My End-of-Summer Bath & Body Works Haul & Thoughts

So last week, Musings of a Muse posted a coupon code that gave free shipping and a ‘Pumpkin Pail’ with almost $80 worth of various pumpkin-themed goodies for $25. Now, just like the rest of the internet, I adore pumpkin anything, so when I saw that they were ALSO having a 50% off all their summer candles and a buy 3small  items for $10 promo…? When you add that to the cash back from eBates, of course I had to jump on the opportunity and do a little hauling.

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bbw-pumpkin-loofah

I mean, how freaking cute is the pumpkin-shaped loofah? And look at all the goodies in the Pumpkin Pail! Totally irresistible. Don’t worry if you can’t see inside the pail so well – I’ll be unpacking it and giving you a better look at everything after the jump.

I actually live in the city where Bath & Body Works is headquartered, so I’ve pretty much grown up with the brand – I remember when Iced Pineapple, Country Apple, and Sun-Kissed Raspberry were basically all you could smell at school, haha. I’ve since aged out of a lot of their scents – too many are too cloying and too sweet which translates as ‘too young’ for me – but I still looove their candles and their body lotion formula, so I do duck in to one of the 10 billion storefronts they have in Columbus every so often to figure out which of their current scents I can handle and wear without feeling like I’m doing tween cosplay.

This time around, however, almost all the scents that I bought were new to me and – since this was an online order – beyond Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, I really had no clue if they would be as good as they sounded. I justified it because the coupon code and online sales were so good, plus the fact that I’d pretty much only need to drive 5 minutes in any direction to do a return. Seriously, you guys, we have sooooooooo many B&BW here – some shopping centers even have as many as THREE of their storefronts. We are crazy.

This Bath & Body Works haul includes the aforementioned pumpkin set, a bunch of candles, some body lotions, and multiple body sprays/fragrances. Click the read more for photos and my initial thoughts of every scent!

bbw-candles

My main target was the 50% candle sale. B&BW makes great candles, but they tend to be kind of steep at full price – over $20 for a candle, that sort of thing. This means that I pretty much only buy their candles when they’re clearanced or on some sort of promotion – and when that’s in effect, I buy all the scents that I’ve been curious about.

This half-off sale was mostly dominated by their summer scents with a few mini fall candles available in the 3 for $10 section, so that’s why most of my picks are more summery. It sounds like there will be some really interesting new fall candles releasing over the next month, though!

So here were my picks and my initial thoughts on each candle pictured:

LIMONCELLO

Raise your glass! A blend of fresh Sorrento lemons, cane sugar and a hint of lemon zest, inspired by Italy’s beloved Limoncello drink.

I haven’t burned this candle yet, but it smells really nice in the jar. Definite sweet lemon at the forefront, paired with a lot of creaminess to soften the lemon’s natural tartness. Smells absolutely delicious, to be honest. It’s definitely a dessert-y, food-y soft lemon cream scent, not a super tart/bright citrus.

HARVEST PEACHES

Harvest the orchard’s best with this sweet blend of juicy peaches, cinnamon and autumn spices.

Very peachy, with the fall spice note quite strong. Another one that I haven’t yet burned, as this one seems far more suited to cool, fall weather – the spice notes take this from a fresh, fruity peach and make it a definitely more ‘peach pie with spices’ kind of scent. I think it will be lovely as a sort of bridge scent as summer turns into fall.

LEMON MINT LEAF

Freshly cut lemon balm and spearmint leaves uplift this refreshing blend of vetiver and citrus.

Okay, this smells EXACTLY like the limited-edition Method Tomato Vine collection. Given that I loved that stuff – it made cleaning the bathroom almost enjoyable because it just smelled sooo good – I’m totally thrilled to have a doppelganger scent in candle form. This isn’t a fruity lemon – it’s lemon BALM, and combined with the spearmint and vetiver it creates a really lovely, fresh, herbaceous scent. Even my mom approved of this one, and she’s usually someone candle-phobic as most are too sweet, too cloying, too strong, etc, for her. So even somewhat scent-sensitive people may want to give this candle a whiff!

PALM LEAVES

Cool off with the lush foliage of palm tree-dotted beaches in this blend of green palm, aloe & agave.

Ooh, this one is sooooo nice. It’s very light and clean, with the aloe and agave being the strongest notes that I can pick out. Very watery and green. I’m loving this and kind of bummed that I didn’t grab a backup since the candle seems to be out of stock now – but then again, I don’t go through candles that quickly, so this should last me quite awhile since I got the monster 3-wick size.

PUMPKIN CARAMEL LATTE

The season’s best latte, crafted from a rich blend of creamy pumpkin and spiced caramel topped with frothed sweet cream.

To me, this smells like their classic Creamy Caramel with some mild pumpkin spice notes. I don’t really get any coffee/latte notes, but it’s still very pleasant. Definitely food-y, sweet pumpkin, not so much pumpkin spice. Very pleasant and probably one of the lighter fall options.

NECTARINE GREEN TEA

Slow down and enjoy summer with a soothing sip of Japanese green tea and ripe nectarines.

This is probably the most overtly fruity of my candle selections. The green tea note is definitely strong and true – not too sweet, but it’s more of a matcha, sweet powder green tea rather than, say roasted green tea. The nectarine marries very well with the tea scent, fruity but not overpoweringly so. It’s a nectarine skin scent more than the fruit pulp, I think. If you like green tea scents, definitely check this out!

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bbwlotions

Next up, I got a few body lotion minis and some hand creams in the 3 for $10 section. Mostly fall scents here, though I do wish now that I’d bought lotion versions of *all* the body sprays that I bought since I ended up liking every single scent. Getting ahead of myself here, though – let’s just go over the items in this photo for now.

CRISP MORNING AIR HAND CREAM

Breathe in the invigorating scent of mountain pine, fresh juniper and pear.

This is nice! The pine and juniper are definitely at the forefront here. It’s a very fresh fall scent, not foodie in the least. For some it may clock in a bit masculine for their tastes, but IMO anyone could wear this. It’s a tad strong, though, so if you’re really sensitive, this one might be too much for you.

PUMPKIN LATTE & MARSHMALLOW COMFORT BODY LOTION

Cuddle up with the cozy comfort of a creamy pumpkin latte and toasted marshmallows.

Top Notes: White Ginger, Sheer Jasmine, Raspberry Nectar
Mid Notes: Pumpkin Latte, Toasted Marshmallow, Fresh Nutmeg
Dry Notes: Creamy Sandalwood, Praline Musk, Warm Vanilla

Loooooove this one. It’s food-y and sweet while still remaining kind of light, airy, and subtle. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Probably this is the scent that I’ve been using the most, so I’m glad that I got it in both lotion and spray forms. The coffee note is a bit more prominent here than it is in the Pumpkin Caramel Latte candle, and the sandalwood-vanilla base creaminess is divine. The ginger is just present enough to keep this from going too dessert-y. Really, really well done. I’ll probably buy big sizes of the lotion since it’s subtle enough that it won’t war with other perfumes if you use it as your base body lotion.

PEACH & HONEY ALMOND BODY LOTION

An irresistible blend of summer peaches, mimosa flowers & honeyed almonds wrapped in creamy vanilla and clementine.

Top Notes: Juicy Peach, Flowering Quince, Zesty Clementine
Mid Notes: Mimosa Flower, Apple Blossom, Blackberry Leaf, Almond
Dry Notes: Whipped Meringue, Caramel Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Creamy Golden Honey

This is interesting – I honestly can’t pick out one note over the others in this blend. I definitely smell the peach, the honey, the floral notes, and the almond, but I don’t feel like any of them emerge as the clear dominating note. This is fine with me, as the end result is very pretty, light, not too fruity, with a nice warmth in the undertones that makes this nice for spring AND fall. I’m glad that I got this in a body spray as well as the lotion.

Speaking of body sprays…

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PEACH & HONEY ALMOND FINE FRAGRANCE MIST

Well, I’ve already covered this scent above – I feel like the body spray has sliiightly more peach, if that makes sense. I have noticed before that B&BW scents aren’t always static across the various products – the most infamous example is how the Vanilla Bean Noel lotion/cream is much more of a delicious, toasty vanilla than it’s super-sweet candle and fragrance counterparts – and while this isn’t as striking of a scent difference as the VBN, there is definitely a noticeable boost to the peach part of the blend. This is fine with me, since it’s not that sickeningly-sweet, candy peach (you know what I mean, right?) and more of a true, fresh peach. I love white/fresh peach skin/blossom notes, so this is all good for me!

PUMPKIN LATTE & MARSHMALLOW COMFORT FRAGRANCE MIST

On the other hand, this scent remains true across both the lotion and the mist. Still fabulous. I’ve been using this as a body spray and a linen spray, because it’s so warm and delicious. Snuggling up in a bed that smells like this is sooooooooooo nice!

LEMON POMEGRANATE CREAM FRAGRANCE MIST

A light as air blend of lemon crème, red pomegranates and iced raspberries topped with white woods and peony petals.

Top Notes: Red Pomegranate, Sparkling Berry Bouquet, Juicy Red Currant
Mid Notes: Sheer Iris, Dewy Peony Petals, Addictive Raspberry
Dry Notes: Sheer Woods, Feathered Musk, Sweet Lemon Cream

Oh, man. Love, love, loooooove. I feel like this scent is the spiritual successor to the now-discontinued Rich Citrus Cream, which is one of my (if not THE) all-time favorite Bath & Body Works scents. This shares that woody-creamy base with just enough sweet-but-not-too-sweet lemon sugar notes. The addition of the berry/currant and iris is noticeable to me, and gives this one a unique feel to it that elevates it above simple creamy lemon.

I adore this. I will be needing a body lotion in this scent for next summer, I think. Beautiful.

FRENCH LAVENDER & HONEY FRAGRANCE MIST

Skin-loving formula is scented with a romantic bouquet of French lavender, nectarine de Provence & sun-kissed honey.

Top Notes: Mandarin, Melon de Cavaillon, Blackberries, Violet Leaves
Mid Notes: French Lavender, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Nectarine de Provence
Dry Notes: Honey, White Oak Musk

This was probably the scent I was most uncertain about including, unsniffed, in my order. I like lavender and I like honey, but I think everyone who has ever tried a bath and body product including one or more of those scents knows that they can be done soooo wrong. Usually they end up too strong and sweet, and with lavender that can be so obnoxious because the actual plant has a sweet-yet-fresh feel – yet often the freshness of the floral gets totally dumped in favor of amping up the floral or sweet notes to noxious amounts. Same with honey; it’s obviously a sweet scent naturally, but some brands pump it up by adding in tons of artificial, fake sweetness that ends up making it just kind of… gross.

This does not fall into either trap. In fact, it smells very subtle. There’s definite honey and lavender, with I think blackberry, lily of the valley, violet leaf, and the musk being also relatively high profile. It all marries together very smoothly, with a light feel that never gets TOO floral or TOO musky or TOO sweet. It also avoids that nasty, headache-inducing soapiness that some brands insist upon trying to label as ‘lavender’ – you know what I mean if you’ve ever been in a Crabtree & Evelyn shop, lmao.

Really well done. I’m pleased. I want this in a candle! Also, look how cute the perfume bottle is for this scent. I might need that, too.

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WILD VANILLA MADAGASCAR EAU DE PARFUM

Vanilla like you’ve never experienced! An intoxicating blend of the world’s most expensive and desired vanilla, perfectly enhanced with African Pear, Wild Jasmine and White Sandalwood.

Top Notes: African Pear, Sparkling Clementine, Ruby Apple
Mid Notes: Wild Jasmine, Wild Gardenia, Heliotrope Petals, Golden Plumeria
Dry Notes: Madagascar Vanilla, White Sandalwood, Creamy Musk

This is one of those mini-EDP sprays that you can grab for cheap before they fully introduce a new scent. I’m not sure when exactly this line will be releasing, but I’m totally digging it. Remember when I reviewed CONVICT and mentioned that I like darker, woodier vanillas in the winter? This definitely falls into that category – it’s a black vanilla kind of note, and the sandalwood and musk definitely give it a deep, woody base. The florals are there to add complexity, but they’re not hit-you-over-the-head obvious. Rather, they give a slight powdery feel that I normally associate a bit with tonka bean, though I don’t see that present in the scent description.

To me, this can best be summed up as a deep, woody vanilla with just the lightest bit of a more youthful, candy vanilla peeking through. Like it’s 99% black, woody, deep vanilla and 1% Vanilla Fantasy by Coty or something, haha. It’s sweet without being too much. If you like vanilla, particularly more complicated vanillas, you may really enjoy this. I personally don’t know if I’ll end up buying any more in the line, but I’ll definitely be using this mini-EDP quite a bit over the fall and winter seasons.

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And now for the goodies in the Pumpkin Pail!

First, you get the classic Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scent in a body wash, body lotion, and fragrance mist. These are all full-size versions, so at $25 for the pail it’s already paid for itself since the three of these bought individually would be $39.

This scent has been around as their fall staple scent for years and years, but if you’re not yet familiar, here are the notes:

Take a stroll through the farmer’s market, where the addictive scent of heirloom pumpkins and cinnamon fills the air.

Top Notes: Heirloom Pumpkin, Crisp Apple, Fresh Ginger
Mid Notes: Ginger Snap, Autumn Cinnamon, Sheer Jasmine
Dry Notes: Spiced Vanilla, Golden Amber, Hint of Rum

It’s a mainstay for a reason – it’s a nice, classically fall scent with vanilla, amber, pumpkin, apple, and loads of spice from the cinnamon and ginger aspects.

I will certainly be using all three products come October to get myself in the seasonal mood!

pumpkin-pecan-waffles

The second half of the pumpkin pail set includes three miniature candles – Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Spiced Pumpkin Cider, and Pumpkin Pecan Waffles – as well as a pumpkin-shaped loofah sponge (pictured at the start of the post) and full-sized bottles of Pumpkin Pecan Waffles Deep Cleansing Hand Soap and Gentle Foaming Hand Soap.

PUMPKIN PECAN WAFFLES

Indulge in delicious, warm waffles, sugared pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.

SPICED PUMPKIN CIDER

Warm up with the ultimate autumn treat of pumpkin-apple cider, ground nutmeg and a hint of clementine.

The Sweet Cinnamon pumpkin candle is, as described above, your pretty classic fall pumpkin-apple-spice scent. It translates well to home fragrance, for sure. Spiced Pumpkin Cider is my favorite of the candle trio included in this set – the fresh apple aspect is very true and soooo nice, and I am a total sucker for orange/clementine with my fall apple/pumpkin scents. Pumpkin Pecan Waffles – in both the candle and soap form – smells to me more like spiced maple syrup than pumpkin. It’s nice and will feel very festive during fall, but I probably wouldn’t seek it out on its own. I am not suuuuuuuuper into maple syrup unless it’s like… maple bacon jerky, haha, so this isn’t a matter of it smelling bad or anything – there’s just other scents and flavors that I prefer.

Overall, I was totally happy with this haul. I don’t know if Bath and Body Works is making an effort to age up their scent selection a bit, but everything was far less sweet, sweet, sweet and super-strong than I’m used to from them, which was a really pleasant surprise.

I’m not sure if the Pumpkin Pail code still works, but it was FALLTREATS – give it a shot and see if it still functions. It gave free shipping and reduced the price of the Pumpkin Pail to $25 if you had $30 of other products in your bag already.

Other current coupon codes:

HAPPYFALL gives $1 shipping if you order $25 worth of products or above until the end of Sept 8, 2014 – really nice because, to be blunt, their shipping costs are usually WAY too high. I usually only buy in-store for this reason, I feel like the shipping costs are higher than they actually have to pay, just based on how much other stores charge for similar weights + how much I pay for shipping similar stuff when I send gifts. You know they have a corporate discount for shipping, so there’s no way that they should be charging MORE than what UPS would charge a normal customer for the same weight, you get me?

BBWSEPT15 gives 15% off any order until the end of September 30, 2014 – if you’re placing a big order, this should give you a nice chunk of change off the final price.

Also, I recommend ALWAYS shopping through eBates, since you get at least 1.5% cash back – sometimes more – when you use their link to shop at Bath & Body Works. I can confirm that they accurately record your purchase and pay back when they say they will. I’m kicking myself for taking so long to sign up with them, seriously. I’ve made over $100 cash back in the past year, so yeah. WORTH. IT.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

As covered in the site disclaimer, referral links are present in this post – thanks a ton if you use any of them!

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