Darling Clandestine: A Review
As I’ve stated before, fragrance is personal, so what one person says on a particular stink is not going to be what another person would say. As such, I’m not so stellar at doing fragrance reviews, and I tend to let that part of my adventures in bath & beauty go undocumented. But I can’t not give a shout-out to a company I love, so I’ll stick an elbow out of my comfort-zone and shine a light on one of my favourite indies.
Darling Clandestine is a jewelry-store-turned-perfumery on Etsy, hailing from the Windy City of Chicago. Evonne, the genius behind the fragrances, seems largely born to win at anything crafty, having been born in a family of artisans. Every fragrance is meticulously crafted from an idea, a brief vignette which is included in each product page, and an accompanying photo which graces the packaging of particular fragrance formats. These “truly intimnitable fragrances” are not just perfumes – they are moments captured in oil.
It’s not at all surprising, then, that some fragrances can be memory evoking. ‘Cloudswing‘, for example, has a strong presence of marigold and hay with a touch of clover, which reminded both myself and my mother of mild late spring/early summer afternoons at our old house near Buena Vista. It is a very soft, warm, and comforting fragrance that is positively perfect for any country girl (or overly-sentimental country girls who have thrown themselves into urban life). Because of this, Cloudswing is one of my favourite Darling Clandestine offerings, and one I would highly recommend to others.
Another fragrance I love is quite unexpected. I absolutely adore the smell of leather, but I have a hard time wearing it – the actual skin, and fragrances with heavy leather notes. So when I purchased ‘Inked‘, I expected to only be able to enjoy it in its packaging. But it wears beautifully! Perhaps it is the sea salt that cuts the leather, morphing it into something that is friendly to my skin. Whatever the note is that makes it work, I am extremely awed and thankful, because this has become my most-worn fragrance from Darling Clandestine. There’s rarely a night when I don’t put it on just before bed, to relax my mind and send me off to sleep. If you like leathers, definitely check this fragrance out!
Want to give Darling Clandestine a whirl, but don’t know where to start? I’d definitely pick up ‘Inked’, ‘Cloudswing’, and ‘Harpy‘ in a pick-three deal. If you’re gunning for a pick-five, tack ‘Tilt-a-Whirl‘ and ‘Circassian‘ on your list. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try a “suicide mix” of fragrances for just $8!
I do have a fairly decent collection of Darling Clandestine fragrances, in both oil and solid format. Though solid scents from other companies can sometimes suffer in staying power, I prefer the format, and have never had a problem with longevity from Darling Clandestine. DC solid scents are made with beeswax, though a vegan version can easily be requested via etsy convo if necessary. These sizeable 1/2oz tins come in at $9 each, or you can purchase a set of 3 for $24, or 5 for $42.
The strong, long-lasting full-size half-ounce fragrances suspended in jojoba, rice bran, and grapeseed oils range in price from $13 to $18 according to the cost of ingredients, or buy discounted sets of three ($38) or five ($54). You can also purchase “Bitsy Vials” at $5 each for 5mL. Special discounts apply to bitsy vials when purchased in sets of three ($12) or five ($22). Sample sets are also available (three for $3.50), but I would go ahead and spring for a set of Bitsy vials if you’re buying for the first time – they’re a better value, easier to open, and they come with the scent’s signature photo as a label. I’m a sucker for great packaging.
One thing I absolutely love about Darling Clandestine is the lightning-fast turnaround time! The standard processing time is three to four days after placing an order, and another two to three days to ship via USPS from Chicago to central Kentucky. As always, shipping time may vary depending on your location, and processing time may increase during sales. Orders are bravely sent without Delivery Confirmation, so you have no way of tracking your order, but it does keep shipping costs down for you. Items are packaged with great care, with alternating tins/bottles wrapped in newsprint-style paper and decorative tape, and packed in organza bags.