Saturday, October 22, 2016

Darling Clandestine Don't Go Please Stay-more memories in scents so many ways. Inked was my first. Wine. Salt. Skin. It evokes the memory of being very close to another person in just the right way if the person and the moment of course are right. Well knowing this you might picture me with a string of tattooed former lovers but the truth is only one had tattoos and they were nothing to drool over. Mistakes of his youth and poorly done at that. You get what you pay for folks. No you see I'm the one with the tattoos...Inked and I love to drink red wine and well I never much wore perfume before Darling Clandestine came into my life. I wrote my impressions of Don't Go Please Stay when it was a solid tin only way back when. I never expected it to come back. It's special. It's emotional... and... It's back... so I felt obligated to share what I know.

Remember that these versions are years and formats apart. I'm also not really a grand perfume reviewer. I can't pick out top and bottom notes and hints of this and that. I'll give you the story it's comes with and the path it leads me on when I smell it. I hope it can take you on a trip too. I guess it's part of the autumn collection so it is returning on schedule... and shall again.
Here's what the hand discography has to say:
"This is a true “natural” perfume, a slow infusion made with a fantastic cacao absolute, the very finest solvent-extracted, low-atranol oakmoss, crushed juniper berries, cardamom pods, just a tiny bit of ylang-ylang, a pinch of chipotle pepper, and dark vanilla. Think deep, smoky, mossy chocolate gin."
I remember hesitating to order because I just despise gin. Some of my most unpleasant or memories... actually one of the few nights with memory gaps involved gin. An ex boyfriend really enjoyed it and he thought he was oh so fun when he drank it. He was a jerk when he drank it. I was 19 and a monster at all times. If you're reading hi! No gin allowed but it would be a pleasure to see you again one day. I'll always treasure our time trying to kill each other a decade past...
But oh oh deep and mossy chocolate? Cardamom and chipotle pepper? Not just vanilla but "dark vanilla"? Trust me the distinction is IMPORTANT.
Also limited batch just got me. I could destash if I didn't love it but I couldn't just come back for a restock. One time deal man. It's the same this time by the way and if you're reading the count down has started...
You know what else? Infusion made me think of this (probably disturbing to most,) book I read when I was much younger, then to the movie it spawned when I was somewhat less young that was also much less... explicit shall we say? Called well... Perfume.  To make a long story short a man murders young girls and uses them to make perfume. He has a noble goal really. He wants to capture their essence. I won't ruin the ending but success is subjective I think.
Anyway the book taught me what an infusion was because it's one of the method's he used. I'm not much of a perfume person or I wasn't before Inked came into my life so for me an infusion is more... like pepper infused vodka. It's the same concept. Substances take on the flavors or in this case scent of another through extended contact. It's one of the final methods the man found. If you think about it that's also how life works. We are all leaving parts of ourselves and picking up parts of the people and places we encounter everyday. You, and I, and everything is an infusion. While the infusion method may not be the method used for all Darling Clandestine perfumes for me that's the feeling every fragrance brings. Not just a nice smell. Not even always "nice." The smell of life, memories, and stories. Evonne achieved the goal of the main character of that novel and she did it without killing anyone! (as far as I know... their could be thousands of bodies out there with her years of brilliance in her craft... She posts lots of photos of those chickens. Any... pigs?)
The name Don't Go Please Stay clearly refers to the perfume borrowing scents from it's contacts. But it touched me on a deeper level. I've been known to say "everyone you ever love with either leave you or die." and I have a coworker who quotes Boy Meets World and responds "Life sucks get a helmet." I'm uh... not allowed to talk like that at work anymore. Makes people uncomfortable. But I'm a nomad. I have a hard time getting close to people... I'm volatile and in turn tend to mesh best with similarly volatile folks. This perfume was released at a time in my life when I was just so tired of losing people. I cried every day for the loss of the last one. Not another. Don't go. Please stay.  This perfume smells like being warm and close to someone maybe drinking spiked hot chocolate by a fire "celebrating" when you really don't want to say goodbye again. It makes me cry to smell it.
I mean that. Real tears. The tin in the photo is pretty much empty. Infusion perfumes hug closer to the skin. They don't have as much "throw" as people say so I'm not even sure I can really still smell anything when I open it or if the scent is just burned into my brain. I debated if I should get a bottle of it when it brings back such memories. I'll tell you this though... the tin in the photo is tin #2 because I regretted not double dipping enough to track down a second on a forum a month or so after it sold out.
This year's listing reads
"A true “natural” perfume, Don'tGoPleaseStay is a slow infusion made with a fantastic cacao absolute, the very finest oakmoss, juniper berries, cardamom, just a tiny bit of ylang-ylang, a pinch of chipotle pepper, and dark vanilla.
Don'tGoPleaseStay is an original handcrafted fragrance oil by DarlingClandestine. Supply is limited, and it is ONLY available in this 10-mL size. <3"
Note that it doesn't say gin. Juniper berries give that smell. Good call though. That word almost turned me away last time. Kind of like how after all these years I haven't tried Dewlap Valentine because I hate bananas. It's back too. Perhaps it's time to take another chance. I do love a good reptile and green scents.  I'm sure the smell of gin is in the perfume. But skin chemistry is magic and so is scent memory. For me that part is invisible. For those who like gin or just have different bodies it might pull differently. Supply is limited. When Evonne says that she means it... and with something as painstakingly crafted as this even responding to demands of another batch would take a very very long time... that would delay other awesome thing.
Also released today more fragrances AND two of them donate to good causes... (Hey Evonne want to join my push for mental health donations in October for national mental health awareness week?)
The original the first the perfume that started it all... is back today.
Fire Eater
"Too easily shocked, the whole lot of them, always. They repeat what they cannot believe. Always, at a common table with common people. Exasperatingly boring as they puzzle you out and their eyes press around, flickering with derision, with questions and questions and questions.
You prefer the common ground, with uncommon people. Genuinely riveted as you crackle and burst and whirl in a blaze of blood orange and gasoline, and their eyes press around, flickering with delight, with gasps and laughter and roses and applause. Your warm and marvelous friends. They believe in what they cannot repeat.
This edition of Fire Eater is a “culmination blend” that merges the finer points of the odd, hot, gasoline-flare original and the “fizzy grape” edition from two years ago. A portion of the proceeds from Fire Eater will benefit the CeaseFire program detailed at This program aims to stop violence in the community by directly intervening in the lives of people at risk. Statistical analysis seems to show that when funding for CeaseFire drops, violent incidents increase. This year, it seems they could really use some help."

"A hotter and juicier version of the sugar-skull favorite. YEARS ago some of you had occasion to try the heady cordial cherry-frosted sugar skully brew that was Dulcinea, splashed with red wine and dark chocolate and roasted coffee and leather. THIS version, instead of cherry, has twists of mango and tamarind dusted with chile.
A portion of the proceeds from Dulcinea will benefit El Paseo Community Garden, providing education and free fresh produce to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Follow them here:"
I only ever tried the lip balm version of this never the perfume. Seriously it's been a looong time since this came around.
Dewlap Valentine
"A tribute to @hersplendidplumage’s iguana friends, Bob and Eepa. Earthy and sweet and green and reptilian.
The original was bursting with strawberries and greens and an undercurrent of “reptile.” This year’s version dials back the strawberry and cranks up the reptile."
I've always skipped it over banana but after Popcreme and Jeweled Orange I'm  thinking maybe... plus dialed down strawberry and cranked up reptile hits ALL the right buttons.
and finally...
Hotel Clandestine Travel Set
"Confession: I love the upscale, spa-fresh commercial fragrances that hotel franchises choose for their complimentary travel-sized lotions and conditioners. They’re often intense and invigorating and stick with you throughout the day.
And whether you’ve booked an extravagant getaway in a five-star luxury suite, or you’ve managed to snatch a few moments in the bathtub in your hotel room during a business trip, or if, in the blackest of night, on the loneliest of highways, road-weary, you round an exit and are lured by the VACANCY glow of a dubious establishment . . . that fragrance, even though it’s probably manufactured by big industry and used interchangeably in an assortment of obscure products, that fragrance in those little bottles adheres to the inner walls of your skull and becomes the vessel for that experience. When you were traveling, transitioning, discovering, deciding, passing a figurative milestone, passing through.
So what if *I* made the scent in your skull, huh? How ‘bout THAT?
This lotion and conditioner comes scented with my newest fragrance blend, simply called Hotel Clandestine. It’s my own version of spa-fresh invigorating, with highlights of ruby red grapefruit and currant and bright garden herbs, with just enough can’t-put-my-finger on it dark nostalgia to make it DarlingClandestine. It's REALLY GOOD, dude.
This listing is for a “hotel-sized” package that includes a 1-ounce bottle of lotion, a 1-ounce bottle of conditioner, and a 1-dram Bitsy vial of Hotel Clandestine fragrance oil. The lotion and conditioner bottles are squeezable plastic with a handy little flip-top cap. This is a trial to gauge interest in the lotion and conditioner formulas---which I may offer in other fragrances in the future---and also to let you sample the new fragrance at a little discount. Just want to try the fragrance for now? You can choose "Bitsy vial only" for $8.
Now, about the lotion and conditioner bases. They are *not* my own from-scratch formulation. I don’t like to take chances when it comes to preservative balance in organic water-based formulas, so I start with a tried-and-true base from an independent organics company. The result is ultra-thick and fabulous, with aloe and olive oil and babassu.
A customer recently asked about the vegan-friendliness of the formulas. I swear to you, when I began researching these formulas I specifically went for vegan-friendliness! But it does appear that the "silk protein" in the conditioner may in fact be silk-derived. If you're vegan and want the cute little HC set, I'm offering the option to get two lotions instead of one lotion and one conditioner. (And the Bitsy as well, of course.) Select "Veggiesaurus" from the dropdown menu. ;) "
Yeah a new fragrance and a chance to test two new product formats. I scoff and say I would rather have Balm for Live Bodies but really anyway to get more Darling Clandestine scented products and less things that smell like a candle or candy shop and you can count me in. A conditioner I haven't tried already guaranteed not to smell like a migraine coming for me is a plus. I need conditioner like a hole in my head and I just had a cell phone unexpectedly need replacing so I'm probably skipping this one but... You shouldn't. You really shouldn't.  Darling Clandestine products are like an addictive substance. If you hate them someone else will want them. I've been on both sides of that fence and I don't joke. I mean don't spend your grocery money or whatever but if you've got the dough and the only thing holding you back is uncertainty... Taking chances is one of the best parts of life. Darling Clandestine has brought me and brought me back to some of the best leaps of faith in my life.
Repeating myself from yesterday. I am a broken record.

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