Pacifica Avalon Juniper & Tibetan Mountain Temple ~ brief perfume reviews

Pacifica solid perfumes

Pacifica, a brand that concentrated on scented candles and body products before introducing a range of personal scents last year, is turning out to be a great resource for anyone looking for decent, wearable fragrances at a budget price — to my mind, they fit into the same niche that L'Occitane used to fill before they started inching towards upscale*. The Pacifica fragrances are not wildly complicated, but they're generally nicely done with attractive packaging, and the blends are more sophisticated than you'd expect for the price: $8.95 for a 10 gr solid compact, $19.95 for a 35 ml bottle of "Spray Perfume".

Here are brief reviews of my favorite two out of Pacifica's latest batch of releases, Avalon Juniper and Tibetan Mountain Temple. Both fragrances are unisex. Please bear in mind that I'm trying both in their solid form, and have never smelled either in the liquid form. I love solid perfumes, but admittedly, what you gain in portability, you lose in complexity and sillage.

Avalon Juniper ~ this one features juniper with grapefruit and heliotrope, and is being advertised as a sort of "fire and ice" thing. I'm getting more of the ice than the fire; in the early stages, it's a really lovely cheery grapefruit grounded with juniper, fresh and crisp and wintry. Later, the grapefruit fades a notch and it's softened by the heliotrope. I wish they'd gone heavier on the pine-y, resinous woody notes — this is closer throughout to juniper berry, and mild juniper berry at that — but it's a pleasant fragrance to wear, and it would probably layer nicely with something or another.

Tibetan Mountain Temple ~ to my nose, the best of what I've smelled from Pacifica so far. This is a mild incense scent with vetiver, patchouli, orange and ginger. The top notes smell like holiday-spiced orange and pale sandalwood incense; in the later stages, the orange mostly fades, and it gets warmer and earthier, with just a touch of vanillic sweetness. It's calming, and darkish without being so church-y dark (or incense-heavy) as Crazylibellule & The Poppies Encens Mystic. I thought Encens Mystic was a bargain, but this one is twice the size and half the price: you can't afford not to buy it. I've got my eye on the body butter for this scent ($15.95 for 8 oz), and I'd love to hear comments from anyone who has tried this in the liquid form. Highly recommended.

For buying information, see the listing for Pacifica under Perfume Houses.

* In all fairness, L'Occitane's prices aren't all that much higher if you ignore the newer, pricier Notre Flore collection and look for the older scents in the travel sizes. Their pleasant Green Tea scent, for instance, is currently $17 for 20 ml. The problem is that you frequently can't find the scent you want in a travel size. Ruban d'Orange, one of my favorites of their current line up, is $44 for 100 ml — more than I'd like to pay for a simple, short-lived orange fig.

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31 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Tibetan Mountain Temple spray has more ginger (on me) than the solid, though both are nice. It is my favorite followed by Mediterranean Fig, Spanish Amber, and Malibu Lemon Blossom. I haven't tried the Avalon Juniper, yet.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! It's move clove-y than ginger-y in the solid, I'd say.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A, is the body butter pretty true to the scent? I'm very tempted, and an Anthropologie just opened near me recently.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I see Pacifica candles most often, but I may need to check out the spray line at the local Anthropologie. I love cheap thrills, and Tibetan Mountain Temple sounds up my alley. I also like their Spanish Amber candle but wonder how that would be in spray form (I like Voluspa's Baltic Amber a bit more and have been curious about *that* body/room spray as well).

    Can I ask you how/where you personally apply solid perfume? I own one, CdG Rhubarb, a scent I love, but I really don't like the solid. It's too greasy/waxy to really apply effectively on my neck. I suppose if all I wanted was a little sniff, I could put it on the back of my hand or forearm, but I really wish I had bought the spray.

    Also, couldn't agree more that I WISH L'Occitane would do more travel sizes, which really are such a good deal and well worth it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes it is…and it helps the fragrance last longer…as lotions normally do.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ah — yes, can't see applying a solid to my neck, that just doesn't seem appealing, and anyway, since the sillage is so minimal, you'd want it on a part of the body you could sniff at. I'm applying on the back of the lower arm, down towards the wrist, which for me is where I wear most perfume anyway, but for other people might not feel so natural.

    I don't understand what L'Occitane is up to. I find the stores much less inviting now than they used to be — they really do seem to be going for a different kind of customer. IMHO, the scents aren't *that* good and they ought to stick with what they did best — simple & cheap, for people who didn't want the candy over at BBW.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yeah! Pacifica rocks! Their giftsets with a large candle, soap and a body lotion (for like 30 dollars) are awesome for gifts. Let me just say that their body lotions are AMAZING. Sometimes I don't feel like wearing any specific perfume, so I just put some body lotion on – but not every body lotion will still have a scent after a while. Well Pacifica's body lotion is not only a miracle for the skin, but also the scent lasts a long time, seriously.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I haven't tried the bath products, just sniffed the soap and the candle, but Tibetan Mountain Temple is the one that smells like it could have come from a fancier, niche-ier line. Much as I love Mediterranean Fig. :-) I really need to try the Tibetan Mtn spray. btw I was at Anthropologie recently and the one here only stocks some of the line. Next time you're down here they sell them all at the grocery in Friendship Heights (just forgot the name)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Agree it smells like it came from a higher end line. Was very disappointed when Crazy Libellule-whatever started launching pricy liquids instead of more of the fun solids, but maybe they'll get back to them.

    And perfect — my mom just moved to Friendship Heights. Although can't think of a grocery there other than the Giant? And I know a Whole Foods is being built.

  11. Anonymous says:

    hey March – Friendship Heights?! Which grocery? not Rodman's?? (not really a grocery but reliably quirky) I think I'll have to try Tib Mt Temp on my next shopping trip in your area.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I bet that's what she meant. I love Rodmans. Or used to…haven't been in a good 5 years or so, I guess.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh how strange! UPS JUST delivered my package with these two scents. I got the Tibetan Mountain Temple in the spray and Avalon Juniper in the solid. I've already spritzed the Tibetan one and it's quite clove-y at this point. I like cloves though so that's not a problem :) It will be interesting to see how it dries down. Also got a couple of candles too…..off to go light one!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Don't worry about the double post…seems to be happening to everyone lately.

    I think the solid is more clove-y than ginger-y too…in fact, hardly notice any ginger. Someone above said the liquid was heavy on the ginger, so perhaps you'll get that as it dries down?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry – Rodman's, on Wisconsin Ave a few blocks south of the district line (Wisconsin and Harrison?) There is parking out back. You have probably been there. They have a small but interesting collection of fragrances and bath stuff in the basement. (Pacifica, Speziali Fiorentini, etc.) Good selection of weird gourmet foods upstairs :-)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Aha, should have read down further! Yes, Rodman's. “Grocery” was the best I could think of, they have all sorts of odd things in there.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I'll have to scurry over to Whole Foods and check these out this week. I LOVE Pacifica! Their Lilac is sooo gorgeous!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I fell in love with the Tibetan Mountain Temple via candle, so when the fragrance came out I immediately bought both the liquid and the body butter from their website. I second everyone's comments about the butter having great lasting power. I prefer it to the liquid, which is a bit spicier on its own. The quality of the cream is very good as well. Basically, if you like the smell of chai, you will like this scent.

  19. Anonymous says:

    And I still need to try the Lilac…

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am thinking of trying the Lilac, but I don't live near a store, so I would have to get it online. Can you tell me how long it lasts, and what some of the other notes in it are?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Be Still My Heart. Are you serious?! I've been searching for a good lilac scent my whole life, it seems. Fresh lilacs are my absolute favorite flower/scent, but I've never found anything close to the real thing. This is my first post, btw – just recently stumbled upon this wonderful site.

  22. Anonymous says:

    RusticDove, if you love lilac, do try the Pacifica scents, the candle smells like fresh-cut lilacs! It is wonderful.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thnaks SFL – I'll definitely check that out. I'm thrilled at the prospect to have the smell of fresh cut lilacs in the house year round :-)

  24. Anonymous says:

    I don't think a store around me stocks these…
    But I think they're cheap enough that I can order one without trying it first.
    I've been getting sick lately and been unable to wear most of my perfumes, so it would nice to have something that I don't need to spray.
    My sister likes Juniper Breeze from Bath & Body Works, I wonder if she'd like Avalon Juniper. The owl packaging is cute and I like the idea of being able to spend under $10 on a Christmas gift.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I haven't smelled the BBW, but betting it would be sweeter & fresher than this. Still, you can't beat an under $10 gift!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Tried the Tibetan Mountain Temple spray today at Whole Foods – like others, I could not detect much ginger. On me it's a very sharp clove/patchouli scent. Don't care for either of those notes, but it's always worth trying a new cheap thrill!

  27. Anonymous says:

    You're so lucky your WF has them — wish they all did. Did you try any of the others?

  28. Anonymous says:

    No, unfortunately. I had already been to a nearby Ulta for a little sniffa, and had Coco on my other hand…I had some pretty hefty sillage going on!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ah well, next time! There are a few more I'd like to try, esp. the Sandalwood, and the Lemongrass.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to mention, the staying power was excellent.

  31. sweetgrass says:

    My friendly neighborhood Whole Foods carries this line. I haven’t seen the Juniper there, but I have tried Tibetan Mountain Temple. I was hoping for something more incensy, but for me the clove note nearly overwhelms everything else. The far drydown is kind of nice because a bit of sandalwood comes out, but i don’t love cloves enough to wear this.

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