Living It Up at the Hotel Clandestine: a trio of Darling Clandestine reviews

These are summer and early fall scents, but it's still earlyish fall, so I'm not totally behind. Well. A little behind. But things do have a tendency to pop up again at Darling Clandestine, so I could actually be early. You never know. 


Goldenscale was originally a summer scent, released in a very limited batch, in the middle of my no buy. I must confess that I almost cracked on this multiple times. I almost bought it at least twice, before exiting the final purchase screen in a fit of guilt.  And it had the good sense to go out of stock a few times when I had resolved to buy it, but found my Etsy cart empty. Thankfully. 

But after a few months of this, and a much larger batch of Goldenscale released, I decided to bite the bullet and order. It arrived in my mail box the very day I got home from Belgium. 

Goldenscale is described as "A pure absolute of green cognac grapes, drizzled with caramel, boozed with deep-toasted vanilla, tossed with crushed clove, spritzed with crisp apple juice, and then enweirdened with DarlingClandestine. The notes sound rich and gourmand, and Goldenscale does begin a bit like a vodka-soaked caramel apple, but as it unfolds it's not quite the foody sweetness you'd expect. It's fresher, mellower, stranger . . . enweirdeneder."

My quibbles with the invention of the word enweirdener aside (it sounds like a word my partner would make up to win an argument when he's wrong), this is a pretty good scent. In the bottle, it smells like tart fresh grapes and apples. It's almost like sour candy, but doesn't quite cross the line. On my skin, it starts out as the tart apples and grapes before caramel and booze come out to deepen it. The vanilla makes it fluffier and more dessert-like once it come out. It's pretty and delicious, but there is a downside: it doesn't last on me at all. I get at most three hours out of it, and the sillage is quite low. I like it, and since I don't wear perfume to work, it's perfectly suited for an after-work scent. I like it, but the longevity is a serious drawback.

Hotel Clandestine Dulcinea were released in the early fall release, which was around the end of August. I managed to resist my want till the middle of September, when I decided that after dwelling on these scents for four weeks was probably a good sign that I wanted them and wasn't buying into the hype of a new release. So I picked up bitsies (1 dram bottle, which is 3.7ml), which are even reasonable sizes for new additions to my collection! Insanity. In the past, I've tried the Dulcinea lip balm, which is the best of the DC lip balms in my humble opinion, but the original Dulcinea perfume was before I started buying DC. Hotel Clandestine is a new scent and was released in perfume, conditioner, and body lotion. 

Hotel Clandestine is described as "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." This is probably my favourite of the three scents I picked up. I have a weakness for those fancy little soaps and such in hotel rooms, which is what this is based off. In the bottle, it smells tart and green, dominated by grapefruit but also something herbal. On my skin, it start off as something that reminds me oddly of pickles, but this dissipates after a couple of minutes and becomes a much smoother, relaxing citrus-herbal scent. It does feel very spa-like. Or what I would associate with a spa. The sillage is low-moderate, and it lasts about six hours on me.

Dulcinea is described as "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." I'm also pretty fond of this one, but it starts off with a burst of coffee and I hate coffee. Dulcinea does me the service of not amping coffee on me at all, but that burst of coffee deducts some points. I otherwise love it. In the bottle, it smells like dark chocolate and coffee, with a hint of sweet orange in the background. On my skin, after the burst of coffee, it become a lovely dark chocolate scent, with sweet fruit and citrus keeping it from being too bitter or dark. It's also got a hint of spice in it. It's really pretty. It's got the best sillage of these three and lasts eight hours on my skin.

Of these three, Hotel Clandestine is the only one in stock. But like I said, things could come back (not that I actually know this). One of the interesting things about shopping with Darling Clandestine.

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