Darling Clandestine Haul of Wonder and Delight

It's been far too long since I've hauled me some DC, and as usual, this one did not disappoint. I ordered a 3 pack of Bitsy vials in Pistolas, Dewlap Valentine, and Bete Noire, all new scents to me. I also picked up a solid in one of the scents I've been wearing a lot this summer, Mishigami. I've got a full size of the oil that I'm actually making a dent in, which, knowing how big those 15 ML bottles are, is really saying something. I ordered on June 9th, in the midst of Evonne getting ready to quit her day job and move to Texas, so TAT was a little longer than usual. This was well worth the wait. My order shipped on the 24th and I received it on the 27th. These sharky packages are hilarious!


So, I opened my package and thought it felt a little heavier than expected. I figured it was candy. I pulled out a caramel apple pop (which I love and have already eaten, of course) but the package still felt heavy. As I got out the individually wrapped vials, I knew one bottle was way bigger than a Bitsy. And... there was a full size bottle of Bete Noire. Holy crap, happy dance! Then I open the other two, and there were full sizes of both Pistolas and Dewlap Valentine as well! Those two are daintier 8 ML and 5ML respectively, so for a second I thought those were Bitsies while they still were wrapped, so I literally squeed and G thought I was nuts. Look at these beauties!

At the bottom of my package I found a note tag with this message:

I have been on a severely enforced low-buy for a looooong while now, so the Bitsy set was all I could afford, so I literally got a little choked up when I saw these. I know she took a hit sending all full sizes, so I felt a little bad.

 I was conflicted about even posting about this because of the fear it might come across as boastful, or worse, as setting an unfair precedent or expectation for all transactions to come with freebies, upgrades, etc. However, I felt I would be remiss to simply review the scents and present the items as if I had purchased them exactly as they arrived to me. I also felt it would show a lack of appreciation and essentially be lying by omission, so I chose to present the transaction in its entirety. Evonne is a really generous seller with sales and contests and such but I don't ever expect to get anything extra, and this certainly shouldn't be seen as standard. My last two orders came with exactly what I ordered and no extras except for candy, so please keep that in mind. This particular case seemed to be due to a unforeseen shortage in Bitsy vials. This is an exception rather than the rule. But obviously, getting these was really exciting, and I was extra grateful because I ended up loving all three new scents and probably would have wanted full sizes eventually anyway. On an aside, G got a job offer after having been laid off, so hopefully in the near future I will have a lot less pressure and a little more discretionary income at my disposal, so I fully intend to invest some of those funds in her shop when she reopens!

So, with that redundant disclaimer out of the way... what you really came here for, the scents!

Pistolas is soft, mellow gardenia and lavender (Abuelita's favorite), with an undercurrent of city sidewalks and just a kiss of tobacco leaf.

This opens with a blast of buttery gardenia. Underneath it is a hint of mellow lavender, not sharp or medicinal, but rather quite subtle. It's not super fresh-from-the-garden, but grittier, more urban, if that makes sense. It has that city sidewalk feel that's in the description, but it's also sort of mechanical, like a classy lady that enjoys hanging out in smoky car garages every so often and getting her hands dirty. If you're wondering how the gardenia compares to Solstice Scents' gardenia enfleurage, I would say they are similar, but Pistolas lacks the cooler, greener element the enfleurage has. Over time the scent dries down to a soft gardenia, really lovely. It clings close to my skin but I get surprisingly little wafts of it here and there. On a side note, the bottle has a picture of Evonne's grandmother on it, which is freaking gorgeous and the sweetest homage ever. Love this.

Bete Noire
DC friend Hillary had a jones for a scent with "a sneeze-worthy amount of black pepper, combined with a more sensible, feminine floral . . . a fierce floral suitable for nights out." The result is fierce indeed, with four kinds of pepper grounded in artemisia, greened with herbals and juniper, stretched taut with a sharp bitter carnation, and "purpled" with violets and orchids. Moody and intriguing, it draws attention in that "can't put my finger on it" sort of way.

I admit I wasn't sure about this one when I ordered it: did I really want a perfume with a "sneeze-worthy amount of black pepper?" Turns out I do. But it's not as scary as it sounds, and definitely not unwearable. I sneeze a lot (yay Ohio allergies!) but I've never sneezed when I cold sniffed this, and that's where most of the pepperiness resides. It's more of a faint, warm tickle in the back of my throat. It has a similar feel to Limerence at first, but not quite as humid-greenhouse heady. You might like Bete Noire if you like Solstice Scents' Solarium. There's some spicy carnation backing up the peppers as they fade, and I get some violet and orchid, but they don't go powdery on me, which is a relief. The dry down is a really comfortable, lived-in, casually "I'm-not-even-trying" sexy floral.

Dewlap Valentine
"He loved strawberries and bananas and dark leafy greens and usually had them smeared all over his face so he smelled like all of those things together, plus a little something . . . reptilian."

This one is fun! It's intensely fruity, strawberry and banana, with some deep, dark, slightly spicy green tones underneath. It's got the same strawberry note I think as Morderteile Kelah, so if you like one you might like the other. It reminds me of some kind of fruity cereal, Froot Loops maybe. My brain keeps latching onto the word mealy. Like fruit, but heftier, more substantial, with a physical sense of roundness you could almost bite into and chew. I can sense the inspiration- it has a wildness to it, salty and scaly. Strongest sillage of the three, I can smell this hovering in the air just after opening the bottle.


Mishigami is inspired by the beautiful Lake Michigan, from Illinois to Wisconsin to Indiana to, well, Michigan, and all its moods, from frantic to placid, and all its colors, from steely black to algae green to misty grey to Caribbean blue, and all its shorelines, from fine beach sands to rocky cliffs to dappled pebbles to soft dark mud. It's more than just an "aquatic" scent; it's got haunting sandy depth that I'm really, really pleased with. 

I can't remember if I've reviewed Mishigami before and I can't be arsed to search for it, so let me just say: it's an aquatic worth trying. Having never been to Lake Michigan, I can't say if it actually smells like that lake, but it's a dream lake, that's for sure. All sandy, deep watery goodness. Not oceanic. It's funny, but there is a difference. It reminds me of the swim club I went to as a child, with the cool pool water, the sand volleball courts, the hot concrete underfoot. Jumping into the water after adult swim, which seemed to last forever. The little playground where some genius had all the jungle gyms and see-saws made of painted metal, so actually playing on them was quite the masochistic endeavor. Ah, such memories. It's a good one. I like layering it with Solstice Scents' Tenebrous Mist, when I've got a hankering for more unsettled seas.

 That is all for today, but as a wee bonus, here is a glamour shot I took a while back of Maisy with my bottle of Don Gato, because nothing is better than the smell of warm, sun-bathing kitteh fur.

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  1. When I wrote about my purchases, I was a bit on the fence about including gifts (like a few times when I asked about purchasing full sizes and unlisted samples and the shops threw in the samples for free). I was nervous about people reading my blog and going the same route expecting free items, etc. In the end, I decided to include my full experience for transparency. I'm always stunned when shop owners are so generous like this, as I don't expect it either.

    1. Thanks for your input Iris! I have written "rave" type posts before and know I've mentioned that the really over-the-top extras are never something I or anyone else should expect as a matter of course. But with this post I got to thinking that I really didn't want my genuine desire to share my appreciation and excitement to backfire and unintentionally hurt Evonne's business, so I decided to write a more explicit disclaimer this time. I also believe transparency is very important; I would have felt dishonest to skim over the extras as if they hadn't happened. This is what happened, of course the unexpected surprise made me really happy (I certainly won't apologize for that, lol), but I never go into transactions with an inflated sense of entitlement. Hopefully I was clear enough to dissuade any such conclusions.


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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