We’ve been pretty quiet around here lately, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been burning any candles. Since we’ve been preparing for our upcoming subscription box launch, we’ve been introduced to a number of wonderful brands. It’s amazing how many cool, high quality candle companies that are out there, run by small businesses that pour their hearts and souls into their product and customer service! That’s where we found ourselves with this new-to-us artisan soy candle company, A Mandatory Activity.
A Closer Look at A Mandatory Activity
A Mandatory Activity is the birthchild of Amanda, who runs a blog of the same name. Located in Gambrills, Maryland, this small owned business creates a wide range of products, including 100% soy candles with clever, tongue-in-cheek names. There are names such as Frost in Translation, Respect Your Elderberries, and Gingerbread Winner. How adorable is that? All candles are handpoured in small batches and given that personal touch before heading out to your home for you to enjoy.
They also carry some amazing looking handcrafted soaps (I mean a slice of cake…yum!), bath salts, and lotions. Plenty of smell good stuff to ease your mind and take you to your happy place.
I was super excited to try these candles out because the travel tins they offer are just what I was looking for. I have been traveling a lot…A LOT…in 2020, and I’m always looking for a way to carry little scents of joy with me without too much of a fuss. As I was also sourcing for our sub boxes, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try this company out.
There are handmade soaps, bath salts, and bath bombs available for purchase. Their candles are 100% soy and come in container jars and travel tins with wooden wicks. They have released these frozen yogurt candles that look good enough to eat! They have some clamshell wax melts for sale, too.
We tested three of their 8oz travel tin candles: Grilling Me Softly, Knotty By Nature, and I’m Sexy And I Mow It. Yeah, the names are just that cute! We’re noting our initial thoughts below, and will be following up with full reviews for each individual item in the near future.
Grilling Me Softly
The Grilling Me Softly Candle I tried was an 8oz travel tin size. The wax was undyed and contained a wooden wick. The cold sniff was absolutely delicious – a heavy, caramel scent with some smokiness to it. The scent description reads: Butterscotch bourbon and hickory-smoked barbecue. This was pretty spot on and held true once I started burning the candle. It had a rich, thick smell to it with just a hint of the warm, smoky scent. It was so unique and delicious! This was probably the strongest of the three candles I tried. The scent was moderately strong and the throw was really good in a small bathroom. I did have a bit of trouble getting a full wax melt pool with this candle and I used the foil trick to force the burn all the way to the edges. I’m not sure if it was the oils in this particular candle or not, because I didn’t have that trouble with the other two scents. In any case, the burn was nice and clean, and I enjoyed the added bonus of the soft crackle from the wood wick.
I’m Sexy And I Mow It
This was actually the first one of the trio I tried, with the scent of fresh green grass. It had a nice, sweet smell of freshly mowed grass on cold sniff. The scent description reads, simply: Fresh-cut grass.
Once lit, this fragrance screamed ‘ready for Spring.’ The scent was so true – like freshly mowed grass on a warm Spring day. It was so green and slightly sweet. It took a while to get a full wax melt pool, but once I did, it scented the small bathroom it was in just fine. I could definitely tell it was going and it put a little spring in my step, for sure. This candle had a clean burn and a nice crackle effect from the wood wick.
Knotty By Nature
The Knotty By Nature candle was a more masculine scent to me on cold sniff. The scent description reads: A spicy scent of birch, black pepper, and firewood. This scent was warm with some woodsy and spicy notes to it. It was the most complex scent of the three. Ohmygoodness, it smelled so good! It was a little sultry and sexy, not too spicy. Very exotic and I loved it! Like the fresh cut grass candle, it took a long time to get a full wax melt pool from this one, but once it got going, it put out a pretty good scent throw.
Again, a clean burn from this candle. It did well in a small bathroom, but was probably the mildest scent of the three I tried. Still it put out enough scent for me to enjoy it in the space it was in.
Overall Impression of A Mandatory Activity
I was very impressed with the candles from A Mandatory Activity. The interesting scent names, some complex mixes, and the clean burns made these candles a winner in my book. The crackling wooden wick was just the icing on the cake, as it gave some added ambiance.
These candles can be purchased on their website and their frozen yogurt candles can now be purchased through Uncommon Goods. They look super cool and I will be tripping over there to try them out soon.