Darling Clandestine is owned and run by Evonne and can be purchase via her Etsy Shop here. Located on a farm in rural Texas, she brings whimsy, sharks, and chickens to the table with her unique and often very interesting perfumes. Evonne doesn’t rely on the description of notes to intrigue you into purchasing her often complicated and complex blends but most of the time a simple description that leaves you thinking, “I wonder what that is going to smell like.” Her blends aren’t for the light of heart and those unwilling to be surprised by the maddening genius that is her perfumes. When buying from Darling Clandestine you can look forwarding to smelling something you know you’ll never have smelt similar to before, beautiful different bottles, creative names and hilarious shark and chicken jokes on your package.
A good portion of my collection is Darling Clandestine and for good reason. Out of the 20+ blends I’ve tried I’ve only disliked 1. If you are coming to this review in hopes that might dissuade you from throwing your wallet at the screen, you are sorely mistaken.
I’ll start with the more recently released perfumes that are currently still available in her shop.
Bicep of the Parrot #42, this perfume was born of a joke in an interview on another blog last year. This year DC decided to make it a real thing. It is Evonne’s take on a designer fragrance and I must say she nailed that. It smells like a rich, warm, floral blend without being too strong and overwhelming as I find many traditional designer fragrances are.
It is one of the times I wrote about earlier where description wins over actual notes from the Etsy page, “I kept picturing a green jungle bird in a mosaic of a fountain filled with copper pennies. I dunno, man, that’s just what I pictured, okay? So I went for the metallic overtone of copper, splashing water, high breezes, and an elaborate concoction of sun-baked jungle plants and flowers.” Off the first dry sniff from the bottle I get something like raw cocoa powder, it is a little bitter but warm, once the initial bitterness fades away I get a citrus and rich deep florals. I don’t mean florals like rose, I mean like those waxy jungle plants and florals you’d find in a exotic flower shop. While on my skin it still presents itself as this warm, comforting, floral perfume but now with just a little hint of a coppery sort of finish but not metallic though. Metallic to me smells entirely different than what I’m getting from this. It’s woody, rich, and warm. It read so much more expensive than it actually was. Which was, $14 by the way and is still available in her shop.
Bouquet of Scorpions, Whereas Tiny Bees delivered grapefruit in a delicate wisp of silk, Bouquet of Scorpions serves it up in a ring of fire. Charred mesquite wood and torched sage smolder like a South Texas summer, finished with a splash of cool agave to dull the edge. True Unisex, Boss Level 9. At first, it’s super citrusy and cool, but it mellows out and smells very much like burnt caramelized grapefruit and fresh sage, refreshing and cool. I get a deep charred wood scent and I love mesquite. The mellow sweet agave comes in once it is dried down on my skin. Bouquet of Scorpions was from Valentine’s Day 2015, but every once in awhile if you check the shop in the One-Off Oddbox section you can snag some releases as they make their way back into the shop so briefly.
As you see in the description of Bouquet of Scorpions, most of the perfumes have a corresponding Boss Level which lets you know how complex or weird the scent might be. It is pretty helpful in gauging how much you might like something.
All of Darling Clandestines fragrances are suspended in skin-loving jojoba, rice bran and/or grapeseed oils and prices vary based on bottles. At any one time you can find Bitsy’s (Dram sized), Fancy Bottles, Large Amber Bottles, Bitsy Solids, Solid Perfume, Balms and more in the shop. Listings change based on seasons, components and what is available.
(I will be updating this review later with some things about Mushy Flowers, I am contemplating my thoughts right now and didn’t want to rush write something…so look for that!)