A common question I hear is : how do votives and tarts compare?

This is basically code for: are votives as strong as tarts?

Votives have a lot going for them: They offer great ambiance, they are relatively easy to find, they are easier to use…..but do there throws equal those of a tart?

Warning: they rest of this post is my opinion…so I apologize for the mini-rant and hope no one takes this as advice. Actually, I encourage everyone to try a comparison at home to decide for yourself! 🙂


I think that votives absolutely are weaker than tarts. I’ve never once lit a votive and thought: wow, this throw is so much stronger than the tart or jar of this scent. In fact, 99% of the time, what I’m thinking is “oh, I gotta remember to blow of the candle” because I can’t even smell it!

I’ve learned that even a strong votive still has only a “smell” radius of a few feet. For example, the Meyer Lemon above did give off a gentle throw, but only when I was walking by the candle could I actually enjoy the scent.

I have cut up votives before to use as tarts…and it does make the throw stronger…but the tart version of the scent is almost always stronger than the cut-up votive version. Besides, I bought a votive and want to use it as a votive…I would have bought a tart if I wanted to melt it.

Yes, there are occasions when only a votive is available. For example, many of the previews for Yankee Candle offer only the  votive…and of course I’m going to try out the votive before I make a $30 commitment to the jar. But the tart would offer a much better sample of the scent.

The original intent of this post was to review Meyer Lemon. But, I realized that I couldn’t really review the scent since the throw was so light (and personally I didn’t know if that was do to the overall scent being light or if it was just the votive effect). That inspired this rant.

And yes, I will absolutely continue to buy votives! I love them…and the cute holders that go along with them! In fact, I’ll hopefully be getting a few when the Spring 2014 collection premieres in December. But, I buy votives knowing that the throw will be light.

My challenge: Try a votive for a night, then try that same scent as a tart. Then repeat for multiple scents since each have different strengths!

-Kari Ann-


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