Dharan fragrance notes

    • Peppermint, Rhododendron, geranium, nutmeg, pink lotus, Jasmine, Wild Rose, Himalayan cedarwood, White Musks, ambergris,

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Latest Reviews of Dharan

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Dharan is much more austere and less feminine to my nose than Clandestine Labs Astoria, which is also a rose fragrance like Dharan...but I actually prefer Astoria to Dharan. That isn't to say that Dharan isn't also very nice, but I love the jammy/raspberry aspect of Astoria. Dharan on the other hand is extremely wearable for a man or a woman in my opinion. The opening has a yuzu note going on that really grounds the florals, and the geranium also helps give Dharan a unisex vibe to my nose. Dharan smells refined and a tiny bit restrained as well. It smells like how a really expensive suit looks...classy, slightly out of reach, but you still want it. I would wear Dharan for a formal night out fragrance more than I would for a laid back event as it strikes me more as best dress than jeans, but do I think I could pull Dharan off in jeans...yeah, I do, LOL. That estimation has more to do with Dharan than it does with me though. Two thumbs up.
29th April 2023
Dharan by Clandestine Laboratories (2021) is quite plainly a floral fragrance, and is among the more-direct fragrances made by Mark Sage for his indie brand, being rivaled in that directness only via Master by Clandestine Laboratories (2021), which likewise is very plainly about leather. However, I think Dharan may have Master beat in the sheer simplicity department, as there isn't an impossibly complex assimilation of materials here causing the singular floral accord like there is comprising Master's leather scent. Instead, Dharan is very much mint, florals, cedar, and ambroxides. There are more things that that shaping and pulling on Dharan, but in the midst of it all, you will smell rose very clearly, with a bit of green here and there to keep it from feeling jammy or dark. Fans of the Francis Kurkdjian approach to rose perfumes will like this, as will lovers of 70's green rose things; but make no mistake, this is not a rose soliflore. Dharan by Clandestine Laboratories is based on the the second largest city in Nepal; sharing its name with the city, and in the brand's own words: "a name derived from the Sanskrit word Dharana, a meditative focus on the divine". In short, this won't blow minds nor does it reinvent the wheel, but it's "just plain good" in its own non-fussy sort of way way.

The opening of Dharan is bright and fresh, with a citrus character even though none is listed by the perfumer. I do get the mint, but in a hazy non-potent way, before what smells like a mix between some sort of green stemminess and honeysuckle joins. Again, no listed honeysuckle here, just my impressions. What is listed however, is something called rhododendron leaves. Rhododendron is Nepal's national flower, but has no odor of its own, and I have never smelled rhododendron leaves in isolation so I can't really tell you what I am smelling here. Like many other Clandestine fragrances, the name-dropping of one completely foreign exotic material is par for the course, much like the choya loban in Film Noir by Clandestine Laboratories (2021). Rose and geranium is next, green and metallic, fresh, and uplifted with jasmine and lotus accords. Cedar, white musks, and slightly salty ambergris note round this out, bringing us from MFK to being more like Creed and how they execute ambroxan-powered ambergris notes in their florals. That salty freshness lingers with the rose and jasmine, with just the tiniest puff of woodiness. In a nutshell: this is very nice and uplifting, with long staying power that feels best in warmer months for a casual fragrance fling. The musks in this do come out much more on skin than clothing, so I will warn you there.

Many conventional CISHET guys will say this is feminine, and even the perfumer himself doesn't particularly think this meshes well with conventional masculine skin chemistry (or his own anyway), and that women will appreciate this much more. Here I tend to agree, so I think labeling it as a feminine perfume is not incorrect. However, if you really enjoy fresh florals, green rose accords, jasmine hedione, and salty ambergris applications; or better yet, you are a fan of things like Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie (1980), Olene by Diptyque (1987). or The Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose (1973), I wouldn't let suggested gender usage dissuade you from at least sampling Dharan. Sometimes there is elegance in well-constructed simplicity, and sometimes simple pleasures are the best ones. I personally can take or leave the exotica over the name or theme; and if you are going to get a simple fresh floral in the niche category, why give the big corporate-backed luxury brands like MFK or Creed your money when this exists? Not only is the value much better for the price, but this does something those don't, and Dharan is many times more lucid of a floral fragrance to my nose than anything you can find at a luxury department store counter anyway. Not extraordinary, but beautiful in an extra-ordinary way that seems comfortable. Thumbs up
27th March 2022