Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Fruity Symphony: Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir Cologne

Some time ago, before I was even really interested perfumes Meg of Lips So Facto mentioned that Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir must be exactly what Oscar Wilde would have smelled like. Despite the fact that I wasn't exploring fragrance as extensively as I am now, that description stuck with me. As an avid literature lover, there is something to be said for such a description. When I had the opportunity to smell Pomegranate Noir in person, Meg's apt association of Oscar Wilde with this fragrance immediately came to mind. If Oscar Wilde had worn this particular perfume it would assuredly have been paired with a silken burgundy ascot, a crisp black frock coat and a polished cane for a promenade on an autumn afternoon.

I tend to eschew over the top florals (naturally it depends on the flower) and fruity fragrances. There is certainly nothing wrong with them, but on my body chemistry the result is not favorable. Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir has managed to achieve what other fruity fragrances have not: a firm footing in the realm of the "woody" that balances the fruity top notes with a spicy, anchoring base. 


I would argue that it is imperative to try Pomegranate Noir (or any perfume for that matter) several times before you purchase a full bottle. The opening of this perfume is not for the faint of heart, and could certainly put more than a few prospective buyers off if one is not willing to wait for the sweet and spicy reward that follows the initial blast of almost medicinal pomegranate. It's as though all members of an orchestra are tuning their instruments just before a performance, their individual contributions melding in one cacophonous amalgam of sound before the first booming concordant note of the symphony sounds. 

 Once Pomegranate Noir's invisible conductor regulates the combination of notes, the fragrance becomes at once powerful and subdued. Pomegranate is unquestionably the first chair of this composition, supported by the reeds in the form of plum, lily, and rose. The brass of Pomegranate Noir's orchestra is comprised of wood, amber and pink pepper. And indeed no orchestra can keep its pace without percussion: in this one patchouli seems to steal the show. 


Pomegranate Noir is an altogether unusual composition as far as fruity fragrances go. While fruit is most often backed up by fruit, fruit and more fruit particularly in Jo Malone's perfumes (note: Nectarine Blossom and Honey), Pomegranate Noir is not afraid to march to the beat of its own woody drummer. Although I don't traditionally associate pomegranate with late autumn, this fragrance seems to have been created for sharp November days when the leaves have already fallen off the trees.

Like Meg, I'm certain Oscar Wilde would have approved. Do you? Have you tried Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir