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The Soothing Scent of Vanilla Candles

Vanilla is one of the most universally beloved scents. The sweet, warm, comforting aroma of vanilla evokes feelings of relaxation and nostalgia. Vanilla candles are an easy way to infuse any room with this soothing scent. With so many vanilla candle options on the market, I decided to test and review some of the top selling vanilla candles to help consumers make the best choice.

For this testing, I selected five top rated vanilla candles that are unscented except for vanilla. This allowed me to assess the vanilla fragrance specifically, rather than additional scent components. The candles I tested included:

  • Yankee Candle Vanilla Candle
  • Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Candle
  • Voluspa Vanilla Bourbon Candle
  • WoodWick Vanilla Candle
  • Village Candle Vanilla Candle

To evaluate these candles, I established testing criteria including:

  • Intensity of vanilla fragrance while burning
  • Quality and authenticity of vanilla scent
  • Fragrance saturation in the room
  • Burn time and wax pool consistency
  • Smoke or soot production
  • Price and value

I burned each candle continuously for 4 hours in a small enclosed room and took detailed notes every 30 minutes. I made sure to trim wicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting. Here are my reviews of each vanilla candle:

Yankee Candle Vanilla Candle

Yankee Candle is one of the most established candle brands, known for their strong scents. True to their reputation, the Yankee Candle Vanilla filled the room with an intensely sweet, rich vanilla aroma right from the first lighting. The vanilla scent was layered and complex, with slight background notes of wax and butter. The fragrance easily saturated the small room within 30 minutes.

The Yankee Candle had an impressively even wax pool and burn throughout the 4 hours. There was no smoking or excessive soot on the glass. The scent maintained its strength for the full testing time. At a moderate price point, this candle provides excellent vanilla fragrance and burn quality.

Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Candle

With its crisp white wax and minimalist labeling, this candle looks very sleek and appealing. Upon first lighting, I noticed a nice vanilla scent, though lighter than the Yankee Candle. The vanilla smelled airy and delicate, with a fresh quality. The fragrance was subtle and didn’t fill the room as intensely as the Yankee.

The scent mellowed further at the 1 hour mark. At 2 hours, I could hardly detect the vanilla unless directly next to the candle. The wax pool was uneven, with edges that didn’t fully melt. Smoke and soot built up on the glass. For the high price tag, I was disappointed in the performance and weak throw of this candle.

Voluspa Vanilla Bourbon Candle

Voluspa is known for its trademark ornate glass jars and exotic scented candles. Their vanilla bourbon candle evokes warm feelings of coziness. It emitted a gourmand, bakery-like vanilla aroma right away, as if walking into a pastry shop. There were lovely background notes of honey, caramel and oak wood barrel. The fragrance had depth and complexity.

The scent filled the room steadily over 2 hours before mellowing, with minimal smoking or soot. The wax pool was complete and even. The artistic packaging and seductive vanilla bourbon scent almost justify the splurge for this indulgent candle. It provided the most authentic and nuanced vanilla experience.

WoodWick Vanilla Candle

As the name suggests, this candle contains a wooden wick that makes a gentle crackling sound as it burns. The vanilla scent was present as soon as I lit the wick, though lighter than the previous candles. It was a flat, one-dimensional vanilla with hints of cheap waxiness.

The fragrance dissipated after an hour, making little scent impact. The unique wood wick wasnovel but couldn’t compensate for the poor scent throw. The wax pool didn’t melt evenly. For the high price, I expected much better performance and vanilla aroma. Unfortunately this candle didn’t deliver.

Village Candle Vanilla Candle

Offering affordable, natural soy wax candles, Village Candle aims to provide quality while keeping prices low. Their vanilla candle smelled pleasant upon first lighting – a mild, sweet cookie-like vanilla. However, the scent never became intense or filled the space. After one hour I could hardly smell vanilla unless directly inhaling over the candle.

The Village Candle had issues with an uneven wax pool and some smoking. But considering the very low price point, it provided decent performance and just enough vanilla scent while burning to be worth purchasing for cost-conscious consumers. The scent just lacks complexity and staying power.

Test Conclusions

Through extensive testing of these top selling vanilla candles, I drew some conclusions to help consumers choose the right candle for their needs and preferences:

  • Yankee Candle provides excellent vanilla fragrance strength and saturation for an unbeatable sensory experience.
  • Voluspa’s indulgent formulation results in a beautifully nuanced gourmand vanilla aroma, though at a high price.
  • Bath and Body Works looks elegant but struggles to deliver sufficient scent throw or burn time.
  • WoodWick’s novel wick can’t make up for its weak vanilla scent and performance issues.
  • Village Candle’s affordable price comes at the cost of a one-dimensional vanilla aroma.

Any of these would enhance a space with classic vanilla in different ways. Yankee Candle and Voluspa emerged as my top picks for their outstanding pure vanilla scents and burning qualities. While not the most budget-friendly, their superior performance justifies the moderate splurge. Any vanilla lover is sure to enjoy surrounding themselves with the warm, soothing vanilla fragrance these exceptional candles provide.

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