Look What the Great Pumpkin Brought Me!

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I waited in the most sincere pumpkin patch I could find, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Great Pumpkin (and to maybe snag a candy or two). Finally, my patience paid off because...guys...the Great Pumpkin showed up and gave me something even better...a massive, gargantuan cornucopia of olfactory delights...a Darling Clandestine order!!!

This order was the culmination of winning some sweet prizes and a hefty discount code from DC's photo contest a couple months ago, which I shared my contributions to here. I decided to use the code and do a big order with my freebies all at once, resulting in this:



Full size oils in: Vardogr
Maudlin and Bedlam
Hellbender
Circassian
Limerence
Solid scent in Hellbender
Lip Balm in Ruby Throated
Halloween Suite (Falter, Wither, Squander, Spurn)
Body Balm in Maudlin and Bedlam

Whew!
Ok, this is how this order broke down:
I ordered a three full size oil listing which comes at a discount for buying the multiples: $38.00
Four Scent Halloween Suite: $44.00
Lip Balm: $8.00
That would have been a whopping (totally worth it but not in my budget) $90.00. But wait, I had a 40% off code-bringing me down to $54.00, and with extremely reasonable shipping, $58.60
And then...THEN! I got to choose a free solid scent, perfume oil, and balm. I chose Vardogr, Hellbender, and Maudlin and Bedlam respectively. Full value for those would have been about $50.00
And then, as if that wasn't already near highway robbery right there, Evonne threw in an extra full size oil, Limerence, just because. So basically I got almost $160 worth of utterly brilliant smellies for $58.60. Excited doesn't begin to cover it.

 This is just another post to illustrate how great DC's customer service is, and how generous Evonne is as a seller. I think pretty much all the sellers I buy from are generous with the samples and customer appreciation, but I must say DC is tops when it comes to promotions, contests, freebies, and coupon codes. She's pretty much always got something brewing in the promotion/contest department. Right now there is a Halloween costume contest going on, until November 2nd, with several different categories for how you can participate. I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was a kid honestly (we don't really have any parties to attend and I usually work Halloween night anyway) so I have no costumes and I am a bit broke at the moment so I'm not sure if I will join in on this one. But maybe my competitive spirit will triumph somehow, who knows? But if you can, you should!

Here's some quick thoughts on all these scents. Quick because there's a lot of them.

Limerence

I'm pretty sure I've reviewed this before. This is basically the embodiment of the atmosphere before it rains, heavy, moody, humid, heady. So many scents say they smell like rain, this one actually does. Rain and concrete and lilies. Sitting by a window on a hot summer afternoon, watching the heat lightning illuminate the sky.

Maudlin and Bedlam

This is dark, green, a touch of sweet honey and quite a bit like cardamom too. The dry down is a little deeper and woodsier than the other super green scents like Serpentina and Curiosities' Ball. I got this as a body balm and really like the formula. Don't expect this to be a whipped body butter kind of deal, because it truly is a balm. It's got pretty much the same consistency as a solid scent, but it melts into the skin nicely and doesn't feel oily like you might think it would. I will like this for winter when my hands get really chapped (one of the banes of library work-handling a lot of paper dries out your skin). This would also work nicely as a massage balm once it has melted a bit. My only complaint is that the tin is nearly impossible to open. I've tried putting tape around it so it wouldn't get stuck, no luck. I resort to using fairly sharp objects every time I want to pry it open. I had the same issue with some of the solid scent tins, though my new Hellbender one seems different as it opens much more easily.

Vardogr

Weird, but not too weird. Perfect rainy day wearing. It's dank, herbal, a gritty, mossy hidden passage of stone and dark puddles of coffee, unnerving and somehow comforting at the same time.

Circassian

I got this mostly out of curiosity. I am rarely impressed with chocolate based scents. But I love this! It's not a fake plastic chocolate scent, but has a depth and slight bitterness as you're inhaling that really brings to mind the real thing. The floral aspect comes out more towards the dry down, and somehow it works with the chocolate/coffee combo. I don't know how, but it does.

Hellbender

This is a departure from the green DC scents I've tried-there's not a blade of grass or whisper of vine to be found here. It's spicy, warm, gingery, deep vanilla goodness. I am reminded a little of Alkemia's Seduction Gingembre, but that scent has a kind of metallic bitter sharpness that kept me from loving it all the way from cold sniff to dry down. This one is a lot smoother. It doesn't last as long on me as other DC scents and it clings fairly close to my skin. Still... it's got a tough, rugged, buttery warmth to it, like well-worn leather. The name brings to mind something a Steampunk adventurer might wear or maybe drink, a brass tankard filled with the spiciest ginger beer, sweet but with serious kick under all that fluffy foam.


Halloween Suite

First off, the bottles are flipping adorable! I love the dropper applicator, and they have a wonderful mad scientist quality about them. These are definitely not your usual Halloween scents. No pumpkins or ghosts and goblins or buckets o'candy  here. These bring to mind the real things that go bump in the night and make you wake up in a cold sweat, the things we are really afraid of on a visceral level: failure, wasted potential, words left unsaid, life's moments flying by and adding up as we stand there impotent, helpless to stop them. These seem to command attention to those fears, to acknowledge them, let them in, and then fight. And keep fighting.

Falter
“All at once, the electric panic that lights up your inadequacies like constellations. Kill it.”
Startling, misty, herbal, with notes including avocado and ozone and clary sage.

This is green, cool as a cucumber. In fact, the avocado reminds me of cucumber, but not your usual cucumber-melon type scent, of course. It smells like walking through hazy, utterly silent woods just after dawn, with a touch of frost in the air, leaves clinging defiantly to branches but more often than not succumbing. Skeletal branches, hard earth underfoot, moving slowly, as if in a dream. Atmospheric and melancholy.

Wither
“One Draconian day, the fissures into which your voluptuous youth dissolves. Welcome it.”
Unsettling, ethereal, with notes including ozone and blueberry and trampled leaves, soaked in black rum.

This is one of those scents with which you must first suspend disbelief. Blueberries? Don't expect fake scratch and sniff berries here. The top note is bursting with them, but moody, earthy, airy berries. The earthy/leafy notes as it dries reminds me of Vardogr, but more uplifted, with a subtle touch of booziness. These are wetter woods, a brief thaw before the chill sets in for good. The path you're on has been walked many times before. Will you continue on or forge your own through the darker woods beyond? Are you being followed or are you truly alone? Which would be worse? You must decide, time is fleeting and daylight's fading. Contemplative and plaintive.


Squander
“Rich as cello, the furious moments you wasted, never recognizing the fire at your command. Taste them.”
Deep and decadent, with rich fruitful notes including clove and nutmeg and sandalwood and ripe red apple.

Possibly the most traditional or easily accessible scent of the bunch. This one is a comfort, a warm harvest blanket as the storm rages outside, the moment of reprieve in the horror film when the protagonist finally finds someone that believes their unfathomable tale and can help them, and for a moment, they hope. This one lets you finally exhale the breath you've been holding all along.

Spurn
“At each silence, the ache of the blade that released your indecorous wrath. Twist it.”
Fierce and passionate, with bright bursts of pomegranate, tempered with aged wood and haunted by marigolds.

I wasn't sure I would like this at first, pomegranate is one of those fruit notes than can be great...or very, very bad on me. This one works though. It's bright and assertive at first but not too tangy, and is tempered by a deep, slightly spicy woodsiness. This scent, per the description, is not passive. It's a flurry of action, a scent of desperate doing. This scent steps up. It says, in the end, you just might have to save yourself. Rebirth after much loss, a phoenix rising. The dry down resolves the plot with a languid, creamy clean note, not quite soapy clean or fresh laundry clean, but hovering somewhere in between. Not a happy ending, but even the most bittersweet among them have beauty.

Finally, for comparison's sake, all three varieties of DC balms: solid scents, body balms, and lip balms. The sliding lip balm tin is a quirky, unique delivery system, and the Ruby Throated scent is lovely, fresh from the garden, pleasingly sweet and herbal. The body balm tin is hefty and substantial, but as I said before, terribly difficult to open. If anyone has tried them and has any pointers, I'd love to know! The Hellbender tin may be a new model because it is much more cooperative than others I have.



So...have you tried any of these scents or are you tempted by my rapid raving? You should be! Happy Halloween everyone!


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4 comments :

  1. Oo this sounds so delightful! Makes me want to put in an order right now, I am dying for some new bath + body goodies!

    jess | Quaintrelle

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    Replies
    1. Yes, DO IT!!!! She has her Black Friday/Cyber Monday early due to her work schedule-it will be from 11/2-11/9 and all the things will be 26% off.

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  2. The way you describe perfume is really inspiring! Seriously, your words rival even the best shop descriptions. Limerece is something I will definitely need to buy eventually. I've been looking for the perfect REAL rainy day ozone perfume! Falter sounds awesome too! I am so bad at describing DC perfumes, but I've yet to try one I haven't liked. Great haul by the way- you worked hard on those pictures for that contest, and you truly deserve these goodies at that huge discount :)

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  3. I just ordered a few samples in from DC and am looking forward to trying them. As soon as Mad as Birds returns, I'll be ordering a few more items.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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