Portraits - Clandestine Clara 2017

Portraits - Clandestine Clara by Penhaligon's
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7.9 / 10156 Ratings
Portraits - Clandestine Clara is a popular perfume by Penhaligon's for women and was released in 2017. The scent is sweet-spicy. It is being marketed by Puig. Pronunciation
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Perfumer

Sophie Labbé

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesRumRum
VanillaVanilla
Heart Notes Heart NotesCinnamonCinnamon
MuskMusk
Base Notes Base NotesAmberAmber
PatchouliPatchouli

Ratings

Scent

7.9156 Ratings

Longevity

7.9132 Ratings

Sillage

7.3140 Ratings

Bottle

8.8144 Ratings

Value for money

6.218 Ratings
Submitted by Michael, last update on 04.12.2021.
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Reviews

9
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
10
Bottle
2
Pricing
Elysium

523 Reviews
Elysium
Elysium
   3  
A Penchant For Fine Booze
The Clandestine Clara, what a funny name for a perfume, isn’t it? I couldn’t help but buy a decanter of this bizarre fragrance. Bizarre, why bizarre? Because it aims at a female audience, even if it contains a lot of boozy, spicy, and dirty accords that make you think of a perfume that is anything but feminine. Otherwise, a lady with a penchant for fine booze. The explosion of rum and vanilla offers a fragrant aroma reminiscent of luxury rum. I can imagine a 10-year-old Don Papa, a Diplomatico Ambassador, or a Matusalem Gran Reserva. These rums have a hint of vanilla in common among their flavors. On the nose, the sweet notes are vibrant, with those pleasant hints of vanilla that distinguish the production of these rums. It is spicy vanilla, far from edible. As it turns out, Clandestine Clara shares more than a few bites with those luxury rums, and not only the warmth of the brownish juice color. It is one of those rums that you have to sip, hold a little in your mouth to savor all the nuances, then swallow it and feel your throat burning with pleasure.

Clandestine Clara is a true oriental, spicy, smoothly woody, and sweet, in equal measure. First, this fragrance is beautifully enticing, cheerful, and comforting while being both spicy and smoky, still, without being too floral or sweet. The scent tells a tale of exotic travel with vanillic rum from the Antilles, musky cinnamon from Cylon, and ambery patchouli from Indonesia. As soon as the fragrance reaches my skin, oriental and aromatic glitter shapes. Just for a moment, a passive and opulent opening of boozy amber surfaces. I can promptly sense that the fragrance is a riot of passion, desire, sensual pleasure. Nothing is faint, feeble, or too feminine. The impression of rum and vanilla that blend with the fragrance’s alcohol is so genuine as if I am sipping a fine glass of rum. I can’t get my hand out of my nose. The trail of warm rum and vanilla is so narcotic and sensual. Besides, the vanilla is not too tasty and certainly never cloying on me.

It is powerful in the beginning but fades in the middle. As the boozy blast tames, I catch the divine nuance between the musk’s whiteness and the cinnamon’s spiciness. The two things work very well together, with the musk kindness ruling the cinnamon sweetness. Later, a few floral notes, likely powdery roses and irises, jump in with a smoky nuance typical of the incense. The cinnamon stays warm, homey and spicy, and perfectly matches the powdery nuance.

Clandestine Clara seals her last sumptuous passion with the ardor of amber patchouli. However, only a slight dose of the earthy, cleansed, and modern note is present. Then, a little vanilla softness and a slight warmth of wood mixed with amber suggest what remains on the skin. The amber expands as all of these lively characters walk off the stage, but it keeps the dusty shine of cinnamon for a remarkably long time.

A riot of rum and patchouli blasts, but once it weds the skin, spiced vanilla hovers in the air of every room. Sweet, but with a darker, musky murmur. It is a lovely warm fragrance for the cold seasons, not too overwhelming, from late fall to early spring, but it will leave a mark. Below average is the performance on my skin. I would say this is an authentic, confident fragrance, it’s powerful but not oppressive, and at first, I get the vanilla vibe, but when it settles, it turns muskier but still with a sweet twist stays on the skin throughout the day. If you like sweet and musky and an actual cozy fragrance, then this is for you.

I base the review on a decant I have owned since November 2021.

-Elysium
10
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
6
Pricing
Lilitu
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Lilitu
Lilitu
Helpful Review    1  
We need rum, rum, rum, or we'll die of thirst....
"We need rum, rum, rum, otherwise we'll die of thirst" - a line from the song "Es gibt nur Wasser" by the shanty group Santiano. To be honest, I rather appreciate as a drink gin and tonic. However, rum in this form, just wow.

And again, love at first sniff. Do I have to worry slowly, that I fall more and more to the expensive niche fragrances? Is there more than one "love at first sight"? I'm afraid I can only answer "YES" to that question. Like a butterfly, I fly from scent to scent, falling in love over and over again. Of course, there are also fragrances that I don't like at all, but I'm just not talking about those.

Rum is the first scent that wafts around my nose. Then the vanilla creeps in with the spices - light cinnamon. I think involuntarily of the delicious little chocolate bars "Ritter Rum". Today known as "Jamaica Rum Crunch". Simply delicious.
The rum scent is softened by the musk and the amber-patchouli blend, which gives the sweet-spicy gourmand scent a powdery note that is clearly present for me. Simply Divine. Not at all alcohol impregnated, but fine and noble.
No one told me rum could smell this fine. Not wicked. But noble.

Conclusion:
Patience, patience - one day you will be my sweetheart.
7.5
Scent
10
Longevity
9
Sillage
9
Bottle
5
Pricing
TiBe
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TiBe
TiBe
Helpful Review    10  
What an interesting lady...
... ...even if she's a constant pain in the ass.
Clara is the emancipated woman of the Edwardian era. When woman was actually still "angel in the house" and was happy when her husband granted her "a room of one's own", she already lived alone and earned her money herself.
The selection was clear, factory workers did not suit her, as a prostitute she would have had to give up her self-determination and would have married - if at all - a nobleman, who as is well known is sown rarely and rarely used to marry idiosyncratic ladies who have already clearly exceeded the age of 20.
So Clara works in a nightclub where men look for adventure night after night and women look for well-off providers. She greets the guests, because they know each other, or at least pretend to. Kisses from the ladies with the heavy sweet perfumes that stick to her during the evening, a discreet nod from the men. Clara brings them glass after glass of the golden-brown brews from the heavy barrels in the cellar. The many ways up and down the narrow cellar stairs make them sweat a lot, but Clara knows that the gentlemen like to flip an extra coin when their swill is fresh and cold. So she walks and doesn't care about the vapours under her arms, which during the night form a strange combination with alcohol and sweet vapours.
Towards the end of the night, the men also start to eye Clara with slightly dazed eyes, she already knows this. Hardly anyone makes open advances to her and she has found out early on that skilful pretending to be clueless can quickly nip it in the bud.
So the only thing left for the remaining gentlemen to do is to lean back and enjoy their melange, the scent of a woman they cannot have (and rarely want to have in an unfogged state), who smells like their favourite place, of sweet promises, of narcotic alcoholic drinks, of work done under unshaven women's axes, and they imagine sinking their noses into Clara's dress and thus keeping the memory of this successful evening alive.
But like every evening Clara goes home alone, to her own little apartment, paid for by her own little money. She hangs out her dress, she can afford the services of a laundress and she does so with the greatest satisfaction. Tomorrow she will wear another one, and with the best will in the world she cannot bear the smell of her dress after a day's work in her apartment overnight. She goes to bed at dawn, freshly washed and completely unscented.
Only the washerwoman turns up her nose the next morning when she collects the dress and lets it disappear in her sack. She has her own ideas about what kind of customer this customer will be...
2 Replies
8
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
9
Bottle
Serenissima
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Serenissima
Serenissima
Top Review    19  
the Emancipated
At a time when you're almost considered a leper if you enjoy a cocktail or a long drink at the end of the day (and maybe even in public in a bar or a street café!), I like the smell of Penhaligon's very much.
Although the brand and I still haven't found the right access to each other, the encounter with this Clara is pure pleasure!

Contrary to her name, this fragrance person does nothing stealthy - quite the opposite!
This "Clara" stands by what she does: she loves to drink rum - and not too little and without later sucking a lying peppermint candy and grinning apologizing!
So she is also surrounded by a proper portion of rum and underlines its spice here still with hot-blooded vanilla: but yes nevertheless - so it must be!
"Clara" drinks and sings loud and cheerfully indecent songs, leaned against the piano; the skirts are gathered, the long legs are swung and if you gave her a noble cigar or a cigarette (of course in a long ivory tip!), she wouldn't be averse either.
(By the way and all among us: a breath of tobacco would dress this fragrance creature very well!)
Cinnamon and musk - both from the big bag of course - correspond excellently with the "appearance" scents.
One looks again and the perhaps still sleepy senses switch to reception!
"Oh, look: this Girl - how enjoyable!!" even the older men call!
They clean their glasses with caution, or - especially stylish - monocles: You can never know ...
Sophie Labbé as a perfumer adds some more, not boring amber notes and generous patchouli to make the pleasure of the fragrance even more stimulating for the senses!
Order must be and such a spicy-luminous fragrance vortex also needs to be properly padded!

This woman knows what she's doing! And that in the allegedly so prudish Great Britain!
"Oh la la!" I'm sure some on the other side of the canal say, "Clandestine Clara" has something!
And she holds out her fragrant appearance for a few hours without getting tired!
I'm really surprised: I didn't expect something so entertaining!

So, "Cheers Clara! And please, do it again!"
10 Replies
8
Scent
7
Longevity
7
Sillage
10
Bottle
DonJuanDeCat
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DonJuanDeCat
DonJuanDeCat
Very helpful Review    14  
Rebellious women and cats
"Hi hi, stop it!"
"Hey hey, I'll tickle you anywhere, my dear kitty!"
"Purr..."
...
Well, this goes on for a while... it's Lord George and Clara who are busy with amorous activities, even if their dialogues might sound like they're from a bad comedy, but that's just the way they are. Lord George is a well-known and esteemed nobleman, Clara is a woman who often mixes with the nobility, but she is not a lady herself, because she is not noble. On the contrary, she is rather a thorn in the side of most nobles and the British royal family, because she does not behave very ladylike, as the nobles put it. She likes to have a drink, smoke, be loud and speak her mind, comparable to the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, who was also a colourful personality and therefore a rather difficult person for some of the royal family.
Clara... cat-like graceful, but also cat-like scratchy if necessary...!

But it was precisely this wild temperament of Clara that Lord George appreciated so much about her, who did not really love his wife, Lady Blanche, anyway, and knew that she was only after his money. Clara, on the other hand, liked him just as he is, without showing any interest in his money. Even if it wasn't real love, it was still a "nice" acquaintance.

"Oh, that was great!"
"What? Just great?", asked Clara, who played the offended one.
"That was, um... purrty?"
"Okay, that was the stupidest thing I've ever heard, but at least it made me laugh!" laughed Clara.
"Well, I just love cats," Lord George smiled back.

Just when Lord George had said this, a loud meowing suddenly came from the sofa. A cat was on it and looked at Lord George expectantly.

"Hmm... "I was talking about Clara, but I love you too, my little girl."
The cat meowed again and Lord George could have sworn he heard some kind of satisfaction from the cat meowing.

"Well, Margaret is also a girl who wants to hear nice words from a fine gentleman like you," said Clara.
"Your cat's name is Margaret? Named after THE Margaret?", the Lord asked in surprise.
"That's right, Princess Margaret!"
"I see." Lord George said, smiling "What's so funny?" hissed Clara.
"Nothing, except that you two have a lot in common and you are rebellious women," Lord George said, "And damned attractive you both are too!"
"Oh," said Clara, "now you're interested in the princess too!"
"Just a little bit, perhaps!" Lord George laughed.
"Uh-huh... but I can do things that probably not even the princess can do!", Clara replied snippily.

But before Lord George could ask what she meant, she grabbed him again and put him in a position that was unfamiliar to him.
"Um... okay, that's new!" he said.
"You have no idea!" she giggled..
... and while the two of them, much to the annoyance of Lady Blanche presumably, continue to devote themselves to certain activities, in which Clara seems to take the lead all the time, I prefer to come to the fragrance dedicated to this woman, who is also considered to be a rebel.

The smell:
Rum and vanilla have an effect right from the start and smell fantastic. The cinnamon, which is much less noticeable, nevertheless gives the scent a certain pungency or spiciness, which goes well with vanilla and rum. However, the cinnamon disappears quite quickly.
I also have the feeling that a slight tobacco leaf note seems to be in play.
In any case, the scent actually remains only vanilla and rum (later, of course, only vanilla), with both light amber and a slightly earthy patchouli in the base.
An altogether wonderful, powdery sweetish scent.

The Sillage and the durability:
The sillage here is quite strong, so that one leaves a good scent cloud with which one can smell well.
The shelf life is also quite good and the fragrance lasts for more than ten hours.

The bottle! The bottle is similar to the normal Penhaligon's bottles, as it is also cylindrical. Although the shape varies slightly from the normal flacons, the most striking feature is the golden cap, which shows a different animal head in all the portrait fragrances. Here you can see the head of a
Peacocks. A very nice bottle
"Aaah! That was..."
"Just don't say 'mustache' again," Clara giggled.
"Hey hey, I'm not!" laughed Lord George before he looked down at the sofa.
"What's wrong?" asked Clara?
"You... I think your cat was watching us the whole time...!
Clara had to laugh out loud. However, Margaret actually looked over at them all the time, albeit with a slightly bored, expressionless expression. Or she didn't want to let it be known that while Clara and George were "busy" she had thrown the car keys, an empty glass in which rum had been filled shortly before and the ashtray with the remains of the expensive cigars from the small side table next to the sofa down to the floor... which cats always do...

"Great, now I feel observed, and somehow caught in the act!" wailed Lord George amused.
"Well, I really should feed her before she knocks over any more stuff," Clara said.
"Do that, and I'd better get back home before Blanche finally flips out! I have a feeling she's gonna kill me one of these days...!" ...

Which Lord George was not wrong about, since Lady Blanche was actually already planning the murder of him, albeit for his money, and not because of the affair, which would only be a scandal for the British aristocracy if it came out and it was clear that Lord George was not always the fine, infallible gentleman... but that was another story....

...
Yeah, that scent is great, too. Rum and vanilla are great scents that fit perfectly into autumn and winter. Well, it's spring now, so you'll have to wait a little longer before you can use this scent here again, but then you'll have a wonderful scent for it, which is especially good for going out.

Strictly speaking, the scent is quite simple and therefore smells like many other well-done vanilla scents, but this one comes in a great bottle :)
Yeah, I'd give it a test drive!

Statements

ElysiumElysium 9 days ago
9
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
10
Bottle
A riot of rum and patchouli. Once it weds the skin, spiced vanilla hovers in the air of every room. Sweet but with a darker musky murmur.

Perfume Classification by the Community


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