Earlier last week I received my holiday themed clamshell order from Super Tarts. This was my favorite collection last year so I was excited to grab a few more scents that I previously passed on and also stock up on (erm...hoard) some old favorites. And I discovered some new surprise favorites.
The ordering process can be a little confusing if you're new to the brand. The shop opens a couple times a month to offer different products. Clamshells are available in unlimited quantities and the scent selection is pretty diverse with around 25 scents offered at each opening. Samplers are offered monthly in limited quantities and only come in smaller scent shots instead of clamshells. Then there's 1/2 BAM! bars that are available every month in unlimited quantities. These are 10-11 oz of wax chunks that are packaged in large bags. Once the clamshell orders ship a new clamshell opening is announced. The same goes for samplers and 1/2 BAM! bars. So you won't have to wait long to catch an opening.
Turn around time was quoted as 4-6 weeks but I received my order around the 4 week mark. Priority shipping is used so my order arrives in two days. I will say this though: I do think orders could be packaged better. A lot of the clamshells I receive from Super Tarts arrive cracked which isn't a big deal in itself. But when I rarely receive broken clamshells from other brands that charge less money for the product, I do expect better. And it's not just one order, it's every order. It's certainly not a deal breaker for me but I did want to point it out.
|Just a few broken clamshells from this order|
White Christmas - peppermint frosted cranberries, serendipity and vanilla bean gelato. Creamy peppermint and cranberries with the sweetness of serendipity (a popular fragrance oil that combines vanilla, coconut, cherry and sugar...it's VERY sweet). I have mixed feelings on this one...it's nice but I like my cranberries to be tart, not creamy and smooth.
Family Stone - cinnamon glazed vanilla beans. This is such a creamy vanilla scent with just a hint of warm cinnamon. Vanilla and cinnamon although it's more than "a hint" of cinnamon. I'd say these two notes are evenly balanced.
Home Alone - sweet chocolate drizzle with confectioner's sugar, marshmallow cream, cookie dough, vanilla and milk chocolate chips. I get creamy milk chocolate and a hint of cookie dough. I don't know, I couldn't get behind this. The chocolate was very synthetic and this one was potent in the warmer. A half cube would've been strong enough for me.
Grinch - toffee apple crunch, spicy cinnamon donuts and toasted hazelnuts topped off with a dollop of sweet buttercream. The apples and toasted hazelnut are the strongest notes with a hint of cinnamon and a slight bakery undertone from the donuts. This one is amazing in the warmer. If you like apple scents then you need this.
Scrooged - this is a great combination of two very loved types, Sweater Weather and Cactus & Sea Salt. I think I've smelled these two scents before (they're B&BW dupes) but I don't remember what they smell like individually. I had to look up descriptions of each to pinpoint the notes. I think I'm smelling juniper berries from Sweater Weather and an oceanic note from Cactus & Sea Salt with a little minty coolness thrown in. It has an earthy fresh vibe and would a great bathroom/laundry room melt.
Elf - candy, candy canes, candy corn, syrup and topped with sweet bubbles. A bubbly effervescent type of scent. I know candy canes are listed but I don't smell any mint. From the description I was expecting this to be very sweet but that wasn't the case. It's fizzy and slightly tangy. One thing Super Tarts does well is fizzy scents.
Nightmare Before Christmas - herbal lavender, sweet candy canes and fluffy cotton candy. I was surprised to love this one as much as I do. On cold sniff I didn't think much of it but in the warmer it blew me away and I bought a few backups. The mint is dominant with the lavender adding a nice soothing quality. I don't smell any cotton candy though. Perfect for a relaxing evening.
Christmas Vacation - freshly cut Christmas tree and crisp snowy spearmint. Oooh, another surprise favorite! The Christmas tree and spearmint notes are equally balanced. I love how cold and festive this feels. Minty scents have really grown on me lately and I will be on the lookout for this one in the future. I just hope it will be offered before the 2016 holidays because I need to stock up!
The Santa Clause - creamy eggnog, spicy fireball, dusted with nutmeg with warm sugar cane cookies on the side. I'm surprised to see nutmeg and sugar cookies in here because all I smell is cinnamon and eggnog. Not the cinnamon you'd find in a spice rack but a candy type of cinnamon. The fireball note makes this one different from the eggnog scents I've tried from other vendors.
Bad Santa - combining naughty cinnamon sticks, nice peppermint bites and satin sheets. A surprise favorite. Three notes I typically avoid are cinnamon, mint and linen-type scents but this is pure magic. I don't smell the peppermint, only cinnamon and a clean laundry scent. But this manages to smell sexy somehow.
Prancer - an amazing blend of green mistletoe and Tinsel. In case you're not familiar with Tinsel it's a popular fragrance oil that is a blend of mint and berries. So combine the mint in Tinsel with mistletoe and you get a cold pine type of scent. The berries are present but are mostly in the background while the mint and mistletoe take center stage.
Miracle on 34th - fresh fallen leaves and creamy pumpkin pie topped with toasted marshmallows. I mostly get a combination of the dry leaves (this may be a B&BW Leaves dupe but don't quote me) and the toasted marshmallow but I can detect some smooth pumpkin. The description says pumpkin pie but I don't smell any spices. Its more like a creamy pumpkin that mellows out the leaves.
Holiday Latte - crispy gingerbread cookies dunked in a freshly brewed latte. Spicy gingerbread and coffee just like the Starbucks drink. The coffee is pretty strong on cold sniff so I'm hoping the gingerbread will come out more in the warmer.
Grandma's House - fresh baked apple pie, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and creamy brown sugar. I smell apple pie with a hint of brown sugar. It's a bit light on cold sniff but I'm sure it will be stronger in the warmer. This one is nice but from this collection I prefer Grinch for my apple fix.
PF Changs - flaky pecan rugalach cookies dusted with a hint of cinnamon, warm creamy challah bread and a buttery brown sugar. I've never tried rugalach cookies or challah bread but this is a warm sweet bakery scent with hints of cinnamon and what smells like maple syrup (must be the brown sugar though). Super Tarts does a lot of bakery blends and so far this is my favorite.
Wonderful Life - peppermint, frosted grapefruit, orange, pink sugar and vanilla ice cream. I can only smell the citrus and peppermint but it all comes together to smell very clean and fresh. It's been a while since I melted this but I remember being surprised that it wasn't overly citrusy. Just clean smelling and very uplifting.
Harry - Magically Delicious and French Baguette. A warm bakery blend that smells like bread and cereal with a marshmallow smoothness. Very creamy for a bakery scent.
Saw - sweet cranberry preserves, buttery pie crust and smooth vanilla cream. Smooth cranberries with a hint of warmth from the pie crust. Honestly though I wouldn't know this is a cranberry scent unless I read the description. I really want to like this but again I prefer cranberry scents to be more tart.
Finnick - ocean waves and sugar cubes. I'm only smelling the ocean waves, no sugar cubes. It's a watery scent with a sharp ozone note that adds a clean vibe. It's a nice scent that transports me to warm summer days so I'll be stashing this away until the weather warms up.
Love Actually - pumpkin pecan waffles, sweet lavender cream and vanilla bean noel. I was on the fence with this because I don't care for the pumpkin pecan waffle scent but I saw so many rave reviews when this was sent out as a sample that I had to try it. And I really like it. The pumpkin pecan waffle is the strongest note but the sweet lavender adds an almost effervescent quality. It doesn't have a floral note like I expected, just bakery goodness. I'll be hoarding this until it's available again.
Alfie - fluffy marshmallows, candy canes and Christmas cookies. Mostly peppermint with warm cookies in the background. Sugar cookies perhaps? I was a little wary of ordering this because their "signature sugar cookie blend" hasn't meshed well with my nose in the past and I figured that was the cookie note used in this blend. But I've been gravitating towards minty scents lately so this piqued my interest. And I really like it.
Doc - buttercream, toffee, coconut, raspberry, marshmallow fluff and almond marzipan. A free sample that was included with every order. It's hard to describe but I mostly smell raspberry and marzipan with toffee. Like a fruity and sugary sweet blend. Really unique and I don't have anything like it.
I'm pretty pleased with this collection and I'd repurchase most of them. My top picks are Bad Santa, Love Actually, Christmas Vacation and Nightmare Before Christmas. Super Tarts just had another clamshell opening but they plan on a Cyber Monday sale with lots of ready-to-ship products to choose from. You can find them on Facebook where they announce future openings and scent offerings.