Saturday, May 14, 2016

Darling Clandestine - Indie Fragrance - Haul & Review!

Do you like to smell good? Do you find mainstream perfumes to be a little...dull, lacking, and/or uninspired? If so, you're like me! And if you're like me, you'll love Darling Clandestine, an indie perfumery run by the amazingly talented Evonne.
I own quite a few fragrance oils and perfume solids from Darling Clandestine (DC from here on out due to laziness), and have been meaning to purchase more (almost all of them sound amazing and are like Pokemon and I need to catch 'em all), but only recently have been able to. So now I have two orders sitting on my desk, waiting for me to share them with you (and I may have another coming later this month, depending on what gets released on May 22nd...)! This first order includes two fragrances from the general catalog and two from the winter collection  (and I'm still kicking myself for not getting an Itsy Bitsy vial of Vortex when I had the chance...)
There's never any guarantee what scents you'll find available in the DC Etsy store, but there are seasonal collections that go through a general rotation, along with some general catalog scents that can be found between releases (there are also some special holiday releases as well). If you're especially interested in knowing what's going to come out when, I recommend following DC on Facebook and on Instagram (Instagram is especially nice if you like pictures of chickens; I'm being serious here, it's awesome!). DC offers two different forms of fragrance, oils and solids, that also come in full size (some full sizes are smaller than others depending on rarity/price of ingredients) or Bitsy/Itsy Bitsy size (again, it varies depending on the ingredients used).

I tend to purchase the Bitsys/Itsy Bitsys because I like have a wider variety of scents and am not likely to go through a full size before it goes bad. I really appreciate it when people offer products in two different sizes, and it makes me more inclined to buy more (I'm more likely to buy four, or more, $5 minis than I am to buy one $15 full size).
DC mails their fragrances in a padded manila bubble mailer, wrapped up all nice and pretty like you see in the first picture. The mailers are also stamped with a shark and a rooster (his name is Jason) and Evonne adds a small conversation to each. The one I got for this order is a little...ominous.
You also get candy with your order! Here are all four of my Bitsys surrounded by delicious candy. All of it looks good, but I am especially interested in trying the chili powered coated watermelon sweet in the red wrapper.
I'll start with the two winter scents, the first of which is Hellbender. I'm not sure if these are left-overs from the last winter restock, or if DC made another late batch, but I am so happy I was able to get Hellbender! DC lists all their fragrances, along with notes, suite, gender preference, and boss level here, which is where I will get my descriptions and other information about the scents I got. Hellbender is a 'rich, decadent, gourmand delight. Raw ginger, toasty amber, brassy saffron, deeeeep vanilla', which sounds like everything I want in a perfume. And it is. It's so delicious and warm and cozy, but it's not heavy or overpowering, or cloying. This is a perfect winter scent, though I'm probably going to wear it all year-round regardless because it's. That. Good.
The other winter scent is Kendraberry, a 'bright, effervescent honeysuckle spritzer, tempered with fresh fruits and juniper and green tea and amber and ozone. Intense and feminine, perfect for those who enjoy a more "traditional" perfume but don't like the headiness that comes with a commercial eau'. This is another excellent scent, but it's almost the complete opposite of Hellbender. Hellbender is so warm and comfy and close and Kendraberry is bubbly, effervescent, and light. I was worried I wouldn't like this scent, but it's very well balanced.

The other two Bitsy I got are from the general catalog, which pop up randomly from time to time, between releases.
I've thought about purchasing Aragon before, but I've always decided against it because it didn't sound like something I would like. Aragon is described as a 'bright, crisp lavender deepened with sea salt and wine, a bit of leather and a touch of chocolate and caramel. Divinely fresh, rich but never cloying'. I don't tend to like lavender scents, nor chocolatly ones, but I decided to take a risk and get it anyways. One thing I've learned about DC scents (and fragrances in general) is that you can't judge them by how they smell in the bottle. Some fragrances smell amazing in the bottle but smell weird on the skin, which others are the opposite and smell weird in the bottle and amazing on. In the bottle Aragon smells interesting; it's almost like a metallic fleshy smell, with an edge of chocolate. I haven't tried it on my skin yet, but I'm curious to see how the notes unfold.
The last Bitsy I got is Serpentina. DC describes this scent as 'green tea with a smoky opium bite. Unisex to feminine. This is a hands-down favorite with customers, and a great primer for folks who are cautious about plunging head-on into the weird world that is DC. It’s fresh and invigorating, and comforting, but has just a little bit of snarl, "a flash of a dark underside", as one customer put it'. Out of these four Bitsy, this one is probably my least favorite, for the sole reason that it's the most normal, which is exactly how it was described. It's definitely fresh, crisp, and lush, but it smells like something you could find at Sephora, which, again, is what I was promised, so it's not the fragrances fault, it's mine. If you like fresh scents, and you are a little unsure of indie perfume, this is a great one to try.

And that's this Darling Clandestine haul! Expect to see another one coming up soon, with four more fragrances from the summer collection. I'm very happy with all four of these scents, even Serpentina, because they are exactly as described, high-quality, and obviously made with love and care. If you're looking to branch out and try something knew fragrance-wise, definitely check out Darling Clandestine!

Thanks for reading! <3

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