Tahitian Gardenia

Touting itself as a natural, micro-batch fragrance house, Pacifica can be, in my experience, hit or miss. Some Pacifica scents seem to carelessly deconstruct themselves quickly and waft away from you to the point that one wonders if you’re wearing perfume or if it’s just faint remnants of fabric softener lingering on your clothes mixed with the vague smell one’s shampoo. And that sounds better than it is… Basically they just smell overly synthetic, cheap and very weak.

But…on my skin…Tahitian Gardenia is the exception. And I would have given up on this house years ago based on my previous experiences if not for the fact that I tried Tahitian Gardenia soap once and I recalled that it was actually quite lovely. So, I bought a non-committal rollerball the other night and have been using it since. It really is nice…

It’s not a passionate or truly elegant gardenia, like the Gardenia in Chanel’s Les Exclusifs. Nor is it heady, subversive and almost too opulent as in the vintage cult classic Tuvaché Jungle Gardenia. No… It’s fruity, very cheerful and simply pleasant. It might even be too simple if not for the tea leaf that adds a cool nod to a casual charm, hidden depth and sophistication. It’s fun but not insipid.

I quite like it.

My only qualm is that it’s not very long lasting. But at the price it is, that’s not terribly concerning…

Notes: Gardenia, jasmine, sweet orange and tea leaf.

French Lilac


French Lilac by Pacifica is…  lilac.  It’s very very lilac.  Except, it’s not authentic, fresh cut lilac.  It’s perfume lilac…  It almost smells authentic at first, but during the drydown it smells a bit forced.

Frankly, on its own, I’m not crazy about Pacifica French Lilac and I slightly question why I bought an entire bottle.  Hmm…  Haha!  But then I remember that it’s lilac.  And I love lilac…  “Perfumey” or otherwise.

Notes: lilac, magnolia petals, heliotrope, ylang-ylang, nectarine and hyacinth.  

I’m scared to wear high heels.  Women who wear high heels regularly are viewed differently, especially in casual clothes loving America.

Weak, fussy, and worst of all, pretentious.  Those are words that come to mind about the way people perceive women who wear heels outside of an office setting.

I hate pretentiousness (not true elegance).  My disdain comes from being raised in a very affluent, yuppie suburb by ex hippie parents (my father was a pot smoking, rebellious, Vietnam protestor who planned to be an anthropology professor but then “got saved” in Vietnam and decided he didn’t believe in evolution…).   They never fit in with their peers in our community with the idealistic but not particularly lucrative life choices they generally made.

Of course, my mom (no pot or politics but lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and vitamin supplements) and dad were actually a hell of a lot more genuinely sophisticated than many of the other parents in my school.  My father used to be so annoyed when parents clapped in between movements in a symphony during school orchestra concerts (I was in the viola section) and yet was snubbed by the same people after the performance…

It wasn’t too hard to see through  the other parent’s desperate attempts to prove themselves to everyone and the deep insecurity aroused by those they saw as reminders of who they feared they really were.  And, my parents were reminders.  They wore inexpensive,    older (but clean) clothes, had laid-back attitudes, and an apparently offensive lack of any noticeable status symbols.  I, as the vulnerable child, bore the brunt of many arrogant, catty and rude interactions with bullies young and old.

So, understandably, I am very anti bourgeoisie, new money antics, and most importantly, and succinctly, anyone who is ignorant and pathetic enough to put people down for socio-economic reasons in an attempt to feel better about their own shaky status.  I can’t tell you how many of those air fluffed parents had to sell their very large homes, extra car(s) or were forced to make difficult decisions when just the dot com bubble burst.

Anyway, even to this day I refuse to do certain things.  For example, I refuse to buy a very expensive car that isn’t practical (at least so far).  I enjoy beauty but I refuse to play by the set of social rules set by the upper middle class that I’m supposed to play by to “look like I have money” and etc.  I loathe and fear the limitations imposed, and therefore implicit tackiness and true embarrassment of genuinely “caring” about those rules.

But…  lately…  I’ve been considering buying a designer bag, and wearing…  high heels.  Remember how I’ve been trying to find my style and etc?  Yeah.  I like heels a lot.

So…   am I going to let bourgeoisie posers and their descendants permanently rob me of my freedom to express myself?  Am I going to let my fears about how seriously I’ll be taken by those I respect or what “message I’m sending” take away fashion choices?   No!  …I try not to let past negative experiences control me in most aspects of my life, and how I dress is one of the last vestiges of my socially traumatic youth.  I love my non-materialistic, non-conformist, hippie roots, and/but I’ve gotta be real about what I like…

So…  I’m going to make a concerted effort to wear what I really want to wear.  I’m going to force myself to deal with it.  After all, I need to live my life…  I need to live.  Even in seemingly small ways.

And, I’m going to hope that people who really “matter” in my life understand…



Persian Rose


Persian Rose (Pacifica) is the sort of citrusy, fruity, elegant rose scent that smells like the flower as it is found in its natural habitat.   Imagine mist drenched rose petals in a summer garden.  This is tasteful, fresh, bright and slightly serious but with an optimistic quality that is quite contagious. Persian Rose breathes on the skin, allowing for a moment of pause to fully enjoy all of its charm.

Notes: rose, violet, fruity notes and myrhh.



Mexican Cocoa

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Wearing Mexican Cocoa (Pacifica) is truly like covering yourself in  spicy, warm delectable chocolate, only it’s much less messy and certainly more refined.  It’s a rich, slightly floral chocolate too – nothing cheap and waxy.  Notes of almond and Mexican chocolate are  warned by a vanilla swirled cinnamon and cloves.

This is the perfect fragrance for days when you might need a little comfort.  It’s also festive and bright so it’s perfect for the holiday season.  Mexican Cocoa is a gourmet gourmand.

Notes: nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, Mexican chocolate and bitter almond.