Smells Like Halloween at Yankee Candle

Window advert

What’s in a smell? The power to evoke. Memories. People. Places. And special times in our lives. Seasons long forgotten. All brought back in an instant the second a particular aroma hits our nostrils. It’s no wonder that scented candles, long thought domain of grandmas and boring little gift shops, have become respected among the nostalgia set in recent years. I read once that people don’t remember scents; that you remember the things associated with it or the strong feelings the scent creates, but the brain does not store memory of the scent itself. And now I find myself trying to remember what the woods smell like in autumn.

Nice jack o' lantern candles

A couple of weeks back I took the kids on walking trip to the local mall. We have one of those new, open-plan outdoor malls that’s more like an artificial neighborhood. I can’t say I hate the new style. They have a charm all their own, and you can actually have a parade through the middle of them!

At the time they were still showcasing their summer collection, and I was struck by this one, Sunset Fields, which has a strong late summer kind of vibe. It’s a time of year I associate with cookouts, hatch chiles, citrus shandies, and enjoying the last of the blistering Texas sun as we wait for the first cool breezes of fall to blow through. And sometimes we wait all the way through November for that.

The fall collection

Boney candle holders

Moonbeams on Pumpkins

The meat of the Halloween collection is what Yankee brands “The Boney Bunch”, a rather cutesy assortment of porcelain figurines that grandma would love. I don’t go for them much, but Yankee seems to be proud of them. I suppose they sell a lot. Outside of that, the selection of fall and Halloween candles (and what Hank Hill might call “candle accessories”) is quite nice this year, with some great new scents and pitch-perfect labeling.

Take this one, for example.

Haunted Hallow!!! So good

Haunted Hallow. Can you get better than that? Reminds me of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow, from which the Headless Horseman rode forth to terrorize old Ichabod Crane. Cool enough reference to an underappreciated Halloween icon, but the smell is completely amazing. Reminds me of the entrance lobby to Plano, Texas' year-round haunt experience, Dark Hour Haunted House, about which I have blogged a couple of times. The smell is similar to the Witches Brew candle, which means its sort of like a burnt patchouli, but with less ash smell than the Brew candle.

Witches Brew and Candied Apple scents

The traditional scents are still there this season, as are the layered candles in candy corn colors.

Cauldron candle

I really got a big kick out of this cauldron candle. This is the first year I recall seeing it. Not too expensive, and such a great look. I suppose you could repurpose the cauldron after the candle burns down. It would make a great candy jar, vase, or even a geocache container, with some weathering modifications.

In addition to the candles themselves, Yankee sells a lot of different decorative candle sticks, candle toppers (which you place on top of the large jars), candle holders shaped like skeleton hands, and some themed decorative pieces. Even steampunk Halloween candle stuff was on display this year.

Blackbirds tealight decoration

Spooky candle toppers

Autumn candle decor

2017 will go down as one of the better years for fall at Yankee Candle. I don’t recall a year with this much variety and quality, both in scent and decoration. Get out there and pick up a Haunted Hallow pillar candle. Perhaps the light and fire and smell will take you places. Maybe it will settle your mood on a stressful September evening. Or possibly it will instill in you a quiet kind of desire for carving pumpkins and drinking spiced cider.