They say that smelling a fragrance you associate with someone practically summons her spectre. With that in mind, I waited impatiently for Moon Drops to show up in my mailbox. My beloved grandmother wore Moon Drops. Over the years I’ve smelled fragrances that brought her back — Miller Harris La Pluie was one — but I was never sure. Was it Moon Drops I was smelling or simply nostalgia? And if I did smell Moon Drops, would Grandma return in all her glorious polyester-clad, pickle-making, sweet-tempered, stubborn glory?
Revlon Moon Drops came out in 19701 and eventually dropped off the market. Prism Parfums relaunched Moon Drops this year in both Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum. This review is of the Eau de Parfum. (Prism Parfums also resurrected a few other discontinued fragrances, including the floral leather Geminesse, which I’ll review soon.) Prism Parfums lists the notes of Moon Drops as including lily of the valley, ylang ylang, balsamic notes, woods, jasmine, and “honeyed ripe fruit.”
According to 99 Perfumes, which is carrying the fragrances in the United States, “All of the fragrances are 100% authentic, same exact smells and notes as the originals.” The packaging mimics the original Revlon package, and the fluted columnar Moon Drops bottle is a slightly simpler version of one I’ve seen in old magazine ads. I’m impressed at the effort. But I was skeptical. Yet hopeful.
At last the package arrived. Moon Drops is a sweet, powdery aldehydic floral with a mossy whiff. It opens with soapy lily of the valley boosted, as advertised, by creamy ylang ylang. A thread of spice weaves through it, but the fragrance is petal soft — almost girlish. Within five minutes, the fragrance sweetens, and any green edge it held melts to clean powdered sugar with a floral, soapy edge. It never lasts long enough for me to suss out its purported balsamic, woody base. After two hours or so, it’s just about disappeared.
In brief, Moon Drops smells delightfully out of style. No fashion brand is going to rush to market with anything like this. It doesn’t read as “sexy” or “cool,” at least not as mainstream influencers define those things. And, no, the materials don’t smell like a jillion dollars, but the price is similarly modest (with a quick web search, you can get 100 ml of Eau de Toilette for less than $23). Moon Drops isn’t my style, but thank you, Prism Parfums, for offering it.
So, does Moon Drops smell like my grandmother? I’m not sure. Thinking back, I don’t know that she wore perfume much except for special occasions. I mostly remember Moon Drops from sniffing the solid version in a green marbeled compact she kept in her Virgin Mary jewelry box. One thing I can tell you for sure: character-wise, Moon Drops is nothing like Grandma. Moon Drops as I smell it now is gamine. Grandma had arms like hams and wouldn’t bat an eye at leveling a rifle at a rattlesnake. Then again, I remember her telling the preteen me, “Inside every woman is a cat.” To me, Moon Drops is a soft, fluffy kitten.
Prism Parfums Moon Drops is available in Eau de Parfum (shown; list price of $54 for 100 ml but can be found for less) and Eau de Toilette ($44 for 100 ml) at many online retailers.
1. Ed. note: and long before that, it was the name of a Revlon moisturizer.