Home Fragrance Reviews: The Island Bath & Body Vanilla Hazelnut Scented Wax Cubes
Nothing is more inviting than a wonderful fragrant aroma in the home. Home fragrance is a great way to go that little extra mile when expecting company, hosting a dinner party or just to greet you when you and your family when you come home from work or school. I love trying new candles and wax melts my favorites are bakery, nuts and spice scents though I do dabble with some fruits and exotic fragrances in the home as well.
Personally I much prefer using wax melts and tarts to candles for home fragrance since I have a child and pets. Just as a precaution since I have a large long haired cat that can and will cause mayhem at every turn, and his trusty 4 year old sidekick loves to get involved too. Plus once a candle melts and your done with it you have to figure out a way to rid yourself of the glass container or jar that it came in. Not having a place to recycle items of that nature in my area I generally stick to using wax melts.
Fragrance is a sensory experience and we often associate memories with scents. I enjoy filling my home with aromatic fragrances all the time. I changed fragrances a lot depending on the seasons. Heavier spice notes in the fall and winter, to lighter bakery and spring floral in the spring and summer months. It is especially nice to come home after a long day of work and be greeted with a great scent as you sit down kick off your shoes and just sit back and relax.
Home fragrance items like wax melts and tarts can be extremely different between the many manufacturers and artisans that produce them. I have several wax warmers downstairs and several upstairs in our two-story home. I have tested a wide variety of brands and decided to start a home fragrance series to share my opinions on the different scents and brands I have used.
Do you prefer candles or wax melts?
Shopping For Wax Melts
I do enjoy shopping for wax melts. Usually home fragrance is something people buy in person, though I do like the 'surprise' factor of ordering fragrance online without being able to smell it first. It is an additional pleasure when the wax wow's for me when I did not specifically pick it after smelling it in the store.
There is so much more to wax and wax melts than what you can smell just from sniffing a clam-shell pack off the shelf. Years ago I dabbled in candle making and made melts as well so I know there is a lot of science that goes into crafting a quality melt, with lasting fragrance and a decent scent throw. A lasting fragrance is great if the scent throw is there as well. A decent scent throw should allow the aroma's to waft throughout your home; at the very least you should smell it in several rooms. Not just the room where you keep your wax warmer.
There are specific wax melts designed for specific warmers, I usually prefer soy wax in a melt or tart as it is much easier to clean than other waxes. It also burns cleaner and is better for the environment than paraffin or other waxes.
The Island Bath & Body
The Island Bath & Body is a brand or company that I found while shopping on Amazon for home fragrance. Their items are handmade here in the USA. I did not find much information about the brand or company on their seller profile as they do not seem to have any sort of Bio. This clam-shell of wax melts ran under $6 so I did decide to give them a shot. Partly because I enjoy supporting items made in the USA, and artisan products and partly based on the price. Usually handmade and artisan wax runs much higher in my experience.
Vanilla Hazelnut Scented Wax Cubes
I settled on Vanilla Hazelnut Scented Wax Cubes and placed my order. These were not available prime shipped, though not uncommon with wax. If you shop Amazon for wax I do suggest looking for made to order or anything that seems to have a slightly longer ship time. If wax is prime shipped that usually means there is a lot of stock for that item, and fragrances sitting in a warehouse means the potential to have lost a lot of it's fragrance as it hangs out waiting to be ordered. Basically slower shipping usually means (through my experience) fresher wax and fragrance. Though it can happen that you get an old batch as well, sometimes artisans get ambitious and make a ton of a certain fragrance when they first start out. Obviously thinking the demand will be there and they would have plenty of stock but no doubt failing to set a marketing plan to gain sales.
My first impression of course was the fragrance, lifting it and taking a whiff as soon as it was delivered and I opened the box. The overall fragrance was lovely. However, the hazelnut far out powers any vanilla that maybe in wax. Not a cause for concern for me, hazelnut happens to be on my top 5 favorite scents. Though I would have loved to note the vanilla fragrance even as an undertone.
Secondly I looked at the wax itself. I was a bit bummed to notice some cracking, dips, uneven color and crystallization in the wax. That doesn't mean they wont be fragrant, but usually means a novice was making them or something interrupted the melting and pouring. As I mentioned it is a science, the temperature has to be perfect when fragrance is added and it has to have cooled to the correct temperature before it is poured so you get that silky smooth texture you expect with a clam-shell of wax melts.
Not to say that imperfect wax is substandard, sometimes the cooling environment may cool the clam-shell too fast and potentially effect the finished look of the wax as well.
What are your favorite home fragrance scents?
Wax Cubes Melting and Scent Throw
I always clean-out my wax warmer before adding a new fragrance so that any old wax or fragrance will not impact the new one I melt. It is however possible to create some amazing scent combinations by adding two complimenting wax cubes at once. For this however I strictly stuck with the Vanilla hazelnut melts.
I proceeded to clean my warmer and place in a single cube of the Vanilla Hazelnut wax melt. Since these were soy they are a softer wax and they liquify faster than other waxes. I could tell that these were indeed a pure soy blend based on how fast they melted in a standard wax warmer. Initial scent notes were still strictly hazelnut no real trace of vanilla not even a lingering afternote of vanilla was detectable.
Scent throw is basically how far throughout your home the fragrance will travel. With a highly concentrated fragrance oil content you can expect a single wax cube to waft the aroma into several adjacent rooms. These wax melts from The Island Bath & Body were impressive since I was still going off the initial impressions of the look of the wax. My entire downstairs filled with fragrance from my warmer that sits in the dining room. My floor plan is not completely open, the kitchen and dining room are open then adjacent to the dining area is the living room.
Fairly impressive given the size of the rooms in my downstairs and the fact that a single cube still manages to waft through to the living area given the smaller entryway. The hazelnut fragrance was blissfully delightful and reminded me somewhat of a small coffee shop I used to frequent in my younger years.
The single wax cube melt continued to fill the house with fragrance for a little over 3 and a half hours. Given the look of the wax melts when they arrived this was impressive. Since the visual look to the wax was that of a rushed or interrupted batch I honestly did not expect them to last more than 30 minutes to an hour. A good wax melt will last from 3-5 hours even when advertised as highly fragranced. So kudos to The Island Bath & Body company despite the lackluster appearance they still provided a quality melt.
The Island Bath & Body Final Rating 4 of 5 Stars
Final verdict for the Vanilla Hazelnut wax melts from The Island Bath & Body is 4 out 5 stars. While the fragrance and scent through were impressive that visual appearance is where they lose a star with me. If they are a newer company the good news is that they have the potential to improve their pouring practices and redeem themselves.
The labeling is polished and easily legible complete with safety warnings. The color of the wax is pleasant and seems to be well mixed. But I cannot look past the crystallizing, cracks and dips in the final product it does not give a polished finished look one would expect so for that reason I give them a 4 out of 5 possible stars.
© 2018 Cynthia Hoover