This review is a bit late, but better late than never! I was finally able to test and review all of the summer Darling Clandestine perfumes. Not as many winners for this season's perfumes, but a few surprise favorites. I was even able to compare last year's version of Pyrotechnik to this year's version.
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 - When I placed my order, it was stated that the turnaround time would be the full 14 business days. And my order did take that long, which translates to 20 days from time of order. It then arrived in 2 days via USPS from Texas to California.
Product Size - I ordered all bitsies, but these were also available at the time I ordered in full size bottles. The vials are 1 dram, and the solid bitsies are 3 grams.
Free Samples - I received one free bitsy perfume solid with my order.
Brasao Kinolau - "Fresh, green, non-Christmasy holly, pink peppercorn and old-world wonders, fused with the maile vines of Hawai'i, spiced with a tiny touch of cinnamon and sweetened with coconut and honey."
This one is green and a bit spicy with some florals mixed in. I have heard from some that a few Darling Clandestine scents smell really similar, and this one gives me that sense of deja vu. It reminds me of Aequitas I think is the one I’m thinking of. It’s kind of sexy, and if you really sniff deeply you can pick out the cinnamon and sweetness of the coconut and honey. It’s very lovely, it just feels similar to other DC scents.
Carny Wedding - "Opens with butter and sugar, unfolds to a tangy, charred wood resin, ends in a puff of sweet smoke."
It’s definitely very sweet smelling in the bottle, and at first on your skin. Then you start to get a bit of the smokiness to it, which is actually very nice. It’s pretty balanced, neither the sweet sugariness or the smokiness take over, but instead mingle in harmony. And I like that it’s not too strong either, I like smoky perfumes but not if they are really strong.
Cloudswing - "Lemongrass and vanilla and resiny wood and marigolds and new-mown clover and sun."
It smells like lemon sugar or lemon candy. I think this could start to smell like lemon cleaner on some people, and even on me it’s starting to lean a bit towards that. This one is actually pretty strong, which I wouldn’t expect, but it might be too much for my nose.
Electricity So Fine - "A night-black canvas of artemisia absinthum and mosses and blackest tea and port wine, splashed with an electric sizzle of sparkling violets."
This is one that I probably could never pick out the notes on my own, without the assistance of the description. It’s definitely a bit warm smelling, with maybe a hint of floral and tea. It’s nice, but not something I’d reach for often.
Harpy - "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've had this scent for a while, and I always wear it when I want to smell a bit beachy. It's a bit sweet, and I get the milk, coconut, and banana. It doesn't smell like really fake banana though, it's also got the sea salt beach kind of smell. I've always liked this one, even before I knew what the notes were.
Homespun - "Starts in the vein of Cloudswing, and then takes a tumble into dark woods, sprouting with lichens and morels and mint julep."
I get mint and lemons from this scent. It’s fresh, clean, and a bit citrusy. Not so much woodsy, but instead green and crisp. It also smells a bit sweet as well, like a mint lemonade. I am quite surprised, it’s not at all what I expected from the description. I think I really like it, it’s this awesome combo of citrus, sweet, and mint that smells wonderful.
La La La All Right - "Sun-drenched summer breezes and road trips and cornfields and river and road."
I definitely get a very fresh green with damp earth mixed in on first whiff. It smells more like a super rainy day than summer. But it’s also got that kind of thunderstorm in summer vibe as well, so if you’ve been wanting a scent like that, this is it. I almost get mint from this, as if there’s a crispness to it, but I’m not sure if it’s really there. It’s a bit too sharp for my tastes, I don’t know if this one will work for me.
Mishigami - "Much more than an "aquatic" fragrance, this has indescribable, sandy depth."
I don't really know what the notes are in this one, but it's definitely aquatic, and a bit watery. It doesn't really have anything that stands out, it just reminds me of laundry soap or something. It's just not exciting? I don't know how else to describe it, it just seems very generic to me.
Morderteile Kelah - "Notes of amber, hyacinth, milk and strawberry jam. Spicy and sweet."
This is quite lovely, I love the spicy and sweet aspects of it. And I could swear I've smelled another perfume similar to it, but the amber and the strawberry are the main notes. I would say it's more spicy than sweet.
This smells familiar, but I can’t place it. It reminds me a bit of Pistolas, but I also get a bit of a gourmand vibe. It’s a very nice mix, definitely to my tastes. It’s a sweet floral, with a bit of freshness or fruit to it, and maybe a bit of sugar.
Pyrotechnik - "Bright, spiced cantaloupe on a bold black sky, with sweet woods and earth below. A really fascinating combination, one that does impressive wiles on the skin."
This scent changed a bit this year, and I happen to have last years version, as well as the new version. The new version has a bit more punch to it, definitely bolder and darker. The old version was really fruity, mostly cantaloupe, and not much else. The new one you can really get cantaloupe, but also the other woodsy and earthy notes. It’s bright, but also a bit spicy. The old one does smell like the most accurate cantaloupe note I’ve smelled, but it seems pretty one dimensional. The new one somehow also has a bit of freshness to it as it dries. I think I prefer the new version, so I am glad I decided to get it. I had the feeling I might, it’s a more balanced fruity/spicy scent.
Tilt-A-Whirl - "Bright summer citrus and passionfruit mellowed with sage and other wonders. Juicy and fruity but not too sweet, candy for grownups."
It's bright and tart, with a bit of sweetness. It's pretty fruity, and it's not really my thing. Luckily, it's not too strong, but it has something that makes it smell pretty one noted.
Overall, I wasn't as impressed with this season's scents as I have been with some of the other seasons. But one of the stand out favorites was the new one from this year, Homespun. It really took me by surprise because I wasn't even expecting to like it. Harpy has always been one I've liked, and the new Pyrotechnik was quite different from the old. I wanted to get mostly perfume oils instead of the solids for this purchase, but I think I am starting to like the solid perfumes a bit better. They are easier and more convenient to apply, and seem to last just as long as me.
Customer Service - I did not have to contact customer service regarding any problems with my order.
Availability - A few of these are still available in full size form, but most are sold out for the season. Most will probably return next summer.
Overall Satisfaction - My favorites are Homespun, Harpy, and Pyrotechnik.
What did you think of the Darling Clandestine Summer perfumes? Let me know in the comments!