Little afterglow sampler - massage candle by Jimmyjane - review by Antipova

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Just the Scents, Ma'am.

Through the Little Afterglow Sampler and a few excursions into limited edition Afterglows, and even an Ember, I've tried a lot of scents. This review doesn't go into the details of the candle, it just gives my thoughts on the nine scents I've tried, and the three candle sizes. Don't let this be the only review you read, but if you already want an Afterglow and just want to know which scent to get, read on!
Published:
Pros:
Some scents are incredible;
Cons:
Some scents are merely better than average.
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review
I've fallen hard for the Afterglow candles. I already wrote a glowing review, so if you want my full thoughts on the massage candle from Jimmyjane, check out Afterglow: Massage Candle Apotheosis.

I'm writing this not to repeat myself---instead, to share what I've learned about the different scents---because after becoming enamored of the fact that these smell good and don't trigger my allergies, I've gotten... well... practically all of them. So here are my thoughts, listed roughly from favorite to least favorite:

Scents I'll re-order, whether for myself or as gifts:

Lychee and Lapsang---Subtle, sweet, bright-but-dark, juicy perfection. The lychee portion smells like ... fresh green grapes, maybe? But not like grape flavoring---like an actual juicy fresh grape when you bite into it. The smokiness of the lapsang (tea) grounds the scent. There's a bit of floralness to the scent, and I can't place it exactly, but this is definitely one of the more feminine fragrances Afterglow comes in. I've gotten compliments on the street when I've moisturized my legs with this. As long as this scent is in production, I'm going to have one in my office.

Bourbon---I love bourbon, and this actually smells more like caramel than bourbon to me. There are only the warm amber tones, with none of the hayfield and burn-your-throat tones. Below the top caramel scent, there's a light Bailey's-esque cream scent, and also a little of the smokiness of Frankincense. While these smells might not seem like they'd typically blend well, this smells really warm and delicious, and I like it a lot. I'd call it gender-neutral, as well.

Dark Vanilla---This is perfect. It's not a sickly-sweet kids' vanilla---it's exactly like when you've splurged for guests and bought two real vanilla beans, straight from Madagascar, and you've split them open and a few of the seeds are stuck to your hands and are warming up to body temperature. It's everything you could hope for from vanilla, the perfect base note to accent absolutely everything (why do you think they call it vanilla sex? An excellent base improves the flavor of any addition, and it tastes wonderful even alone!) I love this scent both as a candle and on the skin---even though my partner sat with me while the candle was burning, when I dipped some onto my wrists and later was caressing his hair, he still said with surprise "Oh, your skin smells amazing."

Absinthe and Sugarwater---This flavor called to me because I'm fond of licorice. When I opened the shipping box, I thought my order had come with those little cedar blocks for keeping moths out of drawers. Apparently fennel simulates the scent of anise instead of actual anise, and it just doesn't come through the woody scent. To my nose, the 'wormwood' element is strongly reminiscent of cedar, the 'lemon' is very light and smells like lemongrass, the 'fig' lends a warm and muted fruit scent, and the 'fennel' is not present. Even without licorice, I love this scent. Walking into the bedroom now reminds me of walking into a fairytale forest---the kind with large hemlock and cedar trees, soft moss to walk on, and no underbrush. It is a very gender-neutral scent, and it does smell "green"---just not like the "green fairy."


Scents that were nice, but nothing special unless they're your personal favorite:

Pink Lotus---Smells pink, feminine, floral and summery---not much different from an average drugstore floral scent, but without the unpleasant alcohols. On the skin, it smells lightly aquatic, like a water lily. This is a fainter scent than most of the others, and even when lit it's hard to smell unless you're right next to it.

Truffle and Gardenia---This has a sedate floral scent. It's not over-the-top, feminine flowery, but it's not quite dark either. It smells sort of powdery to me, somehow, as though it would be an upscale sort of scent-refresher powder for potpourri. I want to say it smells 'dark,' but then I want to say it smells 'light' in the next sentence. So I think "sedate floral, with a hint of powder" is the best I can do. Gardenia is an accurate descriptor, but I don't really smell anything that I'd consider to be truffle-like or soil-like.

Cucumber Water---This has a much fainter scent than the rest of the Afterglows, so it's a good choice if you don't want to smell girly, or don't want your massage oil to clash with your trademark scent. It's light, there's a bit of floralness to it, but mostly crisp cleanliness, not so different from a drugstore cucumber-scented lotion, but not so cloying. This one doesn't fill the room the way the other candles do. It smells summery, it's not particularly sweet, and it does seem to feature the 'wateriness' of the center of a cucumber.
Experience
Scents I don't recommend:

Grapefruit and Habanero (discontinued)---I'm a capsaicin addict. When I saw that the Afterglow candles came in a habanero scent, I went and found a store that went through its stock slowly and picked one up, even though it had been discontinued for ~2 years. Honestly, though---Jimmyjane made the right call when they discontinued this. I can smell a little "tang" that's supposed to be the grapefruit, and a little "hot" that's supposed to be the habanero... but this candle mostly smelled like soap. It also came close to triggering my allergies, and none of the other Afterglow scents have even come close. I actually kind of raced through the candle so I could just reuse the tall container.

Grapefruit---Dang it. Grapefruit is no different from Grapefruit and Habanero. A little bit of tang, but mostly soap. My bias against this scent might be fragrance-sensitivity related, so if your olfactory system isn't a weakling, feel free to try this one anyway... but if you're like me, stick with any of the others.

And a few thoughts on the containers, since I've tried them all:

The Afterglow size is my favorite. Especially when about half used up, the flame glows through the ceramic, so you have the warm flickering no matter what state of candle you're at.

The Little Afterglow is in the middle---the dimensions make it extremely pretty, but when you've let it burn long enough to liquefy the entire top layer of the candle, you've also let it burn enough to liquefy the wax all the way to the bottom of the cup. This makes it a little harder to pour the right amount. Also, the flame will never be completely under the lip, because the cup is too shallow.

The size of the Ember didn't hold a lot of thrill---perhaps it was the older model, but the ceramic is too thick for light to pass through, so the Ember doesn't glow. I am glad I have the one to anchor my set (I'm going to plant herbs in them once all the candles are spent), and I'm glad I have the little lid to reuse on my newer candles, but I probably won't spring for another Ember-sized candle.
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My Little afterglow sampler tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
    • Mood enhancer
    • Sensory play
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • Body / part areas
    [ ? ]
    What areas on the body can this product be used / what areas does it stimulate best?
    • All over body
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Comments
  • Maximusx
    Maximusx  
    Awesome review, thanks for the detailed info and experience thank you
  • Antipova
    Antipova  
    Very glad to help! I know I was super curious about all the scents. And I've got a new Bourbon candle in the mail right now
  • cf2012
    cf2012  
    thanks! great info!
  • dancer120
    dancer120  
    Wish I had seen this before I bought one, but seeing this now makes me even more sure of my choice of Bourbon!
  • elli
    elli  
    amazing review!
  • LoneOokami
    LoneOokami  
    Thanks for the info.
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