Brand: Darling Clandestine

Scent Description: I mentioned “Mushyflowers” as a fake example of a designer fragrance in an interview on Working with Monolids. Now it’s totally real. You know how a lot of “almond” fragrances either smell like nuclear cherry cough syrup or like cinnamon-dominated “pralines”? Yeah, I’m tired of that. So I worked on my own interpretation of almond, with a bunch of ingredients that are not almond fragrance oils. And that’s one aspect of Mushyflowers. The other aspect is florals. Floral fragrances are supposed to be heady and sweet and cloying, right? Not this one. For this I was inspired by magnolia. I didn’t use “magnolia” fragrance oil, because I haven’t found one that gets *my* kind of magnolia right. Have you seen and smelled an American magnolia tree in spring? I think they’re so cool because the big, succulent blooms come out before the leaf buds, so you have these striking pale pink flowers on gnarled, spreading silver branches. The flowers are thick and waxy and easily bruised, rather like lilies, and while they do have a heady sweetness to them, they also have a green-ness, a bitterness, a muskiness, almost a fleshiness. That fleshiness is what I wanted. And I used a number of other elements to capture that. So what you get in Mushyflowers is the succulence of magnolia poured over a base of toasted almond. Two hates, mingled into love.

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