, 12 reeds 4-6 weeks duration.)