I’ll admit: the drugstore is not usually where I shop for fragrance. I pretty easily justify the cost of expensive bottles, since they can last years. And, though totally hypocritical of me, I’ve always felt a certain way about drugstore perfumes: they must not last long, they must have harsh ingredients, the scents are very one-note… but Pacifica’s new Moon perfumes have brought me down from my fragrance high horse and have me wanting to explore more.
I recently decided to give the Pacifica Sunrise Moon and Neon Moon perfumes a shot and I was pleasantly surprised at their complex notes, long lasting effect and the “goodness” of the formulas. The Pacifica perfumes are 100% vegan and cruelty free, made with corn grain alcohol, and natural essential oils.
The glass bottle is recyclable, and doesn’t include a cap in order to minimize packaging waste. I personally would have liked a cap in order to make this bottle more travel friendly, but I admire the mission and the brand claims the sprayer is “air tight.”
Sunrise Moon and Neon Moon really give off two different vibes, which is why I wanted to highlight them side by side.
Sunrise Moon is bubbly, dreamy, and fresh with notes of peach, cardamom and mandarin. It’s got a soft, sweet citrus scent that definitely reminds me of a warm, sunny day spent drinking a spritzer. I love the balance that the cardamom gives, which is subtle but rounds out the scent so that it’s not sickly.
This isn’t a one-note fragrance as I mentioned before, it really layers and develops like you’d expect a quality perfume to. On first spritz you get the sweet peach, the florals start coming out a bit once it dries, then the spicy undertone mellows it out a bit for its longer lasting, well rounded effect.
Neon Moon is quite different to anything I’ve smelled coming from the drugstore. I would say a lot of drugstore fragrances stick to fruity, floral, or what I call “soft warm” (vanilla or cinnamon scents) but this is quite striking in contrast.
The notes are sandalwood, jasmine and smoky cardamom and overall it has a very spicy and woodsy aura. It’s alluring in its uniqueness, and I would probably categorize it as a “night out” or evening fragrance.
Neon Moon smells like a mossy backwoods walking path after rain to me. There’s really no sweetness to it, and the floral note is so subtle only to take the edge off the sandalwood and cardamom, so if you prefer musky scents, you’ll probably really enjoy this.
In the reviews, this one in particular seems to be a bit polarizing among shoppers— some reviews say the sandalwood is overpowering, which is interesting because I think the jasmine really mellows it out. That’s the thing about fragrance: your personal body chemistry can actually affect how something smells on you!
For $22, you get 1oz of perfume, which is about half the price of Clinique’s 1oz bottles, for reference. The affordable price, distinctive scents, clean formula and green packaging make this a true drugstore gem of a fragrance find!
You can pick up Pacifica perfumes at Ulta Beauty.