Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I love a good Yankee Candle. I get excited when I spot new ones while out shopping, and dash over to have a smell. I buy them when I come across good deals, and then position them in various areas around my house and light them very occasionally when I remember/can be bothered. There’s no denying the appeal of a Yankee Candle. A tub of wax that smells like butter icing smeared on gingerbread with peanuts on top**? YES PLEASE I’LL TAKE TWO. So imagine my excitement when I found out we’d be visiting the Yankee Candle Village recently.
The Yankee Candle Village is situated in Deerfield, Massachusetts, about 100 miles outside of Boston. As we approached, on one side of the road I could see a collection of bright clapboard country-style buildings surrounded by pumpkins, and on the other, a big, grey, drab looking structure. Hmmm. Luckily, we were headed for the pumpkin side. As we wandered through the entrance, a chirpy lady handed us maps (yes, it’s so big you need a map) and pins which declared we were Official Yankee Candle Village Visitors and were free to roam the village at our leisure.
Obviously I was keen to get stuck in and – well – smell a load of candles, really. And also see them being made. I had visions of some sort of Willy Wonka type set up where all of my favourite desserts were fed into a huge multi-coloured contraption which burred and whizzed before hiccupping a perfectly formed Yankee Candle jar out of a small hatch. Eeek!
The first part of the village was a very large store, lined wall to wall with various Yankees of all variations, all of which the Husband and I declared we’d need to smell, so we spent a good hour dashing across the store exclaiming ‘OOOH! Smell this one!’ until I was having trouble separating my Autumn Leaves from my Beach Walk, and we decided it was time to explore a bit more of the Village. At one end there was a section where you could create your own Yankee Candle, which I got a bit excited about, but on closer inspection they weren’t making the proper Yankees – just small, plain coloured things. Urgh. I wanted to see the REAL DEAL. The stuff of my Willy Wonka-meets-Yankee-Candle dreams.
We wandered on, through….another shop, which sold homewares. It was nice to browse these, but, still: I WANNA SEE THE YANKEE MAGIC HAPPENING. Through into the next building and I was momentarily distracted by the fudge counter (If there’s one thing guaranteed to distract me, it’s fudge), and the Christmas section, which was filled with snow globes and train sets and cosy looking light up mini-houses, all of which were lovely but I wanted to witness the creation of Yankee goodness. WHERE WAS IT?
As we entered another store selling – well, more candles, basically, I started to get a bit uppity. ‘Where’s the factory part?’ I whinged to the Husband. ‘I think that’s it, over there’, he said, as we reached the door leading outside, pointing across the road at the big grey building we’d seen on the way here. I looked down at my Official Yankee Candle Visitor pin. ‘I’m not sure this works over the road’ I said, glumly.
After buying a couple of souvenirs (long haul flights and large jar Yankee Candles are NOT a good combination – we had to limit ourselves to two) our time at the village was up and we had to leave. As we pulled away I couldn’t help gazing sadly at the grey factory building and wondering what sort of Yankee merriment was going on inside that I’d never get to experience.
So - Yankee Candle Village – is it worth a visit? Well, yes, if you’re a Yankee fan and want to smell every single candle they make, which is actually kind of fun. I would say, though, that the prices are actually no cheaper (and in some cases more expensive) than other stores in the US and even here in the UK. The candles we bought – Autumn Leaves – are quite rare and not available over here, so the village is a good place for picking up unusual or collectable Yankees. It also has a lovely atmosphere – the staff are all super friendly (maybe it’s something in the candles) and you can smell delicious smelling candles AND taste delicious tasting fudge at the same time, which is a bit of a win win, I think. The only disappointment for me was not getting to see the candles actually being made, which I was expecting since the trip there was described to us as a visit to the Yankee Candle Factory.
BUT!! Who makes Yankee Candles? Well - I did not see the candles being made, so I cannot confirm or deny any rumours about how they are made or who by, but by my reckoning the only reasonable explanation for the factory being completely off bounds from the Village is that the candles are actually made by fairies and/or pixies. Seems obvious when I explain it like that, doesn’t it?
*Not a fact. Merely a suspicion. I just said ‘fact’ to get your attention. Worked, didn’t it?
**Feel free to use this scent recipe for future collections, Yankee fairies.