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When one of my closest friends came back from the USA just after Christmas 2009 she cooed excitedly telling me that she had bought a product back from Yankee Candle that has yet to be launched in the UK. She had bought herself six of the products and two types of scents for me, in what would now become known as the mini-atomizer type travel air freshener sprays known as Yankee Candle Travel-On-the-Go range. The UK are now getting these mini "gas-free," spray bottles by the dozen and many stockists are now beginning to stock the different scents in liquid spray form - handy news for those who have always liked to try Yankee Candle but can't use scented candles because of one reason or another.
I was dubious at first with this spray derivative since Yankee Candle has been down this route before and I along with it! The company experimented with several air freshener type gas filled tins a couple of years back and whilst they were neat, they were hardly understated trapped in gold colours and looked like small spray tins of Impulse! That and their ever-increasing expensive prices sealed their fate where I was concerned. Then Yankee Candle also stopped selling their excellent clear and scented "large" family sized bottles of Febreeze beating fabric spray, of which I was also a great fan. Yankee Candle has this increasing greed to stop scents as well as different varieties of products that give fans and general consumers a chance to sample the company's production of scents and then later bring out slightly different versions on an old theme. As such whilst I think that these air freshener travel sprays are a great idea, I can't be too sure that the company will continue to produce them regardless of whether they are popular or not. They are wrapped in a cardboard and plastic mix blister pack and are very distinguishable as the spray bottles themselves are angled in the pack.
The good news (aside from being unpressurized) is that for the most part, of the scents available in this type of room spray range from old favourites such as Clean Cotton, Black Cherry, Midsummer Night, Coconut Bay, French Vanilla, Vanilla Lime, Macintosh, Sun & Sand and an exclusive edition spray scent called "Good Air." Apart from the latter and to an extent Black Cherry and Vanilla Lime, all the other scents are old classics that people either love or loathe. The bottles are thin in appearance like marker pens and have a delightful "medium jar," shaped lid. I adore bringing mine to work with me as they are extremely discreet and everyone knows they are not going to mixed up with stationery just judged by their glossy bright coloured labels and the plastic mini country style lid at the top. Pity the lids can't be locked on the back however and the spray button is clear frosted in design whilst the base of the bottle is clear to see how much or little you have of the liquid. After all although the bottles have a height of around 11cm they only have 25ml of liquid. The odour neutralizing travel sprays should cost between £4-99 and £5-99 depending on stockist and this can be particularly expensive for what you're getting here.
I wasn't surprised however upon finding that one squirt of the Clean Cotton scented spray smells exactly like the candle (unlike their plug-in) and that one squirt alone is powerful enough to sit on jackets or bags without having to be re-applied a couple of minutes later. This is a marvellous idea for travelling; where previously I had kept a few small Yankee Candle scented wax tins for travelling (another idea that Yankee Candle but stopped production of) that had to be lit in the room I was staying in, the sprays are a fantastic and novel idea to combat light odours and there's no danger of a lit flame.
I say "light scent," because the strength of the scents as rich and as strong as they are tend to die down after an hour if sprayed once or twice in a room with a closed door. Allowing the scent to die down if you're reading a book or doing something that isn't going to affect the scent will allow this product to truly spread its delightful scent around. Try it with someone smoking and it can't hide the smell which eliminates the claimed "odour neutralizer," claim immediately! I also tested it on a clean ashtray to see if the scent would pervade from where the ciggies are stubbed out (a tip from Kim and Aggie) and the product didn't really mask much or leave the ashtray smelling sweeter. That's not to say that the spray doesn't work.
The spray content can mask some light odours but nothing too heavy; heavily scented food such as cheese or fish takes over whenever I've used this spray in places that I can't stand the smell of. The strongest scents I've sampled so far have been the "Black Cherry," which comes across as a strong and deep sweet American tinged Cherry found in both the recently reviewed Jelly Belly Very Cherry candle formula and the scents from "Cherry Chap Stick," or "Cherry Carmel," lip salves (to give you an idea). Whilst this version "Clean Cotton" smells of wonderful washing powder and/or fabric conditioner it tends to leave rooms with a fresh, neutral smell not just literally of washing powder alone. The downsides are then easy to see; although at 25ml this travel spray is a neat idea, it isn't particularly strong in its application if it is designed to freshen rooms for long periods and I finished the product in less than two days the first time I was given it as a gift.
The product however fairs better on clothing such as jackets or bags, particularly if you have had a soft drink accident in your bag, or something that isn't particularly nice. I did however find that when my aftershave was mixed with this spray on my jacket, the combination didn't go down well. Thus, as the content is strong on scent and contains many different oils (most of which YC don't go to the bother of stating on the product or the blister packaging) there are a few downsides to using the spray. The product for example can't be used on leather; it is a danger to children and pets; it can't be used on plastic, vinyl, varnished or painted surfaces; can't be left in strong sunlight and temperatures above 120°F. The product also carries a strong warning to avoid contact with the eyes, skin and choking hazard points due to the small lid that sits on top of the spray.
For all that this is a travel spray it is easy to assume that it will disperse liquid odour neutralizers that is strong enough to combat heavy odours such as tobacco smoke or high smelling foods if you buy them at market and keep them in your hotel room. This isn't a mini Febreeze sadly although it is a good idea and one of marketing skill to attract buyers who may not be able to use the candles that the main company are famous for. Go for the fact that it's a mini-scent sampler and it can freshen for short periods rather than being a true Mini-Febreeze that the product claims to be. I'm delighted with the whole range including the Clean Cotton spray, but it remains to be seen how long Yankee Candle will keep this new and different product on the market. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010