* Prices may differ from that shown
Since buying my first tart burner last year I have never looked back and regually buy different tarts when i see them out and about on offer. What I love about Yankee tarts is being able to try out the different scents at much lower prices than the larger candles without spending a fortune and in my opinion they actually give off a better stronger scent!
A few months ago I spotted the River Valley tart for 60p in Clintons and as this is not one I have tried before it couldnt hurt to try at such a bargain. However unlike a lot of other tarts this one didnt give off much of a scent through the packaging which I found unusual and wasnt sure what I was actually going to get out of the tart and if there was a reason it was reduced...
The tarts are wrapped in transparant plastic which can easily be opened using your finger nails or snipping with a pair of scissors.
About the tart
The tart is baby blue in colour and when melted it turns into a transparent blue oil like liquid. It is made from wax and is round with ridged edges like all the tarts in the Yankee range. The Yankee Candle Co logo is also stamped into the tart.
The front label advises you that the tart is made from pure natural plant extracts and has the image of a river and scenary in the background to match the tart it represents.
The back label then gives you your usual warning symbols for what not to do with this product ie . keep out of reach of children ect.
The label also confirms the tart weight is 22g and total burning time is 8 hours.
How to use
You literally pop the tart on the top of your burner, light your candle and put under the plate and it starts to melt within 5 minutes. Depending on how good your tealights are it can be completely melted in anything from 15-25 minutes.
A great thing about Yankee tarts is if you want to change the tart/scent you simply blow out the tealight wait for the tart to harden and you simply pop it out. I tend to do this all the time as I feel if you are constantly melting the same tart over and over again you get used to the scent and it gets to a point you can no longer smell it, so in my opinion its great to vary between different ones this way.
As well as melting a tart on its own, I have read you can mix tart scents to create more unique smells - you simply break off smaller bits of tart and melt together. More information on mixing and ideas can be found on the Yankee website.
The best words I can use to describe the scent is clean, spring, light and perfumed. Yankee prefere to desrcribe the scent as "A cool and calm stroll by the river...watery green notes with hints of sage, amber and oak"
Like certain Cinnamon flavoured tarts I have tried I have to say this scent is my least favourite so far and I completely understand why it was reduced to half price as its a bit of a waste of time. Its definetely what I would use during the Spring as the scent suits to that time of year unfortunately as in the official Yankee description it is defintely watery and the scent is barely there. In the past with other tarts the scent wafts through the house but this one its barely noticable being in the same room and you have to sit up close to really smell it.
This is just my opinion but I like the scent bursting tarts the best and I understand not everyone feels this way and others like lighter scents. This tart would suit that kind of person better. In fact, I bought my grandmother her own tart burner for her birthday last year, with a mixture of tarts including this one - she is this type of person who doesnt like overpowering scents and she told me she actually likes this one. So word of advice, you probably wont like it but your grandmother will!
Not one I will be buying again
The RRP for the Yankee tarts is around £1.20
"River Valley" was an Autumnal fragrance released last year by Yankee Candles and having discounted it on its release as one that wouldn't appeal to me I only got around to trying it a few weeks ago when I found a few wax tarts, this fragrance included, on half price offer in my local Clintons store. Yankee tend to categorise their fragrances so that you have an idea of how they're going to smell or they bundle them into the 'groups' that best describe them, I tend to favour the 'sweet' and 'fruity' fragrances they produce rather than anything too spicy or subtle and River Valley would be best categorised as a 'water' fragrance which, given its name, is understandable.
I've tried a few of the 'water' fragrances before and am not usually keen on them, they're too subtle for me and tend to lose my interest very quickly. I rarely find that they have the 8 hour longevity that Yankee are renowned for so had very little expectations for River Valley when I decided to buy it. It was the price that appealed to me if I'm being honest, at 60p instead of £1.20 I figured it wouldn't cost too much to at least try it and even though this ended up being pretty much as I expected I have to say that it almost made me a 'water convert'
As shown in the supplied picture the wax tart variant of River Valley is powder blue in colour (although in 'real life' is slightly darker and more lilac) and as usual for a Yankee product it is well produced with an attractive sticker on the wrapper. A wax tart needs to be melted to allow the fragrance to be released so adding mine to the well of my tart burner and placing a lit tea light underneath it I allowed a few minutes for the wax to warm up before I could start to detect its odour.
To begin with I thought River Valley was going to be the exception to the rule that water fragrances are always subtle as this one soon attracted my attention. There's no denying that it is very similar to other Yankee fragrances that have been done before and the obvious 'green' notes are the ones that first make an appearance although these soon level out to reveal a deeper heart of a woody scent which does add a lot of interest. It's a very calming fragrance I found, more suitable for a balmy Summers evening rather than Autumn I thought but even so it was pleasant and did make a nice change from the fragrances I usually select from Yankee.
The only thing wrong with River Valley is that it quickly loses all of its impact and after only a couple of hours it started to subdue and ended up petering off into nothingness. It's a real shame I think when some wax tarts do this as they have the potential to be really interesting but its almost as if Yankee can't quite get the fragrance longevity composition right in these ones as they rarely, if ever, last the distance and you're left wanting more. River Valley could have potentially converted me to trying other watery fragrances but in the end it just disappointed me and I can understand why Clinton's were wanting to get shot of what stock they had as I can't see many people wanting to make a repeat purchase once they've tried this one out for themselves.
All in all I can't recommend River Valley even though I quite liked it at first, compared to other Yankee fragrances this didn't match in terms of longevity or value for money so from me it gets a rather lacklustre 2 stars as a rating. It could and should have been a lot better than it was in my opinion and I wouldn't buy it again.
Thanks for reading my review.
By now if you have ignored or looked past the many household appliance reviews, music reviews, audio reviews and so forth that I have written, then you may know that I'm a big fan of scented candles. When my last shipment of candles came through the door from Yankeedirect.com, I had included a few new scents along the way - one of them being the rather strange titled "River Valley," candle and wondered, if it was one of my long time classic favourites that is sadly no longer available, called "Ocean Wave," that stank of strong aftershave and sea-like dry salt. The combination worked well as I can recall, strong and pervading but often reduced many of my friends and family to constant coughs because of its talcum powder like strength on scent delivery. Even the colour of "Ocean Wave" Yankee Candle and 2011's latest scent, "River Valley," retains the same pastel blue colouring. However, "Ocean Wave," may well be a retired scent that is no longer available, but perhaps one day it may reappear again since "River Valley," is anything but reminiscent of a valley or a river, or even, "Ocean Wave."
When the wrapper is unopened from a Yankee Candle wax tart, the price you pay on average is £1-10 each time you buy a tart and each "candle" gives you roughly 8 hours of burn time before the scent dies away. You'll find from its embossed top and bottom that no wick exists - and you will need a hot oil/potpourri burner with a heat insulated base (or just use a drinks coaster) and deep concave to accept the whole tart. A tealight candle lit underneath will provide the heat to melt the pale blue/pastel blue tart into a clear light blue hot steaming oil, ready to pervade the home with scent - or so the whole concept goes with any Yankee Candle wax tart format.
Yankee Candle promise that "River Valley" is supposed to emulate "...A cool and calm stroll by the river...water green notes of sage, amber and oak..."
Normally, when it comes to using my favourite form of candle from America's number one candle company, my Yankee Candle tarts start to pervade scent, reaching out in less than two minutes when the wax starts to melt down and steam up and usually, the scent of the wax tart is so strong, that it usually sits well with the name that Yankee Candle have suggested.
Not here though. Quite how Yankee Candle have managed to jump to conclusions that a gentle walk by a river could ever sum up the scent that comes out of this candle is beyond me. For a start, it reeks of a man's cheap aftershave, the kind you'd only find in gift boxes around Christmas time and then suddenly disappear for most of the year thereafter, only appearing at airports or thrift/budget franchises who deal in wholesale affairs. Powdery and largely staying true to its promise of having "amber," "River Valley," is pretty similar to Yankee Candle's other aftershave inspired "Amber Glow," but lacks the warmth and power.
The first tone that comes off this candle is that of baby powder mixed with hints of "Soft Blanket," the "Joop" aftershave Yankee Candle, but without enough strength to push whatever inspired walks by a river throughout the home. The problem I found early on with this scented candle is that despite the claims, it didn't half remind me of an old taxi cab that has seen better days with constant chemical based "Magic Trees" hovering off the central rear view mirrors! Certainly, the cedar tone is very apparent with this candle, acting as the middle tone when the Joop like fragrance mixes in with baby powder, but the base tone of oak is not obtainable and when it all comes together, it just isn't as strong as the latter named scents, or as positive to rely on.
Where strength is concerned, usually all Yankee Candle wax tarts have a burn time of 8 hours - but not here! I got two days worth out of this wax tart before giving up on the idea completely - burnt for three hours each day to see just how long this scent would last. Although there's scent, it's ultra smooth, designed to possibly linger in the background, sitting world's away from stronger Yankee Candle scents, and for some fans - possible new buyers for the first time - "River Valley," is a good scent to consider - but those thinking of country like pine mixed with fresh river water may well be disappointed - "River Valley," seems to have been washed away in terms of strength, which kind of sits against the realm of Yankee Candle's strength and longevity reputation. It makes no monetary sense to trust that this candle will do anything other than sit around the air in a home and be taken over by other stronger and more pungent effects - which is a great pity! It doesn't have enough power for example to scent a room never mind many!
When purchased in wax tart form, you'll need an additional burner to use, preferably one with a deep concave so that all the wax tart can be used, otherwise it will have to be cut in two and only one half slice used to avoid hot oil steaming over in the scent release process. A tealight candle will have to be used to get the solid wax melting into hot oil. Even with this novel way of using hot wax, you have to maintain safety and logic at all times - and you may find that the oil burner gets hot on the base as well as the top making it unsuitable to be moved around and to avoid surfaces being burnt, always use a heat proof coaster to keep the burner balanced and heat insulated.
Removing the candle is easy though - once the hot oil burner has cooled down, take out the tealight candle and insert the whole burner into a freezer for a minimum of 15 minutes or 30 minutes in a fridge. Afterwards tip the burner over and with a slight tap to the top, the wax tart should fall out easily. This is a much better procedure than pouring hot oil down a drain since it can block drains, or into a kitchen towel which can burn through and spoil work surfaces etc. Always sniff the base of the candle though when it falls out - if you can still smell scent - then the candle still has life in it to burn the next time around when you choose to burn the candle.
Prices and formats are given on average before 25% discounts if the scent is "season of the month," and usually the discounts are only available at local shops like Clinton Cards, Debenhams and House of Fraser's, although it is always best to check with the seller concerned - I tend to shop for my candles locally or source online for the best prices like Ebay, www.yankeedirect.com or www.yankeedoodle.co.uk
Wax Tart (22 grams, 8 hour duration, 90p/£1.10 each.)
Votive candle (1.75 oz 15 hour duration, average price £1-75 to £2)
Small housewarmer jar candle (7 oz 25-40 hours duration, £5-99 to £7-99)
Medium housewarmer jar candle (14.05oz 60-75 hours duration, £13-99)
Medium 2 wick tumbler (12.5 oz 45-50 hours duration, £12-99)
Large housewarmer jar candle (22 oz 100-150 hours duration, £17-99)
Large 2 wick tumbler (22.7 oz 70-90 hours duration, £16-99)
Lidded glass tumbler (7oz 35-45 hours duration, £8-99)
Car tab housewarmer jar cardboard freshener (6-8 weeks duration, £1-99)
Tea light scented candles (240 grams, 4-6 hours per candle, 12 in a box £5-99)
It is a pity that whilst "River Valley," holds promise by its name and the look of a river on its main label whilst taken in by its pleasing pastel blue look and promise, that at the end of the day, this isn't a candle I can see myself ever buying again. Lacking strength and ability, it is yet another exercise in spinning out money from the pockets of Yankee Candle fans. Yet, whilst there are other scents out there which are just as mild, "River Valley," is rather washed out and isn't worth the attention. Even as a scent that could be mixed with another, the amber and cedar content is too dry to mix with most Yankee Candle scents - and with that additional consideration when it just isn't strong enough to fully invigorate a single room, it's a warning to strongly avoid! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2011
** Picture on Dooyoo is wrong - this isn't Vanilla Satin **
==Yankee Candle River Valley==
The Yankee Candle is a world wide product range selling a whole ton of different candle related items for a variety of different price brackets. As the name suggests the company began life in America where the brand is a common household name and probably even more popular than it is here. It is however very popular over here in the UK and their products can be found in a whole range of different shops ranging from the smaller local stores who have a Yankee stand to the larger chain stores like B&Q who has a fairly extensive range.
I have only really recently come to find the range even though I had seen the candles I had never bought them for myself so I am now more than ever making up for it and buying far too many and making sure I find out all the different scents in order to get the perfect one for me.
==Price and Availability==
This River Valley wax tart is another one of the latest additions added to the Yankee Candle range and even if it hadn't I probably wouldn't have hesitated to buy it as like I say I am more or less working my way through all the tarts I can get my hands on. This tart did however look and sound quite appealing and I chose it over a few of the other tarts that my local stockist had that I was yet to try so it must have had more of a draw than the others.
This fragrance is a new one so wasn't in a lot of the other shops that I have been having a look at but to be fair it is easily found online and if buying in bulk you can save yourself on postage and packaging prices so it may be worth having a look about.
At 90 pence you can't really argue on the price and it is far cheaper than a lot of the cans of air freshener which you would buy especially when looking at the premium branded ones which can often cost a few pounds and in my mind these tarts have a much better value as they are not only lovely to use but also have a better fragrance and will last a lot longer than an aerosol. Of course some places stock these tarts at a little bit more than the price I paid however the RRP is £1.10p so still a far cry from the price of one of those plug in air fresheners.
==Look and Design==
This tart is a light pastel shade of blue and I always feel that the lighter colours of the tarts will often have the lighter fragrances and to be fair when I initially picked this one up off the shelf to have a sniff it seemed as if my suspicions were right as there was only a very slight smell of the aroma you would get from the tart held because of it being inside the cellophane wrapper. I didn't let this aspect put me off and I chose to give the Yankee tart the benefit of the doubt
As with most of the pictures on the front of the tarts this one looked just as tempting and the sun setting behind some mountains with a river valley in the forefront makes for a tranquil and serene feel which I assumed this tart would pass over to me and perhaps make me a little bit more relaxed than I have been of late and I was keen to get it melted down and have a good whiff of the true aroma the tart held.
Again I decided to only just use a small amount of the tart and found that as with all the others it was easy to cut into and it did crumble slightly when I did this which makes it easier to melt once placed in the burner and with a tea light underneath the wax melts quickly and lets out the fragrance of the tart.
The scent of the tart was not entirely what I expected and I can't say that I felt particularly relaxing or more chilled out than I did before using the tart. The scent was actually stronger once melting than in the packaging so I will give it that but as far as smelling like a "River Valley" I don't really think this scent worked for me. It had a quite fresh and clean smell but also a bit of a more manly scent than I would have usually liked. There are very alpine type scents with deep oak and the lighter sage which together smells a little bit like a toilet cleaner and not on the whole one of the better Yankee Tarts I have tried.
==My Overall Opinion==
To be fair this smell is really not that great and it has a certain cheap falseness to it that although it has a fairly strong fragrance isn't one I would like to be that strong. It was quick to fill the flat with the scent but I think it reminded me somewhat of the smell after someone has been to the toilet and sprayed a cheap air freshener.
I can't say I like it and for that reason it is one that I won't be rushing to try again and I may well even pass the rest of the tart over to my mum so she can use the rest of it. I think for me this tart has got to be a low scorer and a 2 out of 5 stars is really quite generous. It is quite a disappointment really.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
*Firstly, please note, Dooyoo have supplied the wrong picture again - their picture is vanilla satin, not river valley which I'm reviewing, but I will get back to them and let them know to change it.
River Valley is another of the newly released Yankee Candle fragrances, and one my boyfriend treated me to.
With a name like 'River Valley' it's hard to know what you're going to get I suppose, but I was expecting something fresh and natural smelling.
I could smell the tart through the wrapper but found I couldn't quite smell it properly. When I unwrapped it, I got a clearer idea of what it smelled like, but in all honesty, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I did think the scent was OK, but I thought that it smelled more like an aftershave than something I wanted my home to smell of. It's rather difficult for me to describe this fragrance, as I couldn't really pick any individual scent out. The closest I could probably get is that it has a slight tangy quality to it, which reminds me a little of pine. Other than that, the only thing I can say is that it smells like aftershave to me! I asked my boyfriend what he thought it smelled like, and he said a cheap deodorant, which I guess would also be a fair description.
I got this in the form of a wax tart. I prefer wax tarts to the full sized candles, because I am someone who gets bored very quickly and as the tarts are smaller and cheaper, I can try a wide variety of them. This one is a pale blue colour and the label depicts, not surprisingly, a valley with a river flowing through it.
To use, you need to place in a tart burner and light a tealight underneath to melt the wax and bring out the scent. A tart burner is similar to an oil burner, but tends to have a deeper cavity to prevent spillages.
It didn't take long for the smell of the wax tart to fill the room, and I found that the fragrance was quite strong. I think I would go as far as saying that it was too strong, and whilst I didn't find it overpowering or sickly, the scent seemed to get at the back of my throat. I asked my boyfriend if he thought the same, and he just said he thought the scent was 'too much'.
I usually leave my tealight burning until it goes out, but this one I blew out, because the scent was getting to me. It was like when you get on a train and inevitably someone who smells like they've poured their scent on rather than sprayed it sits next to you. It was just a bit 'in your face' and I couldn't tolerate it for long periods of time!
The prices below show comparisons between the different prices/burn time of each Yankee format. All are approximate and prices, of course, depend on where you shop.
Wax Tarts - Burn time 8 hours - £1.10
Votives - Burn time up to 15 hours - £1.60
Small Jar - Burn time 25-40 hours - £7.45
Medium Jar - Burn time 65-60 hours - £15.45
Large Jar - Burn time 110-150 hours - £18.45
Overall, I don't think I could recommend River Valley. It was by no means the worst Yankee scent I've ever used, but it was too strong and the scent too heady for my tastes. It smelled too much like aftershave for my tastes and I won't be buying this scent again.
*Also posted on Ciao under username pink_champagne