Saturday, June 20, 2015

Darling Clandestine Summer Bitsy Grab Bag - Indie Perfume! - First Impressions

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! For this post, I want to share with you my Darling Clandestine Summer Bitsy Grab Bag!

Darling Clandestine is an independent perfume company owned and operated by the wonderful Evonne where you can find unique fragrances. Darling Clandestine (DC from here on out) is located in Texas and offers fragrances in oil and solid form, as well as full and bitsy sizes (a full size oil is about 0.5oz and a bitsy fills a one-dram vial; a full size solid is about 0.5oz and a bitsy is about 3g). Currently, DC has their "regular" stock of fragrances, along with a few extra summer ones!
For this order, I got a summer bitsy grab bag! You could have purchased all of these individually, but I like surprises and you end up saving a little bit purchasing this way (the grab bag is $20; bitsy vials are $5, bitsy solids are $4 and I got three vials and two solids). The summer collection is technically no longer available (except for the left overs), so some of these scents you won't be able to get until next year. but you can still get bitsy grab bags that could contain scents from any season, including summer!
If you've watched any of my videos or read any of my blog post about indie cosmetic companies, you'll already know how much I love purchasing from them! There's a lot more personality and care put into your orders; both product-wise and packaging-wise. DC stamps a rooster and a shark (Jason and Devon, respectively) on their mailers and Evonne writes a short conversation between the them.
I have no idea how she comes up with new convos for every single order; I can't say for sure that she doesn't repeat them, but I've never seen a duplicate and people post them on Instagram all the time (Evonne also posts some to her own Instagram account!). Regardless, I love the creativity and personalization!
You also get candy! A lot of candy! The amount of candy I've been getting with my orders has been steadily increasing (although, so has my order size!). As I always say, there are two things that will always get me to order from a company: free samples/candy and free shipping.

As I said before, I got three bitsy vials of perfume oil and two bitsy pots of solid perfume in my summer grab bag. I've never ordered any summer scents from DC before, so all five of these scents are totally new to me! The vials were wrapped in the faux old-timey newspaper to keep them safe and all five bitsy arrived to me safe and sound. Due to high demand, and horrible weather, DC's turnaround time was on the higher end at 14 business days and my order shipped within (though near the end) of that time frame. I'm totally okay with high turnaround times as long as the company is upfront about it and provides updates, and DC did both!
I'll start with my bitsy vials, the first being Pyrotechnik! Evonne said in the Facebook group that this one was a better balance of "kick"; if memory serves, she said it was a lot kickier in the past, then it was a lot more mellow, so this time it's more in-between. I'm going to post the information that DC provides on their Facebook page regarding the notes, suite, traditional gender preference, and boss level. Most scents are unisex, though I did get one that leans more feminine and the boss level is a scale from 1 to 10; 1 being the most normal, mainstream type of scent ever (not a bad thing, just not unique) and 10 being you smell like "you’ve been rolling in stars and destiny and gasoline" (again, not bad, just very, very different!). On to the descriptions!

PYROTECHNIK: Bright, spiced cantaloupe on a bold black sky, with sweet woods and earth below. A really fascinating combination, one that does impressive wiles on the skin.
Suite: Hot
Traditional gender preference: Unisex to feminine
Boss level: 7

One thing I've noticed about DC perfumes is that you really have to smell them on your skin; in the bottle, they can smell very similar and not that special, but once you start wearing it, a lot of the notes and nuances come through. There have been a few perfumes now that I wasn't a big fan of in the bottle/pot, but once on my skin I love them! Pyrotechnik was a bit like that; in the bottle you get a lot of the spice but not much of anything else. Once on the skin, though, the cantaloupe starts to shine and it turns into this fruity, spicy, summery adventure!
Next up is Mishigami! All of the labels are hand stamped and hand written by Evonne, which is pretty impressive. I get tired of writing after a little bit and my handwriting basically becomes unreadable. Not that it was all that readable in the first place...

MISHIGAMI: Inspired by that greatest of lakes, Lake Michigan, my very favorite lake in the world, and all its moods and shores. Much more than an "aquatic" fragrance, this has indescribable, sandy depth. It’s been known to show up unexpectedly throughout the year.
Suite: Wet
Traditional gender preference: True unisex
Boss level: 6

I have this love/hate relationship with "aquatic" scents; Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue is probably the scent that I hate the absolute most. Granted, it's not entirely because of the scent itself; I had a terrible co-worker who wore it every day so now the scent is eternally linked to her and her awfulness, but I really don't like that salty, wet type of scent. Mishigami, however, legit smells like a deep, cold lake. Minus the fish. There's also a sandy note (which is similar to salt, but not as, well, salty!) and a very subtle green tinge on the edges. Basically, it smells like a fishless lake. I don't know how easy it will be for some people to scentualize (I was going to say visualize; is there a word like that for scents?) since not everyone has as easy access to lakes as I do (living in Minnesota means you're basically always less than a mile from a lake/large body of water; I've heard people who aren't from here are kind of surprised by how many boats/trailers they see on the highways and stuff), but it's a gorgeous scent and definitely an aquatic done right!
My final bitsy vial is Cloudswing!

CLOUDSWING: A tumble in the hay! Lemongrass and vanilla and resiny wood and marigolds and new-mown clover and sun. A summer favorite---especially since the lemongrass gives it the added bonus of discouraging mosquitos.
Suite: Hot
Traditional gender preference: True unisex
Boss level: 4

Cloudswing is another example of how important it is to try these perfumes on your skin before deciding whether or not you like them! In the bottle, I really didn't like this perfume; it smelt way too lemony and fake and I could not see how this could a favorite perfume for anyone. After I tried it on my skin, however, the lemon mellowed out really fast and I was left with a scent that was much more accurate to the description! It does smell very summery and bright and a bit like a lemon meadow! I do wish it had a little more sun and earth in it; maybe even a hint of mustiness, but nonetheless, it's a wonderful summer fragrance.
On to the bitsy solids! I'm still kind of torn between if I like these more than the oils or not. I like that these are much easier to transport; you don't have to worry about anything breaking or leaking, but I'm starting to wonder if the oils last a little bit longer on my skin. I've heard some people get better wear time out of solids and some people get better wear out of oils, based on your skin chemistry. The first bitsy solid I got was Morderteile Kelah, which I have no idea how to say!

MORDERTEILE KELAH: A magnificent perfume inspired by a magnificent lady with magnificent knockers. Notes of amber, hyacinth, milk and strawberry jam. Spicy and sweet. Like Aequitas, Kelah comes in 8 mL glass bottles with roller caps.
Suite: Sweet
Traditional gender preference: Feminine
Boss level: 3

Oddly enough, this is my favorite scent out of this grab bag! I normally find that I like scents with higher boss levels (I really like unique scents), so this boss level 3 perfume surprised me. Even though this is a "3", it has a lot of interesting things going on with it; no "fancy perfume syndrome" here. It actually reminds me of my favorite perfume ever, All My Heart from PINK by Victoria's Secret. It was a limited edition scent that came out around Valentine's Day many moons ago and I've been looking for a perfume that's similar but easier to obtain (I very rarely wear it, even though it's my favorite, because I can't buy it again. Unless I find it on eBay or something, but that seems kind of sketchy). This is the closest I've ever come and I would be satisfied if this ended up being the replacement! It's like berries and cream and sweetness with a nice balance of some deeper notes to prevent it from smelling too much like a cheapy tween body splash.
Finally, I got Electricity So Fine.

ELECTRICITY SO FINE: A night-black canvas of artemisia absinthum and mosses and blackest tea and port wine, splashed with an electric sizzle of sparkling violets.
Suite: Hot
Traditional gender preference: True unisex
Boss level: 8

This is another great scent (honestly, they're all pretty awesome!); it reminds me of summer nights when it's dark and warm but there's a soft breeze that prevents things from getting too muggy. There's a coldness to this scent, along with the darkness. There's also a strong floral note and I would consider this scent more of a unisex leaning towards feminine, than a true unisex (though that's just based on smelling it in the bottle; it may be more unisex when worn). I'm surprised this is a boss level 8; it doesn't smell that "odd" and I could see this being a more mainstream perfume. That, or I'm so used to high boss levels now that it just seems normal to me!

Overall, I'm super happy with my order! I love that Evonne offers grab bags like this because surprises are fun and you get to save a few dollars. I am kind of sad I didn't order bitsy of some of the scents that I was lusting after (if you order a grab bag along with other items, Evonne will make sure you don't get doubles since she makes the grab bags after you order them. She can't promise that you won't get doubles from past orders, though), but I'll just have to wait until next summer!

Thanks for reading! <3

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