I recently got a HUGE Darling Clandestine order that I’m super excited to share with you! This was three different orders combined, oops! Darling Clandestine is one of my all time favorite perfumeries, they make very high quality products and unique, intriguing scents. In this order, I got a few of my old favorites in extra forms–I got a full sized bottle of Limerence and bitsy solids of Supernova Sway and Vardogr (click on those links to see my reviews of those!). The oils and solids smell super similar, maybe a little different in the container but the same on the skin. I love layering them, it makes it stronger and last forever!
Fun fact: I forgot that I hadn’t published this review yet! So I talked about a few of these in my March Favorites post, but here I’ll go into more depth for you. 🙂
Gram Negative: Buttery orchid packed deep into rich soil and moss and black tea and green lichens.
First sniff: This is bizarre, it’s very sweet, but very dirty. I don’t know what to think of this!
On skin: This is still sweet, but it’s much more green. It has that fresh cut stems smell I really like, bright and a tiny bit bitter, but it’s also sweet in a vaguely floral way. It’s also dirty. It smells very…thick. Thick and sludgy and strong and alive. Over time it gets less sweet and much more green.
Afterthoughts: Ok, I was afraid I was making up the floral note so I’m glad it’s actually in there, haaaah. I love the life in this scent. I’m also very relieved that it smells nothing like actual gram negative bacteria, hehehe.
What Mandy Makes: Very smoky. Ozoney. Faintest hint of “Oriental” musk. Topnote of cucumber, though there’s no commercial “cucumber” fragrance ingredient. Smoky drydown, sweet musky finish.
First sniff: Cucumber!! It’s not only cucumber, there’s something darker underneath, but it’s definitely the strongest thing I smell.
On skin: There’s something earthy and dirty and smokey just underneath the cucumber. This is going to sound weird, but it smells…grey. Grey and sad. It sits heavily very close to the skin. It’s a sad smell.
Afterthoughts: This scent is supposed to “evoke loneliness,” and I have to admit I was skeptical, but now that I’ve smelled it I’m a believer. It is a very lonely smell, something to wear on sad overcast days.
Full sized solids
Inked: A sting of sea salt and leather, splashes of communion wine, the essence of raw skin.
First sniff: It’s hard to pin down what this is, but it does remind me of the salty skin accord in Love and Sharks Blue.
On skin: This smells salty and leathery, and a little musky. It reminds me of sweat and seawater.
I put this on my girlfriend, and it smells super sweet, a little bit like apples. As my she put it, “It smells fresh on me and dirty on you.” Hah!
Afterthoughts: I bet it’s the wine that’s going all crazy sweet on the ladyfriend! Most scents tend to go super sweet on her, though. She LOVES this one, and I ended up giving her my solid tin. 🙂
Circassian: Bitter black coffee, spiced chocolate, ceremonial resins, with an intriguing floral note.
First sniff: This is super sweet, coffee and chocolate! It reminds me a little of Haus of Gloi’s Vice, but with something a little darker lurking in the background.
On skin: As soon as this hits the skin I smell flowers. Roses? The chocolate becomes an afterthought. This is incredibly sweet, but in a grown up way.
Afterthoughts: I wasn’t expecting this to be so floral, but I think it’s a skin chemistry thing (it smells much more chocolatey on my ladyfran). I really like it though, like I said, it seems a little more mature than your typical super sweet scent.
Mad As Birds: Sweet, cool, fresh dew with notes of pear and mint and amber and marigolds.
First sniff: This is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s fruity and creamy.
On skin: This is very fresh and sweet and happy. It’s a little powdery and smooth. I have NO idea what the individual notes are, but I like it! (Maybe peach? I’m pretty sure I smell peaches)
Afterthoughts: Not peach, pear! What an interesting combination. Like I said, I can’t pick any of that out. I still like it a lot, it’s perfect for spring!
Monstre Delicat: Clean, spicy, rainy, moody, wonderful. Sweet blackened fig, rain water, spiced wood. The nostalgic longing for storms. It’s a haunting watercolor “blue” scent.
First sniff: This smells humid and woodsy and sweet. It seems like my kind of scent!
On skin: Yum yum yum. This is a wet, earthy, woodsy smell, but it is sweet. Not in a traditional floral or gourmand way, but there’s a sweetness there all the same. I reeeeaaaally like this.
Afterthoughts: Fig! The sweetness is fig! It sounds weird but it compliments the wet woodiness so well. And “the nostalgic longing for storms” is SUCH a good description of this, oh man.
Smother Whirl: TILT-A-WHIRL: “Bright summer citrus and passionfruit mellowed with sage and other wonders.” SMOTHER: “Green, woody natural pistachio (no pudding here), rich moss-covered oak, and a shy bloom of a gloriously superior essence of jasmine grandiflorum.”
First sniff: This is a Franken-Bitsy of Smother and Tilt-a-Whirl! Right out of the bottle it’s very sweet and fruity.
On skin: The fruitiness dies away almost instantly and is replaced by a sweet floral-marigold? This is deeper and woodsier than it seemed in the bottle, but it’s still quite sweet. It does have a little tinge of cough syrupy artificial fruit, but it’s not overwhelming.
Afterthoughts: I never would have picked any of those notes! I don’t even like jasmine but the floral note here doesn’t translate as a white floral to me. Maybe the fruit helps balance it out? Overall this is a neat scent, and veeerrrry different on the skin than on a cold sniff.
Pyrotechnik: Bright, spiced cantaloupe on a bold black sky, with sweet woods and earth below.
First sniff: This is super sweet, a little florally and a little fruity.
On skin: It’s so melony! There’s also something darker in the background I can’t quite place. It reminds me a little of Limerence, but with added fruit. Over time it mellows out into something lightly sweet and creamy. I really love this, it’s bright and happy!
Afterthoughts: I reeeally love the earthiness of this smell, it’s so bright and happy but that makes it different and interesting.
Body and Shark
Balm for Live Bodies: This is a rich, rich buttery balm that you can smooth all over your skin (and also use as a pretty wonderful hair gloss). It’s crafted with nourishing organic avocado butter, shea butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and vitamin E. It’s ultra-thick and saturates your skin like wow.
This balm is super soft and creamy. It absorbs really well, isn’t greasy or sticky. I haven’t felt anything with quite this consistency before! It absorbs really well into my super dry spots (I’m looking at you, elbows). I also LOVE this in my hair. It makes it a little shiny, but not greasy, and it feels SO SOFT. It also helps keep it in line a little, and tames my worst flyaways and frizzies. I love it! By the way, this comes in different scents, the scent of this one is Ballyhoo! (Which I think is a summer collection smell) Ballyhoo: A surprising melange of coffee and cream and lime and amber and ozone and a dozen other unlikely notes.
At first this smells like a sweet, creamy citrus scent (like key lime pie?). That stays, but after a little bit I smell coffee mixed with this. Coffee and key lime pie. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but oh it does. It’s a lovely combination.
Lip Balm (Recently Refined): After much dreaming, experimenting, and testing on willing humans, DarlingClandestine finally offers lip balms, and I don’t mind saying they’re pretty amazing…Recently Refined is my original formula. It has no added flavor, but please note that the natural ingredients—especially the cocoa butter—give it a mild chocolaty scent. It contains shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E.
This lip balm is creamy and great. I don’t love putting lip balm on with my fingers, but this is great to put over lipstick. I don’t like using sticks of lip balm over lipstick because I don’t like getting lipstick in my balm and it can smear your lipstick around! But putting this over lipstick is mess free and easy, and leaves the perfect little sheen on top. I’ll definitely keep a tin of this around!
Overall, I’m super happy with everything! I like the Balm for Live Bodies and the lip balm a LOT more than I expected to, I’ve been using them both every day! Also, now I want Ballyhoo in everything, yum!
Darling Clandestine is closed right now but will reopen in May! She will also release her summer collection in May, which I am super stoked for!
Questions of the Day:
Have you ever used a dual skin/hair product? What did you think?
Have you ever used a perfume that smells super different on you and your friends? Crazy, right??
Until next time,