Our BIG Vanilla Review
A comparison review of vanilla scented candles
from several different candle companies.by Carolyn & Christina
(two huge vanilla scented candle lovers!)Page 1 of our BIG Vanilla Review
French Vanilla from SparklePuss (now out of business)
This is another company I was dying to try after Christina reviewed them…she raved over their candles. Christina and I are picky candle-lovers so when she finds candles she enjoys that much, I know I’ll probably like them too. For this review, I gave their French Vanilla scent a whirl in their smaller 10oz. jar size.
Here’s the description of this scent from SparklePuss
“Do you drool over vanilla candles? Yes? Then this is IT! You won’t just want to sniff this one, you’ll want to take a bite! Smells like rich french vanilla cake smoothered with a creamy, sweet and buttery vanilla frosting. YUM! Awesome buttery, creamy french vanilla. Scrumptuous!”
I first burned my jar in my living room for a few hours, but the scent wasn’t very strong so I moved it into my smaller den to see how it would do there. My den proved to be the perfect size room for this candle. It’s funny because I just burned the same size jar in their Mango scent a couple weeks ago in my living room and it knocked my socks off…it completely filled the whole room! That just goes to show me (once again) how different scents from the same company and even in the same sized jar can have such different scent throws.
The description for this scent is pretty accurate. To my nose it smells like that delicous buttercream icing that you sometimes find on a fabulous wedding cake. You know the kind…not sickening sweet, that smooth-as-silk texture and unbelievable buttery-cream taste. Yum!! I’m craving some good old fashioned buttercream icing just writing this…some nice vanilla cake would be nice too. I’m smelling that as well! Mmm…
By the way, I read on the SparklePuss web site this scent used to be called Buttercream, but they had to change it because one of the bigger candle companies has a trademark on the scent name Buttercream. Those meanies! (ha) Anyway, if you’re a fan of the awesome smell of buttercream, you might want to give this scent a try.
**Note from Christina** Sparklepuss has closed their doors. We’re sorry to see them go and wish them the best of luck.
Very Vanilla from Candlelicious
I really like this company. Even though I’m still a jar girl, I love the votives and melts from Candlelicious and have never ventured past those. Their votives are pretty strong and their melts are equally as strong and lasting. I still have to officially review this company which I haven’t done yet (Carolyn has though) and I’m hoping to get one up in the spring.
Very Vanilla is a newer scent on their menu so I was excited to add it to our big Vanilla review. Here’s the scent description from Candlelicious website for Very Vanilla:
“This is the vanilla you’ve been waiting for! A true “baking” vanilla aroma, no candied coverup, just pure unadultered vanilla.”
I would say that’s a pretty accurate description. It wasn’t super sweet as some vanilla’s I’ve tried can be but it was strong and seemed to be a true vanilla scent. I detected no floral or synthetic smell and it didn’t smell perfumy to me either. Just a nice strong and creamy vanilla. I burned two votives in my bedroom which was perfect. Two votives gave a medium scent throw and the strength stayed nice and consistent through the life of the votives. I would guess the life span of each votive was over 20 hours which is pretty darn good for a votive.
In closing, I liked Very Vanilla and do recommend this one if you ever order from Candlelicious.
Vanilla Bake from Country Passion
I’ve only ordered from this company once but as usual, when I order, I ORDER! I ended up choosing over a dozen different bakery scents and Vanilla Bake was one of em. It was coincidental that I ordered this scent as I had no intention of adding it to this review but figured what the heck, the more the merrier. Here is the scent description for Vanilla Bake:
“Reminiscent of fancy white cake with whipped white icing, delightful vanilla!”
Country Passion calls their melts “Pixie Melts” and 4 little melts roughly adds up to 1 standard size tart. So, that’s how many I popped in my electric burner. It took a bit to notice the scent and once I did, I was greeted to the smell of delicious vanilla cake. This is definitely a bakery vanilla. I smelled nothing synthetic, perfumy or floral. I couldn’t really smell any whipped icing but it could have just been my nose. I personally just smelled cake.
The scent strength seemed on the light side because it never really saturated my family room. I could smell the fragrance but it was definitely on the subtle side.
All in all, this was a nice scent and I enjoyed it. Even though the scent seemed subtle to me, I’ll probably still purchase it again next time I shop with Country Passion.
Vanilla Velvet from Blue Moon Candle Co.
Before I go into my thoughts on this fragrance, I wanted to comment on how my candle arrived to me. The entire packaging was so classy and beautiful so I really wanted to mention it. When I opened the shipping box to see my candle, I first saw a simple black box with Blue Moon’s Logo on it. It was very simple but nicely done. The candle itself was a 12oz modern style Metro Jar with a flat glass lid. The jar had a cream colored ribbon around the upper rim where the lid is with a lovely silver heart charm strung on the ribbon that said, “made with love”. My candle was nestled inside the box and cushioned in black tissue paper along with orange and yellow fall leaves. It looked so cool!! Now this candle was specifically sent to me for this review so I have no idea if this is the standard packaging for this candle or not. Regardless, good job on that Blue Moon! That really impressed me. Here is the scent description for Vanilla Velvet:
“Our Best Seller! Very warm, rich, sweet, high powered vanilla… a definite must try! A very popular favorite among candlelovers everywhere since 1998!”
I love the word “velvet” and paired with a scent name makes my imagination run rampant. When I think of velvet, it brings to mind “smooth”, “creamy” & “luxurious” and those are just a few… so I was looking forward to finding out what this vanilla smelled like. Just sniffing this candle cold didn’t give me much to go on because it smelled like a faint vanilla.
I lit this candle in my master bathroom which is the size of a small bedroom and began to notice the scent within 20 or so minutes. I think that’s pretty good considering this candle is fairly small in size. After sniffing away at this scent all day, I thought it was a very nice and smooth vanilla… not overly sweet and not gagifying in strength. I found it to be a nice happy medium which suited me just fine. I think I would classify this version as a classic vanilla scent. It wasn’t bakery, I detected no floral or perfume either… just a nice smooth vanilla. I liked it.
I didn’t get a chance to melt tarts in this scent so I can’t comment on that but I can say that Blue Moon is an excellent company and one I’ll continue to order from. I’ve tried their tarts and like them a lot. They’re over sized and reasonably priced.
Vanilla Velvet was pretty good and my sniffer felt it ranked under the classic type vanilla category.
Sinfully Vanilla from Spotted Hog Candle Co.
Four candle companies down with four more to go… Holy Mackerel am I getting my fill of Vanilla scented candles!
I came across The Spotted Hog Candle Co. well over a year ago and have since become a regular customer. This company has two vanilla scents on their menu, French Vanilla & Sinfully Vanilla. I didn’t want to review both so picked the one that caught my attention the most, Sinfully Vanilla. I figured any scent name that has the word “sin” in it has got to be good. Boy was I right on the money… this scent although not your classic vanilla was pretty awesome!! Here is the scent description from Spotted Hogs website:
“The ultimate vanilla! I am absolutely in love with this new vanilla and the best word to describe it is SINFULL! It’s rich, creamy, sweet and smooth. The scent lingers forever and is strong enough to scent multiple rooms! No coconut, French vanilla or perfume type undertones at all. It’s fantastic!”
Now that’s quite a description and if you’re a vanilla lover, it would probably be pretty hard to resist. I’m not a vanilla lover and it sold me.
I bought a 26oz apothecary jar and some clamshell tarts to try and decided to burn my candle first. Dude is this scent strong! I had this one candle burning for a few hours in my great-room and could not believe the strength of this fragrance. The description is right on when it came to the scent traveling. This candle fragranced my entire upper level and then some and even permeated into my clothes. I had to go to my daughter’s volleyball game the day I had this candle burning and all the moms kept smelling me and commenting that I smelled really good. That’s pretty funny.
This is going to be a difficult scent to describe because it’s not your classic vanilla scent at all… at least I didn’t think so. It smelled pure bakery to me and man oh man was it a warm and rich scent! If I had to describe Sinfully Vanilla, I would have to say bakery all the way. I could swear I smelled caramel in it. My husband swore he smelled maple syrup and my daughter swore I was baking cookies. Lots of swearing in this household with no definitive results… go figure? In the end, my entire family liked it and it’s one I’ll buy again. It’s definitely not your average vanilla and I think that’s why I liked it so much. It wasn’t super sweet and it made my house smell like I was baking something all day. That’s pretty cool.
Once I was finished with my candle, my tarts were next and they were equally as strong and very long lasting. I used 2 cubes from my clamshell pack in my electric burner and the scent lasted all day. I would say I got roughly 8 to 9 hours out of 2 cubes. I thought that was pretty good. I melted these in my downstairs family room and the scent was so strong, it overpowered the candles I had burning upstairs. That gives you an idea of the scent strength. So, for those of you who love bakery scents and prefer strong scent throws… totally buy this one because it skyrockets off the scent-o-meter scale. If you prefer lighter scents, then this is not the scent for you.
Vanilla Twist from Kountry Lights
Kountry Lights is a recent company I’ve been ordering from and I have to say, I’m very impressed with everything I’ve purchased. I’ve only ordered tarts (not candles yet) and as far as my nose is concerned, they’re incredible and I’ll definitely be going back for more.
I had bought tarts in Vanilla Twist long before we planned this review and once I remembered I had it, I really wanted to include it in our big vanilla review! I haven’t officially reviewed this company yet but do plan on it eventually. Here is the scent description from Kountry Lights website:
“This is a great Vanilla, really rich, with just a tad of buttery notes and hints of citrus.”
I’ve been burning and melting vanilla scented candles and tarts for going on two weeks now… can you say vanilla overload?!! I’m so done with vanilla for at least a year and can’t believe I’m saying this but after melting these tarts, I’m really liking Vanilla Twist!
It’s going on the third day I’ve been melting this scent and I’m not sick of it at all. Every time I walk into the room I have Vanilla Twist melting in, it smells like I’m baking a cake in the oven. This vanilla doesn’t smell like extract or sugar… it smells just like a warm and yummy cake.
I found the scent throw to be a little over medium which surprised me. Tarts are usually super strong but I was really liking the throw of this tart. It made it all the more realistic to me. I liked walking into a room filled with a subtle vanilla cake fragrance. It made me sniff away and go “Mmmmmm… that smells yummy”
I definitely want to categorize this scent under the vanilla/bakery category. What surprises me the most is that even after burning all these vanilla scents lately, I still have the urge to purchase this one on my next order with Kountry Lights. This is a great scent!
Vanilla from Gold Canyon Candle Co.
Gold Canyon is a favorite company of mine. This is the company that started me on my obsession with scented candles and because of that, I will always be a fan. Gold Canyon puts out some great and strong candles and for the most part, I’ve been very happy with the majority I’ve tried. Because this is such a popular candle line, I really wanted their vanilla scent in this review for sure. Here is the scent description from Gold Canyon:
“The simple and wholesome fragrance of sweet vanilla beans. Always soothing no matter the time or season.”
I burned two 16oz candles in my great-room and would say I began to take notice of the scent in about an hour. That’s unusual with Gold Canyon Candles as I usually start noticing the fragrance right away. I could smell it well enough but it didn’t saturate my big room like I would have preferred. So, I think it’s safe to say their vanilla is on the subtle side. I could smell it but it didn’t knock my socks off like all the other vanilla scents I’ve recently tried for this review.
In closing, this was just an “okay” vanilla for me. It was creamy and sweet but I just found it to be generic. It didn’t wow me enough to recommend it. That’s very unusual because I really do like Gold Canyon candles.
Vanilla from Pure Integrity
I became addicted to Pure Integrity candles last year when I finally tried them for the first time to review for CandleFind. Since then, I’ve tried many of their scents but admit this is my first experience with their famous vanilla. I’ve heard so much about it and I know it gets rave reviews from many CandleFind readers. So, Carolyn and I decided to review this one together since neither one of us could resist giving this one a try.
Even though I’ve had my fill of vanilla scents to last me many years (at least), I was looking forward to burning this candle. Every time I smelled it unlit, the fragrance reminded me of everything “vanilla”… vanilla extract, cake, cookies, ice cream… you name it and my nose detected it. How can anyone resist that? I couldn’t.
I couldn’t wait to light this candle and once I did, I began to notice the fragrance right away. This is definitely a full bodied vanilla and so warm and cozy. Even my husband who rarely comments on my candles noticed this one and liked it. I was really drawn to this scent but for the life of me, couldn’t figure out where to categorize it. It was rich and creamy but at the same time, had a bakery feel to it as well. It’s absolutely a yummy vanilla and unique in many ways.
The scent throw was pretty amazing. It saturated the large room I had it burning in but at the same time wasn’t overpowering at all. I really-really enjoyed this one and highly recommend you give it a try if you’re looking for a full bodied and all around “everything” vanilla fragrance.
Conclusion of our BIG Vanilla candle review…
WOW… can you believe how many vanilla fragrances Carolyn and I tried for this review? I can’t but now that my vanilla journey is over, I have to say I’m glad I did it. Vanilla really isn’t so bad in small doses and I really did find some great ones I know I’ll try again. Of the 7 I tried, here are my closing thoughts.
Pure Integrity wins for overall best vanilla that is a perfect balance of everything you want vanilla to smell like. Great bakery vanillas would be Sinfully Vanilla from Spotted Hog, WOW is this a strong and delicious one (I still swear I smelled maple notes)! Vanilla Twist is another great bakery vanilla from Kountry Lights that I’ll for sure buy again. Picture moist and warm vanilla cake and that’s Vanilla Twist. Country Passion is a close third and a yummy version as well. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the above to be honest.
And last but not least, if you’re after that classic and creamy vanilla, then you must try Vanilla Velvet from Blue Moon Candles. Very Vanilla from Candlelicious was also a great classic vanilla. Gold Canyon ranked under classic but my nose felt it lacked that rich warmth I experienced with the others I tried.
This was definitely a lot of vanilla smelling… more smelling of the same scent than we’ve EVER done for a comparison review. In the end though I’m really glad we did it. I hope most of you have found all of this vanilla-craziness helpful.
To sum up, my absolute favorites out of the vanillas I’ve burned would have to be my WoodWick in Vanilla Bean, Pure Integrity’s Vanilla and Vanilla Mystique & Tahitian Vanilla from AromaSoy by Grazia. Even though the Tahitian Vanilla isn’t a straight vanilla scent, I loved it too much not to list it as one of my favs.
The best bakery vanilla was AromaSoy by Grazia‘s Vanilla Mystique…hands down. This one is so warm and comforting and smells just like vanilla cookies baking in the oven. It’s soooo good.
For those of you who love the smell of pure vanilla beans, I suggest either my Vanilla Bean from WoodWick or Simply Vanilla from Colonial at Home. If you prefer sweetness over creaminess, go with Simply Vanilla. If you prefer silky-smooth creaminess with just the right amount of sweet, go with Woodwick…I couldn’t get enough of that one.
If you’re after a fabulous vanilla, definitely steer clear of Yankee’s French Vanilla, Beanpod’s Vanilla and Warm Vanilla Infusion from Village Candle. They just didn’t do it for me.
Pure Integrity’s Vanilla is a proven classic and an old favorite of ours here at CandleFind. Usually anyone who tries it based off of our recommendation is really happy with it. It’s creamy, smooth, warm and authentic…a very comforting vanilla fragrance.
Even though I’m sick of the smell of vanilla right now, I think I’ll probably crave it again in a little while. A good vanilla candle is just too good to pass up when I want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in my home… especially in the winter.
Pick up a vanilla candle today and remember to cherish those great memories of yesteryear. Happy shopping to you all!
Happy Candle Smelling!
~ Carolyn & Christina