Search This Blog

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Darling Clandestine

I got my Darling Clandestine order ages ago but procrastinated on reviewing them because they're hard to review. The scents are so complex, I don't know wtf I'm smelling, and the only thing I know is that I like it. While I may not have found too many scents I went crazy over, the qualities of her oils are superb and there are definitely some of the most creative and unexpected (in a good way) scents I've ever encountered.

If you're considering getting purchasing these oils, my tip is not to be worried if you see a note you think you won't like, because Evonne somehow makes them work. Give it a try! Her store just reopened!

When I first apply this I could smell it two-strangers-in-an-elevator distance away. The sillage then calms down to passing-a-message-to-your-boss-during-a-meeting distance. This usually lasts for about 1.5-2.5h. The scent lingers on your skin for about 12h though!

So on to scent reviews for these ten scents I got:

  • Blue Valentine
  • Circassian
  • Falchion
  • Gram Negative
  • Harpy
  • Pyrotechnik
  • Serpentina
  • Step Right Up
  • Supernova Sway
  • Tapadero

As usual, I wrote the review blind and only checked the  scent description for the overview.

Blue Valentine

"A moody bouquet of hyacinth and violet and poppies and figs, washed down with shots of real whiskey and bitters and delicate musks and mint. Very potent, very heady."
I think I smell roses and violets in this, I'm not too sure. This is such a sweet, velvety floral scent thank makes me think of soft, silky smooth flower petals. There's also a honey sweetness to it that makes me think of candied flowers.  While most warm, heavy floral smells make me think of old ladies, this is a smell that a young woman would wear. Not a young girl, a young woman. A sweet, demure young woman who's no longer an awkward teenager and growing up to be graceful young woman, but still blushes easily like a girl. 
It's a scent I imagine Aurora would wear in Maleficent.
Image courtesy of:

Overview: Huh..this scent does not strike me as heady at all. Yes, the florals are heavy, but somehow, Evonne keeps it light and young. I don't smell any bitterness in the scent, but maybe that's what's stopping this scent from becoming an explosion of florals. I definitely love this scent!


"Circassian is a warm chocolaty fragrance with intriguing notes of black coffee and amber and blossoms."

Initially, all I got was a sour chocolate smell. I'm not too worried since chocolate usually morphs into this beautiful sweet wood scent on me after about an hour. Looking forward to it, actually!  Sure enough in just 15 min, the sweet wood smell emerges. The thing that makes this scent unique is that it's a more cool sort of scent. Usually, chocolate scents becomes very warm, sensual sweet wood scents, which makes me think of being inside a traditional Indonesian wood cabin lit by a flickering candlelight. This makes me think of being outside the wood cabin with the Indonesian greenery around me and the faint scent of tropical flowers blowing in the breeze.

This is part of the Green Village in Bali. If you guys ever go to Bali, check it out. The woman behind it, Elora Hardy, is  really sweet and so passionate about sustainable architecture. I highly recommend it.
Image courtesy of:

There's something that's somehow reminiscent of moss and dirt in this scent.  I got the faintest hint of that metallic scent I get from gourmands, but it's carefully hidden in the background. It's definitely a unique scent that's so wearable!

I got my sister to sniff it and she immediately went, "It smells like Christmas! In Bali!"

Apparently the sweet wood makes her think of how you imagine Santa's traditional workshop (none of the modern stuff they have now in Christmas movies) would smell like -tons of wood resin and a cup of hot chocolate. There's also a hint of floral that reminds her of the essential oils we used to buy in Bali. On her, the sweet wood scent is less pronounced and we agreed it smells like musky, floral chocolate.

Overview: The smell is less gourmand than what you'd expect from the description. The smell is close to Falchion but less smoky and more floral. I love this!


"A deep, sultry, intense, earthy unisex fragrance with a hint of dark chocolate. There’s a smack of cinammony, dusky, almost fruity spice out of the bottle, but roll it onto the skin and give it a minute—the drydown is superbly sexy."

This smells like chocolate patchouli to me at first, then got spicier until it smells like chocolate with chilli flakes (there's such thing and they're delicious!). Oh gods it smells so amazing! I love, love it. Then I start smelling something that smells like gunpowder. I swear. There's that burnt smell you get leftover after the fireworks explode. After about 15 minutes, there's a soft, cotton-ish smell that enters. It starts smelling like spiked candy -sweet, soft and cotton-ish, spiked with sexy spiciness, coffee and smoke. At the expense of sounding really creepy, this just smells like corrupted innocence. Any picture I post here will just be creepy so nope, no pics for this.

Overview: I definitely agree it's a very sexy scent. The smokiness got a bit too much for me towards the end and somehow there's a bit of dark chocolate sourness, but it smells so incredible in the beginning! Definitely worth trying out.

Since this is unisex, I made my guy friend wear it. His skin amps up the gunpowder smell and he didn't like it. I smell something sweet in the background, but it's mostly just smells like the remnants of 4th of July fireworks.

Gram Negative

"Gram-Negative is deep, damp, earthy essential moss; sticky green leaf resin; a whisper of black tea; and a rare, rich, mellow, buttery orchid essential oil that is just divine. It's incredibly smooth, unisex, and one of my new personal favorites."

There's definitely tobacco in this. There's also that heavy, musky, floral smell that reminds me of old ladies, but somehow this doesn't smell old lady-ish at all. It smells more like an expensive mistress than an old lady. I also smell a bit of leather somewhere. This scent makes me think of a suave, older gentleman enjoying a smoke in his leather chair after a...hug...from his mistress. And it's a mistress that looks like this:

Monica Bellucci is the hottest woman ever. I swear.
Image courtesy of:

Overview: I guess there's no tobacco in it, but there's definitely a burnt, bitter smell. Maybe it's the tea. I'm not sure if the bitterness came from the orchid too. I always found orchids bitter smelling. I'm not sure if this scent is unisex though. There's definitely a masculine scent, but I think the musky floral smell on guys would make them smell like they just a mistress.

And unisex, you say? I guess my little brother has to wear this!

On him, it smells very, very smoky and he hated it. The heavy, musky, floral scent also became a bit lighter and more powdery, and it struck both of us as a tad too feminine for him.


"Harpy is a sailor's delight, with notes of sea salt and dark bay rum, milk and coconut and a twist of lime."

It smells like milky ginger candies but then got way more complex. It's all cottony and soft, but there's a bit of a wet (not blue, wet), metallic smell to it. As crazy as this sounds, it smells like fluffy, yellow lightning clouds. I told my friend this and she was going "wat.", until she sniffed it. She then went, "Oh yeah, I know what you mean."

The metallic smell is what gets left behind on my skin. Definitely a scent I'm thinking of getting in full size!

This is another example of why it's so hard to describe DC scents!

Overview: I wonder if it's the sea salt that makes this scent smell so extraordinary! A mix of rum, milk, coconut and lime notes are fairly common, and nothing has ever smelled like this before. This is just so amazing!


"Pyrotechnik is a sangria-spicy concoction with bold notes of cantaloupe and raw sandalwood darkened with earth."

Melons! I'm not sure if I got the wrong scent since I'm expecting something incense-y and smoky from the name. This smells mostly of melons –it's the melon candy sort of melons that you either love or hate, and I personally love it. Sure, there's a bit of spicy smoked wood scent at first, but that disappeared and mixed into the melon smell to produce absolute deliciousness. There's other tart fruits in this to make this smell more complex, but they're so well-blended, I can't figure out what they are.  This sweet scent is more creamy and rounded than sharp and sweet. There's also a dirty smell grounding it to stop it from smelling like a candy. Oh gods, it smells so good, I need more of this. This is a grown up melon that smells so delicious yet sophisticated at the same time! The wood resin smell is what's left behind when this scent dries down.

Overview: Oh it is supposed to smell like cantaloupes! I always mix melons and cantaloupes up. This is a scent I'm so in love with! I need it in full size!


"A crisp, green, ethereal tea fragrance with a little opium bite. More than a dozen different scent elements and several days of methodical alchemy make Serpentina no ordinary scented oil mix—it's a truly inimitable fragrance. Just for tart little kicks, this batch is laced with tiny beads of blood-red wine."

There's a sweet greenness and wood resin to it, but at the same time, it also has a  bitterness that just makes the scent more dangerous. A tartness enters this scent as it dries down, but it's slight enough that this doesn't turn fruity. This scent makes me think of a romanticized,  opulent "Middle Eastern" harem, filled with perfumed smoke, beautiful, enticing women, and an air of treason and intrigue.

It's how I imagine this scene would smell like.
Harem Dancers by Fabio Fabi, image courtesy of:

Overview: This was the hardest scent for me to describe. I tried it so many times to figure out what I like about it. From the description, you'll expect this to smell more green, but I found this more of a light yet heady, seductive and slightly incense-ish scent instead. 

Step Right Up

"Step Right Up is a clean, oceanic, very unisex fragrance with notes of vanilla and tea and wood and spice."

I don't understand why I don't hate this smell. It has that minty, "old" herbal smell that makes me think of musty rooms and muscle salves, but there's a clean, sweet, powdery scent that brings all this together and make it actually work. It smells more like your grandparents' room, cleaned up after a long vacation. It smells clean, but their scent still lingers. And it lingers so faintly so all you get is that smell that makes you miss them, but not enough to make you want to choke on all the medicated balms smell. It also makes me feel like I'm working in a traditional apothecary with their own herb garden. Maybe in one of those cute stone cottages that look like this:
This is actually a dollhouse! Check out the process behind making this gorgeous creation here, and the Etsy store here.

Overview: This scent is definitely hard to imagine from the description. It's definitely a clean scent, but there's still a bit of that medicated herbal smell that I'm guessing comes from the tea and spices.

Supernova sway

"Dark and bright and dark and bright again, deep musks streaked with mint, black resins with subtle flashes of orchid and buttery honeysuckle."

On initial application, it smells like vanilla toothpaste. It's not just the mintiness, there's that toothpaste scent that all toothpastes, even unflavoured ones, seem to have. After about a minute, I smell a floral musk smell. An anise/absinthe sort of smell enters and now it smells like vanilla liquorice. I know vanilla liquorice doesn't sound particularly great, and I would've balked if I just read that description, but this really works. It's like a grown-up, wearable vanilla scent .

Overview: Orchid usually just smells like fertilizers, or bitter and kinda sour-ish, to me so I'm glad I didn't smell that scent. This scent definitely morphs around a bit before it settles, and it chose to settle on grown up vanilla on my skin.


"A sharp, clean fragrance bright with roses and sage, with a sweet smoky leather finish."

I smell that same "sweet grass" scent I've associated with Midsummer Dreams' Apothecary's Rapunzel, only this one has smokey mint in it. I'm pretty sure they have honeysuckle & rose in here because it's the such a similar scent. While every scent with this "sweet grass" scent tend to remind me of spas, fresh sheets & clean hotel rooms, the mintiness and hint of smokey bitterness in this makes me think more of those classy 50's movie stars who smokes like a chimney since they haven't figured out how bad smoking is back then, sipping a cocktail in a resort in Baden Baden. The best description I can think of is that this is how I picture Audrey Tautou's signature scent while she's portraying a rich woman from the French countryside in Thérèse:

I can't find a nice picture of her lounging in a resort in Baden Baden, but she actually does that in the movie.
Image courtesy of

This is kinda weird, but there's a bit of a fried seaweed smell when this dries down. I still love this scent, I just thought it's weird.

Overview: I love this scent! I'm surprised there's no honeysuckle in this, since it smells so similar to two other scents I have, and the one thing both those scents have in common is rose & honeysuckle. The smokiness is pretty strong in this, so watch out for that. My friends were asking if I picked up smoking or got stuck in a smoky café.

No comments:

Post a Comment