I recently got a bunch of new perfumes from Darling Clandestine! Darling Clandestine is a small indie company, and the owner, Evonne, prides herself on creating unique fragrances the likes of which you’ll never find anywhere else. I’ve been so excited to try Darling Clandestine, and I was not disappointed! I’m so excited to share this review with you!
DC perfumes come in a lot of different sizes and forms. Full-sized perfumes can come in a range of sizes, and she also offers “Bitsies” (1 dram) and “Itsy-bitsies (1/2 dram) of some scents. She also offers solid perfumes, the solid perfume I got is a vegan Bitsy, but they’re usually made with beeswax, and full- and mega-sizes also exist! The Bitsy labels (both solid and liquid) are stamped with a random picture, and they’re super cute!
Note: The fragrance descriptions that Evonne writes are like long, winding stories. You should go to her shop and read some of them, they’re so cool. They often don’t list all of the notes, they describe the feeling of the smell, if that makes sense. The descriptions I’m giving here are abridged versions, but you should seriously check out what she has to say about them. 🙂
Vortex: Vortex is not your average “winter” fragrance. There’s no evergreen, no mint, no “holiday” spice—just a vast expanse of cold, white and blue, frigid, soundless. Stark and invigorating, this fragrance is purely unisex.
In bottle: This smells weird in the bottle. Sweet in a weird way. This is going to sound weird, but it smells like the sky?? It’s very hard to describe.
On skin: This one is so unique and hard to describe. It smells like icy blue. It doesn’t smell cool, like menthol or peppermint. It smells cold. In the skin the weirdness goes away and it just smells good and sweet and blue and cold. It almost goes into dryer sheet territory, but it doesn’t quite get there, thank goodness. It doesn’t last long on me though.
Afterthoughts: I don’t know how anyone could manage to bottle the scent of “cold, white and blue, frigid, soundless,” but Evonne does it. It’s so hard to describe because it’s more of a feeling than individual fragrance notes. But it definitely smells like winter.
Bitsies (1 dram)
Aragon: Bright, crisp lavender deepened with sea salt and wine, a bit of leather and a touch of chocolate and caramel.
In bottle: This smells super ozone-y to me, with a little bit of sweetness.
On skin: It starts out ozone-y still, but over time it gets more sweet. It’s a little floral, but I smell chocolate and caramel too.
Afterthoughts: I think my brain interpreted “lavender” as “ozone” for some reason?? Lavender is very hit or miss for me, but now that I re-smell this, it’s a very unique lavender. Not too floral or sweet. I like this one!
Serpentina: Green tea with a smoky opium bite.
In bottle: Ok, this smells SO FAMILIAR to me but I can’t put my finger on what it is!! Green tea and something else, I think, but I don’t know what the something else is or why it smells so familiar.
On skin: I think the familiar thing is smoke. Like a really nice campfire. Team, almost every perfume I’ve smelled with a “smoke” note smells like bacon to me, and this does not have that AT ALL. It’s really nice (The smoke note isn’t actually prominent here, it just jumps out to me). This one smells like just a tiny bit of smoke, with flowers and conifer needles and green wood. It smells like summertime to me.
Afterthoughts: Hmmmm there has to be more than just green tea and opium in this. It’s so complex. But apparently the “campfire” I was smelling is actually opium, hah!
Supernova Sway: If “black metallic” had a fragrance, it would be this…Dark and bright and dark and bright again, deep musks streaked with mint, black resins with subtle flashes of orchid and buttery honeysuckle.
In bottle: This reminds me of flat Dr. Pepper!
On skin: This one is so hard to nail down. It smells cooling, not cold like Vortex but more like mint. I smell something leathery or plasticy, like a machine. It smells like a car shop, but not like a car shop. I really can’t describe this, it’s just different!
Afterthoughts: I knew there was mint! I can definitely get black metallic, it’s cool that she was able to make this smell metallic without smelling like an electrical fire.
Itsy-Bitsy (1/2 dram)
Tyto: Tyto features bright, tart pomegranate, blinks of green undergrowth and a tangled suite of woods, including a divinely excellent oud from Sumbawa, courtesy of an Indonesian friend.
In bottle: It’s so sweet and fruity!
On skin: This definitely starts out as a fruity punch, but there’s something underneath that keeps it from being too sweet. It’s earthy and woodsy, but not green. The fruit stays in the forefront, but the earthiness keeps it interesting.
Afterthoughts: Pomegranate! And I definitely smell more wood than green here, but I really like how the other fragrances round out the pomegranate.
Limerance: A floral for those who hate florals…a green, tangy, moody blend of bruised Casablanca lilies, bittersweet succulents, full-bodied herbal essentials, a heady crust of sea salt, and a wonderfully fine mitti attar that’s the essence of first rain hitting sun-baked earth.
In jar: It’s flowery and green! But good flowery, I don’t detect the kinds of floral notes I don’t like (see most lavender, above).
On skin: It’s so green! It’s definitely still floral, but the greenness really comes out on my skin. The green and floral mix together to smell more like a whole plant than just a bouquet. I really like it. And I also really like the little solid jar!
Afterthoughts: Raise your hand, floral haters. *raises hand* And I do really like this! I mostly smell the green and floral, but the sea salt and earthy notes in the description don’t surprise me. Like I said, this smells more like a whole plant, or a garden, than a perfumey floral, which is alright by me! I can’t stop wearing this, I keep slathering it on. I may need a bigger solid or liquid of this!!
Overall, I really like all of these. They’re just so weird and different and complex. I can’t really pick individual notes out of these, they’re just one smell that tells a story. I also like how several of them seemed so comforting and familiar, even though I don’t know why!
Darling Clandestine is closed right now but will be reopening on the 26th for a Valentine’s Day collection! I know that I’ll be all over that. 🙂 This company was such an exciting discovery!!
Questions of the day:
Have you ever been surprised by a perfume you thought you wouldn’t like?
Have you ever used solid perfume? What do you think?
Until next time,