Please remember - although this is staged as a competition, NONE of the scents presented are bad. I am toying with the idea of a FFO "which one is worse" category but for now I am ONLY comparing scents that are either 1. comparable as similar fragrances or 2. two choices from the same brand. The "winner" and the "loser" are only for recommendation purposes. So let's get started and see how this works.
DarlingClandesting Round 1
I decided to start with an indie because I haven't talked about indie scents in a hot minute, and I chose DarlingClandestine because she is my favorite hands down. So then the question was what scents? Since I've only been introduced to the indie scene since about last August (2014), a lot of my purchases have been LE items - the more regular scents I've held off on, for the time being. However, I don't want to rec LE scents that you can't get any more, so I chose Pyrotechnik and Carny Wedding. They don't have too much in common, but both are "Summer" releases, and both are nicely sweet on my skin. Purchasing information will be below as always, although these two are currently not available, I hope they will be once we get into Summer!
Fragrance Composition: For the first category, I'm looking at the fragrance ins and outs. I'm not comparing notes, because DC rarely lists "notes", but I will link you to the scent discography right here if you want more info. Pyrotechnik opens with a sweet burst of melon... cantaloupe. It is very "ripe", almost too sweet, but is almost immediately tempered but something a little spicy... I am not sure what she's used, but if I had to guess I'd say straight black pepper - it isn't too much though, it doesn't irritate the nose at all. It just brings that sweet, overripe melon smell back to earth. And in the earth I can smell a bit of green, a bit of wet, maybe some moss climbing on trees. Beautiful. Carny Wedding begins with a bang, I get a heavy hit of something sweet over woodsmoke. As if someone were melting candy floss, then drizzling it over fresh popped popcorn by the fire. It lingers for a good while before the heavy sweetness drifts away and just a lovely, smokey wood fire scent is left behind. On my skin, this one doesn't have quite as developed a composition as Pyrotechnik, but it is really nice for someone like me who loves sweet, but not too sweet.
Pyrotechnik: 4 points
Carny Wedding: 3 points
Fragrance Longevity: I declined to judge sillage because I am reviewing both of these scents in solid form. In case you were not already aware, solids hold close to the body, but linger for hours, and DC does particularly lovely solid perfumes, creamy and easy to apply, not stiff, hard wax. Pyrotechnik applied in a small amount on the back of my hand developed and faded in about two hours. Because the skin here is thin, without any pulse points, that is faster than the wrist or neck. I'd estimate a small amount will last 4 hours or so on the inside wrist or neck. Carny Wedding was applied the same way, and it is not letting off. I can smell the woodsmoke about three hours after application now, and it is as strong as it was in the beginning. It hugs close but it doesn't let go, either.
Pyrotechnik: 3 points
Carny Wedding: 5 points
Wearability: The nice thing about solids is that you can wear even heavy fragrances without bothering a nearby work-mate or commuter. However, DarlingClandestine is well regarded as the master of ingenious perfumery and her scents are always amazing, but might not be appropriate for all wearers. Massive note here: This is how *I* smell them, so what may seem appropriate to me, would not work for someone else. Pyrotechnik is the more complex of the two, but still manages to come off as something I could let my old granny sniff and she wouldn't chastise me for being the daughter of Satan. It is complex but wearable and I think the fact that the pepper comes across so mild really helps make this less offensive overall. Carny Wedding has a more straightforward mosaic of scents combined within its makeup, but the very prominent woodsmoke is something that could be irritating to a casual wearer. Its tenacity also might make some nervous - especially if they find they don't like the scent. Sometimes even one prominent note can take away from the composition as a whole, and it would really depend on whether or not the wearer liked that scent.
Pyrotechnik: 4 points
Carny Wedding: 3 points
The final point tally falls as such - Pyrotechnik: 11/15 and Carny Wedding: 11/15. I swear I didn't plan that! So our very first Face-Off ends in a tie! That shouldn't surprise me for DarlingClandestine scents - this shop is probably my favorite indie perfumery and I have some of my favorite scents over all from her! So for my rec, can you guess? ;)
DarlingClandestine Rating - ♦♦♦♦♦: This is the epitome of a shop that uses its indie status as a vehicle for always pushing the envelope and trying new things. We, as dedicated fans, eat it up (figuratively). The lovely nose behind DC, Evonne, seems to always have something up her sleeve, and it is a joy to buy scents created with such passion and love - it really shows in the fragrances themselves. Even the most timid perfumista can find something to love here, and DarlingClandestine gets the full five star treatment. Visit her shop here.Whew, that was exhilirating! Are you exhilirated? I am. Oh, I am indeed. I found this format to be a lot of fun to play with, and the outcome was pretty neat - I wasn't keeping track at all so I had a surprise too, at the end! Well, when it comes to Pyrotechnik and Carny Wedding, I'd probably recommend Pyrotechnik, but what can I say - numbers don't lie. Pleasant journeys~