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Today I will be reviewing the two new scents from indie “Darling Clandestine” (heh, see what I did there?).  Although I’m sure many of the readers of this blog are probably already familar with the brand and it’s owner, I will give a brief overview for the uninitiated. I will confess upfront that this review is not exactly impartial, as I am a bit of a Darling Clandestine fangirl, myself.  Since discovering them through the r/Indie Makeup and More Subreddit last year, I have placed, oh, maybe an order a month?  It honestly reawakened a passion for scent that I had long since abandoned due to the current mainstream industry’s repetative nature (and a hatred for gourmand scents, which seem to be a fairly dominant force).  DC and it’s lovely and passionate creator Evonne** shun all that and seem to start from scratch, creating scents that are not only unlike any other, but also tend to be almost beyond definition, typically schewing the whole note description thing of traditional perfumery and describing each scent with a short piece of prose, meant to evoke the scent itself and the mood intended.

DC has a roster of year round regulars, seasonal offerings, and the occasional surprise release scent, just for kicks when the inspiration hits.  This is review is for lattermost, two surprise fragrances that likely won’t make it far past labor day, along with those emergency beach flip flops you picked up at Walgreens, so get them while you can.

The perfumes smell much better though.

 

 

Bossfight!:

One curious element of the Darling Clandestine scent descriptions are what Evonne calls the “Boss Level” of the fragrance, referring to how challenging the fragrance may be to the person*** smelling it.

Here’s the blurb for this scent:

I couldn’t bring myself to rank a fragrance Boss Level 10. Not yet. ‘Cause that would be the *final* boss, no? Instead I went for a concoction that swings unusually wildly between “Oh, yeah, this is pretty! This is classic, fancy perfume! I can totally wear this to the gala at Norman Osborn’s mansion!” and “Wait, no. This isn’t perfume. Let’s do something else. See that boat down there? Let’s just take it.”

It’s the DarlingClandestine dichotomy of conflicting elements, ramped up a bit for the season of summer blockbusters. Had a lot of internal conflict with this one. “No, no, that’s too intense; nobody’s going to want to wear this anywhere.” “Augh, now it’s too normal! Folks’re gonna think I’m a big ol’ hyperbolic dramapants!” I toyed with high-end elements like chypre and amber and teak, added some criminal underbelly with white mushroom and crushed cranberry, and then crashed through the skylight trying to create impressions of humidity-soaked canvas and scorched fabric. Of course, as with all DC fragrances, please don’t take these “notes” to mean “ingredients” . . . there are more than 30 individual ingredients in this fragrance. I dunno, man. I like it quite a lot.

 

Bossfight! is a very accurate name for this fragrance.  It morphs on a person’s skin, and rapidly.   From the bottle, I get a sweet warm skin scent (DC’s signature), almost like warm dough without the yeasty smell.  But it quickly turns to an aquatic with a bit of a green top note, kind of leafy.  And then it gets a little lemony?  Hey where did those flowers come from?  I quickly realize that I may have jumped into the deep end with this review.  It acts similarly to a previous DC scent, Halochrome, meant to represent the different colors in a fluorescent germ-cell stain.  But whereas Halochrome was sparky, and to me, somewhat offensive (and headache inducing), Bossfight! is familar and warm.  I can smell elements of other DC scents that I love, like Inked and Maudlin and Bedlam, maybe some Blue Valentine and Smother?  This is truly a big battle, but between characters you love to watch.  It’s the Avengers movie of the DC universe: a charming, likable tussle with a few unexpected turns.  A definite must for DC lovers and an interesting introduction for beginners, if you’re daring enough to take on the challenge.  I will also offer that this is the longest lasting DC fragrance I have.  Many of the oils tend to last only an hour or so, but thi sone seemed to stick around for at least 4, which is nearly unheard of for me.  Showing off I suppose?  Rarely does a blockbuster come in under 2 hours anymore, so I guess I should have expected it.

Bossfight! only comes in one size, a large 2 dram bottle for $14.  I luckily got it when it was $12 a couple weeks ago when it was introduced, but believe me, it’s worth every penny.  The extra $2 wouldn’t put me off one bit today.

 

 

Arylide:

Here’s the blurb for this scent:

The fragrance is Arylide, a dream painted in yellow. Angelic plumeria and about ten other elements that comprise my take on late-summer sycamore leaves.

Ergh.  Here’s where I hit a wall.  This is not my cup of tea, or more accurately, my cup of floor cleaner.  Or is it hand soap?  It starts promisingly with a light, powdery floral, (the plumeria, I’m guessing) but gets heavier and more intense as it sits on my skin.  I can smell the notes very clearly, almost too much so.  It does have a late summer haze to it, like the first evening you see the sun go down and start to realize that the days are getting shorter again, and it makes you a little sad.  I don’t have much experience with the scent of plumeria or sycamore, so I’m not sure if it’s the notes themselves that just don’t agree with me? Granted, this is all a personal experience, and it may not react on you as it does on me.

Luckily, this scent is available in an itsy bity vial (1/2 dram) for $6, which is what I got it in, and a larger 5 mL squared glass bottle for $11, both featuring very interesting artwork of what looks like a cat sucking the breath out of a sleeping woman!?  These is my kind of people.  Here’s information about it below, from Evonne:

The image is Yellow Cat, by my aunt Pilar Acevedo. “This particular piece was inspired by a child’s fear of an old wives’ tale.” Find Pilar’s work at PilarAcevedo.com .

As far as the logistics of ordering and delivery, her shop on Etsy is easy to navigate.  Evonne also has impeccable communication with her customers, giving accurate updates on order times and responding to customer’s inquiries in short order.  While her turn around time does tend to be much longer than other indie shops, keep in mind that it is a one woman operation, and is worth the wait.  I received this order is probably 6 business days, which is way shorter than usual, but I think it’s because Evonne was leaving for a trip.  She regularly keeps customers up to date through the Facebook page as to goings on and new releases.  I highly recommend you check it out.

 

 

footnotes:

noIdon’thaveaproblemnowhywouldyousaythat?

**also hilarious and talented.  Might have a little bit of a girl crush.  Might.

** Is there a word for a person smelling perfume?  “Smeller” sounds weird.  “Scenter?” “ Perfum-ed one?“

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dc

Sooooooo! Hellbender is officially available from Darling Clandestine‘s etsy shop here if you’d like to buy it. BUT if you’re planning on getting Falter, Wither, Squander and Spurn from the Hallow’s Eve suite, then you might want to wait for tomorrow! Evonne will be offering a special pre-sale listing for one day only, tomorrow, that enables you to receive a free Hellbender oil when you purchase the Hallow’s Eve suite! That means you get Falter, Wither, Squander, Spurn and Hellbender for only $40! So I suggest you keep a peeper on DGC’s etsy shop. ;)

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Eeee. All the Hallow’s Eve collections are popping up! Evonne of Darling Clandestine has put together four beautiful perfumes for her Halloween Collection. You can purchase all four scents for $44, or you may purchase them individually for $13. These come in special 2 dram dropper bottles. They’re adorable.

FALTER
All at once, the electric panic that lights up your inadequacies like constellations. Kill it.
Startling, misty, herbal, with notes including avocado and ozone and clary sage.

WITHER
One Draconian day, the fissures into which your voluptuous youth dissolves. Welcome it.
Unsettling, ethereal, with notes including ozone and blueberry and trampled leaves, soaked in black rum.

SQUANDER
Rich as cello, the furious moments you wasted, never recognizing the fire at your command. Taste them.
Deep and decadent, with rich fruitful notes including clove and nutmeg and sandalwood and ripe red apple.

SPURN
At each silence, the ache of the blade that released your indecorous wrath. Twist it.
Fierce and passionate, with bright bursts of pomegranate, tempered with aged wood and haunted by marigolds.
Luna

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Evonne from Darling Clandestine answered some questions for me! I’m going to start interviewing indie owners who want to participate with just a few simple questions in hopes people can get to know them a little bit and can see why they started up. :d

Luna: How long have you been making perfume, and why did you start?
Evonne: I’ve been making perfume for about two years now. Insanely sensitive noses run in my family; it’s a little unnerving to “outsiders.” :) Back in the ’80s there was a National Geographic article that fascinated me; it detailed the history of creating perfumes back to ancient times, and it was printed with “scratch and sniff” pages. As a teenager, I was always drawn to the little “hippie” shops where they sold sandalwood and patchouli and all the usual fare, but it was always sort of the same old scents and the same old hippies.

When I discovered Etsy and began buying handmade in just about everything I could, I realized that perfuming seemed absolutely doable. The ingredients I needed were on the internet! Isn’t the internet wonderful? And once I started toying with creating blends, turns out my brother Aaron was just as fascinated (he collaborated with me on Step Right Up, and he’s a trusted consult for a lot of my blends). I also had IMMENSE support from the rest of the indie beauty community, which encouraged me to keep creating and keep outdoing myself. ;)

Luna: What is your favorite scent that you make?
Evonne: There are so many that I’m proud of and in love with, but I think right now I have to say Inked. It always jumps to mind first when I consider “favorites,” and when I talk about it I almost feel like I’m talking about a secret crush or an old flame I can’t get over. It’s a sexy, sexy scent, and I achieved exactly what I wanted with it. Inked is not for everyone, ’cause it’s definitely unusual and complex (of course, anyone who comes to my shop should be prepared for unusual and complex!), but the folks who fall in love with Inked fall in L-O-O-O-O-V-V-V-E with Inked.

Luna: What is your favorite scent from another indie company?
Evonne: The Morbid the Merrier’s Athelia and the Lust trio from TMTM are my faves. Also pretty fond of One Hand Washes the Other‘s Desolation Angel.

Luna: Would you rather be a Crow or a Bat?
Evonne: I think I’d rather be a crow! Less chance of getting swiped at by silly terrified people, free range to roam, best pickings for food. ;)

Luna: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Evonne: Sure! First, I want folks to know that each of my fragrances has a “story”. The labels, the representative images, the stories in the descriptions . . . each one reflects a whole lot of time and effort and care. On my solid perfume and Bitsy labels, you’ll find only the representative images of each scent. On the full-sized oils, you’ll find a unique little message in the ingredients. It’s all part of the story. I want my customers to fall in love with a scent, find one that speaks to them and works with their chemistry *and* their personalities and their own little microcosms of memory. The descriptions may be a bit “tl;dr” for some folks who aren’t looking for something truly original. Some folks would rather just, I dunno, buy a product that says something like “warm vanilla sugar” on the label. I’m looking to create something a little more personal.

Second, I’d love to add that I am BLOWN AWAY by all the love and support I’ve gotten from the indie community. From both my amazing customers and by fellow sellers. And from you, Luna—thank you so much for welcoming me into your community and for giving me a place to be seen and heard. <3

D’awww I feel all warm and fuzzy! I love your scents. I haven’t received a single one that I haven’t liked, but my favorite so far is Mad As Birds. It’s just amazing. Thank you for creating crazy beautiful scents. ^.~
Luna

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SCENTS
Mad As Birds by Darling Clandestine
Cloudswing by Darling Clandestine

NOTES
Mad As Birds
Mad as Birds is a sweet, cool, garden-dew fragrance with notes of pear and mint and smoky amber and marigolds. A multitude of different scent elements and weeks (months!) of methodical alchemy make Mad as Birds no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance.

Cloudswing
The newly reformulated Cloudswing is a bright, crisp, golden-green scent with notes of warm hay and vanilla and mowed clover and marigolds and intense lemongrass. A bit of warning: this new batch is VERY heavy on the essentials, including cypress and lemongrass, so if you’re sensitive, pregnant or nursing, please steer clear of this lovely.

COMMENTS
Mad As Birds has to be one of my favorite perfumes ever from Darling Clandestine, with that being said i don’t think Cloudswing is too far behind. I guess I really like my marigold scents. xd This combination is so lovely. This combination smells of minty, lemongrassy pears and marigolds wrapped in vanilla and amber blankets. Sometimes I get a waft of lemongrass, and other times it’s most certainly pear and marigold.

You can find Mad As Birds and Cloudswing from the Darling Clandestine Etsy shop. You’ll find Mad as Birds as a perfume oil for $17 and as a solid perfume for $10. You’ll find Cloudswing as a perfume oil for $17 and as a solid perfume for $9.

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SCENTS
Step Right Up (Calliope Crash Collection) by Darling Clandestine

NOTES
Step Right Up
It’s the eyes that tell you. When you shout into the crowd, daring them to enter a world of marvels, the likes of which they’ve never seen before. Some smile, some scoff, some draw back in what appears, uproariously, to be real horror. But there are a few—a select and wonderful few—whose eyes glimmer with a bright, palpable something, an untamed curiosity, an earnest desire to see and hear and touch and understand. These are the ones who linger in your memories, green and gray, gorgeous shadows of evenings by the sea, the glimmer and creak of wooden skiffs on the warm black water after the Big Top has tumbled and the throngs have dispersed. These are the ones who enter unblinking, meeting your outstretched hand with theirs, without fear, without scorn, without a word.

Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage green glass wine bottles, this is a clean, oceanic, very unisex fragrance with notes of wood and spice. More than a dozen different scent elements and several days of methodical alchemy make Step Right Up no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance.

COMMENTS
Lordy. This perfume is made up of so many smellies, it’s amazing. When I first put this on I smell cloves and smoke and musk, when it settles down it smells of musk and vanilla and there’s a hint of clove. It’s just lovely. I will be procuring a full size solid asap, as I will be wearing this a lot.

You can find Step Right Up and other scents from the Calliope Crash Collection from the Darling Clandestine Etsy shop. You’ll find this as a perfume oil for $16 and as a solid perfume for $9.

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SCENTS
Mirror Witch by One Hand Washes The Other
Serpentina by Darling Clandestine

NOTES
Mirror Witch
Legend says that in order to summon the spirit of Bloody Mary, also known as the Mirror Witch, you must say her name thirteen times in front of a mirror, in the dark; it is said that on the thirteenth repetition, she will appear, Upon appearing, the Mirror Witch may do any number of things to her summoners, depending entirely on her mood upon being awakened. If she’s not offended you may get away with a scratch, but offend her and the price may very well be your life. Reverent gifts of Pomegranates, dried Figs, white Sage, candied Ginger, and a vision of White Musk.

Serpentina
Serpentina is a crisp, green, ethereal fragrance with a little opium bite. More than a dozen different scent elements and several days of methodical alchemy make Serpentina no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance,

COMMENTS
Mirror Witch is a scent I wasn’t sure I’d like, but I love it. When paired with Serpentina I smell fig, sage and this exotic floral something. It’s a lovely combination, both scents are delicious on their own but together, oh man. You need to try it.

You can find Serpentina from Darling Clandestine‘s etsy shop in a solid perfume for $9 and in a perfume oil for $13. Unfortunately Mirror Witch is an autumn/Hallow’s Even scent from One Hand Washes the Other. They’ve been retired until autumn.

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SCENTS
Falchion by Darling Clandestine

NOTES
Falchion
Falchion is a deep, sultry, earthy unisex fragrance with a hint of dark chocolate. Superbly sexy and thoroughly appropriate for gents and bold ladies who aren’t into the sweet stuff. More than a dozen different scent elements and weeks of methodical alchemy make Falchion no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance, part of my Calliope Crash line. It does contain a little cinnamon, which can warm the skin a bit, which I think is rather delightful, but take note if you’re a sensitive type. :)

COMMENTS
So first, I don’t like chocolate, I just don’t. With that being said this scent is amazing. It goes on herby/earthy and mellows out to this earthy/bee’s wax/musky scent on me. It’s like magic.

You can find Falchiion on the Darling Clandestine website, $9 for the solid scent and I don’t think she sells an oil version, but I could be wrong.

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SCENTS
Be Mine by One Hand Washes The Other
Morderteile Kelah by Darling Clandestine

NOTES
Be Mine
Be Mine is the smell of a thousand heart-shaped cinnamon red-hots sprinkled liberally on buttercream-frosted cupcakes, accompanied by a bowl of punch, cups of coffee and tea; all served at an antique wooden table laden with roses, jasmine and orange blossoms; the perfect Valentine’s Day afternoon teatime treat.

Morderteile Kelah
Amber, hyacinth, milk and strawberry jam, brewing in a batch of double-barrel scotch, aged 12 years.

COMMENTS
I’m not usually a fan of “foodie” smells but gosh this smells good. At first this combination smells almost like apple pie, the cinnamon is really strong, then it mellows out and smells musky, and sweet with a touch of amber. It makes me feel like I’m having a picnic in the middle of meadow in the summer, where I’m not dying of heat or breaking out all over from grass allergies. xd

You can find Be Mine from OHWTO as a solid scent for $2.80 or as a perfume oil for $7.20. It’s on clearance as it’s a Valentine’s Day fragrance. Morderteile Kelah is currently un-released from Darling Clandestine but will be available in solid scent soon.

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