I ordered a few things recently from the Darling Clandestine spring perfumes list, and wanted to do a review. I realized I actually have almost every single spring perfume, with the exception of two, and Blue Valentine isn't here either because I already reviewed that here. It's by far my most complete seasonal collection, so let's get to the smell babies!
About - Darling Clandestine is an indie perfume company, located in Texas, owned by Evonne, and is known for some weirder perfume scents. There are seasonal releases, and a few that pop up out of their season every now and then. The entire perfume catalog is located here, and each scent has a "boss level" which is on a sliding scale of 1 being something that could totally pass as a mainstream perfume, to 10 being really weird smelling.
Shipping - I made so many different orders for these, I have no idea about shipping! Usually it takes about 7-14 business days for them to ship after placing your order. Check the shop's announcement section to see what it is when you order. It's also noted in your email receipt after you order. Usually it takes 2-3 days to get to me from Texas to California.
Product Size - Product sizes can vary greatly among Darling Clandestine perfumes, but usually there are sample and full sizes available. Some are also offered in solid perfumes.
Free Samples - I usually receive a free solid bitsy sample with my orders, but it's not guaranteed.
Aequitas - "Smoke and blood and a LOT of whiskey and damp alleys and leather and steel and gunpowder and sweat and denim and sweet wooden rosary beads and a bit of clover struggling up through concrete cracks."
For this, I want to mention I actually have an aged bottle from last year, and not the super green version from this year. It did age beautifully, I get a smokiness, the same sort of steel note as in My Lady Ser, and definitely a big whiff of leather. It absolutely leans more masculine than some of these other scents which are more unisex, but that never stops me! Some of my favorite scents are typically more unisex to masculine. I remember trying this back when it first got here, and now that I’m trying it after getting My Lady Ser and it reminds me so much of that. Just more smoky and less green and floral. Which is not bad, My Lady Ser is one of my favorite perfumes.
Gram-Negative - "Buttery orchid packed deep into rich soil and moss and black tea and green lichens."
At first, I just get the tea and soil notes right up front. After dry down they tend to mellow and take a backseat to the orchid. But it still doesn’t smell overtly floral either. Just slightly sweet. You will have to enjoy dirt notes though to enjoy this scent, because it does smell like soil, with a bit of tea and green notes. I wore this way before I reviewed it, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. In the bottle it smells sharply of a food I can’t quite place. It’s very balanced and none of the notes amp on my skin. Quite beautiful, it’s something I’d wear just about anywhere.
Limerence - "A floral for those who hate florals. Not “oriental” or grandmotherly, but a green, tangy, moody blend of bruised Casablanca lilies, bittersweet succulents, full-bodied herbal essentials, a heady crust of sea salt, and a wonderfully fine mitti attar that’s the essence of first rain hitting sun-baked earth."
It immediately smells earthy and green with a hint of salt. Then the florals come through a bit, and add a sweetness to it. I agree with the part about it being tangy, it seems to have a bit of sourness at the end. After a while, it does remind me of the scent of freshly fallen rain in the spring. It does also give off a grandmother scent vibe. It’s not overtly “old lady” with heavy florals, but more like how your grandmother’s house smells. It’s not a bad thing, but I can see this would not be for everyone.
Mad As Birds - "Sweet, cool, fresh dew with notes of pear and mint and amber and marigolds. A haunted garden."
Immediately, this smells really minty on the skin. The solid doesn't smell as pleasant to me as the oil does, the oil has less overpowering minty-ness to it. The solid smells like medicine to me. The oil is much more like how it's described, sweet, cool, and a bit fresh. I don't really get any mint to it. The solid starts to smell like mint gum after a while, and I must have only tried that one when I first sampled these because I remember not liking it. Either way though, it's not really for me, I don't care much for minty perfumes.
Mayfly - "It opens very bright, deceptively sweet and floral, mellows to soft, moody, rainy stone and woods."
Interestingly enough, the solid smells much sweeter to me than the oil does. The oil has more of a woodsy note to it. I get more florals from the solid, and the oil has a bit of a greenness to it. I think I prefer the scent of the solid! Both of these were from this year, so they should be the same batch I think, although I can't say I know exactly how Evonne creates her magic. The solid gives me a jasmine feel to it, which is probably why I like it so much. Go with the solid if you want a sweeter floral clean scent, and go with the oil if you want a bit more woods, and fresh green notes. Very interesting how those smell so different.
Monstre Delicat - "Clean, spicy, rainy, moody, wonderful. Sweet blackened fig, rain water, spiced wood. The nostalgic longing for storms. It's a haunting watercolor "blue" scent."
Immediately I get a ton of sweetness, from what I hope is the fig. I’m usually not a fan of fig notes, but this sweet blackened version is much more appealing to me than the green version in Small Saga. It’s a lovely clean rain scent, with sweet and it feels like florals, but there are no floral notes. I can’t really pick up on any spiciness, but this is just lovely. I am so glad I let this sit for a while, because I tried it on pretty soon after I got it, and I don’t remember liking it as much. This is something I would consider buying a full size bottle. I keep smelling my wrist. Yeah. Love.
Pistolas - "Soft, mellow gardenia and lavender (Abuelita's favorite), with an undercurrent of city sidewalks and just a kiss of tobacco leaf."
I tend to think gardenias and jasmine smells really similar, it has that same sort of sweet nectar floral edge to it, and I originally thought this one was jasmine. I get the gardenia immediately, but with a darker background note, which is either the “city sidewalks” bit or the tobacco leaf. I don’t really get lavender at all. As it wears though, that darkness dissipates, and the gardenia really starts to shine. I’ve been wearing this perfume a lot, it’s one of my absolute favorites. It’s a great DC beginner perfume for the uninitiated to the weirder ones. It’s just a sweet floral that really shines.
Selas - "Road dust, honey, the air before a heavy summer rain, green grass and heather."
I had to buy a full size bottle of this scent because it’s inspired by Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles series, which I absolutely love, and highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy books. I was a little worried about this in the bottle, that I wouldn’t like it. But on the skin it blossoms into fresh green grass, rain, and honey. The green grass is sharp, it doesn’t hold back. I don’t think I’ve ever actually smelled heather on it’s own, so I’m not sure how much of that is coming through. But it reminds me of a sweet, green, floral, something you would wear in the spring or even summer. Just lovely, I’m so glad I opted for the full size.
Small Saga - "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 immediately get that sort of tea creaminess right up front like the description states. It does have a bit of greenness to it, which I assume is the figs combined with the tea. I do get a lightness from this scent, it’s quite mellow. I actually don’t love tea or fig notes, as I find they can smell too green, and this one just borders on that. The cream and apricot wine pull it back a little and keep it a bit sweet. I think this is a great scent for those who do like tea or figs, but it’s not my ideal perfume. I like it, but won’t be reaching for it all the time.
Xenon Nightly - "It's pale green, pale green. Crisp, excellent calendula sweetened with a tiny breath of neroli, balanced with a wonderful galbanum essential, a quartet of green herbs and the faintest whisper of precious agarwood."
This smells extremely green out of the bottle, and on the skin it’s still got the greenness factor until dry down. Then it opens up and you get the other notes. I can get the neroli, which is the essential oil from the orange blossom. Typically when I’ve smelled orange blossom notes, they are quite sharp and pungent. This one is soft and fresh. It’s hard to pinpoint, but I think the agarwood is keeping everything in check. It doesn’t go too floral or too green, but does smell very botanical. I can imagine smelling this while walking through a tall grass field, with a light breeze on the air. It doesn’t have much silage though, so you can really heavily apply. I’m usually hesitant to apply rollerballs too heavily because I find they usually impart a stronger scent than straight out of a bottle. But this one is nice, it would be one I would apply to my wrists and neck instead of just wrists.
Overall, I really liked quite a few of the spring perfumes, and I even discovered a few new favorites. Most of the spring perfumes are floral, green, clean, and fresh, which I guess kind of defines a "spring perfume" but stay away from these if that's not your thing. I quite enjoy sweet florals, and fresh scents, so I loved Monstre Delicat, and Pistolas and Selas have always been favorites of mine. But a lot of them do have similar notes, and while they do smell different, you probably don't need every single one of these unless you're obsessed like I am. I'd say you're fine missing out on Xenon Nightly, and Aequitas, especially if those are not your cup of tea. And Mad As Birds I think was my least favorite. I think my only one that I want a full size of that I don't have already is Monstre Delicat, I am so happy that settled and became so beautiful.
Customer Service - I did not have to contact customer service regarding any problems with my orders.
Availability - A few of these scents are currently available in the shop, but it can be random when they show up. Just check the Facebook page to keep updated.
Overall Satisfaction - My favorites were Monstre Delicat, Pistolas, and Selas, but also enjoyed Gram-Negative. Check out the spring perfumes if you like rain, fresh, green, or floral notes, but skip if you hate those. There's not much else here for other note preferences except Aequitas.
What did you think of the Darling Clandestine spring perfumes? Let me know in the comments!