by Julia Wooten
Brand: A Cheerful Giver
Candles from the Heart Pillars
Fragrance Keepers Tarts
Cost: $3.35 – $14.00
Scent Strength: Light/Medium
Introduction to my A Cheerful Giver Pillar review:
After reviewing a few of A Cheerful Giver’s Summer scents, I was really excited to try more. This time, I chose scents that fit my mood for late Summer and back-to-school, and the hint of Autumn weather yet to come. I knew I wanted to have an apple scent for sure and a couple of harvest type bakery scents too. The pillars I found were just right for this time of year.
While I was revisiting the A cheerful Giver website, I learned more about the company itself, and the more I read, the more I liked this company.
A Cheerful Giver has been steadily growing since 1991. This family run business has recently changed owners and it looks to be a good match, as the new owners have a strong vision for A Cheerful Giver and are dedicated to the company’s continued success.
I like to see a company that can be profitable but at the same time helps people in their community. When I read this excerpt from A Cheerful Giver’s website, I knew this was a company with compassion and heart… the below was pulled directly from their website:
Our Special Needs Partnership At Work…
At A Cheerful Giver we are dedicated to giving back… One hundred percent of our wicking process is completed by our special needs partnership in Vineland, New Jersey.
These mentally challenged adults work as little as 5 minutes a day or for 5 or 6 hours a day wicking our candle jars…it’s all up to them. At the end of the day, each of our “Wickers” receives a paycheck that they bring home to their families.
My hat’s off to any company that makes a solid effort to include mentally challenged adults in their workforce. Every person benefits from having purpose and value. These individuals are too often overlooked, so I am happy to support a business that sees potential in every person.
What do my A Cheerful Giver Pillars look like?
The Smooth pillars that I tried were quite pretty. They were both smooth sided, hard wax columns, tightly shrink-wrapped in cello and tied with a metal tag decoration. The Cranberry Boggs dark burgundy candle was squat and wide, 4”x3” and single wicked. It fit nicely on my pillar plate which made me happy. Aunt Kook’s Apple Cider was brighter red, tall and slim 3”x6”, also single wicked.
The Candles From the Heart pillars had a bumpy surface, referred to as grubby, and had a medium texture. They had a nice bumpy, rustic look but still held together well when handled… no crumbling. Banana Nut Bread was a deep, dark yellow, 3’x6′ size and Cinnamon Twist was a dark, rusty red color, 3”x4”. Both of the Candles From the Heart Pillars were wrapped tightly in cello and tied with homespun and a little tag.
The Fragrance Keepers tarts in Banana Nut Bread scent were presented in a cute little cardboard box that contained four round, butterscotch colored melts.
How did my A Cheerful Giver Pillars smell?
This scent is described simply as:
“Fresh picked cranberries with a hint of warm spice.”
I just kept picturing farmers in a wet boggy field corralling the floating cranberries to be harvested. I’ve never actually been anywhere near where this is done…but, hey…I’ve seen the Ocean Spray commercial, and it’s a pleasant enough image to have while sniffing this pillar.
Fresh picked cranberries was exactly what I smelled with Cranberry Boggs. It was a deep, dark, juicy fragrance, almost a wild sort of berry smell. There was a punch of tart cranberries and a barely there touch of spice. Cranberry Boggs was a very good scent. So good, in fact, that I was wishing I had it in the Fragrance Keepers melts as well as the pillar.
Of all the candles I tried for this review, Cranberry Boggs was right up there as one of the stronger scented pillars, but it is the kind of scent that I’d like to have fill the whole house. It smelled so good that I wanted Cranberry Boggs to knock me back on my heels when I entered the room, so even though it was one of the stronger pillars I tried, it was still more subtle than what I craved. The melts would compliment this pillar nicely.
Banana Nut Bread
Here is A Cheerful Giver’s description for Banana Nut Bread:
“Warm and inviting banana nut scent with a sweet fruity top of Banana rum. The nostalgic scent leads to aromatic, baked spices with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and buttery hazelnuts.”
This scent looked so good, I had to try it… I just had to. Banana rum and hazelnuts too? Oh, yeah… I’ll take it!
I tried this scent in the melts and in the pillar form. Being a baked quick bread scent, I melted this Fragrance Keeper melt in my open style kitchen. I got a medium throw from one melt and when I put in two melts together, I got a good strong throw.
Turns out, I’m not sure if this scent is for me, which is odd seeing that I generally do like Banana Nut Bread, both in a scent and the real thing. To me this scent was very spicy…almost more like a gingerbread spice. I enjoy a good gingerbread scent now and then too… don’t get me wrong… but not when I’m expecting Banana Nut Bread. Maybe it was just my nose this time, but my family couldn’t tell what scent they were smelling either. My son just announced spicy and that was it.
The pillar in this same scent was a different story. I burned a tall 3×6 pillar in Banana Nut Bread, and when I first unwrapped the pillar I got a great punch of scent. The cold sniff was spot on and medium strength. Lots of baked banana and nuts, right out of the oven. I would have been happy just sniffing the side of this pillar.
But duty called, and I needed to light this baby to truly get to know it.
It’s maddening. The Banana Nut Bread pillar smelled better than the melts to me, less spicy and more banana-y, but darn it, I could barely smell the pillar while it was burning. I expected a lighter scent throw from a pillar, of course, but I had to be right up on this one to smell it… And I really wanted to smell it. It smelled so good close up, I was afraid I might catch my hair on fire trying to sniff this. That would have been one accident I would not want to explain.
Aunt Kook’s Apple Cider
A Cheerful Giver describes this cider scent like this:
“Fruit and citrus blended with warm, spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove complete with a touch of vanilla musk.”
I don’t know who Aunt Kook is, but if her apple cider tastes as good as this pillar smelled, I’d sure like to meet her. This scent was a little bit stronger than the Cranberry Boggs, but both were pretty closely matched in strength. I smelled apples, orange peel and all of those wonderful, traditional Autumn spices like cinnamon and clove.
Each Autumn my good friend simmers fall fruits like orange and apple slices, cinnamon, clove… I don’t know what all she throws into her secret concoction on the stove, but it smells fabulous and welcoming. This candle is reminiscent of that simmering pot of goodness. I like the spice in this scent. It makes the scent smell stronger and I like that it’s not a sweet scent, but more of a invigorating kind of WAKE ME UP scent. Bravo. If I were to burn this scented pillar with my friend around, she might wonder if I had finally figured out her simmering cider recipe… shhh… I may have just found her the perfect holiday gift.
“A warm, rich and brown spicy aroma of fresh grated cinnamon sticks.”
That’s what A Cheerful Giver writes about this scent. I like to try variations of cinnamon that are not necessarily bakery, so I was excited to give this one a go.
This scent was a crisp shaved cinnamon stick that smelled almost toasty. It had no bakery overtones… just a simple, perky spice. This was a good scent and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t exceptional or unusual, but it had a hominess that was comforting, and it smelled fresh… like opening a new jar of cinnamon sticks.
I was expecting a bigger throw from this pillar simply because it was cinnamon, but it turned out to be a mild, subtle scent. I could smell and enjoy this pillar close up at my desk, but it got lost in the rest of the large room. The scent itself was quite nice.
How did my A Cheerful Giver Pillars burn?
All of my pillars from A Cheerful Giver burned well. The slimmer pillars developed a scent pool more easily than the wider pillar. I had a blast hugging all of these pillars. The wax softened nicely as it warmed and I could easily press the edges down towards the center. As with all pillars, I kept a close eye on these and occasionally doused the flame to keep the wax pool from getting too close to the edges, and I absolutely did need to keep my wicks trimmed. If I neglected to trim the wick, the flame would get pretty large and start to flicker… nothing unusual, just basic candle maintenance.
Each time I hugged these pillars, the scented oil got on my fingers, so my hands smelled terrific while these candles were burning. This happened with every one of my pillars and some of you may find this to be a nuisance, but I didn’t mind it…actually, I kind of dug it.
Closing to my A Cheerful Giver review…
In my experience, pillars generally have a lighter throw than some other types of candles, and these were no exception. Even with the lighter scent throw, I would eagerly get these pillars again.
There is nothing like hugging a well made pillar, and the candles I have tried from A Cheerful Giver were certainly made well. These have what I look for in a pillar. I like malleable wax that doesn’t break apart or crumble when I press the edges into the melt pool. I look for good consistent color throughout the entire candle, and I look for a wick that stays centered. These pillars from A Cheerful Giver delivered all of the quality that I expect from a well crafted pillar.
I am certainly looking forward to trying a few of their new Fuze pillars too. When I do, I will be sure to write about them as well.
All of the candles I’ve tried from A Cheerful Giver were ready for gift giving. Each one was presented beautifully with some sort of adornment… Just lovely. For all of you pillar fans… these are a must try.
Happy candle hugging!