Candles: New Finds at Yankee Candle Outlet

So yesterday I found myself on a rare outing to the local outlets, that Parthenon of shopping that I do my best to avoid. (I'm a writer, so I spend a lot of my time avoiding pretty much everything that isn't directly related to my work, though I do like shopping—in very particular stores—and seeing/chatting with people . . . sometimes . . . depending on the people . . .)

Anyway, I was there on an errand, but once that was taken care of I wanted to maybe stay a bit longer so as not to feel like I'd spent more time in the car coming and going than actually being there, if that makes any sense. So I stopped in the Yankee Candle store.

We've established that I really like candles. Little London (what we call my home office) is filled with them. I buy them in large quantities, then go many months without buying any until my supplies have dwindled. As it turned out, as of yesterday I was down to three jar candles that were nearing their ends. Could do with a few more.

Now, as I've said before, I don't buy candles that smell like food. That eliminates approximately half the available candles, scents like vanilla and cookies and pumpkin spice or whatever. But there are still many other choices. I had been mourning the discontinuation of my beloved Blue Hydrangea, but darling Oscar, the Yankee Candle associate, showed me they did still have Hydrangea—and it is blue. (The color only matters a little in my book; it's the scent that counts most.) And this Hydrangea candle is lovely as far as smell goes.

Speaking of color, another candle in very similar color to the Hydrangea is Ocean Blossom, and I like that one very much as well. (And, if we are talking color, I find the Ocean Blossom more appealing than Hydrangea in terms of shades of blue.) But of course Hydrangea has personal meaning for me that transcends other considerations.

Feeling the need to move outside of blue, I found Honey Blossom, which is a lovely dusky lavender color and has a light floral fragrance with a musky touch that seems less likely than some to bring on a headache after extended exposure. I also found the bright green Meadow candle. Now, I had been pretty fond of Riding Mower (even though the name was dumb), and I still prefer the way it smelled to this, but I find Meadow to be stronger and more pleasing than the Green Grass candle.

Then I realized I needed a red candle. Alas, most red candles fall into that food-flavor group: cinnamon, apple, berry . . . I found a True Rose candle that smelled very much like my rose garden, but it was almost too overwhelming a scent. And I found a Tulip candle that was nice but was only being sold as a gift set. After some hunting, however, I happened across Australian Oasis, part of some line known as World Journeys. Whatever. It was red and I liked the smell, which I'll admit does have a slightly fruity overtone but doesn't immediately call to mind something you want to eat.

I thought I was done, but passed a grouping of smaller jar candles on the way to the register (yes, I know they do that on purpose). Despite my original intention to be done with blue, having chosen two blue candles already, I ended up bringing Nightfall and Midnight Cove home. But at least they're dark blue while the other two are light blue. (And truthfully, dark blue is closer to my favorite color than any light shade.)

Yankee does seem to hold a large corner of the candle market. Or is that merely my perception after having lived on the East Coast all those years? I have to say, I see less of them out here in California, nor was I aware of them when I lived down south. It's nice to have a quick stop for candle shopping in any case, and it's worth it to me to check in a couple times a year since they seem to turn over their fragrances pretty regularly. Though I was amazed to see a large portion of the outlet store was already displaying the autumn and Christmas candles . . . I'm still trying to enjoy, even extend, my summer! But when I have to hole up and work in Little London, at least I can make the place smell nice with all these candles. (One at a time, of course. God help us if they were all lit at once!) I can pretend I'm outdoors by faking the smell of grass and flowers . . . Or maybe I should just take the laptop outside for a while.

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