Smell Your Darlings: Darling Clandestine order & review!

Cretaceous lip balm, Small Saga bitsy vial, Harpy solid perfume.

Ugggggghhhhh I smell amazing.

My Darling Clandestine was waiting for me today when I got back from a haircut and visiting my favorite cafe. I let out a little squeal of delight and ripped it right open. Out came a waterfall of delicious candy and, at the bottom, neatly wrapped, were my items.

I ordered a solid I'd been eyeing, a bitsy vial, and a lip balm, because I cannot resist a good lip balm.

First up is Harpy, the solid I selected. The solid tin is a nice size, big enough that this perfume will probably last me for ages, but small enough to be portable.

Harpy vs 2 Euro coin.

Darling Clandestine's description says:
Sea salt and dark bay rum and lime and milk and coconut and a bit of banana. A lovely seaside scent with a bit of a bite.
I rubbed a bit of Harpy onto my wrists and made notes of the scent as I watched TV from the couch. My notes are as follows:

Upon Application: A bit potent, the lime is overpowering and makes it smell a bit like chemical cleaner. I can also smell what I think is sea salt and rum underneath, hinting there is something more. I smell like a nice candle.

About 5 Minutes In: Something creamy and more sweet seems to be opening up, probably the milk or coconut.

About 30 Minutes In: I smell more banana now, it's a very real and mild banana scent as opposed to the traditional "banana" used for candies and such. The coconut is also coming through and is also very mild and not fake at all. I also think I get a hint of salt.

About An Hour In: Very full banana and coconut, but more creamy. Not at all typical tropical or nutty. Just a mild wonderful sweetness with a slight green undernote and possibly some rum.

I'm pleased with this. Smelling it straight out of the tin I hate it, but once it's on my skin, after about five minutes of melding it smells wonderful. I want to wear this so I can always smell like sweet, sweet summer.

Small Saga bitsy vial.
The next item I popped into my cart was a bitsy vial. With international shipping I didn't want to just buy one item, so I was weighing my options.

Bitsy vial vs 2 Euro coin.
Small Saga seemed like a perfume I'd enjoy, having all the notes I typically love like fruit, cream and wine.

Darling Clandestine lists the perfume's scent as:
With notes of green figs and tea and cream and apricot wine, this scent opens deceptively sweet and creamy but then unfolds its complex layers and settles in a mellow, woody finish.
I dabbed a bit of this inside my elbows and enjoyed some MTV, noting my experience of the scent:

Upon Application: Very green smelling with a slight edge or underbelly of something smoky and woody. Reminds me of walking in a forest on a warm day in summer.

About 5 Minutes In: More cream coming through, under a floral-seeming note that reminds me of sticking my nose straight into a fresh blossoming flower.

About 30 Minutes In: It's becoming a lot more creamy and woody, the green note from earlier is very faint.

About An Hour In: Very woody but slightly sweet and creamy in the background with a hint of spiciness. It also seems to pull a bit fruitier the more it settles.

I've heard someone say this is their favorite perfume from Darling Clandestine, and now I see why! It's really gorgeous, I can't stop smelling it. Normally I'm not big on woody scents but the cream in this mellows it to keep it from being too potent. The bitsy vial is smaller than a normal-sized perfume but I still think it'll last me a while.

Lip balm in Creatceous.
The last thing I added to my order was one of DC's huge-ass lip balms in Cretaceous. DC says they're similar in formula to the solid perfumes, very silky and they glide right on.

Cretaceous lip balm vs 2 Euro coin.
The balm formula is very thin, more of a solid oil type formula than a "balm" in my opinion, which I usually classify as something more thick. It smells lovely. Cretaceous is a "cantaloupe mint" scent. The cantaloupe is the first thing you smell, rich and very sweet, though it doesn't smell very "melon-y" as I thought it would, a bit more sugary and caramel-y. I guess I was too caught up in the idea of a fake melon scent, since DC is more committed to the real McCoy.

It also has the punch of mint once you put it on, with a minty tingle on the lips. I love minty tingles in balms and glosses, but if you're not a fan, I'd sit this one out and perhaps try another scent.

It is also important to distinguish that this is scented, not flavored. It smells great but tastes like absolutely nothing except maybe a bit of that minty tingly flavor. I'm really excited to slip this in my purse and make it my designated right-hand lip balm!

Bonus size comparison of Harpy, Small Saga and Cretaceous vs a 2 Euro coin and US nickel. (I'm all out of American quarters!)
These scents are wonderfully unique and clearly made with a lot of thought and love, I can't recommend Darling Clandestine enough if you're looking for something a bit weird or something that's not your average dupeable scent. 

Evonne is also amazingly sweet, originally her shop didn't say she shipped to Finland so I messaged her and she added Finland to her list of countries for me. Then I was having issues with Paypal not letting me add a foreign address and wanted me to only use my American one, and she was more than happy to ship my actual order to my Finnish address and let me Paypal her the difference needed for shipping charges. 

With DC you're not just getting a great perfume. You're getting a perfume from someone who really cares about her customers and the craft she's honed. It shows in her complex scents, hand-stamped envelopes and vial labels, and generous inclusion of American sweets.

Just watch out, I hear purchasing Indie Perfumes can easily lead one down the path of 'Gotta Catch 'Em All'...

Where to buy: Darling Clandestine


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peachy noon

Meet The Author

Noon. 25. American born, Finland residing. I really love dogs.