“Battle of the Strawberries”
by Carolyn O’Conner
“Sweet Strawberry” from Yankee Candle
“Strawberry” from Bridgewater Candle
“Strawberry” from Pure Integrity
Intro to “Battle of the Strawberries”…
I’ve been on a mission lately… to find a strawberry scented candle that smells like the real thing. When it comes to fruit in my candles, strawberry isn’t really a scent I’d buy for my own candle-pleasure. I’m more of a citrus and bakery freak, but when noticing strawberry on a candle site’s scent list about a month ago, I started to wonder if candle companies were able to duplicate the smell of real juicy strawberries that I love so much. Every summer I make a trip to our local produce market and buy a big flat of strawberries to munch on. When I’m on my way home in the car with my fruity-find, the smell is incredible…I love it!
The wheels started turning in my head and I figured since strawberry season is on it’s way it would be fun to compare strawberry candles from different companies. I had a lightbulb moment when the title “Battle of the Strawberries” came to me…I was so excited! I told some of my candle-lovin friends about my idea to see if they knew of a strawberry candle that smelled like the real thing. Every one of them said no and that it’s really hard to find an authentic one. After I heard that, I was even more determined to find the utopia of strawberry candles.
I thought it’d be interesting to compare strawberry scents from some of the bigger and smaller candle companies out there. I wondered… Who made the better strawberry candle? One of the huge brands found in every gift shop known to man or one of the smaller, but fabulous candle companies we’ve grown to love here at CandleFind?
When I started searching online with my credit card in hand, I noticed that a lot of the big candle companies didn’t carry plain old strawberry scented candles. I was pretty surprised. I just assumed they all would, but maybe some brands don’t carry strawberry because they know it’s a difficult scent to replicate. The only plain strawberry scents I managed to find out of the big name brands were from Yankee and Bridgewater, so I decided to use them to represent the big companies in my review.
As most of you already know, my two favorite candle company is Pure Integrity. Luckily, they had a straight strawberry. I couldn’t wait to try each strawberry scent from my four chosen companies. You can find my thoughts on each below. I hope this will make your search for the perfect strawberry candle a little easier.
Candle #1 – Strawberry from Bridgewater Candles
I think this strawberry candle from Bridgewater could definitely stand some improvement. In other words, if you’re looking to buy a really authentic strawberry candle, I would pass on this one. It’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic either… it’s just one of those “so-so” candles. I could tell it was strawberry when it was burning, but I felt it was definitely lacking that juicy, realistic strawberry smell I was after. My hubbie agreed with me too.
In terms of scent strength I would say this candle was about a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10…definitely an “in-the-middle” kind of candle. My jar is their 14 oz. size, but this scent might be more powerful in one of their bigger jars. In order to smell this candle at it’s peak, I had to be a few feet away from it.
This is the third jar candle I’ve tried from Bridgewater so the company is still fairly new to me. I have mixed feelings about them after trying just two of their scents. The first candle I tried, Caramel Apple, had a weak scent throw but the second one, Fruit Fantasia, was pretty good. This one is just ok.
Candle #2 – Sweet Strawberry from Yankee Candle
Of course I had to try Yankee’s strawberry for this review. I mean, come on…they’re the giant of the candle world. I never buy from Yankee because I think they’re too expensive and know I can get better smelling candles from other companies, but I had to see how their strawberry scent compared to the others out there. So does being the most famous candle company of all time mean they have the best scents? Well, as far as authentic strawberry scents are concerned, NOPE!
Yankee candles are way too expensive so to save money I just bought a few of their strawberry votives and lit them all at the same time in my living room one night. Once the votives were burning for a few hours and had a chance to release their scent into the air, I wasn’t that impressed. You can kind of tell it’s a berry smell, but it’s definitely not the true succulent strawberry I was looking for. It smelled artificial. Sorry Yankee. Their description for Sweet Strawberry is:
“Simply glorious…the playful, juicy sweetness of perfectly ripe wild strawberries.”
According to my nose, this is way off.
My Thoughts So Far On My Hunt for the Perfect Strawberry…
After striking out with two of the biggest candle companies out there, I was starting to believe what my candle-friends were telling me. It IS hard to find a good strawberry! I wasn’t running low on hope though. I thought if anyone had an authentic strawberry, it’s gotta be from one of my favorites…Pure Integrity or Candles of Eden. I’ve never had a fake smelling candle from either company. Their vanillas are awesome, their citrus scents are true and mouth-watering and their bakery scents are to die for. I couldn’t wait to see what their strawberry candles were made of.
Candle #3 – Strawberry from Pure Integrity
I’ve tried a lot of scents from Pure Integrity, but strawberry was never one of them. I’ve always been so thrilled with my jar candles from this company so I figured their strawberry had to be good. I waited with anticipation for my package. As soon as it came to my door, I lit that baby right up in my office and had it burning next to me as I did my CandleFind stuff.
As the smell filled the air, I knew I liked it better than the Yankee or Bridgewater strawberry I had. It didn’t have a fake smell to it, but at the same time, I wasn’t blown away by this scent like I normally am with all their other candles. I could definitely tell it was strawberry. It had a medium to strong scent throw and was filling my office nicely, but it just wasn’t that oh-so real juicy strawberry scent I was after.
Other than saying this candle smelled like strawberries, I couldn’t think of a good way to describe it. One day I had this candle burning for a few hours in my living room when my hubbie Frank came home from an errand. I was in my office upstairs and he yelled up, “it smells like Bubble-licious in here!!” I said…”you’re kidding me! You never say that you can smell anything!” He said again, “it smells like bubblelious in here!!”
When I came downstairs to take a whiff, he was right! This candle smells just like the strawberry bubble-licious gum I’ve been munching on lately. It is SO rare when Frank ever says anything about a candle. Whenever I’m burning a candle that I’m not sure of for a review I ask him…”do you smell anything?” His standard answer is “Nope.” I don’t know if your man is the same, but Frank never notices ANYTHING new in our house, so when he comments on a candle he smells, it’s usually a winner in my book.
I give this candle an A+ for smelling just like strawberry bubble gum and for having a strong throw, but a thumbs down for being that totally authentic strawberry smell I’ve been searching for. If you want the smell of strawberry bubble gum, I definitely recommend this scent.
Just so you know I’m not alone on this one when it comes to this scent being a true strawberry, I asked my brother in law his advice on the candle when he was over the other night. He said it didn’t smell like real strawberries. Sorry Pure Integrity! You hit the mark on strawberry gum, but it’s another miss on my hunt for the PERFECT strawberry scent.
My Final Thoughts on “The Battle of the Strawberries”
I had a lot of fun doing this, but I can honestly say after surrounding myself with the smell of strawberries for the past couple weeks, I don’t think I’ll ever want to smell another strawberry candle again… he he. And stay tuned, Christina is planning on reviewing a few strawberry candles to add to this review. She’ll post her thoughts below mine above. That will be even more info to help you find the perfect strawberry candle. YES!
I really like this idea of comparing the same scent from different candle brands and I hope you do to. It makes for a LONG review, but I think it’s probably pretty helpful so you don’t have to run around spending money trying the same scent from different brands. Christina’s inspired now and will be comparing watermelon scents for you this summer. Also, when we get out of fruit season and start reviewing the cozier scents in the Fall, Christina and I are planning a “Battle of the Vanilla” review which I’m really excited about since Vanilla is the most popular candle fragrance of all.
Until next time, have fun eating and smelling those delicious strawberries!