I first learned about Darling Clandestine on Chanty’s, a forum that I visit almost daily. The ladies there know everything and I mean everything including the best buys, finds in the Indie world and mainstream too.
Darling Clandestine is an etsy shop that is run by Evonne. Other than concocting her own lovely fragrances, she also makes her own jewellery. Like this pair of gorgeous earrings below.
But let’s concentrate on the perfumes, since that’s what I bought from DC 🙂 They’re called Handcrafted Calliope Crash fragrances by Darling Clandestine and are suspended in pure jojoba, rice bran and grapeseed oils.
3 sizes are available.
3 sample vials at USD$3.50 (these are larger than 1 ml and are, in fact, the largest sample vials I have in my collection)
Bitsy vial at USD$4 – 6 which is 1 dram in size
0.5 oz amber bottles at USD$11 – 12 ) or 3 for USD$26.
Prices are very competitive on Etsy and these are actually on the very affordable end.
Other than the perfumes and stickers being works of art, so are the descriptions 🙂
Here’s my little purchase of the not-so-wee sample vials and bitsy dram vials all dressed up in lil’ chiffon mesh bags 🙂 Shipping time was 4 days after payment was made (because I added another scent to my order a couple of days after making my first) and arrived in Singapore under 2 weeks.
I had ordered 1-dram vials of Inked, Curiosities’ Ball, and Dulcinea, and samples of Serpentina, Monstre Delicat and Fire Eater. 2 free samples – Falchion and Step Right Up were also included. Evonne is certainly generous and shipping was a most reasonable USD$3, thanks!
My 1 dram bottles/vials .
From L – R: Dulcinea, Circassian, Curiosities’ Ball and Inked. The labels on the 1 dram vials are actually photoprint stickers with slightly dark and edgy photos or in the case of Dulcinea, artwork print. Inked was without a label (as convo-ed by Evonne before processing my order, so no problems with that) and comes with its name on a red ticket.My thoughts on the fragrances.
Every loss needs a souvenir. Everything, everyone. All those rapt dreams and frail fire-eyed lovers, punctured and drained one by one, smothered, fractured, faded, bled. They clutch at your skin, and your skin answers, soaking up every color, every contour, turning you more shocking, more exiled, more strange. It’s conspicuity you hide behind, like you hid all those nights, those pacing smoking drinking flailing nights—the poet’s attic, the drummer’s stage. The headlights, the dark, the churning river, the whimpering wind, the twisted road. The map ground softly into your flesh, to drown out the monstrous machinery, the cold sheets, the white silence. The quivering canvas beneath your shirt. The more you reveal, the more they’ll never know.
Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage glass wine bottles, this fragrance throbs with a sting of sea salt and leather and splashes of communion wine. It evokes . . . well, it evokes raw skin. Yet it’s perfectly embraceable. And perfectly appropriate for gents and bold ladies. A multitude of different scent elements and weeks of methodical alchemy make Inked no ordinary scented oil mix — it’s a truly inimitable fragrance.
Inked was selected by me as it was very highly raved about on Chanty’s. I can certainly see why. This isn’t a dark nor heady scent, but is actually on the light side on my skin. It smells like Ondeh Ondeh without the gula melaka and I get coconut as the top note mixed with the lightness of sea salt with just the barest hint of wine and leather. It’s certainly a different scent from what I’ve smelled before and in a positive way. I’d recommend at least a sample of this to decide if you like it or otherwise. While it’s not exactly heady, I find myself constantly sniffing my hand trying to figure out what exactly this scent is. Luckily, the coconut fades completely after 20 minutes or so and I find myself liking it much better, way way better. Mmm.
You have seen her tipping glasses in dark havens with the pale discontented.You glimpsed her at the master table in revolution brothels through the haze of opium, exile. In cupped whisper to Pharaoh.P oisoning the mistress. Painted digital in a tight black something. Hiking red stockings in the burn ward. Her hand on your neck in the passenger seat—The revolts on the ground receding in the tower dust. Your finger on the pin, her pink furies breathing at your ear:?Que Malinche? ?Que gigantes?
Darlings. Dulcinea is here. And it’s only available in adorable one-dram “Bitsy” vials, featuring a label with nothing but a tiny image of the stunning “Lollipop” artwork by Pilar Acevedo. See more of her work here: http://www.pilaracevedo.com/Dulcinea is a VERY bold, very intense, very heady brew: red wine and sugar skulls, black pepper and dark chocolate and roasted coffee and oh-my leather. A few drops and you’re a cordial cherry. 🙂 Not for the timid! Absolutely must be sampled on the skin and not out of the bottle. Sinister and sweet.
First whiff from the bottle? Dios mio, que Durotuss! Ok, maybe it doesn’t quite smell like Durotuss (cough syrup) but certainly brings to mind some berry flavoured PINK cough syrup. Robitussin’s, maybe. Don’t ask me why. Very heady, very decadent and very tart initially. After about 5 min, it tones down slightly and I actually get sarsaparilla (or something similar) mostly. A non-diet version high in sugar and calories. It’s on the sweet side, but certainly not unpleasant. A scent for the night out or a few special, rare occasions. I actually prefer this on me to Inked. But this IS potent and a lil’ dab goes a long way.
There are no masks here. No paint, no pretense. Only dark and joyous marvels whirling under dappled lanterns, in firecracker bursts of sound and color as you’re swept through the grand hall. New friends, dear friends. Fantastically strange friends, tattooed and scarred and twisted in every shape and size and hue of beautiful. Laughter ringing through the corridors, peacocks sighing in the labyrinthine garden. Stone and moss and ivy, buckled brass and crimson silk. Wonderful, odd figures with wings, perched and peering and welcoming. The great, carved ceiling. The great, black sky. Tonight, we are not pretending. This is a celebration. We’re so glad you could come. Stay. Dance.Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage glass wine bottles, this is a sensual, black peppery fragrance dancing with ozone and amber and deep green leaves. Thoroughly appropriate for bold ladies and gents.
Yes, this is, on me and for me, a pretty unisex scent. Definitely peppery with a bit of green and ozone. Not overwhelming. This is quite a laster on me too. It’s an understated kind of sense that begins without fanfare and stays pretty much constant.
Odd and wondrous, these trinkets the suitors bring—astonishing flowers that look like paper birds, jasmine tea and black coffee, a costly box of chocolates with a red silk ribbon. You once saw a tiger in Bangkok, a riot in Paris, a machine at Coney Island that they said could really fly. The exotic butters in your fantastic hair, the livelihood you’ve adopted and the orchards you left behind. Your love is not a curiosity—it’s a marvel. Make them earn it.Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage green glass wine bottles, this is a warm chocolaty fragrance with intriguing notes of amber and blossoms. A dozen different scent elements and several days of methodical alchemy make Circassian no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance. And this is the NEW, more “black” batch — more black coffee, darker chocolate, more intense headiness.
On me, my skin amps up the coffee. It’s really, really black and I get the initial whiff of approximately 70% dark chocolate (lol because I do love my chocolates). Thereafter, it’s just black coffee, potent and a caffeine-free kick. I don’t quite get any floral notes at all until the dry down of the coffee scent into something milder, which stops obscuring the mild florals. The initial heady coffee does not last too long, which is a good thing. Otherwise you’d be smelling of just coffee.
Here’re my not-so-small sample vials taken next to a pen, to show how generous in size they are despite being low on price 🙂
The burlesque? It’s got nothing on you. They’re only women. You are mermaid and siren, the wind, the wonderment, the shipwreck, the storm. Beneath your smile, your coiled limbs, men see diamonds or doubloons, glory or gooseberry wine. Each day you’re placed like a crown on a pedestal, and every night you’re carried home like a prize. And the crowd secedes into reveries that you spin, tucked under your velvet elbows, a willowy song bending like a girl without bones. You own their dreams.
Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage glass wine bottles, this is a crisp, green, ethereal tea fragrance with a little opium bite. Just for tart little kicks, this batch is laced with tiny beads of blood-red wine.
Serpentina is a scent I’d recommend for new users to perfume oils or ladies who prefer lighter scents. This is an easy to wear scent with just a teeny weeny bit of that opium kick to it. In short, it’s not plain, boring tea! I can’t quite get the wine in this but it’s a scent I enjoy. This goes on me very faint and actually gets amped up after 5 minutes. A different progression from the strong opening and subsequent fade.
If you dread a thin, weary rain, it’s because you know it should storm.
It’s because through that thick, grey-glazed pane, you can gaze past the sordid balconies, the murmuring alleys, back to those firebrand nights when the hard metal in your belly burned electric blue, and the sun came pulsing each dawn to find you unrelenting. These soft comforts, these complacent days, they’re pale against the sweet dark spice of pain and longing and fury that you kindled for so long. This contentment, this absence of madness, it’s unsettling. It’s not you.
Carefully blended and infused by me in vintage glass wine bottles, Monstre Delicat is a clean, blue, rainy fragrance with haunting black notes. Goes on bright and gets moodier with wear. Thoroughly appropriate for ladies and gents.
On me, Monstre Delicat is clean, blue and aquatic (non-salty) meets a tiny dash of Earl Grey (haunting black notes). I actually seem to get some black tea and bergamot notes here. Pretty unisex but I’d prefer this on ladies as it has just a tad of floral to it rather than the masculine. Another scent that would appeal to the crowd and me!
Step Right Up
It’s the eyes that tell you. When you shout into the crowd, daring them to enter a world of marvels, the likes of which they’ve never seen before. Some smile, some scoff, some draw back in what appears, uproariously, to be real horror. But there are a few—a select and wonderful few—whose eyes glimmer with a bright, palpable something, an untamed curiosity, an earnest desire to see and hear and touch and understand. These are the ones who linger in your memories, green and gray, gorgeous shadows of evenings by the sea, the glimmer and creak of wooden skiffs on the warm black water after the Big Top has tumbled and the throngs have dispersed. These are the ones who enter unblinking, meeting your outstretched hand with theirs, without fear, without scorn, without a word.
Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage green glass wine bottles, this is a clean, oceanic, very unisex fragrance with notes of wood and spice.
In the bottle, it smells blue and oceanic. On me, it goes on smelling slightly astringent, slightly woody and spicy and warms up. I personally find this more unisex than Monstre Delicat, no florals here. The funny thing is, after 10 minutes, this starts smelling like TMTM’s Lucy meets the ocean. I don’t think there’s supposed to be vanilla in it, but it starts smelling like that! I have on TMTM’s Lucy on one wrist and SRU on the other to compare in case I was mistaken. Very strange but fun. I start off being “meh” about this but the end version on my skin is rather something else. *might get FS*
A blaze of blood orange and gasoline, a memory of spiced Mexican chocolate and the train grinding on and on, a breath of cedar woods behind the Big Top tent, glowing faces captivated in the flame, a singe of black pepper and petals tossed from the close-pressed crowd. They’ll burn for you.
Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage green glass wine bottles, this is a bright, spicy unisex fragrance with crisp wood notes and a delicate amber honey finish.
It goes on smelling like cognac on me. Akin to liquor. It’s a rather “thin” scent and certainly unisex since there are no defining feminine scents in this. It smells pretty much the same in the vial and on my skin. I’m undecided on this and can’t say I like it.
Your nights are all gunpowder and roar, no flinching, no wavering as the bulbs burst and flurry. You hold steady, every muscle fixed, and the crowd gasps and gasps until the spotlights drop. Always, you hold steady. Later, much later, you’ll finally release, as the dawn creeps over the gaudy tents, your back pressed against the steel supports, sweet phantom memories rolling past half-closed eyes, some pretty little set of fingers idly tracing, losing count of your scars. Here in the mossy dim—the campfires dying, the red-black leaves withering from iron branches, the moths reeling, a chill crawling in—there’s a wild longing that takes you over, electric, nostalgic, intangible yet palpable. Each year it’s the same—the corn grows gaunt and crackles, the wind moans with apparitions and this ache seeks to draw you away. But always, you hold steady.
Carefully blended and infused by me in small batches in vintage glass bottles, this is a deep, sultry, earthy unisex fragrance with a hint of dark chocolate. There’s a smack of dusky, almost fruity chocolate spice out of the bottle, but roll it onto the skin and give it a minute—the drydown is superbly sexy. Thoroughly appropriate for gents and bold ladies. More than a dozen different scent elements and weeks of methodical alchemy make Falchion no ordinary scented oil mix—it’s a truly inimitable fragrance. It does contain a little cinnamon, which can warm the skin a bit, which I think is rather delightful, but take note if you’re a sensitive type. 🙂
This is a masculine scent in that it’s bitter, medicinal in a Chinese herbal way and smells strongly like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Po_Chai_Pills .I’m serious. Although the bitterness fades to a softer note after about say 10 minutes, it’s still Po Chai pills to me. Earthy and dusky but not something I can carry off.
Concluding thoughts – I do think the descriptions are a joy to read with a tale to each. The quantity and price are on the very generous side with international shipping being most reasonable and a fairly quick turnaround time. My favourites are really Step Right Up, with Serpentina and Monstre Delicat playing supporting roles on the podium. I’d highly recommend getting samples if it’s your first foray into DC scents, as most of the scents I’ve tried are not exactly generic in nature and might react different on your skin. They also mostly smell different in the vial compared to when applied on my skin.
~*Items reviewed purchased by me*~