I admit it: the pharmacy is usually not the place where I buy perfumes. I quite easily justify the cost of expensive bottles, as they can last for years. And although totally hypocritical from me, i’ve always had a certain opinion about drugstore perfumes: they shouldn’t last long, they should have harsh ingredients, the perfumes are very monotonous… but Pacifica’s New Moon perfumes made me go down from my scent horse and make me want to explore more.
I recently decided to try the Pacifica Sunrise Moon and Neon Moon scents and was pleasantly surprised by their complex notes, long lasting effect and “goodness” of the formulas. Pacifica fragrances are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, made with corn grain alcohol and natural essential oils.
The glass bottle is recyclable and does not include a cap to minimize packaging waste. Personally, I would have liked a cap to make this bottle more travel-friendly, but I admire the mission and the brand claims the sprayer is “airtight.”
Sunrise Moon and Neon Moon really give off two different vibes, that’s why I wanted to put them side by side.
Sunrise Moon is sparkling, dreamy and fresh with notes of peach, cardamom and tangerine. It has a soft, sweet citrus scent that definitely reminds me of a warm, sunny day spent drinking a spritzer. I like the balance the cardamom gives, which is subtle but rounds out the scent so it’s not sickly.
It’s not a single note scent like I mentioned before, it really layers and expands like you’d expect a quality scent to. On the first spritz you get the sweet peach, the flowers start to pop out a bit when dry, then the spicy undertone softens it up a bit for its longer lasting, well-rounded effect.
Neon Moon is quite unlike anything I’ve smelled in drugstores. I’d say a lot of drugstore scents stick to fruity, floral, or what I call “sweet warm” scents (vanilla or cinnamon scents), but that’s a pretty stark contrast.
The notes are sandalwood, jasmine and smoky cardamom and overall it has a very spicy and woody aura. It is seductive in its uniqueness, and I would probably classify it as an “evening out” or evening scent.
Neon Moon smells like a mossy hiking trail after rain to me. There really isn’t any sweetness, and the floral note is so subtle that it overshadows the sandalwood and cardamom, so if you prefer musky scents, you’ll probably really appreciate it.
In reviews, this one in particular seems to be a bit polarized among buyers – some reviews say the sandalwood is overwhelming, which is interesting because I think the jasmine really softens it. That’s the problem with perfume: your body chemistry can actually affect how something smells on you!
For $22, you get 1 oz of perfume, which is about half the price of Clinique’s 1 oz 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 get Pacifica fragrances at Ulta Beauty.
Do you have a drugstore scent that you love?