Product Type: Yankee Candle household products
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All the smells of a Parisian coffee shop - NOT!
Yankee Candle Cafe au Lait
Member Name: chrisandmark
Yankee Candle Cafe au Lait
Advantages: A reasonably pleasant start...
Disadvantages: ...which morphs into the most unpleasant smell ever!
I adore the smell of coffee and always have done so when I received a Cafe au Lait wax tart in a mixed bundle from Yankee Doodle I was so excited that I couldn't wait to burn it. A wax tart, for the uninitiated, is a circular piece of wax which you use in a tart burner, there's no wick so you need to light a tealight underneath the burner which will melt the wax and release the (usually) wonderful fragrance of Yankee Candle. Wax tarts are definitely the way to go in my opinion as they are not only an affordable way of trying out new fragrances but also allow you to swap and change the perfume of your house in short eight hour cycles rather than having to wait for an incredibly long 130 hours to finish off a large jar. This is one of those times when I thank the lord for £1.20 wax tarts (albeit mine was part of a multi-buy) as based on the name of this particular fragrance I'd have happily splashed out the £16 price tag for a jar - and then I'd have been exceedingly cross with myself because I simply don't like it!
I'd been expecting a rich coffee fragrance; I knew cinnamon was involved as there was a picture of it on the label of the tart, this was a huge bonus for me as I love the smell of cinnamon as much as I love the smell of coffee so although I couldn't detect it when sniffing the solid tart I was really looking forward to it bursting forth from a coffee-shop style fragrance once I started burning the tart. Hmmmm.
What I got was completely different. I burned the tart in my swanky electric tart burner which doesn't need a tealight and will continue to heat the tart until I switch it off, I had found Cafe au Lait tarts being sold cheaply on Amazon in batches so decided to burn the tart for the full eight hours in one go so I could order a batch at a bargainous price if (and as I thought, when) I realised it was the best Yankee Candle fragrance I had ever experienced. For starters it took absolutely ages for any fragrance at all to come through, I knew it was trying as when I went over to check that the burner was working I could get a faint whiff of coffee as I got near it and when I peeked over the edge I saw the wax had melted fully. But more than a few yards away from the burner there was nothing - not at all what I have come to expect from Yankee Candle.
After a long while the fragrance did start to permeate the room and it was reasonably pleasant; it's not a particularly fresh or rich coffee aroma but has a creaminess than makes it much more like Cafe au Lait than Espresso as although you can't smell milk in the tart it has the lightness of a milky coffee as opposed to a rich steaming shot of something more spectacular. The problem lies herein; a coffee home fragrance needs to have some ooomph, it should be welcoming to visitors and billow around your house as the aroma does when you're using a fancy coffee machine - this one doesn't, it sort of gloops around in the air and hangs as if the tart can't wait to be switched off again. It's a dull fragrance, even the faint hit of cinnamon doesn't refresh it or turn it into anything more interesting and is so barely there that Yankee Candle needn't have even bothered including it in my opinion.
Oh, after a time Cafe au Lait does morph into something a little different however. A couple of hours after the insipid but pleasant coffee fragrance starts making itself known (and just as my nose gets used to it) it's replaced by the most awful bitter smell which continues to smell like coffee, only the worst coffee in the world. I borrowed a coffee bean roasting machine once from a friend as I was curious about it, not being familiar with the machine I over-roasted a small batch of beans and the absolute STENCH of the bitter period of the tart was very much like the smell of the beans. Acrid and harsh, a complete change from any other Yankee Candle variety I've used before - and wholly unwelcome in my house! I let it continue to burn and the smell did mellow slightly (although was still horrible!) but intensified so much that eventually I had to give in and switch the burner off, when I went upstairs and noticed every room smelled of this awful burned fragrance I realised it wasn't a good tart as the nice period had been so much weaker in intensity that I could smell it only in the room where it was burning.
As much as I love coffee fragrances I can't recommend this tart, not at all. I've since used Hazelnut Coffee which is far nicer, but even so isn't a patch on what I wanted and expected my house to smell of after burning it. Obviously my main issue with Cafe au Lait is the horrible latter stage fragrance, but even without that 'delightful' stage I still couldn't say I'd ever purchase it again as it was overall a very disappointing offering from Yankee Candle - I have used it since after finding the same tart in another mixed bundle (this time from Ebay) with the exact same results, this time though I burned it in hour long stages and managed to avoid most of the harsher fragrance so it was a nicer experience but still disappointing in terms of the strength of the tart.
Summary: I could have loved this tart - if it lived up to it's name!