Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apple & Cinnamon and Enchanted Night by Brise : Scented Candle Reviews

In this blog I’ve reviewed perfumes cheap and expensive, rare as well as common, never hesitated between the revered and the reviled and took pleasure in declaring my love even for those that were once well loved but now mocked by many (hello Joop!). But I have to tell you, I’ve been feeling quuuuuite sheepish about reviewing the cheapies I’m about to put under the spotlight today. In fact, I’ve debated with myself about it for more than a week already, often contemplating the eternal “But what will my readers think!?”. Silly huh? So anyway, as you see, I got over my inhibitions, cause I remembered you all love good scents as much as I do. I knew this couldn’t go wrong!

So, the subject matter today is cheap-thrill candles and I’ve chosen my two favorites: Brise Apple & Cinnamon and Brise Enchanting Night. If you’ve had bad run-ins with Johnson’s Glade/Brise products in the past, trust me, I completely understand. Not all of the line’s candles are created equal. In fact I’ve had my share of gag-worthy moments (I’m looking at you I Love You candle) with some of them. I think the line fails miserably when it comes to exuberant, fresh, fruity and fruity-floral smells altogether in fact. But the real surprise is how good it does gourmand, oriental and woody scents: real good. Exceptionally so, trust me. Two of my absolute favorites are Apple & Cinnamon (sold as Pomme & Cannelle in most European countries) and Enchanting Night.

Apple & Cinnamon is the candle I always, always have at home and my trusty standby for all those occasions when I invite people over for coffee or tea. I light it about an hour before my guests arrive and by the time they come in the whole house smells as though I’ve been diligently slaving over the oven to produce the perfect apple pie. It creates the warmest atmosphere and feels absolutely cozy and inviting. Importantly, it always manages to extract spontaneous compliments on how good the house smells. The scent is not only gourmand but beautifully spicy as well - aside from the obvious cinnamon it features a rich clove note that brings to mind festive winter treats.

Enchanting Night on the other hand is more of a private pleasure for me - I light it just for myself when I want to indulge in a quiet evening at home. The scent is probably my favorite in the line for it smells exactly how I wish my house would always smell: private, familiar, sexy. Enchanting Night indeed has an incredibly sensual scent, but the genius of it is that even though it has potent throw and as such adequately perfumes the area, it does so thoughtfully, quietly. It might sound like a contradiction, but yes, the scent it produces is both potent and subdued. How to explain this better? I guess what I mean to say is that it’s never in your face: you can pay attention to it if you like, or you can just ignore it and go about your business, only to notice it again later when it suddenly dawns on you how good the house smells. The actual smell is like an overdose of coumarin (think of newly mown hay and tonka bean sweetness) with beautiful, subtle accents of violet. Oh yes, you see now why this is totally me! Even more attractive is its heavy musky base which smells very much like the musks used in Gaultier’s Fleur du Male.

These candles burn beautifully and cleanly to the very end. They never smoke and I’ve never had to tediously trim their wicks. They just do their own thing and they do it well, and they do it for the cost of no more than four euro, no less. My only complaint is that since a few years ago SC Johnson decided to change the appearance of the pots and partnered up with Sleever International to produce the new designs, which change seasonally (well, at least here in Europe - I believe the U.S. candle holders look different). I am not impressed. I might be burning a cheap candle, but I sure don’t want it to look like I’m burning a cheap candle and these designs are… well. Let’s just say they don’t do it for me. I much preferred the old, clean, simple candle-holders. But alright, I’ll forgive you, Johnson, if only you bring the Pumpkin Pie and the Vanilla scent here in little Holland too! Will you? Please?

Do you have any favorite cheap candles? Most importantly, do they have a good throw? Before I discovered these I always considered cheap candles as worthless, cause nothing seemed to have the power to scent a room and only smelled good in the pot before lighting it… If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

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Sofia K. said...

Your review of the cheap candles is a great idea! In such hard financial times, there are many people out there, who, while they'd love to spend some money buying more 'upscale' candles and scents for their home, unfortunately cannot afford it and have to use the cheaper candles that are more widely available. So, your review of such candles can be very useful in helping people choosing to buy an affordable, but yet lovely smelling candle!

Suzanne said...

Divina, your writing is always wonderful, and your taste, exquisite, so have no fear about doing a review of cheap candles. I love a cheap thrill, and my favorite cheap candles are from a company called Village Candle. "Gardenia" is my favorite, followed by "Rose Garden" (although I think "Rose Garden" might be discontinued now; not sure). Simple, elegant scents that smell amazingly true to the flowers they represent and have a great throw. Plus, like all jar candles, they seem to last forever.

Select Perfume said...

nice like ys post...Thanks for sharing information

PinstripedZebra said...

Even I can attest for the niceness of these candles, coming home in the evening to a warm house which smells like cinnamon! At least that is the note i smell most in the Apple & Cinnamon version, and it is delicious!

The never bore me even though we burn it pretty frequently.