Category Archives: Reviews

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Snow Maiden

Sorry for all the candle posts lately, but it’s almost time for the Spring Seasonal candles to come out, and I want to get all the wintery candles done before then.

This candle is not seasonal but does appear to be limited time only.

The candle for this week is Snow Maiden. According to the makers, this candle should smell like winter birch, frost, and cranberries. All I can tell you is that it smells a lot like the standard “Christmas” type air freshener. It definitely has an evergreen smell, but it’s almost overpowered by something else, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be. Whatever it is, it’s so sharp it almost stings. Definitely not a candle I would buy any other time besides Christmas, but if you know someone who prefers real Christmas trees, and is stuck with fake ones most of the time, this is the candle to get them.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Winter Birch, Frost, Cranberry Christmas trees and pine needles.
Scent Strength StrongVery strong

Currently available in:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6XXX

Just click on the bearded fellow above to get your order on!

[Review] Frostbeard Studio – The Wall

Okay, sticking with the seasonal candles from Frostbeard Studio, today is “The Wall.” Honestly, I’m not really sure which wall it’s referring to. I’m thinking, maybe from “Game of Thrones,” but there are so many walls in fantasy literature, I don’t even know (oh, look at me channeling Jon Snow here…). The other reviews on the site echo my own thoughts though, so there’s that.

I bought this candle because I wanted to give it a try. The scents are listed as “cedarwood and winter mint” so I was a bit torn on whether or not I should even bother. I mean, I love cedar, but I do not like mint. At all. This candle isn’t terrible though. It’s kinda weird, actually. One minute, I’ll smell the mint – but softened enough that it’s actually tolerable – the next, the scent is all cedar, and I’m in love. Then I swear it shifts to Pinesol and I start hardcore side-eyeing the candle.

All in all, the candle isn’t bad. Not one that I’ll be buying again, but not terrible. I will say this though: I almost thought I was going to have the same problem that I did with “Through The Wardrobe.” The first half hour I had the candle burning, I didn’t smell anything. Around the 45 minute mark though, it started kicking in. It’s not as strong as the “Oxford Library” candle, but it’s not exactly weak, either.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Cedarwood and mint Cedarwood, mint, and Pinesol (?!)
Scent Strength Strong Mild-strong

Availability:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6$11$18$6.75
Click the bearded guy to get your order on~

Note: This particular candle is seasonal and only currently available from January 1st – March 15th.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Through the Wardrobe

This week, I’m reviewing one of Frostbeard Studio’s seasonal candles, “Through the Wardrobe.” Like all of their candles, it’s based off of scenes/ideas from a book, and this one (for those of you who can’t tell) is from “The Narnia Chronicles” by C. S. Lewis.

I bought this candle, pretty much for this post alone, even though I have – oh, about ten others I could be reviewing. I’ll get to those eventually, but I have this one burning right now, so I figured I’d write my thoughts on it while they’re still fresh. (Plus, it’s seasonal, so you have a very limited time to get your hands on it before next winter~)

Now, the scent it’s supposed to be is a mix between spruce, applewood, and snow. To me, though, it smells a lot like baby powder mixed with a hint of the trees I remembered playing in when I lived in Arkansas. (Fun little story: I always thought the trees were pine, but according to Google, they’re spruce. So, I mean, they got the spruce part down right…) I imagine some people would love it, but I’ve never been fond of baby powder, and for me, the powder scent comes through much stronger than the spruce. To be fair, however, the scent is supposed to be reminiscent of stepping through a wardrobe and into Narnia, and I can very easily see how it’s represented. I’m just not a fan.

Spruce photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Luckily, the scent is very light. I burned the candle right next to me in a tiny room, and I barely smelled it. Every once in a while, I would get a stronger whiff of it, but for the most part, it just sat there and looked pretty while it burned. Granted, I only bought the little 2oz can to test, so it’s possible the bigger candles will have a stronger scent. A side note, however, is that this isn’t really an issue with the other test candles I’ve used so far. Most of them have had a strong enough scent to fill this room, down the hall, and halfway up the stairs (seriously, though, the room is small).

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says: I say:
Scent Details Spruce, Applewood, Snow Baby powder with a hint of spruce
Scent Strength Mild Faint

Available in:

2oz cans4oz Cans8oz glass jartarts (wax melts)
$6$11$18$6.75

Just click on the bearded fellow above to get your order on!

Note: This particular candle is seasonal and only currently available from January 1st – March 15th.

Note: These are seasonal and only currently available from January 1st-March 15th.

[Review] Frostbeard Studios – Oxford Library

A lot of the Frostbeard Studio candles seem to be hit or miss. I try one, and oh my Gods, I am through the roof with happiness. I try another, and I’m handing it over to my roommates to see if either of them care for it.

Oxford Library 8 oz soy candle front view

“Oxford Library” is, by far, my favorite so far. It’s supposed to be a mix between sandalwood, oak, and leather, but all I smell is the leather, and I love it.

When I say leather, by the way, I mean, kinda like a mix between a sort of New Car smell, and…okay, this is going to sound weird, but has anyone else here ever smelled a leather-bound Bible? (I grew up in a churchy-church house, and both of my parents had leather-bound Bibles.) I’m not a fan of the book, but I loved the smell, and that’s kinda what the candle reminds me of. New car + leather-bound Bible. I don’t know. That’s just what my brain gives me.

I’ve been using this candle when I’m looking over my Korean notes, because somehow, it seems like it helps my brain focus a bit better. The only thing I can figure, is that it reminds me of all the times I was supposed to sit up and listen to the Sunday sermon. Whatever it is, it works for me. It’s not my “writing” candle/scent, but it is firmly on my list of favorites.

Breakdown:

Frostbeard Studio says:I say:
Scent DetailsLeather, Oak, SandalwoodLeather.
Scent StrengthStrongPerfect

A friend mentioned that she had a candle (from a different company) that lost its scent about halfway through, and I can tell you now, you will not have that problem with these. I’ve bought three of the 8oz candles so far, they’re all down to about 1/4 left to burn, and the scent is still going strong. These candles are meant to smell good til the end. On that note, however, I did not time how long the candles actually burned for, so I can’t tell you how accurate the site is in regards to that. I can tell you that the 2oz tins are supposed to burn for about 10 hours, and I’m pretty sure I got longer than that out of them.

Something I really like about FrostBeard Studios is that they’re all natural, and use sustainable sources. All of the candles come in reusable containers (either glass or aluminum), and are made from soy wax. I haven’t noticed any sooting problems with the candles yet, and the only complaint I have regarding the containers, is that it’s difficult to remove the labels from the jars. They like to stick a little too well, which makes reusing the container tricky. I’ve worked around it on the smaller tins by sticking a label over the one already on it, but the glass jars are a bit too big to do that with, and I haven’t burned one of the glass jar candles completely out yet. (I love the scents too much to wait for a new delivery ^_^;; )

When it comes to delivery:

I have 0 complaints. I have yet to have a problem with any of my orders. All of the candles came in without any damage, and I love the stickers they send. The delivery cost is pretty good, too. So far, the most I’ve paid was $8 (but it probably helps that they offer free shipping for orders over $50…).

Honestly, the main reason I haven’t signed up for their subscription box is that I’m worried I won’t like the scent of the newest candle. Add in that it comes up to about $22-$25 a month for just one candle, and…yeah. That’s a nope. If it ever changes to something like two candles a month, or some other freebie, I’ll probably rethink it. I do love the idea of getting something in the mail besides junk…

REVIEW: “Seven” by Sarah Krenicki

SFF Reviews

Review of Sarah Krenicki, “Seven”, Syntax and Salt 4, 2017: Read Online. Reviewed by Tiffany Crystal.

I cannot express just how much I love this story. It has magic, and children, and growing up, and fireflies, and magic. Sarah Krenicki takes us for a short trip into a world where children gain magic on their seventh birthday, and lose it the day after they turn eight. It’s a rite of passage all kids go through to become “big kids.”

All kids except for little Katy. She turns seven, gets her magic…and never loses it, even when she turns eight, then ten and twelve. In this, Katy is almost a Peter Pan figure, with her older sister (or so I assume) playing the part of Hook. Or perhaps it would be better to say that Katy is Peter, her magic is Wendy, and her sister is the jealous…

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Review of “One Last Time”

Lorena Torres Loaiza will break your heart with this story from Syntax and Salt, but you’ll love it, anyway.

Centered around a man who just lost his wife, “One Last Time” is…well, okay, it’s an old concept. Wife dies. Husband doesn’t want to let her go, so he uses a time machine to go back and – no, he doesn’t prevent her death, it’s not that old concept. No, he just goes back to when he first met her. He sits right next to his old teenage self, watches her come sauntering up. Sees himself see her for the first time.

And sees himself. Over and over again.

Confused? Go read it. Trust me, you’ll see what I mean, and I really don’t think you’ll regret it. My only complaint is that it ended…and that it set off the nerd side of me that adores The Chaos Theory. Replacing that many people has to have some sort of effect on the world…

Review of “Disprosopus”

Today’s review will be of Christina Dalcher’s “Disprosopus.”

This short story from Syntax and Salt was a bit more to my liking than The Alabaster Man was, but not by much. It was interesting, I will give it that, and the writing wasn’t bad. I kinda expected what I think was supposed to be the “twist” (I imagine it helped that I looked up the meaning of the title first) and I have to give all kinds of credit to the father in the story for coming up with the creative revenge of his daughter’s death, but I have so many questions that need to be answered.

Naflah says her job is to distract the sheikh while Aneesa does her work, and it is implied that Aneesa bites off…um…*cough* something. But how does a man not notice that? Even with a good distraction, they’re gonna feel it. Unless she had poison in her teeth, and all she had to do was get a good nip in, but that isn’t what is implied at all. Also, how does she hold him down so he doesn’t struggle against the bite? I mean, again, there is only so much distraction can do.

If you can suspend your belief past those little problems, however, it’s not a bad little story. I might be willing to give the author another look, at least.

“The Alabaster Man”

Have you ever wanted to like a story so much that it was almost painful when you couldn’t? I recently joined a group of reviewers, and while looking through the magazine I would be reviewing, I kindasortamaybe fell in love with it. Most of the stories are amazing, and are a genuine joy to read, so I decided to go all the way back to the beginning of the issues and start reading there.

Boy, am I glad I didn’t do that at the beginning. The first work, a short story titled “The Alabaster Man” by Jennifer Todhunter is…well, it’s okay. I liked the idea. It was actually similar to something a friend of mine had written before, but I just couldn’t enjoy Jennifer’s take on it. It didn’t strike my fancy, I guess you could say. Maybe it was all the “and he was like”, “and I was like” but I found it almost annoying to read. It definitely was not a story I will be reading again.

Feel free to check it out yourselves here. These things are always a matter of taste. Maybe your literary palate will enjoy it more than mine did.