* Prices may differ from that shown
~ A BIT ABOUT YANKEE.. ~ I really enjoy experimenting with some of the candles from the well known "Yankee Candle" range which seems to be getting more popular every year. There is a wide range of fragranced candles to purchase in the range - I believe there are actually over 175 fragrances and scents to choose from, so there is bound to be something in the range to suit most peoples own tastes. The candles can be purchased from a variety of retailers, both in-store and online, although I tend to purchase my own candles 'in person' so I can take my time smelling the assortment of fragrances to make my selection. I will purchase my favourites online too, but usually only after I have had the opportunity to try them for myself. I usually purchase my own candles in branches of Clinton Cards, or from my local 'Yankee Candle' shop, and make repeat purchases online at www.ebay.co.uk or at www.amazon.co.uk. Most of the fragranced Yankee Candles come in a variety of formats and sizes so you can choose the one which suits your needs best. There are "Wax Tarts" available which are small 'cake' shaped blocks of wax which, in my experience, seem to have a slightly stronger fragrance than some of the larger candles. The Wax tarts do not contain a wick in the way that other candles do, and they need to be placed in a burner with a tea light underneath them to allow the Wax Tart to melt and the fragrance contained within can then escape. Wax Tarts generally cost around £1.20 - £2, depending on where you buy them, and their burn time is around 8 hours. The other formats that I have tried out are all candles, which come in a variety of sizes: * Small "Sampler" Candles - Burn time up to 15 hours * Small Glass Jar - Burn time up to 25 - 40 hours (Prices around £7.50 - £8) * Medium Glass Jar - Burn time up to 65 - 90 hours (Prices around £15 - £17) * Large Glass Jar - Burn time up to 110 - 150 hours (Prices around £18 - £20) (Info courtesy of www.yankee.co.uk, correct as @ February 2013). ~ WHY DID I BUY?.. ~ I was delighted to be able to visit a large branch of "Yankee Candle" whilst I was on holiday in America last year, and I made a number of purchases that were all "USA Exclusive" scents. That is to say that the candles are predominately sold within the US only, but I have regularly found these candles available to buy online at www.ebay.co.uk. One of the USA Exclusive scents that I purchased last year was the "New Zealand Wild Berry" fragrance, and I purchased this in the Small Glass Jar format, so this is the format I will be reviewing. I have recently seen the fragrance available to purchase on www.ebay.co.uk in both the wax tart and the sampler format, with prices starting from around the £2 mark, plus postage costs. The 'Small Glass Jar' is made of sturdy, thick glass which seems fairly robust, although I believe the slightly 'tapered' edges and rim of the glass at the top are not as thick as the rest of the jar and will shatter and break if the candle is dropped. The jar can of course become quite warm after your candle has been burning for a significant period of time, so care should be taken when extinguishing the flame. There is a sturdy lid on the top of the jar which has a sort of 'stopper' design, by way of a rubber seal and I find that this acts very well at holding the precious fragrances in my Yankee Candle Jars. I believe that some people use the upturned lid as an extinguisher 'tool' to put out the flame on the candle, but I have never done this myself as I believe it would make the glass turn black. The jars themselves, incidentally, never suffer from black staining as a result of the candles being burned within them. The Yankee Candles always have an attractive-looking label attached to the outside of the glass jar, or onto the cellophane wrapper in the case of the sampler candles and wax tarts, and in the case of the New Zealand Wild Berry fragrance, this image depicts a small map of New Zealand, together with the image of some fresh berries still attached to their leaves. Also, the Yankee Candles are always colour-coordinated to match their respective fragrances, and the NZ Wild Berry offering is no exception to this rule, with the wax being a rich 'berry-like' colour with an attractive pink/orange hue to it which ties in with the product name and image perfectly. ~ MY EXPERIENCE.. ~ As soon as I removed the heavy glass 'stopper' from the jar, I was able to detect the rich, fruity aroma of fresh fruit, which smelled rather mouth-watering and surprisingly refreshing. This felt really inviting and I was very keen to light the candle and experience the fruit-based scents contained in its essence during the autumn months last year. Doing so was extremely easy, straight-forward and free from any fuss; there was no need to trim the wick of my candle or anything. As soon as the wick met with the eager flame lapping at its edge, the strong berry-like aroma of the candle escaped quickly and easily, which offered a stark comparison to some of the 'lighter' fragrances that I have been burning lately that can seem to take a little while to develop before their contained scents take on enough 'body' for my liking. This was not the case at all with the NZ Wild Berry candle, however, as the fragrance was really rather 'robust', in comparison. In saying that, the scent DOES develop further and further the more that the candle burns, and I do find that the fruity essence of the NZ Wild Berry really 'builds' as its fragrance escapes, so it feels as though it is changing slightly. This is an observation rather than a criticism, however, and I do find the fruity fragrance is perfectly suited to my own tastes, mainly because I love fruit-based scents and smells. The strong, berry aroma obtained from burning the candle feels rather sweet at first, and this did lead me to worry slightly initially as I was concerned about it becoming sickly after a while. Thankfully, this has not been the case at all, probably because the fragrance develops so much after it has been allowed to burn for a while. Instead of taking on a sickly, overly-sweet 'edge' to it that would probably feel quite 'heady', the NZ Wild Berry Fragrance feels packed with more 'punch' so the main fragrance is purely that of fresh fruit. This is sweet, yes, but the overall fragrance is most definitely without the familiar 'sickly' edge that many fruit-fragranced candles seem to possess. I find too that there is a slight 'tang' to be found from the candle's fragrance although this doesn't seem to develop until it has been burning for an hour or so. I find that this slight 'acidic' note at the edge of the scent seems to 'calm' the sweetness contained in the fragrance, so the overall scent feels much more balanced as a result. I find the actual scent is rather difficult to pinpoint, although I do admit that I am not particularly up to speed with a whole host of assorted berries and their respective fragrances! I think the product's name is completely spot on, and I do think if I had smelled this particular candle whilst blindfolded, the first word that would have came to mind would have been 'berry.' I can appreciate that this description might appear rather vague, but I do find that the gorgeous fruity fragrance obtained from this candle is entirely true to a berry-like aroma, with a more general fruity tone behind it to give it a little more 'body.' I find the New Zealand Wild Berry fragrance is rather versatile, and I have found myself choosing it over other fragranced candles in my collection both during the day and at night. In addition, I have chosen to burn it during the cold, dark winter months when it has offered a little comfort and a rather uplifting feeling at this time of year, but have opted to keep the remainder of my small glass jar to use during the springtime when I think it's fruity fragrance will be perfectly suited to the milder weather and lighter nights. This has led me to the conclusion that this particular candle is most definitely more versatile to many others, which feel much more suited to only one season of the year. In terms of the longevity of the fragrance, I have found that this candle has performed with excellence, providing several hours of fragrance long after the candle has been extinguished. There has even been one or two occasions where I have been able to detect a slight whiff of the fruity fragrance in the room the following day, so I have no complaints on this score. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed burning the New Zealand Wild Berry candle recently and it has definitely become a favourite candle in recent times - so much so that I am planning to purchase another jar when the small one runs out. There is nothing particularly feminine or overly-perfumed about the fragrance, with it offering a rich, fruity fragrance instead. I think it would appeal to most tastes and the aroma of juicy berries wafting throughout my home is something that I have really enjoyed experiencing in recent times. This one is highly recommended from me and it has become a firm favourite in my household.