Monday, April 16, 2012

StellaMare: Strong on Style, Weak on Scent

This past weekend I was in Ulta doing some long needed cosmetics shopping, when I came upon their candle section.  (I think it's odd a beauty store sells candles, but that is neither here nor there, I guess.  Anyway.)  It was a few rows deep and was lined with old favorites like Yankee Cande and WoodWick, but other brands drew my attention as well.  One in particular was StellaMare.
My knowledge is limited on this brand, but the packaging is eye catching and the variant names are on trend (there's a Green Tea and Minted Grapefruit, among others).  I couldn't resist getting myself one, and the lucky winner was Guava Coconut.

Once home I did a little internet surfing and found that StellaMare is a hand-crafted product and a Portland, Oregon native.  They claim to be 'always free of phthalates, nitro-musks, and benzene', much like another Portland company who's products have been reviewed at Scent n Scentsibility.

StellaMare's packaging is distinctly stylish: all their products are beautiful and artistically decorated on the outside.  But what about the inside - the scent?

In truth, I picked Guava Coconut because I liked the sound of the name compared to the others on the shelf.  In the store I opened its box to get a hint of the scent, and that's what I got.  Just a hint - it smelled pleasant, but not strong.

In testing the candle continued to be mediocre.  The cold throw, as stated before, was not very odoriferous.  The scent was sweet with a slight whiff of cumin/body odor undertone.  Could this be a characteristic of the guava scent?  You know, kind of like how papayas have an aroma of vomit?  In any case, this cumin/b.o. odor didn't impede, hinder or distract from the soft, sweet, berry-like aroma of the cold throw.

Unfortunately the candle didn't improve in use.  I even tested it twice because I thought I might be mistaken, but no.  The fragrance dosage isn't strong enough to compete with the smell of burning wick and wax.  What you end up with is a room filled with a slightly sweet smelling wax scent.  StellaMare's Guava Coconut is utterly disappointing.

So, I guess that leaves us with one question: does anyone know if Ulta will let me return a partly used candle?

On a side note, while I was at Ulta I noticed they had the Archipelago Lavender Spice scent which I mentioned last week in the LilyFlame post.  I tried the Lavender Spice, excited for a unique scent.  What I got was applesauce and cinnamon!  No lavender at all!  How disappointing!

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