Midsummer's Night (Yankee Candle)

One Hot '80s Fougère. Who Knew?

I never do candle reviews, but this is an exceptional candle in terms of burn quality and scent, so this post is commensurately exceptional. I generally have no time for Yankee Candle's products. I think they're sweet, synthetic, candy-like fragrances that become nauseating after two minutes. It's not uncommon to find a colorful array of battered wicks with blunt names like "Tulips," "Eucalyptus," "Bakery Air," all very clichéd and far from anything you'd want to fill a room with.

"Midsummer's Night" is the only candle in the line that stopped me in my tracks, and believe me, when it comes to Yankee, I've tried and tried. Yes, some are pleasant, and many aren't, but "Midsummer's Night" is different. With this one, a particular scent the company has kept in production for several years now, the game changes dramatically. There's absolutely no guesswork. No delay. No time lapse. My reaction to this is instantaneous, within a millionth of a second. I said it out loud immediately upon sniffing it: "This is Drakkar Noir!"

And my god, it is. It's so identical to Drakkar Noir that I'm shocked Guy Laroche hasn't sued them for it. It isn't rendered as a flat sweetness. It doesn't smell like candy, or a scratch-'n-sniff sticker. It's complex, with separable lavender, tonka, and woody notes lucidly blended together into a coherent, well balanced fougère. Of course, there's no real copyright laws governing the usage of a fragrance "type," and unfortunately for Laroche, Drakkar has been copied so many times over the last few decades that it's officially become a "type" of scent, rather than a specific one. But still. This is, out of all the "clones" that I've encountered, the only one that is 100% spot on. This friggin' thing is the candle version of Drakkar Noir.

I suppose there's a touch more sweetness in there when the candle is new, although Drakkar's coumarin note is no joke, so this is very debatable. However, all you have to do is light it, let it burn for an hour, and blow it out. As it burns, the dryness of Drakkar is conveyed via smoky vapors, tinged with a familiarly synthetic lavender analog that generations of men have come to love. Let the wax dry. Sniff again, and yikes. The scent is now infused with a dry, gentle smokiness. That little touch of extra sweetness is gone. It's even pitch black in color, lest there be any confusion here.

If you love Drakkar Noir as much as I do, and wish Laroche was upscale enough to candle it, I encourage you to grab a small "Midsummer's Night," which shouldn't cost more than eleven dollars. It's this brand's one and only masterpiece.


  1. A fougere scented candle? Who'd of thunk it?
    I usually walk on the other side of the mall from Yankee Candle containing stores & Bath & Body Works as the candy/fruity synthetic obnoxious stuff sears my sinuses & gives me a headache. B&BW's does have some good knock offs of men's classic & popular fragrances at a decent price usually hidden away in some contrastingly tidy, yet forlorn & forgotten back corner of their stores.

    I wanted some fragrance dupe oils to try scenting my own bath & body products. So I went "in search of" on the internet & found a few. It was really hit or miss, granted most of the dupes were of B&BW scents (why would someone want a dupe of a scent that's cheap as chips already?)- but I found a few purveyors of "high end" dupes. I ordered a dupes of Fracas, Kai, Tihota, Carnal Flower, Virgin Island Water, Original Vetiver, Narcotic Venus & the old classic Michael Kors. Surprisingly they were all recognizable and quite wearable for the relatively inexpensive price. Were they exact dupes? No, but they are good enough to scent a lotion, hair conditioner, or body wash & layer with the original perfumes. The Kai dupe was actually better than the original! (Yes, I am a big white floral BOMB.)

  2. Funny to come across this! My sister wanted it as a Christmas present, and when it arrived I took a sniff and was hit with a big patchouli blast! "bloody hell this smells like an 80s frag", I looked up the notes online and yup it looked like something like Drakkar. I might have to get myself one :)


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