It was about two or three years ago that I noticed soy wax massage candles starting to migrate from “hippychick” earthy brands into the higher end luxury sections of the adult market. The vast majority, up until that point, had been offered in round tins with stick-on labels; while they did the trick, they didn’t exactly scream romantic or sensual. And so it was with eyebrow-raised interest that I watched Jimmyjane drop their offering into the tin-suited mass, where it landed with a decidedly impressive effect.
Let it be noted for the record I have a terrible marketing crush on jimmyjane -- one need only glance at their site and their offerings a moment to understand why. Beautiful pictures, copy you can pluck and savor like little literary bon bons -- these people have their proverbial shit together and I admire that. I was, however, probably the only person on earth that didn’t “get” the little chroma and had no real desire for it when it debuted and people were in an Eleven-like craze over it, which is why I gravitated towards their later-emerging outre -- candles and massage.
When I jotted off a note to Jimmyjane asking if they offered products to review, I was surprised and delighted to receive an email back -- yes, they did -- and they wanted me to field test the dynamic duo of an Afterglow candle and the Contour Q massage stones. I count myself doubly lucky here, because the Milk Chocolate was their newest scent and allowed me to experiment with a fragrance I hadn’t before, and there are -- as I found out -- TWO little stones in the Contour Q set…and isn’t that just grand?
Afterglow Candle -- Milk Chocolate Fragrance
On eagerly opening the Afterglow box (narrowly restraining myself from ripping it open, for purposes of filming later) I peeled back the lid and sniffed tenatively. Now, all the chocolate products I’d experienced prior smelled like stuffing a particularly chemical-laden spoonful of hershey’s syrup up a nostril, with a not-so-subtle after effect of something decidedly unchocolate, almost acidic. Not so with this one -- Jimmyjane’s Milk Chocolate immediately brought to mind the tin of Ghiardelli “Drinking Cocoa” I keep stashed in the back of the cupboard for a couple of perilous days every month. It’s the smell of a deep, rich bittersweet cocoa that is more at home in tea salons than coffeehouses. The ingredients also featured a few different incarnations of vanilla extract that I’m familiar with, so that may have had a hand in the complexity. It is not, as is important with every scented product that I permanently add to the collection, cloying, syrupy, or “fake” -- I used this with my notoriously scent-averse partner for an hour with not a hint of a sniffle.
We lighted the candle with the enclosed box of matches and waited for about fifteen minutes, tugging off our shirts and snuggling into bed. When a little bit of a pool had formed (I should mention here that Jimmyjane says to wait a half hour, but I’m an impatient wretch) I took up the cute little body brush and gingerly dipped it in the edge of the pool -- managing to set a strand sizzling before I belatedly realized the instructions said to blow out the candle first. (So, if you get one, listen to the book…apparently it knows what it’s talking about.) As I painted it on my partner, he relaxed and agreed it was rather awesome. A little goes a very long way…I only dipped the very, very edge of the brush in and it was enough for his entire back.
The massage “oil” of the melted soy wax stayed liquid on his skin, acting just like massage oil out of a bottle. I was able to glide it around over a large area and my hands didn’t “skip” or stop sliding because the soy oil dried up -- in fact, it stayed slick the entire massage of 20+ minutes. It smelled exactly like it had as a solid candle, and was the perfect level of “presence” on our skin, giving the whole room a very light scent of chocolate that lulled me to sleep an hour or so later. On the receiving end, the brush felt like fingertips -- so much so that I asked him to use the brush and turned around to find out that he already was! One caveat -- the brush is hard to clean…the book says to use shampoo (which I did) but it was still stiff and chocolatey scented when I came back for it later.
Contour Q Massage Stones
I had the forethought to start up my Keurig before getting down to business, drawing off a teacup worth of very hot water to mix with room temperature water I had in a bowl. I wrapped the contour Q stones in a washcloth and gradually submerged them, giving them a little buffer between their surface and the semi-hot water. (Like glass, porcelain/ceramic toys shouldn’t be exposed to rapid temperature changes for safety reasons) After I had “basted” my guy with the chocolatey goodness of Afterglow wax, I unfolded the washcloth and plucked out the ribbed massage stone, cupping it in the hollow of my hand. When I first attempted to use it, I tried to put pressure on the stone and roll it, like a ball of clay being rolled into a snake. When oil is present though, it seems like the surface of the skin is a little too slippery to use this technique, at least in my experience. However, cupping the hand above either stone and moving the whole hand seems to work wonders. This provides a “hollow” that guides the stone right where you want it to go, and allows it to roll in the direction you’re pushing. You don’t need to push down very hard with these, as the texture seems to do most of the work for you -- it let me give my partner a deeper massage without feeling worn out.
When I sat cross-legged along his side (he was on his stomach), I rolled one stone in each hand from side to side on his back. Eventually, I figured out if I pushed out farther than the width of his back and let the stones roll back under my palms, I could actually massage my “computer wrists” and his back at the same time! Needless to say, this scored pretty high in my book for awesome. The rounded nubs on either side were great for getting out the kinks in his shoulders, as the round mid-body was comfy to grip to do so. The stones hold heat very well, and the heat combined with the textures added a whole new dimension to something we do very frequently. I know they might not look very substantial, but I promise you’ll be surprised. They can also be combined with other massage stones in Jimmyjane’s line (like so -- pictured inside a Contour M massage stone) for extra fun.