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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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Hi! I’m Claire, and I am super excited to be your guest blogger this week :)

A couple months ago I discovered a new (to me) perfumer, Deconstructing Eden; when I saw that she had a whole collection inspired by Type O Negative they couldn’t jump into my mailbox fast enough. Be still, my goth teenager heart.

The Type O Negative collection includes four fragrances in EdP format, and I hope she considers expanding the collection because I would love to see more like these (um, Cinnamon Girl, maybe?).

Here’s a look at the collection, along with some quick reviews of all four:

Deconstructing Eden - Type O Negative Collection

Be My Druidess

A midnight fire in a dark forest this unisex blend has incense, woods, tree moss, light and dark musks and a smokey fire

This was the one I was most excited about. Not because it’s the best Type O Negative song ever (but, okay, it is the best Type O Negative song ever), but because it sounded amazing and I love smelling like all of these things. Very little could go wrong here.

Right out of the vial I get a big hit of oakmoss with some dark musks and something phenolic that isn’t birch tar.  A few minutes in I get more incense and less smoke — this smells a lot like dry incense sticks, and is really quite realistic for that type of scent. If you’re into spicy incense and woody fragrances this is definitely one to try. This (along with Black No. 1) is definitely more of a cool weather fragrance, so I’m looking forward to trying it again in the Fall to enjoy that atmospheric mossy woodsmoke aura.

Black No. 1

Milk white skin, a haze of clove cigarette smoke, burning leaves and the blackest patchouli in my collection

Opens with a fairly realistic smoky leaves accord, followed quickly by a light, clean musk that verges a bit on soapy. There are little hints of smoky clove weaving throughout the middle stages — if you aren’t looking for them they aren’t super apparent, and seem to add just a hint of spice and grit to what is essentially an interesting juxtaposition of clean musk-meets-dirty leaves. There’s a touch of the patchouli in the drydown, but I imagine it’s also contributing to the earthiness of the burned leaves. This is another one that I’ll be anxious to wear again in cooler weather.

Love You To Death

Beeswax candles, a drop of sweat, spilled wine and smoke.
Oud, black agar, a creamy patchouli, and myrrh form the base notes. The heart notes are green berries, citrus peel and spice and the top notes are smoke and beeswax

This one opens a little powdery, likely from the honey/beeswax note. It’s sweet but not at all cloying, and despite the citrus and berry notes I would not call this a fruity fragrance. This one is a bit lighter and has less throw than the others overall, but it’s quite lovely and subtle. I actually layered this one with Be My Druidess and it added a really nice amount of warm honeyed sweetness; these two made an unexpectedly cohesive pair. On its own it’s a nice, somewhat soft and feminine patchouli/beeswax/smoke blend that dries down to a gentle woody musk with the faintest hints of berry and wine. This one feels a bit like wrapping yourself in a soft, freshly-warmed blanket.

My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend 

Soft, sweet and beguiling, a close to the skin, white musk forms the base. Heart notes of jasmine, soft rose, freesia, lily and black currant.
Top notes of pink grapefruit, bergamot and mandarin orange

Opens as a strong bouquet of freesia and lily backed by a classic white musk.  This is probably the most traditionally “perfumey” of this set, and the musk here does veer a bit towards soap (or maybe bubble bath) to my nose. Still, a nice composition for the classic clean musk/floral fans, and a nice warm weather fragrance. I enjoyed the drydown on this one quite a bit as the heavy florals gave way to a softer and gentler combination of sweet musk and slightly tart berry/currant with just enough rose to keep it intriguing.

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