Sunday, 6 July 2014

Darling Clandestine Strange and Skin Scents

This is the third and final part of my Darling Clandestine scent review series - just in time for the shop re-opening on the 8th!

All photos in this post (except the shark sketch) were taken by my extraordinarily talented friend and photographer Olivier, who as well as being a truly inspired artist, is easily the most exciting man to party with. Here's his official facebook page if you want to get lost in thousands of beautiful photos.

Neither Here nor There:

Supernova Sway
Black metallic, musk, mint and floral
Opens sharp with a whisper of fresh mint (but not that generic fake mint in toothpaste and gum) amongst a thousand other scents, then morphs to something imperceptibly sweet and finally a base of something beautifully dark pulls through. This is probably the most difficult scent to understand let alone describe as every sniff yields something different - it's like staring into an abyss of shadows; every new glance bring different shapes so that you're never sure whether or not you're imagining them. This is a scent to ponder the vastness of the universe to - and a glowing example of Evonne's genius. 

Obviously pondering the vastness of the universe

Lavender, sea salt, wine, leather, caramel and chocolate
Another weird one - opens with bitter dark chocolate, leather and something I now call 'Darling Clandestine's "skin" scent.' The lavender is fighting for scent priority with the muskiness and only slightly loosing, but after a few seconds everything mellows out to a smooth dark-chocolate-lavender-leather-ness, it's what a biker's jacket would smell like after he'd visited his mother's for the weekend. I really can't make up my mind if I like this scent or even whether it leans more masculine or feminine, which is strange because unlike most of Darling Clandestine's scents I can pick out quite a few distinct scent notes. If I had to choose I'd say it's a cologne from a woman's point of view.

Secretly a mummy's boy


Coffee, chocolate, resins and floral
Bitter, burnt and salty - Circassian is wholly unappealing to me, though I can see fans of bitterly black coffee, burnt steaks and chocolate so dark it is literally black would find something sexy in this pungent mix.


Sex, chocolate and cinnamon
Although I seem to have lost my sample of Falchion before I was able to sit down and write this review I remember thinking it was Circassian's sweetened, softened sister - although the heavy dark chocolate scent remained it had lost all the bitterness I dislike so much in Circassian. But don't take my word for it, I haven't smelt it in over a week.

I like this photo so we'll just assume it represents Falchion

Love & Sharks
Salty shark skin, pepper, cherries, apricots and clove
Gagging sweetness underlaid with that strange and "skin" scent again, after a few minutes the sickliness fades and you're left with weird, burnt, bitter, salty skin with a touch of artificial fruit. This is similar to Dewlap Valentine in the cloying sweetness mixed with something akin to decay, and I really, really hate it.

My Great White Shark sketch (I LOVE SHARKS)


Skin, salt, leather and wine
Inked is the very definition of Darling Clandestine's "skin" scent - that deep, sweet and salty base note that is so evident in Love & Sharks, but with none of the artificial fruity sweetness. It's such a unique scent it defies my attempts to define it, but is a common element in Evonne's darker creations. Intriguing, original and with absolutely nothing 'perfumey' about it - although this wouldn't smell out of place on a woman to me this is scent smells so distinctly masculine, and is honestly most reminiscent of hot sex.

Stop thinking dirty thoughts

Leather, beeswax and flowers
Opening with an not altogether appealing chemical sharpness it quickly fades to a strange and sharply musky sweetness. This is what a rock band after a drug fueled bender would smell like - strange but with an oddly sexy edge.

I'm questioning how I got here but... I'm OK with it

Honeyed wine, green, earth and concrete
Opening with a sharp greenness so fleeting you're left wondering if you imagined it, Fisticuffs settles comfortably in with a drink to watch that sports game and occasionally check on the barbecue. Fisticuffs smells exactly like a man-picnic, with the clash of grass, booze, earth and sweat.

My ideal man picnic


Smoke, blood, whiskey, leather, steel and gunpowder
Aequitas has a poisonous element, like that perfectly blended, deceptively strong cocktail the bartender promises will solve all your problems - at least for tonight. Ever so lightly green and whispering sweetness it is dangerous, intoxicating, a thousand temptations cloaked in virtues.

After reading and adding Evonne's scent notes I'm honestly surprised by how 'off' I was/am in Aequitas - and even after a second round of sniffing I stand by my above impression, strange as it is.

The ambiguous angel corrupting my shoulder

Cotton, tobacco leaf, rose, marigold, leather, machine oil, amber, lilac, pepper, copal, chocolate, wine and pimento
Pestanas smells like a mechanic - the metallic ring of engine oil roughly smeared on worn jeans and softened by the warmth of skin, sweat, sweet breath and a hint of dark chocolate; this scent defines fission. This is the most authentically masculine scent I've ever come across: it's intense, rugged and so deeply sexy. It's what that bad-boy no one approves of smells like - but oh the chemistry...

It's worth noting that although this fits my personal definition of warm masculine skin it has almost nothing in common with Darling Clandestine's traditional "skin"scent like in Inked and Love & Sharks.

Never having owned a car this is what I believe all mechanics look like

If the floral and sweet scents from my last post generally leaned more feminine these perfume tend to be more masculine, especially the heavier skin-like scents. Supernova Sway and Aequitas are my favourites as the other scents are just too heavy to personally wear, but Pistolas and Inked would be my favourite scents on a man.

As always, love,

Saskia X

Remember you can always email me at and find my Instagram under @aiksasarual

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