Goldfield and Banks are one of the modern darlings of the fragrance world, with Pacific Rock Moss being one of their most hyped fragrances. We had to ask: is it worth the fuss?
Australian coastal moss, lemon, sage, geranium, cedar wood.
Pacific Rock Moss by Goldfield and Banks is one of those fragrances which it is hard to be sad around. It isn’t an excited puppy of a scent, the vibe of the fragrance being much more chilled out than that, but it has a fresh joyfulness which is like standing by the sea on a warm day and inhaling a lungful of ozone. This is the immediate impression you get when spraying the fragrance on warm skin.
As the perfume rises, it’s possible to smell the vibrant lemon, giving a clean feeling but not overly acidic or astringent. This is set against a cool backdrop which gives the fresh, seaside impression. Between the lemon and the sea breeze, a herbal green sits. This combination of moss, sage and geranium is savoury and refreshing – very much like the sea breeze is travelling across a patch of scrubby, tough vegetation before it reaches you and it is bringing those scents with it.
Everything softens and melts together as Pacific Rock Moss goes on. The lemon leaves quite quickly, but the sage persists longer. There’s nothing sharp or hard about the mid phase of this scent. The edges of everything smudge and blur together like the sea breeze is making your eyes water a little.
The scrubby vegetation we observe in the scent, predominantly the sage still, feels tenacious and tough. It has touches of green but it is that leathery, sun blasted type of greenery that lives by the sea – hardened by the constant breeze and the heat of the sun. The sea air gives touches of saltiness to the composition, without being too on the nose about it and the aquatic feel that runs through the whole scent has a delightful warmth about it making it inviting and soothing.
The final phase of Pacific Rock Moss becomes further smudged and blended together. Now we can no longer make out the herbal facets so much but instead we focus on a creamy woodiness. This gives the impression that whilst we started with seeing the whole picture of this cliffside view over the Pacific, then we looked to the mid ground, now, as the scent ages, we are focusing on something very near and close up. Perhaps a log which has been dragged to the top of the cliff by some industrious teenagers?
The woodiness that lingers in the scent is crumbly, flaky and almost with creamy touches at times. A gentle saltiness linger and is joined by a warm, clean muskiness. The cool tone persists right to the end.
The interesting thing about Pacific Rock Moss is that it isn’t that mossy, particularly if you are expecting a specific tone from the moss. What we get here is more lichen than the plush velveteen moss you may imagine. The mossiness in question comes through most in the final phase where we have the musky tones but it feels a little obscured by the aquatic facets which are more forthright. That said, everything about Pacific Rock Moss is quite gentle and so it is easy to imagine that it may have got out of whack if the moss had been very loud anyway.
Pacific Rock Moss definitely delivers a holiday tone without being a souvenir scent. The greatest achievement of the composition is the sense of relaxation and ease against a watery, inviting backdrop. It’s a scent to escape with when you are stuck at your desk, dreaming of holidays.
The other stuff
The perfumer for Pacific Rock Moss is Francois Merle-Baudoin.
Pacific Rock Moss may come out of the gate strongly, but overall the tone of the scent is softer rather than shouty. The longevity of the fragrance is moderate – lasting about four hours or so following an application. The sillage of the scent is relatively polite too, going to handshake distance at most, but for much of the wear it feels like it stays closer to the body – projecting to approximately hugging distance.
Pacific Rock Moss is a fragrance which will do best in Spring and Summer when the cool sea breeze of the scent will really come to the fore nicely.
This fragrance is ideally suited to daytime wear and is perfect for office environments where it will make you smell crisp, groomed and fresh but without annoying colleagues.
Goldfield and Banks is a house which firmly places Australia and her native flora at the heart of all its compositions. The idea they came up with was to feature extracts and representations of plants and flowers only found in that country, but to give them a luxurious, rather than souvenir type, fragrance framework to exist within.
The house has a modern, unfussy aesthetic, with enough lux touches to make it feel like a premium product and again, steer it further away from that souvenir type experience. The overall result is a house which feels sleek, modern, and which places ingredients at the heart of its enterprise, allowing those plants and flowers to tell the story of the scent itself.
We were very kindly gifted a sample set and full bottle of Pacific Rock Moss by Goldfield and Banks, Phoenix Beauty, and Floralia UK, when attending an event they held together.