Archipelago Botanicals: Holiday Candles review

Archipelago Botanicals: Holiday Candles review

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Light up your home with classic holiday scents

photos: we heart this

Candles are one of my favorite things to give at Christmas time. They make the perfect stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or teacher present. I always have a few on hand just in case I need a quick gift for someone because I rarely meet someone who doesn’t love candles.

I also love keeping a few for myself and using them all around my house at Christmas time to give it that holiday feel and smell I so love. So you can imagine my delight when one of my favorite candle makers Archipelago Botanicals sent the we heart this review team their Holiday Collection to test.

This Green Monday worthy company offers gorgeous soy based candles in distinctive scents with lead-free wicks and simple, upscale packaging. Soy candles not only burn longer than regular candles, they also burn cleaner which is important to me. Each candles is created with high-end, natural ingredients and all Archipelago products are cruelty-free.

For their 2011 Holiday Collection, Archipelago has introduced a few limited edition luscious and seasonal scents. The team got to test out three of them in both a full size glass encased ($24.50) and travel tin ($14) version in the following scents:Vanilla Essence, Cinnamon Spice and Frosted Cedar

I tested Vanilla Essence in the full size glass votive and it was quickly placed on my living room coffee table. I didn’t light it right away, but was amazed how it still smelled so wonderful throughout the room with the candle just sitting there. But even more amazing is the smell once it’s been lit.

This is a classic vanilla scent that is just right in my opinion. Not too sugary sweet or overpowering. Think real vanilla! It’s just a cozy, happy scent that is perfect for the season.

Next up, I placed the Cinnamon Spice Travel Tin in my guest bathroom. The candle comes in a decorative tin with a lid, perfect for travel or any small space…like inside a stocking perhaps? Cinnamon spice is a sophisticated cinnamon scent and perfect for those wanting something a little different.

The scent was not what I was expecting at first; it doesn’t smell like your typical Christmas cinnamon scent. This one is way more grown up and smells more of spice than cinnamon. My husband loved this one and strangely this candle found its way to his office. While I thought this scent was a bit on the manlier side, I still loved it because it was so different than any other cinnamon candles I have smelled before.

I’m excited to hear what our review team thinks of the Frosted Cedar fragrance, I hear it adds an icy, green woods twist to the standard holiday pine.

Simple and elegant packaging – suitable for gifting.
Great for stockings (tins) and more substantial gifts (glass votives).
Grown up, not overwhelming scents – enjoyed by both sexes.

Soy based candles and lead-free wicks.
Natural, high end ingredients.
Cruelty- free.

A little pricey (but worth the cost, imo).

If you are looking for the perfect holiday candle to give or light up your own home, I highly recommend giving Archipelago’s holiday candles a try.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

14 thoughts on “Archipelago Botanicals: Holiday Candles review”

  1. These candles look absolutely gorgeous. What classy gifts they must make! I would love to find one under my Christmas tree this year! I’ll bet they smell delightful. And I just love a good soy candle.

  2. Archipelago is one of my favs and are amazing candles. I have had several over the years but not any from their Holiday Collection, YET!! I’m totally eyeing (is that even a word?) the Frosted Cedar.. sounds lovely for Christmas time!

  3. You can’t go wrong with Archipelago. I don’t think I’ve bought a candle from them I haven’t fallen in love with. While they are a bit more expensive than the average candle, they are so worth it. This line is really nice and will be used long past the holidays in my house. 5 glowing stars!

  4. I tested Vanilla Essence in the travel tin, and I loved it! I use the past tense because I lit it immediately and burned it every night until it was gone. It says on the tin that it lasts 55 hours. I was blown away by that claim, so immediately had to take them up on the challenge! I kept track of the hours it was lit each night, and while my husband laughed and complained about it, he even helped keep track, too. We got about 45 hours out of it, but I have to admit, we didn’t completely follow the instructions! It says to burn for a maximum of two hours, but we usually had it going for 4-6 at a time. The wax created a well, so at one point he broke the cardinal candle rule and pushed down the wax – he’s very lucky it never overflowed the wick or I’d have had a fit. So, based on the mistakes we made, I count 45 hours as very impressive for a travel tin. The smell is delicious – very pure vanilla, with a sweet side – I’d say vanilla cake. I loved it, my husband thought it a little too sweet, and my daughter kept asking for a cookie when it was lit! I may not buy this particular scent again for that reason, but if it was just me, I’d buy it in a flash. I’d love to try the Frosted Cedar though – that sounds excellent. The price is right, too, so I’d go five stars still, all things considering!

    1. Whoops – I read the price wrong – that is a little pricey, but they do last a nice long time…I think I’m going to have to knock it down to 4 stars, but wish I could give half credit!

    2. I love that both you and the hubby kept track of the burn hours @melinda! Ha.

      And I will say, in my experience, if you burn a candle for short bursts of time every night (and not all evening long) – you get more total hours out of it. And trimming the wick really helps too!

  5. I had the chance to take a look at this entire collection and I was suitably impressed. I already appreciated Archipelago for their clean soy candles (they never bother my lungs or eyes – or soot up the walls) and fantastic range of scents (most fave of all Currant from the AB Home line – the best red currant on the market imo).

    All three scents are perfect for the season without being overwhelmingly sweet. I ended up going with the Cinnamon Spice, an unusual pick for me as I normally steer away from food scented candles. But @tiffany described this one just right, it is a more grown up, spicy scent than a sugary cinnamon. It has a bit of a sultry side, even sexiness to it that I really liked. And after burning it for an hour or so it really seemed to warm up my living room. A cozy candle and worth 5 stars from me. They are a bit more than most candles, but burn so evenly and cleanly, for me worth the cost.

  6. I love Archipelago candles, and these scents sound amazing! I love how classy the candles themselves are, and that even the travel candles get the luxe treatment. Archipelago misses no details! Frosted Cedar sounds like my kind of scent, it’s definitely going on my Christmas wishlist.

  7. Oh gosh, I got the cedar one and had it burning when my brother stopped by. He said ” your tree smells great!” I didn’t correct him since the candle smells like real Christmas–not someone’s chemically enhanced holiday. Clean packaging and the travel size burn and burn and burn. I used mine a couple times at long intervals and it seems barely used. Five stars.

  8. I love Archipelago’s beautiful candles and these limited edition scents sound irresistible, @tiffany . I’m going to treat myself to Vanilla Essence; you convinced me with “real vanilla.” Yum!

  9. I received the Vanilla Essence travel tin candle to test out. It’s beautifully packaged and generously sized for a travel candle. We let it burn for a whole day, and parts of several other days–probably close to it’s claim of 55 hours of burn time. It smelled absolutely amazing, even when it wasn’t lit. As Tiffany said, it’s a true vanilla scent, not artificial or overly sweet. It’s probably my favorite candle ever, but it is a bit expensive. It would make a fabulous gift though. I’ll probably buy one for a treat for myself :) I’m giving it five stars.

  10. I was excited to try the Cinnamon Spice travel tin–I love scents that have a little cinnamon to them, especially around the holidays. The tin itself is gorgeous and perfect for tucking into a stocking or finishing off a gift basket, but the SCENT. OMG–heaven. I agree with Tiffany’s assessment–it’s heavier on the spice than the cinnamon, in fact the cinnamon is a very underlying tone in the whole fragrance–I burned this in my kitchen and it smelled like mulling spices and baked goods. I’m taking this puppy on the road when I travel home for the holidays. Guest rooms are just nicer when they smell like mulling spices. Especially when said guest rooms double as my father-in-law’s smoking room. True story :) 5 stars from me!

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