Mainstays Essential Oil Infused Wax Melts Reviews - Spring 2023
April 30, 2023
This is a review of Mainstays Essential Oil Infused Wax Melts from Walmart for Spring 2023, made by Candle-Lite: Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree.
These wax melts are found in the essential oils and diffusers section of the housewares department, which is usually in the same aisle as candles and wax melts.
I originally reviewed these Mainstays wax melt scents in February 2021, when they were manufactured by Rimports, the company that makes ScentSationals and Better Homes & Gardens wax melts (non-essential oil Mainstays wax melts are made by MVP Group Intl.)
The throw for the 2021 versions was very weak, with a few exceptions. So I'm pleasantly surprised that the throw for these 2023 Candle-Lite versions is very strong in general.
The labels look the same as the 2021 versions, except that the UPC code for the 2021 versions start with "8" (the first, tiny number in the UPC code), which is Rimports' number, and the UPC code for these versions start with "0". Also, the old label says 2020 (or 2021?), and the new versions say 2022 (or 2023?). The 2021 versions say "100% Pure Essential Oil Infused" and the new ones say "Essential Oil Infused". Both are a soy blend, same wax texture, same white color. Some of the scents are the same as last year, some are similar, and some are different.
These Candle-Lite versions are already at Walmart stores and have replaced the Rimports versions, although you might still find some of the Rimports versions on shelves.
A very nice warm, rich clove scent with maybe a tiny bit of cinnamon. It's very nice. I described the 2021 version as super sweet cinnamon glaze on top of a cinnamon bun, so this is probably a different scent. Throw for the 2021 scent was 4 out of 5.
Eucalyptus tends to smell kind of like pine, but more intense, with no sweetness, and with a strong nasal clearing effect. I'm not getting any of that with that scent. It does have a little bit of that note, but it smells like some other kind of savory herb that I can't identify. It does have a bit of a camphor note, but zero nasal clearing effect even from a few inches away. It's also a little sweet. It's a nice, different scent though. I described the 2021 version as a "true, authentic eucalyptus scent that almost has a camphor type note. Great for clearing stuffy sinuses!", and that one had a 1 out of 5 throw, could barely smell it when melting. So I think this may be a different scent.
A super sweet, perfumey scent of oud with a lot of musk, and maybe a bit of sandalwood and an incensey note. Oud is a dark, intense, tarry, woody scent with tree sap and cedar notes, no smokiness, a deep slightly patchouli-ish note, and an "expensive" quality. This combination smells incredible. I think it's different from the 2021 version, which I described as an "earthy, woodsy, natural cinnamon type scent" (I'm not getting any cinnamon from this scent at all), with a throw of 0 (couldn't smell the old one at all when melting, even from a few inches away). But disappointingly, this one wasn't much better in terms of throw.
An authentic lavender scent with a hint of a medicinal, sage type note. On cold sniff it's a little bit sweet, slightly more than real lavender. But when melted, much of the sweetness dissipates and it's quite medicinal. I believe it's the same scent as the 2021 version.
This is more lemon verbena or lemon balm than just straight lemon. It's not a citrusy lemon, and it's just a tiny bit sweet. It has a tiny bit of a spa quality. It's very nice, a really different take on typical "lemon" scents. I described the old one similarly, and the old one had a throw of 3.5 out of 5. This one was a bold thrower (5 out of 5) for about an hour, then dissipated to a strong throw of 4, and within 2 hours it was down to a good/mediocre throw of 3. So I got about 2 or 3 good hours out of it.
This is similar to the Lemon scent, but it's more intense, richer, a little sweeter, and with more lemon verbena than the Lemon scent. It's not really lemongrass, as lemongrass tends to have a soapy, citronella note that this scent does not have. On cold sniff it's different from (though similar to) last year's scent, which I still have. Comparing them side by side, the older version was very sweet, with a tiny bit of a perfumey note or even a smidgen of an incensey note way in the background; it smelled like a fancy salon, was not as lemony, and didn't have the salty note. The new scent is nice on cold sniff, but the 2021 scent was spectacular, one of the best scents I've ever smelled. But when melting, the new scent smells a lot more like the 2021 scent than it did on cold sniff, with the differences being more subtle. Throw for the 2021 scent was bold, 5 out of 5.
This smells kind of like a lime-scented industrial cleaner, like Pine-Sol if Pine-Sol were made with lime instead of pine. It's sweet but not all that sweet. Comparing it side by side with the 2021 version, which I still have, they're kind of similar, but definitely not the same. The 2021 scent was incredible and smelled like super sweet lime syrup with extra sugar, and I loved it! This one is quite nice as well.
A very nice, sweet, basic orange scent without any grapefruit or sour or intense orange type notes, and it's not really a citrusy orange. It's different from the older version, which was bland, had a grapefruit note, and a throw of 0. I like it!
There are two versions of this scent (not including the one from 2021, which was different from both of the new versions). I've found both versions at different Walmart stores, and they both have the same UPC code, so if you're ordering them online there's no way of knowing which one you'll get.
VERSION 1: This is definitely not patchouli. It's a little sweet, but not perfumey sweet, and it basically smells like really old perfume that has gone bad. I don't really notice that on cold sniff, but it's noticeable when melting. Some incensey scents tend to have a bit of that "old perfume" note, which I kind of like, but I'm not a fan of this one. Throw is 3 out of 5.
VERSION 2: This is not really patchouli, but it smells fantastic. It's a very sweet musky perfumey, soapy incense scent with a smidgen of baby powder (which could be nag champa) and a hint of oriental spices. I thought it was the same as the 2021 version, but although it's kind of similar, it's not the same scent. The 2021 version is more incensey and has some different notes. I like them both, but I do like the older scent a bit more. Throw is the same as the old version, which was 4.
It's peppermint. What else can I say? You can never go wrong with a good peppermint scent. It's sweet and has a tiny bit of a soft vanilla note, as well as a strong nasal clearing effect from close-up. It's the same scent as the older version, but the throw for the old one was only 3 out of 5.
I didn't find this one last year, or maybe it came out later and I just never reviewed it. Or it could be a replacement for the old Basil scent which is not in this collection. This smells kind of like the Version 2 patchouli scent, a sweet, musky, perfumey, soapy incense scent, but with a tiny bit of sandalwood added, and it's not quite as sweet. It's not just sandalwood though; the sandalwood note is in the background. And it's much sweeter than sandalwood. Very nice!
Like the Patchouli scent, there are two versions of this scent. I've found both versions at different Walmart stores, and they both have the same UPC code, so if you're ordering them online there's no way of knowing which one you'll get.
VERSION 1: This smells a bit like ScentSationals Zen, which is a soft spearmint with a slightly sweet, slightly laundry type note. This scent has no laundry notes though, and it's only a teensy bit sweet. It's a little bit herbal, more like an herbal garden mint, although not really spearminty. It could have a smidgen of eucalyptus way, way in the background, and I get a tiny bit of a sinus clearing effect close up. It's an okay scent, but a little bland, and throw is 3 out of 5. I like the other version better.
VERSION 2: Last year I said this scent was more like an authentic floral, not overly sweet, with a barely detectable smidgen of garden mint. It wasn't actually minty, and definitely not spearminty. And that's pretty much the case for this version too. In fact, on cold sniff I'm getting a teensy bit of eucalyptus, although I don't get that when melted, but I do get a very tiny bit of a sinus clearing effect on cold sniff. There's a note in here that smells kind of like tea tree oil, which means that this scent and the Tea Tree scent may be in the wrong packages. But I'm sure I detect a floral as well, although not a sweet, perfumey floral; it's sweet, but not a floral sweetness, and very hard to describe. I'm getting a hint of cinnamon as well. This is one of the few scents that I've ever reviewed that I would have to classify as "Miscellaneous". But it's different, and I really like it. The 2021 version had a weak throw of around 2 out of 5, but this version has a throw of 4.
This is an interesting orange scent. It's sweet, but not sweet like the Mandarin scent. And it's not bright or citrusy, and no grapefruit or satsuma type notes. The other note besides the orange, I really can't figure out if it's floral, an herb, wood, incense, peach, or something else, but that note is quite rich and even though this scent is not overly sweet, it smells a little like orange gummy candy mixed with a little bit of the very slightly bitter, very slightly sour orange rind. I thought on cold sniff it smelled a bit like ScentSationals Molten Orange
, and it does have some similarities, but it's not the same scent. It's totally different from the Mandarin scent, which I thought I would like more based on cold sniff, but when melting, I love them both!
I think the Mandarin and Sweet Orange scents should be reversed; this smells more like what I would think Mandarin should smell like, kind of an "exotic" type of orange, whereas the Mandarin scent smells like, well, sweet orange! The 2021 version had a 0 throw; I couldn't smell it when melting even from a few inches away.
This is not tea tree oil at all. It's sweet peppermint, with a tiny bit of spearmint, but it's not the same as the Peppermint scent, which is sweeter, like peppermint candy, with a soft vanilla note. It might be an incorrect packaging of the Spearmint scent, even though it's not totally spearmint. It has a very strong nasal clearing effect close-up while melting, and that effect is so strong that I'm getting a bit of that effect even in the room, so it's a great scent to melt if you have a cold!
Last year I said that this scent did smell like tea tree oil, which I like, but it's medicinal so I wouldn't want my house to smell that way, so this year's version is indeed a different scent. And I love it! Also, throw for the 2021 version was barely noticeable, like 1 out of 5.