Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AJ's Country Cottage

This month, special for the winter holiday season, I have put together a collection of brilliant shops and included a mini interview tip direct from the shop owner for tackling the holiday rush. I've specially selected 'Seasoned Pro's,' meaning, they have gone through at least 2 sets of winter holidays and are ready and raring to tackle there third! For any shop owner that has gone through a winter holiday season, you know preparation and a game plan is a must have - So listen up and get those pencils ready!


AJ's Country Cottage is an amazing Etsy shop owned and operated by the talented AJ herself. This is one of the absolute best places to find high scented candles, melts and tarts in soy and paraffin blends. AJ's assortment of scented treats is nothing short of spectacular! I think what I love most about her shop, is that she has made it so easily shoppable with personal touches such as her blend list that helps customers choose from their preference of sweet and spicy, floral, earthy, fruity and more!

AJ's Tip:
"My tip for making it through the holiday season is to make yourself daily and weekly schedules so you can stay organized and on top of things. You can always adjust the schedule as needed. But I schedule every phase of my business -- pouring candles, packing orders, ordering more raw materials and supplies, and even time for rest. Yes, REST! If I don't carve out a little time for myself to rest and reconnect with my family, I won't survive the busy season! So I generally take it easy on Sundays. The post office is closed anyway! :)" ~ AJ

Thank you so much for the invaluable information! Being so impressed with AJ's massive scent list, I just had to include a copy for all of you to check out. Don't forget to visit AJ's Country Cottage, and for more ways to connect AJ:

Twitter
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Wowsa! AJ's Amazing Selection...

♥♥♥ SWEET & SPICY TREATS FROM THE KITCHEN ♥♥♥
~ ALMOND PASTRY ~ Almond lovers, rejoice! Sweet pastry with a delish almond filling and just a touch of icing drizzled on top.
~ APPLE JACK & PEEL ~ Fresh apple with a strong spice note and a generous dash of orange peel. Like warm simmering cider.
~ APPLE CLOVE ~ Mmmm...Grandma's cooking up a kettle of her famous apple butter spiced with plenty of freshly-ground cloves!
~ BANANA NUT BREAD ~ Rich bakery fragrance with a strong nutty note supported by fresh banana and a hint of vanilla. Smells like mom's banana nut bread baking!
~ BERRY ALMOND CAKE ~ Heavenly berry almond blended with vanilla and a hint of orange peel and spice!
~ BIRTHDAY CAKE ~ Tender white cake topped with thick, rich, sweet vanilla frosting.
~ BLUEBERRY MUFFINS ~ Tart, buttery blueberries and sweet vanilla ... this one packs a PUNCH!
~ BROWN SUGAR & FIG ~ Warm scent of caramelized brown sugar, ripe figs, smooth coconut, and a touch of amber. B&BW type.
~ BUTTERSCOTCH BRULEE ~ Sweet buttery notes of creamy vanilla and coconut blend beautifully with light spicy notes. This fabulous scent reminds me of butterscotch hard candies!
~ BUTTERCREAM FROSTING ~ Creamy, buttery, toothache-inducing, super sweet vanilla. Customer fave!
~ CARAMEL PECAN PIE ~ Rich, creamy caramel & toasted pecans!
~ CINNAMON BUNS ~ This fills my house with the yummy scent of freshly-baked cinnamon buns! Visitors will swear you've got homemade treats for them!
~ CINNAMON VANILLA ~ Fabulous fusion of two timeless classics! This one strikes the perfect balance.
~ CINNAMON RED HOT ~ Love the spicy fragrance of cinnamon? Who doesn't! This gem smells a bit like cinnamon sticks, a bit like cinnamon red hot candies.
~ CLOVE ~ True to its name, this is pure spicy goodness.
~ COCONUT MILK & PEACHES ~ Sweet coconut, creamy vanilla, and fresh, ripe, juicy peaches smell wonderful together!
~ COUNTRY COTTAGE ~ Our signature scent! This one's complex and hard to describe, but everyone who smells it just loves it. It's a fresh combo of fruits, spices, herbs, and vanilla with a dash of mint.
~ CREME BRULEE ~ Rich, caramelized vanilla custard. Powerful!
~ FRENCH VANILLA ~ Like the popular ice cream flavor!
~ FRESH BREWED COFFEE ~ Mmmmm, even if you don't like drinking it, hot coffee smells so warm and inviting!
~ HOT COCOA ~ Mmmm...like a rich, steaming mug of hot chocolate on a brisk, chilly afternoon.
~ KEY LIME PIE ~ Fresh lime filling and yummy pie crust!
~ LEMON POUND CAKE ~ Powerful lemon-vanilla combo that will really fill a room!
~ MAPLE BROWN SUGAR ~ Rich, warm brown sugar and sweet maple syrup harmonize in a divine combination.
~ MOCHA WALNUT ESPRESSO ~ Fresh, rich coffee kissed with sweet, nutty chocolate. Fills a room!
~ ORANGE CHIFFON (ORANGE VANILLA) ~ Heavenly orange-vanilla blend that will have you swooning!
~ PINK SUGAR type ~ Unmistakably feminine, sweet designer fragrance! Like a sophisticated cotton candy with undertones of sweet vanilla & warm caramel. You can't get much more girly-girl than this!
~ PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE ~ Spicy pumpkin blended with sweet, creamy vanilla and tangy cream cheese. To die for!
~ CREAMY STRAWBERRY ~ Imagine freshly-baked shortcake piled with ripe strawberries and smothered in sweet whipped cream! Luscious scent reminds me of strawberry cream hard candies.
~ SUGAR COOKIES ~ Mmmm…fresh from the oven and sprinkled with crystal sugar!
~ SWEET POTATO PIE ~ Baked sweet potatoes loaded with spice, but not too heavy on the sweet notes. Hard to resist digging into this one with a spoon.
~ TOASTED MARSHMALLOW ~ Toasty warm, crisp-on-the-outside-but-gooey-on-the-inside marshmallows just off the campfire! No spicy or buttery notes here, just pure, super-sweet vanilla marshmallows.
~ VANILLA BUTTER COOKIES ~ Like walking into the village bake shop! Fresh creamery butter and pure vanilla...just like freshly-baked, rich butter cookies with thick, sweet vanilla frosting! Awesome!
~ VANILLA COMFORT ~ Creamy, warm vanilla that's not so sweet as our Buttercream Vanilla. This one's a winner with vanilla lovers!
~ VANILLA LIME ~ Awesome vanilla paired w/ sweet lime! YC type
~ (Vanilla) SUGAR & SPICE ~ Top seller! Luscious vanilla with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove notes.
~ VILLAGE BAKE SHOP ~ Sweets & spice and all things nice!
~ WARM APPLE PIE ~ Fresh, baked apples with a bit of spices and a touch of pie crust scent.
~ WILD HONEY ~ Sweet, true, and fresh from the hive!
~ WILDBERRY CRISP ~ Loaded with wild blueberries, strawberries, and all things nice, this scent really fills a room!
~ ZUCCHINI BREAD ~ Yum! Fresh from the oven! A real room-filler!

♥♥ FLORAL ♥ FRESH & CLEAN ♥ HERBAL ♥ EARTHY SCENTS ♥♥

~ BABY KISSES ~ This captures the fresh, sweet fragrance of a baby just out of the bath! It's like baby wash, baby powder, and baby lotion all rolled into one oh-so-clean scent.
~ BOTANICAL ORCHARD ~ Apple & pear notes delicately balanced w/ the freshness of lily, pear blossoms, osmanthus & sweet nectar.
~ CITRUS LILY ~ Unique fresh, green floral fragrance. Opening herbal and lime notes lead to a sweet lily-of-the-valley heart. Smells like a glorious spring breeze.
~ CITRUS SAGE ~ Fresh & light herbal-citrus blend. GREAT!
~ COOL CITRUS BASIL ~ Just like the super popular fresh & clean scent sold by a popular bath & body chain!
~ COUNTRY CLOTHESLINE ~ Fresh, clean scent of just-washed laundry hanging in the warm sunshine! Feel the breeze on your face as you inhale the fresh countryside air. Lovely scent really freshens.
~ DOWNY FRESH type ~ Clean, fresh laundry!
~ DRAGON'S BLOOD ~ Earthy & deep. Rich resin, amber, & patchouli.
~ DREAM WEAVER ~ Beautiful and very popular designer fragrance! This soft, powdery scent of flowers features an undertone of a classy and elegant designer perfume. Not stuffy, but fresh and beautiful! An awesome and unique one-of-a-kind scent!
~ EUCALYPTUS LEAVES ~ Complex, fresh, green aromatic!
~ EUCALYPTUS SPEARMINT ~ This powerhouse REALLY freshens a room! Aromatic eucalyptus smells wonderful with a touch of spearmint to sweeten the blend. Fabulous combination!
~ FIRESIDE ~ Like a camp fire or burning leaves! YC type
~ FRENCH VANILLA & AMBER ~ Awesome, unique combo of creamy vanilla and warm, sensual amber mingled with woodsy notes of oak and cedarwood, plus earthy base notes of sandalwood and patchouli. Sophisticated, upscale designer fragrance. If you prefer vanillas that aren't sweet and foody, give this one a try!
~ FRESH LILAC ~ You'll think you're standing next to a blooming lilac bush. Our most popular floral.
~ FRESHLY-MOWN GRASS ~ The name says it all. Bring a true freshly-mown green grass scent indoors! If you prefer a sweeter grass scent, try Sweet Meadow Breezes.
~ GARDENIA ~ Just like the gorgeous, super-fragrant white flower!
~ GREEN TEA ~ The crisp, refreshing scent of green tea is accented by a touch of soft flowers. Rejuvenating spa scent - fresh and clean!
~ HAWAIIAN PLUMERIA ~ Plumeria is the Hawaiian lei flower, and this is one strong, beautiful floral.
~ HERB PATCH ~ Fresh, light "green" herbal scent. Features sage, basil, and a hint of mint. Delightful fresh scent!
~ SWEET HONEYSUCKLE ~ What a fantastic fragrance! Just like you're standing in front of a fragrant honeysuckle vine. Fresh, lovely scent brings spring indoors!
~ LAVENDER GARDEN ~ Love a true, herbal lavender? Look no further! This one smells like you've just gathered a handful of fresh lavender from your herb garden! Relax and unwind with this lavender lover's delight.
~ LAVENDER VANILLA ~ Delightful, powdery blend of lavender and vanilla. Relaxing and soothing!
~ LAVENDERWOOD SPICE ~ Warm, woodsy, spicy masculine scent with top notes of melon and clove, mid notes of nutmeg spice and lavender wood, and bottom notes of rich sandalwood vanilla. Very popular men's fragrance!
~ LEMON & LAVENDER ~ Delicate fresh lavender and lemon peel blend beautifully.
~ LEMONGRASS ~ This lemony green scent is pure bliss! Fresh, real lemongrass fragrance is herbal and earthy.
~ LILY OF THE VALLEY ~ Just bury your nose in a bouquet -- you won't know the difference! Lovely flower fragrance fills the room.
~ LINEN CLOSET ~ This is the scent of crisp, clean linens in an upscale home! Although I'm but a humble candle maker, I'm just sure of it. :) Delightful clean and fresh scent will really fragrance your room!
~ MEADOW BREEZES ~ Wonderful sweet green scent of freshly-mown grass with a touch of wildflower notes. Reminds me of newly-mown hay! If you prefer a less sweet, pure grass scent, try Freshly-Mown Grass.
~ MIDNIGHT RENDEZVOUS ~ Mysterious. Alluring. Sophisticated. Elegant. Sensual. This complex and very unique blend smells like an upscale designer scent. Featuring white carnation, blood orange, sandalwood, black rose, smoky wood, and a kiss of patchouli, it's topped off with hint of toasted vanilla bean, vetiver, amber, and a tiny touch of Egyptian musk for a smoky, sexy finish.
~ NAG CHAMPA ~ Eastern-inspired exotic bouquet of sandalwood, champa flowers, violet and clove delicately blended with sensual amber, woodsy ylang ylang, earthy patchouli and light musk.
~ OCEAN BREEZE ~ Smell the clean, salty air! This wonderful fresh & clean scent will make you think you're on a seaside holiday.
~ OZARK DOGWOOD ~ Crisp, "fresh and clean" floral; very unique!
~ PATCHOULI HAZE ~ Deep, sensuous, earthy! True patchouli blended with a touch of honey sweetness.
~ PEPPERMINT ICE ~ Brisk, refreshing, icy! Strong and fresh, this crisp scent smells just like a handful of peppermints. Really freshens!
~ PINK ROSEBUD ~ Fresh, young. Like real roses, not Great-Granny's attic!
~ SANDALWOOD TEAK ~ Earthy sandalwood with a touch of cedar and teakwood. Wonderfully woodsy and somewhat powdery scent.
~ SPRING RAIN ~ Sweet, delicate blooms freshly washed by a gentle spring shower! Bring the fresh scent of sweet spring flowers and clean rain indoors anytime of year.
~ SUMMER BREEZES ~ What lovely fragrances are wafting past your nose on a gorgeous summer day? Wildflowers from the meadow? Warm, clean cottons hanging on a sun-washed country clothesline? This fresh and clean scent reminds me of just such a day, and it will take you there too, no doubt!
~ SWEETGRASS & SAGE ~ Wonderful herbal scent featuring fresh sweetgrass with a lovely pungent sage undertone to counterbalance the sweetness. Fresh, clean and delightfully green fragrance! Like walking through a lush meadow.
~ TOMATO LEAF ~ Gorgeous green scent reminds me of summers in Grandpa's garden, working in the morning sun right alongside him as we harvested ripe, warm, juicy tomatoes straight from the vines. A light raspberry note adds a touch of sweetness.
~ TWIGS & BERRIES ~ Transport yourself to a snug & cozy warm cabin in the woods! Earthy, woodsy notes mingle with succulent, tart berries for a genuinely rustic aroma.
~ VANILLA PASSION ~ Feminine! Exotic vanilla blend with light, sweet flower bouquet notes.
~ WHITE JASMINE ~ Love the exotic aroma of sweet jasmine? This is as close as you can get without a handful of the real thing, and you don't even have to wait until night for it to bloom!
~ WHITE TEA & GINGER type ~ Like the popular scent from a famous bath & body chain! Delicate white tea blends beautifully with freshly-grated ginger. Fresh, clean, non-foody, not too sweet.
~ WILDFLOWER MEADOW ~ This TRUE flower scent is amazing! Imagine strolling through a lovely meadow filled with beautiful, sweet wildflowers on a gorgeous summer morning, warm breeze on your face. This scent captures the tall green grass and lovely blooms without being at all perfumey or stuffy.

♥♥♥ FRUITY SCENTS ♥♥♥

~ BLACK RASPBERRY & VANILLA type ~ Fabulous scent made popular by a well-known bath & body chain! Tart berry scent is delish!
~ BLACKBERRY SAGE ~ Tart berries mingled with earthy sage; very fresh smelling. A unisex customer fave!
~ CHERRY SLUSH ~ Remember running barefoot and sipping on a frosty cherry slushy when you were a kid? This yummy scent will take you back, minus the red tongue and brain freeze!
~ COCONUT LIME ~ Super-refreshing lime verbena w/ a touch of coconut. Similar to the gorgeous fragrance sold by a popular bath and body chain. Crisp, fresh, invigorating and clean unisex scent!
~ CUCUMBER MELON ~ Fresh honeydew blends with crisp garden cucumber for a popular, clean-smelling scent. This one will remind you of summertime.
~ FORBIDDEN FRUIT ~ I'm not sure which fruit in the garden was so tempting, but it well might have been this deliciously fresh, ripe pomegranate scent. Sweet, juicy fruit -- yummy room scenter!
~ ISLAND COCONUT ~ Like fresh coconut milk & meat!
~ JAMAICA ME CRAZY ~ Tantalizing array of tropical fruits with a touch of citrus and a coconut twist! Awesome, mon! This one will whisk you away to an island paradise.
~ LEMON VERBENA ~ Awesome for lemon lovers! Strong!
~ LOVE SPELL type ~ Complex blend of citrus/bergamot, fruit, & floral. Like the popular fragrance from a well-known lingerie chain.
~ MANDARIN PLUM ~ A sophisticated and unique scent that combines tart plums with just a touch of sweet citrus and mandarin orange. If you prefer fruity scents that aren't super sweet, this is it!
~ MANGO COCONUT ~ Mmmm, this tropical treat smells like ripe, juicy fruit blended with fresh coconut. Delish! Great room scenter.
~ MANGO PEACH SALSA ~ Fresh mango, chunky peaches, and hints of spice!
~ MEDITERRANEAN FIG ~ If you like classy, elegant fragrances, this is it. Sophisticated and not overly sweet, this fresh, clean scent is awesome. A designer fragrance, but not perfumey or stuffy.
~ MONKEY BUSINESS ~ Delightful fragrance that blends fresh kiwis, bananas, strawberries, and pineapples with a touch of a bubble gum note and a hint of vanilla undertones. Lovely tropical fruit scent! Fresh and sweet, and much too lovely to be called “Monkey Farts!”
~ RED CURRANT TWIST ~ Another one I think smells divine. Fresh, tart fruit with a touch of musk in the background. Don't let the word "musk" throw you; even avowed musk-haters like this one!
~ SATSUMA ~ If you love citrus scents, this is a MUST have. Notes of mandarin peel and bergamot are blended skillfully with a touch of spices and exotic fruits. Sunny, bright, cheerful, refreshing scent!
~ STRAWBERRY COCONUT ~ Wonderful blend of ripe strawberry, freshly-grated coconut and a touch of vanilla. Tropical fruity delight!
~ SUN-RIPE RASPBERRY ~ Fresh, strong raspberry with a touch of floral. Just like the fragrance of a similar name sold by a popular bath and body shop.
~ YUZU GRAPEFRUIT ~ Crisp, refreshing and invigorating!

♥♥♥ FALL FAVES ♥♥♥

APPLE PUMPKIN STRUDEL ~ AUTUMN LEAVES ~ BARTLETT PEAR ~ CARAMEL APPLE ~ CORNUCOPIA ~ CRANAPPLE MARMALADE ~ HARVEST MOON ~ PUMPKIN CREME BRULEE ~ PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD ~ PUMPKIN PIE SPICE ~ PUMPKIN SOUFFLE ~ SPICED CIDER & CHESTNUTS ~ PEAR POMEGRANATE SPICE ~ SPICY APPLES & PEACHES

♥♥♥ HOLIDAY FAVES ♥♥♥

CANDY CANE ~ CHRISTMAS MEMORIES (tree) ~ CRANBERRY CITRUS ~ EGG NOG ~ GINGERBREAD SPICE ~ HOLIDAY BAZAAR ~ HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS ~ SWEET MULBERRY