Monday, 31 March 2014

Degustabox: March Review

  I was a little bit hesitant when I received my text to say that my Degustabox had arrived. See, this is my third month with the company - the first month I was happy as I got some great products and was really happy with the idea. The second month I wasn't happy at all and didn't even do a review on it - it came opened, with products battered to the extent that most of it I didn't eat as I didn't trust it so that month was a waste of money. I decided to keep my subscription for a third month but was really wary about it and this month was definitely the decider month.



  Well - Degustabox, consider it a success. I've even included this photo of everything inside the box to show you how well packaged it was this time! Trust me, this seems like a silly thing to be excited about but if you'd seen the condition of last month, well... But this time, very well packaged, very sealed, everything fits inside perfectly and there's protective wrap around it all. Hoorah! But how were the products...?



Drink Me
This is the first of Degustabox's drinks that I'm actually looking forward to trying! It includes a lovely looking tub of chai latte in chocolate flavour - amazing! I'm not a tea fan at all but this is described as "a velvety blend of tea, milk, spices and chocolate," and I'm SO looking forward to trying it. You just add water or milk and it's 99% caffeine free. The little tub tells you how to make it into a chai latter, an iced chai latte, or how to use it as a cupcake topping - which I love! This looks like you can get a really good amount of use out of it, and I think I'll be taking it to work tomorrow and giving you all an update on it soon. From the same brand came tea:latte, which is a tea and frothy milk infusion in the flavour of Earl Grey. Not entirely sold on this one but I'm definitely going to try it.



MOMA!
In short, porridge! I don't love porridge, but I'm going to give both of these flavours a try. Luckily for me, my housemate does, so if these aren't to my taste I'll pass them on to her and give you a review from an actual porridge fan! These come in the flavours of plain and of cranberry and raisin - which is the one I'm going to be trying first!


Mexican Dave's
This is a ginormous bag of nachos! Ironically, this is the biggest product and therefore the one that I have the least amount of interest in. I do not like nachos, but the people on my police training course do, so thanks Degustabox, this is coming with me to be passed around to keep us awake when it all gets a bit too tedious in my next training day!


Organico Pasta
Italian durum wheat pasta - I am a pasta fan, and as I used to live in Italy I do actually get a bit picky about it from time to time! I actually was planning on buying more pasta tomorrow so this has saved me a trip, and looks a bit different from the sorts I normally buy as well. I'll be trying this out properly some time this week :)


Tyrell's Popcorn
I LOVE popcorn. Doesn't everyone seem to be getting into popcorn right now? It seems like the new fashionable food which is a little bit odd, but I'm very glad for it because it means I get this delicious looking bag of popcorn in my box! There was actually a product from Tyrells last month too - three packets of their apple crisps, and I didn't like them AT ALL, but I'm feeling optimistic about these ones. They come in the flavour "sweet and salty" so hopefully the best of both worlds. I'm a salt popcorn fan myself, so we'll see how they do!


Shaken Udder Milkshakes
You have no idea how happy I was to see these milkshakes! I LOVE milkshakes. I'm actually a bit lactose intolerant so it's really bad how frequently I drink milkshake. Shaken Udder milkshakes are made with real fruit or Belgium chocolate so should be of great quality - I can already tell you they are as I've had the banana one before, but I'm looking forward to trying the other flavours. The box came with all three flavours - strawberry, chocolate, and banana. It also came with a voucher to get a free kid's milkshake and a free bottled milkshake. I can guarantee you right now that I will be figuring out where on earth Tesco's is in order to get those!


Schwartz Flavour Shots
The box came with two of each of the shots pictured above. Basically, you're supposed to add the shot to your pan along with your other ingredients, and that's it! The little shots give you four servings and they include recipes on the lid. I'm curious to see how much of a difference these make, so I'll be giving the creamy herb one a try very soon.


Organico Tomato Sauce
Yet another product I was running low on, some tomato sauce! There's not really too much to say on this product at this point, I do appreciate organic food and I am a pasta fan so this will be given a try very very soon!

In conclusion; well done Degustabox! This month was very much make or break after the disaster that was last month, but they've won me over and this is a box I'm really excited about - although let's be honest, I was delighted from the second I saw the milkshake ;) I can already tell you that I'm going to be using every single product in this box - and I will post additional reviews on the products when I've used them all at some point - I haven't yet decided if I'm going to do them all in a minipost or just include them in my next Degustabox review, but you'll see them all at some point. If you'd like to sign up for Degustabox, just go to https://www.degustabox.com/en/ !
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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Book Review: Divergent


  The first I heard of Divergent was about six months ago when I saw a trailer for it in the cinema. I immediately wrote it off thinking that it just looked rubbish, and by the end of the trailer had decided that the whole plot idea was silly as well. Then, about a month ago, someone recommended the book to me. I was still a little hesitant but it was one of those stories that seemed like it would work better as a book than a movie, and so I decided to give it a go.

  The basic plot is that of a dystopian Chicago, where society has been divided into five factions based around a particular virtue. These are Erudite for intelligence, Amity for peacefulness, Dauntless for the brave, Candor for the honest and Abnegation for the selfless. Once a year, all sixteen year olds must select the faction that they will devote their lives to, and then undertake a difficult initiation process where failure to be chosen by their faction means becoming factionless and living on the streets. However, this is made even harder for the main character, Tris, who has a very dangerous secret that impacts her every move.

  After reading the book, I still thought the plot was kinda silly. However, that doesn't change my main thoughts on this book - that I absolutely loved it.

  I went into it really not expecting all that much but ended up flying through it. I found the characters interesting, and the different factions interesting. I found the different parts of the initiation process exciting, and as one dimensional as the characters ocasionally seemed to be I still found them to be relatable - particularly the main character of Tris, who I felt had a very strong voice throughout the book and one that allowed me to feel really involved with the characters and the story.

  I even enjoyed the main relationship of the book, and found myself feeling very much like a teenager at points as I was able to just relate to what was going on and wanting to see what happened next. I may have had a couple of baths for so long that the water turned cold just because I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next within the relationship and where it was going because feelings, eeee.

  I feel like towards the end of the book it began to lose its way a fair bit, and the last section of the book I just didn't enjoy anywhere near as much. It didn't become terrible at all, but it wasn't like the book I'd loved anymore. I'm not sure exactly what it was, I think the pace was off and things began to move a bit too fast to be as enjoyable and that began to ruin it for me, and then characters that I'd praised for being relatable and strong characters throughout suddenly began to act in ways that didn't really make sense or seem natural to me so I lost a bit of connection with them.

  However, on the whole I really loved this book, to the extent that I used to take it to my yoga classes with me to read before the class started, and I'd definitely recommend it to you all! Even though I disliked how this book went towards the end, I loved the rest of it to the extent that I would still give it a 9/10 overall. As stated, this book is being made into a movie - and even after reading the book, I watched the trailer again and still thought it looked rubbish! But I enjoyed the book enough that I'm going to go and see it anyway. There are two more books in the series, Insurgent and Allegiant - I hear these suffer the same fate as the Hunger Games where the quality just reduces further and further with every page, but I'm still going to give the second one a go after I've seen the first movie.

  If you'd like to read along with me, I am now reading The Rosie Project which you can keep track of on my GoodReads profile.


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Monday, 24 March 2014

Fashion Review: River Island Handbag


I've had this bag for a little while now and it's about time I gave a proper review of it. Meet my spring handbag, by River Island! It's a little more than I'd normally spend on the bag, but I loved the pretty pastel blue colour so much and it just looked so cute and of such a good size that I couldn't resist.






It's a lovely leather bag, and as you can see it has a pretty snakeskin pattern on the top. For the most part this bag feels really well made and really sturdy - particularly on the inside, where the little divider is pretty solid, which is great because I am that person who constantly loses their keys in their bag despite only having about three things in there - not so with this bag, which ensures your compartments are kept separate! The only problem I've found with this is that it renders the little zipped up part in the back compartment a bit useless - literally only my work locker key fits in there and even then sometimes its a bit of a mission to get out!

For the most part, this bag feels really well made, but there is an exception and that is the strap on the front. It's so hard to use! 99% of the time I don't actually hook it in because it is so much effort, and I had an embarassing moment once when I held up the bus for a while because I couldn't actually open my bag to get the oyster card out. So now I don't usually use that! Despite that the strap is still getting a little frayed, which is disappointing because this wasn't a cheap bag.

Overall though I'm happy with my bag, it's very pretty, exactly the size I wanted and in a lovely colour and I've been getting all sorts of compliments on it! If you'd like one too you can buy it from River Island for £45 - it's also available in a pretty pink shade too!


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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Criterion Restaurant, Piccadilly Circus


 The other day a group of 9 friends and I headed off to Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly Circus. This was such a long awaited trip for me; I've wanted to go there for such a long time and I've made restaurant bookings there several times, usually for a friends birthday or similar events, but I've always ended up cancelling as for some reason something has always come up or the restaurant just seemed a little too formal for what we wanted. Oddly, this seemed to be a familiar theme throughout the group - everyone had thought about going there repeatedly but not quite managed it before. But at last, I finally managed to keep a reservation! Apologies for the fact that I've used phone pictures throughout - I came straight from a 12 hour day of physical training, so as I was already carrying a huge bag of kit I didn't really want to chuck my DSLR in there too! They're all a bit orangey because flash just watered everything out, but hopefully you still get the idea. If not, more motivation for you to check it out yourself :)

  First impressions were initially a bit mixed. From the outside, it is a little bit hidden. Sure, it has a big lit up name but you can't really see inside, and being in Piccadilly means that a lit up sign isn't anywhere near enough to gain the attention of the masses. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing; I really dislike the area in general - it took me a grand total of fifteen minutes to walk there from Leicester Square, the two should be about three minutes apart but with the thousands of people that like to just stand in the path or swarm into you I had to basically swim through people to get to the restaurant, and I was really hoping it would be worth the annoyance of being in central London on a Saturday night.



  Well - it was! From the second I walked my way around the big revolving door entrance I just had to stop and look at it. Cue me becoming like the tourists outside as my group all slowly bumped into each other as we did the exact same thing of piling in and then stopping and staring. The restaurant really is beautiful - it's nearly impossible to do it justice through description or even pictures as it just doesn't capture the atmosphere at all. Criterion is a Grade II listed building first opened in 1874 and it just oozes luxury; the place looks expensive, like you should really be paying significantly more for your meal than you are. It's dimly lit but in a way that makes perfect sense, the ceiling is beautiful with a mosaic over it, and there's all sorts of pretty decorations that you begin to notice more and more throughout your meal. It's a lovely place to go and dress up and you very definitely feel like you are in an older time - and if you are like me, that you really can't afford to be there!



  The atmosphere was great throughout - there was a live pianist who sang more modern songs in a jazz style, and she was really great. Quite often we would stop to listen as the songs were fantastic and done in such a nice way that suited the environment so well. We were there for nearly four hours, and a large portion of that was because we wanted to listen to more of the music! This was originally a bit of a negative as it's actually quite loud and it could be quite hard to hear each other at times, but it was so worth it.

  The only negative I'd have to say in terms of atmosphere and design is that the place was absolutely boiling! And that the toilets were abnormally teeny. We had a queue outside of the door which you wouldn't really expect in a restaurant like Criterion.

  Moving on to the food - it is very affordable for what you get. They do a daily set menu which is £25 for three courses and a champagne cocktail, and it's actually amazing!



  For my starter, I had the soup of the day which was tomato and roasted pepper. It was delicious - you could taste all of the flavours and it was the perfect strength. There was also loads of it, it took me ages to eat it and that was with the help of friends! The only thing I disliked about it was the temperature. It was soup, so of course it was hot, but with the heat of the restaurant as well it all became a little overwhelming, and if I'd realised that when I ordered I would have gone for something different - but it really was very nice, and I'm quite picky on my soups! The other picture is of the salmon gravidlax.



  For my main, I had the salmon - it was delicious! It was served with beetroot and horseradish puree, samphire and chive beurre blanc. Understand those words? Me neither, but it tasted so good that you can just take the menu's word for it. There were so many flavours in the fish. I am that person who usually leaves most of the vegetables and anything that looks healthy but I actually completely cleared my plate because it was so delicious. I also tried the tagliatelle and that was delicious as well. No one seemed even slightly disappointed with their mains!


  For my pudding, I had the lemon posset, with spiced poached clementines, lemon verbena granite and orange foam. It was very, ah, strange. It was a good kind of strange, don't get me wrong, but it's almost impossible to describe it! The flavours were very strong and sharp so it had to be eaten slowly and it did sort of hurt my throat half way through, but it really was very nice, and very interesting. All of the desserts were a little bit odd actually - reactions to them were very mixed, but on the whole people were happy though desserts were definitely the weakest part.



  Finally, we were brought over a tray of little bites - they were all brownie and fudge pieces. I only managed a piece of the brownie because I was so full up by that point, but it was good, very rich, and the reaction seemed to be that the fudge was extremely rich as well!

  Overall I really enjoyed the meal, and definitely enjoyed the experience as a whole. I'd like to go back to the restaurant again and I would recommend it - it worked really well as a friend group, and I think it would be really perfect for a date - it's such a beautiful restaurant yet for some reason not intimidating, though by looking at it it certainly should be! I paid £25 for three courses and a cocktail and thought it was excellent value - if you'd prefer to go a la carte you're looking at around £25 for a main course alone.
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Monday, 17 March 2014

The Body Shop: Tea Tree Facial Wash & Overnight Lotion Review

With my skin suddenly going mental for no apparent reason (Hormones? You should be used to them by now! Strange weather conditions? Yes, but they've been like this for months. Not eating well? Well my diet is healthier if anything!) there was only one thing for it. Head off to what is seemingly becoming one of my new favourite stores, The Body Shop, to find out what they have for troubled skin.

  Tea Tree was recommended to me and so I was pleased to discover that The Body Shop had a big collection of goodies in their tea tree range. However, I also found it very confusing! You see, the Body Shop does have a lot of items in this range, but it's quite hard to work out what each of them does and how they're any different from each other. Their products don't tend to have much of a description to them to tell you what you're actually supposed to do with them, and some of them seem very similar. For example, in the tea tree range they have "tea tree clearing foaming cleanser," "tea tree cool and creamy wash," "tea tree facial wash," among others that to me all sound like exactly the same product. There's nothing on them that states what exactly they do so I spent a while staring at them all in confusion trying to work out if they all did the same thing but in different textures or varieties to suit personal preferences, if you were supposed to use more than one of them, etc etc. The Body Shop do some great products but for their bigger skin ranges it can get so confusing looking at them all, especially as a beginner, to try and work out which you need, what they are, and what they're actually supposed to do. Their website does give you more information than the bottles give you, but I'm very much a store browser - plus I want my loyalty points ;) All that being said, I did eventually make my choice of two products...



 Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash (£5)
  This facial wash is designed for daily use for blemished skin and is supposed to remove excess oil without overdrying skin, remove impurities, and it states it is clinically proven to give clearer looking skin.

  My first reaction upon trying this product out (and, let's be honest, all of this range) is just how overwhelmingly medical smelling the product is! I'm becoming used to the body shop as a place for pretty and light scents so I couldn't help but be surprised by just how strong the tea tree smells. This isn't something that goes away either really; when using this product, I always now do my face last in the shower because then I can enjoy the scents of my shower gels and soaps before this one completely takes over the bathroom! It's not at all a pleasant scent but I've no doubt you'd eventually get used to it, and though it does disappoint me that it completely overwhelms everything else I won't mind at all if it actually does what it's supposed to!

  When using this product, my face really does feel cleaner. And so far, after using it for a couple of weeks, my skin does seem to have calmed down. However, my skin is a little unpredictable and so I'll need to keep using it for another month or so at least to be fully certain of this, but so far so good. What I can definitely say is that I didn't have a reaction at all to this product, and I have to numerous other facial washes before, so that was certainly a bonus!


Tea Tree Blemish Fade Overnight Lotion (£9)
  This product was a little more expensive compared to the rest of the range, especially when you see how small it is compared to the other bottle I bought for half the price, but the shop assistant told me that it would work to help my scars and marks fade over night; Those are definitely something that I'm concerned about. I don't get spots very much at all anymore, but I'm left with marks of spots that left me about ten years ago and that don't show any sign of budging anytime soon! Oddly, the online description doesn't seem to really back up the description that the shopkeeper gave me, describing it as replenishing moisture overnight and leaving skin looking matte - I guess it does say that it's supposed to improve the appearance of your skin, but that could mean almost anything!

  Well, here's the thing; it does seem to be doing something to my scars. Not massively fast at all - but I've only ever found one product that had a noticeable enormous impact overnight, and that was at a spa where the actual product cost over £100, so frankly I wasn't expecting a £9 product to do anything like that though of course it would be lovely if it did! I've been applying this product directly to my trouble areas and it does seem to be fading very very slowly. Still, I'm happy to keep using it if it'll eventually get rid of it all!

  The Body Shop's Tea Tree range consists of 14 products, with the bestsellers being the overnight lotion (reviewed above), a £3 skin clearing lotion, and a £7 tiny pot of tea tree oil which again the descriptions aren't masively clear on! Overall I'm happy with the products I purchased and my skin feels better for using them - The only real negative is the smell which I don't like at all as it just makes me feel like I'm in a hospital, but I suppose there's nothing you can do about that and the benefits do cancel it out. I just wish the range was a little clearer about what products should actually be used for what as in a larger range like this with many similar products it's hard to work out if you're buying the best product for your needs!

Have you used the Tea Tree range? What do you think?
 
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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Yankee Candle: All about wax tarts and burners!

I posted last week about my love of the new range of spring Yankee Candle wax tarts, and decided it would be a good idea to make a little post about what exactly wax tarts are, how you use them, and whether they're a good alternative to regular candles or not.

To use a wax tart, you need three things - and luckily, none of them are at all expensive! You of course need your wax tart (if you're going the Yankee route, about £1), a tart burner (the one in the picture cost me about £5), and some little tea lights (the one in the picture I got in a pack of 200 which cost me £4!) 

To burn the tarts, you simply place it in the top of the burner and light the tea candle underneath. Done! How you break it up is up to you. Wax tarts are supposed to last around eight hours - personally, I break mine up into halves because I feel it makes them last a bit longer and because that way if I get bored with a scent and want to mix it up a bit I don't end up wasting the entire tart. Wax tarts also have the advantage that if you want to you can chuck in multiple tarts to get unique scents - though personally I generally just leave them be!

Getting the wax out of the burner is actually way easier than I thought it would be. When it's dry you just push around the edge (literally you push it about three times with mine) and it just pops out, no fuss!

For me, the tarts have a definite advantage over candles, for the following reasons;
  • Candles are quite expensive! The tarts are £1, or you can do what I do and get a pack of ten mixed ones for £9. This gives you a variety of scents so if you are the sort who gets bored with a candle scent long before it's finished, you haven't wasted your money - and you get a much bigger variety of scents for the same price if you're like me and like to constantly mix it up.
  • I have a really bad habit of accidentally destroying my candles. With candles, you have to let them burn for a certain amount of time - usually a good couple of hours! - or they're essentially ruined - you end up burning them straight down the middle, etc etc. If you like to leave your candles out for a long time then it's not a problem, but I tend to want mine when and when I feel like them! With the tarts this isn't a problem - it doesn't damage them at all if you only want them burning for an hour, and you can even pop them in and out as and when you please.
  • The scents are great! Personally I find them to be stronger than the candles, and much more quickly. A tart from my wax burner has generally started to let off a scent after about ten minutes, filled my room after about twenty, and completely taken over the house after about fourty five!
  So if you've been eyeing up Yankee candles or the other brands but want to try a cheaper alternative, or just want some nice scents in your room or your house, I'd definitely recommend giving wax tarts a go. There's a big variety of burners and you can go as cheap as you want them, and you can get a huuuugggeee variety of scents - often in variety packs so you can mix it up if there's not a specific smell you'd like to try.

  This post was in no way sponsored and all items were purchased by myself for my own desires - I simply really like these tarts and having a burner has got me into scents way more than the candles ever did, and so I wanted to share that with you :)

What are your favourite candle scents?

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Monday, 10 March 2014

The Body Shop: Blueberry Collection (and review!)

Heads up! The Body Shop currently has a limited edition Blueberry collection out, and of course I had to head on down to Oxford Street last weekend to see how it was.

I'll be honest - before I set out, I wasn't entirely sure if it would be worth it. I couldn't work out if I actually liked the smell of blueberries, because unlike the other fruits to me they don't have a particularly distinctive scent. But still, I was out anyway, so why not head on over?

Well, I'm very glad that I did, because the blueberry collection smells absolutely amazing. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the scent is actually one of my absolute favourites that the body shop currently have, and I'm already thinking about going back to pick up some more because it just smells sooooo good. It's sweet and strong but not at all overwhelming or overpowering. It's a smell that actually makes me happy when I smell it (so yes, I am now an obnoxious person who sniffs themself multiple times when applying the product) and it is absolutely already one of my favourites. I've been such a Lush devotee for so many years, but the body shop seem to be slowly preparing to take over as we speak!

I ended up buying this bottle of blueberry shower gel which was £4. I just love the smell so much that in a strange kind of way I look forward to having extra long showers so I can smell it over and over again (Please don't judge me!) The scent is so uplifting that I really can't mention it enough. It's soap free and lathers up well - though I'm not sure if it's jut me, but I've found it does so less so than the White Musk product I reviewed from the body shop a couple of weeks ago. It's a good size, a bit smaller than most of my shower gels but I actually prefer that as I get bored with heavily scented products quite easily. Unlike Lush products, the smell doesn't linger for quite as long so you won't end up smelling like you're wearing a lot of perfume or with a really scented bathroom - for me, that's actually a negative as I enjoy having a lovely smelling bathroom and body, but if you don't like scents that stick around then that'll be a bonus for you.

The main item in the range is the body butter (£13). I didn't buy this as I already have a couple of body butters and no need for any more and again, it was a nice scent and a thick texture which will be great for hydration through the weird weather the UK is having right now - but as I bought loads of butters in the boxing day sale this would have just been a waste of money for me, regardless of how delicious it smells! There is also a body scrub (£14) which I found was actually the most scented of all of the products - it is strong and delicious smelling and actually the product that made me fall in love with the range - the scrub is supposed to life away dead skin and leave it smoother - I wouldn't ever use this product, but it was the nicest smelling for me. Also available is a body lotion (£8), a lip butter (£4) and a really cute sponge (£3.50).

If you love blueberries or are just curious about a new fruity product, I would definitely recommend trying these out! They are honestly one of my favourite scents right now and I just wish it was in perfume format because I would wear it so often!

Have you tried out the blueberry range? What did you think?

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Yankee Candle: New Spring Scents Review!


I've had a few goes at getting into scented candles and for some reason they aren't something that I stick to. I think it's because when I want a scent, I want it now, and I want to burn my candle for as long as I feel like it without worrying about damaging my candle in any way or shortening the life of it! However my room is now filled with plants and this inspired me to give it another go by buying Yankee Candle's new set for Spring, Beautiful Blooms, as well as their other two new scents. However, this time I decided to try it differently by going the cheaper option and buying a set of wax tarts instead. Here's my review of all of the new range, as well as my opinion on how the wax tarts compare to the regular candles!


First up is Lovely Kiku which is described as "the flower of happiness... the elegant, rejuvenating perfume of chrysanthemum with hints of sweet cherry blossom and warm vanilla." I really like this scent, it's very warming and strong yet not at all sickly, but I do think this one is probably the most artificial smelling of the set, if only because you can clearly smell both the florals and the vanilla - however this isn't necessarily a problem, I still really like it, however just keep in mind that this is probably the least truly floral of the set. If that's not a problem for you, then still give it a go! This tart is a lovely pale purple and if you're the sort who likes to buy Yankee Candles both for decorative purposes as well as for a use, this is probably the nicest shade to work for that.


Next up is Pink Hibiscus which is by far the strongest of this group! However, I absolutely love it for that. Described as, "bright and beautiful...the effervescent, slightly citrus bouquet of delicate tropical hibiscus is always inviting," this is a lovely and powerful candle. It's strong and a little overpowering - personally, I don't mind that at all, but if you don't like your candles to have too much strength then this is definitely one you should avoid! I don't think I've ever actually smelt a pink hibiscus so I can't compare the tart with the real flower, but it certainly smells very floral and hopefully the flower smells even half as good as this candle!


The third choice is Champaca Blossom, described as, "the rare beauty and joyful spirit of enchanting champaca blossoms come to life in this captivating fruity floral nectar." Honestly, this tart was probably the one that I was least interested in - it's also the one that seems to be sold out absolutely everywhere which was something I didn't really understand at the time. However, I've since definitely eaten my words on this as Champaca Blossom ended up being the first tart that went into my new burner and one that I've continued to enjoy. It's a more subtle scent yet still a strong one; my housemate is sensitive to scents and though she commented that she could smell it in every room of the house about an hour after I lit it in my bedroom, she hasn't complained about it at all! This is a soft and pretty scent and the the most subtle of the set, however I'd describe it as a very sophisticated and classy scent and one that'll work really well in the background for pretty much every occasion!


Next up is Under the Palms, described as "like cool, refreshing shade...a lush green scent of sea grass, palm leaves and island coconut." Please note that though I got this and Midnight Oasis in the same set as the above floral scents, these two do not count as floral; Under the Palms comes under the category of Fresh, though this doesn't make it any less lovely! It's hard to describe the scent of this candle as it really is a combination of so many things yet the overall scent definitely does relax me and make me think of being on holiday or in a spa somewhere exotic - which is pretty amazing when here in London it's currently raining every single day!


The final scent is Midnight Oasis which is an older candle that has recently been brought back. It is described as, "across quiet sands, a midnight breeze mixes with island citrus and warm sandalwood." This is another fresh scent, and the only really negative thing I have to say about this candle is that I feel it doesn't really combine well with the rest of the collection, but that's not really its fault! I'd put the strength of this one somewhere in the middle and I'd describe it as quite a masculine, romantic scent but still one that I really like. It's quite a fruity scent and though it doesn't really make me think of the midnight oasis that the description talks about, it's still one that I like.

Overall, I'm really happy with all of these scents. Despite being mostly floral, there's a lot of variation between the tarts and there's something there to suit every mood or occasion, and I'm really looking forward to continuing to use up my batch! Next week, I'll be doing a review of the burner I got for these tarts, how I use the tarts, and how I think wax tarts compare with the candles in general.

These tarts were paid for by me and I am in no way associated with or linked to the website that I purchased them from, yankeedirect.com - however at the time of purchase, that website was the only one that had the full set in stock so I'd recommend there if you can't find them anywhere! From that website, these tarts came in a set of ten for £9.60 (so a bargain 96p each!) but you can buy them indvidually for £1.20 if you're not sure or if there's a scent you don't like all that much. Prices for the regular candles are £1.75 for the votives, and between £7.99 and £19.49 for the jars.

Have you tried the new scents yet? What did you think?
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