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If there is one scented candle fragrance that got me eternally hooked and attracted to America's premium number one candle company, Yankee Candle, then it definitely has to be "Vineyard." Appearing as a classic fragrance when Yankee Candle first landed in the UK, it was last seen in 2004 before it was taken out of production in 2006 and replaced by several scents down the line - but the original scent has never quite been replaced by anything successful since. Certainly by now, if you haven't read any of my reviews before, then I'm a serious scented candle fan. I went down the line of being a student and discovering incense sticks at an early age but most of the types produced wheezy coughs in our family and was therefore strictly, a product that I was only allowed to use out of the house in my outside den. Therefore when scented candles entered my life, it was first and foremost Yankee Candle since their products largely go by their promise, as well as being spot on when it comes to the actual fragrances they paste titles on, even though of late they have had some very strange names, like "Pink Sands." However, compared to incense sticks, most Yankee Candle products are made of natural additives and don't induce coughing or sneezing.
Since 2004, Yankee Candle's fragrance line up has increased to almost three times since it had 70 or so blends of fragranced candles available to the 200 or many that are available today. In tart form and priced between 90p to £1-10, however, it is the most economical way of sampling the wax scents even though you'll need an additional accessory in the form of a tealight candle and a hot oil/potpourri oil burner to burn and melt the wax tart into a steaming hot oil before the scent pervades a home. Yankee Candle also sell mini candles known as votives (but also go under the name of "Sampler") which smell lovely until they are lit and seldom give off the strength of scent that can be had before the wrapper is taken off. The same applies to the wax tart - simply smelling the wrapper before the wax tart is taken out may well make your stomach grumble when you sniff it.
Yankee Candle promise a lot of juicy grapes for this scent, not just the official claim that the candle scent is one of "plump cabernet, merlot and zinfandel grapes..." and certainly if you don't like the idea of sweet grape scent in your home, this isn't a candle you will take to.
Yankee Candle's "Vineyard," has plenty of full on explosive and hunger inducing, sweet and juicy tones that may push you to go out and buy Welch's Purple Grape Juice by the carton, to accompany the wonderfully wicked and sensational scent on offer here. If you don't like the juice, then you may well associate this candle with the same grape smell of "Millions" hard sweets, or American grape flavoured lip salves or lip balms, or Grape flavoured "Tootsie Roll" lollypops. The scent is undeniably strong and spot on where the flavoursome scent is concerned.
In wax tart form, the candle only takes a few minutes to melt into a hot, deep purple oil that starts to put out the wonderfully squeezed scent of purple grapes/Welch's Purple Grape Juice. The first tone of juicy grapes is so strong, that it is impossible to identify anything else until maybe, after half an hour has passed where the smell of Zinfandel grapes acts as the middle tone and the merlot wine acting as the bass tone. That sounds awfully simplistic - but there's a little more to this scent than meets the eye. Against Yankee Candle's claims here, I find Yankee Candle's later developed scent, "Black Cherry," to have quite similar properties to "Vineyard." The deepness of the sweet grapes are very welcoming just like the sweet and open juiciness of "Black Cherry" Yankee Candles, but against the strawberry like tones that come off the latter, there's a distinctive dryness of Ribena like berries right at the end of the candle's scent.
For me, where strength is concerned I find "Vineyard," to be very strong, very powerful and like "Napa Valley Sun," quite strong on longevity in wax tart form, making it very economical by price given that each wax tart has a burn duration of 8 hours before the scent dies out. Here however, I only need to burn the wax tart for an hour before literally gassing out the home! It is an extremely strong candle that isn't afraid of strong odours and crushes anything pongy that hangs around the air. Generally I find this scented wax tart alone will last between 3 to 7 days before finally dying out. Although it is strong and very sweet, it thankfully lacks vanilla content, so what you get here is an extremely appealing and fresh scent, even though it's quite a knock out on delivery and pervading aspects. As such, due to its strength value, this isn't a scent that I'd light during food prep or consumption, even though it has a very strong scent that I'd associate with many of the American homes I visited as a child (we have a U.S naval base in our town), it is at least welcoming to the point that it thrives in warmer rooms than cold and damp, and it can be a good scent to consider if you are entertaining.
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 Frasers, although it is always best to check with the seller concerned - I tend to shop for my candles locally or source online sellers for the best prices such as Ebay.co.uk, 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)
Dear Yankee Candle - thank you so much for bringing out "Vineyard" scented candles again! I have only been waiting five years for the scent to reappear and once again, my money and trust in your brand has been restored. Granted, "Vineyard" won't be for everyone, but it will appeal to many fans who love sweet candles without being creamy. Just because it lacks creamy vanilla doesn't mean that this scent should be overlooked - when it induces the need for grape flavoured confectionary or fruit juice, then at least this is a wax scent that tells you how strong and inspiring it is, without inducing the need to touch alcohol! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2011