Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir and Calvin Klein Euphoria : Perfume Reviews

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Pomegranate_2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The most autumnal of visions are the pyramids of pomegranates arranged at the markets beginning in September. I would find myself drawn to the stalls filled with red orbs reflecting shimmering light of a chilly golden morning. Each tiny ruby jewel contained within tough leathery skin is an explosion of tart flavor that is reminiscent of grapes crossed with plums. Therefore, the appearance of pomegranate notes in the fall releases is quite appropriate given the autumnal nature of the fruit. The scent of pomegranate is subtle, yet distinct, twisting the green powdery fragrance of its skin around the sweet-tart and winey aroma of the seeds. Two recent releases focus on the pomegranate notes, with Jo Malone offering a dry minimalist variant and Calvin Klein providing a more exotic and creamier arrangement. ….

Jo_malone_pomegranatenoir While most of the Jo Malone fragrances are based around a single note, Pomegranate Noir created by perfumer Beverley Bayne comes as a surprise given its relative complexity. Essentially, it is a frankincense laced fruit compote. A note of tart fruit offers an initial burst, which soon segues into an accord that reminds me more of dried cranberries and cherries than pomegranates. Dryness of patchouli is the only element that is most evident of the note, with the earthy quality being rather subtle. On the other hand, frankincense dominates the composition, drowning out everything else. Tart aspect is evident underneath the resinous veil, playing into the crisp citrusy character of unburned frankincense, and I would much rather prefer Pomegranate Noir in a candle form.

Euphoria Created by Dominique Ropion, Carlos Benaïm and Loc Dong, Calvin Klein Euphoria marries fall fruit, pomegranate and persimmon, with patchouli and woods, adding a dose of creamy notes to round out the composition. Subtle patchouli is more evident at first until it becomes veiled by a sheer floral accord with lemon, apricot and cured tea leaves facets. Floral ornamentation is sustained over a dark woody vanilla, with a rum redolent caramel note. Ambery warmth seeps through the layers of the composition, which loses its juicy touch, and instead reveals a fruity musk note that contrasts nicely with a creamy note of sandalwood. One can certainly notice an influence of Angel’s juxtaposition of fruit and patchouli, however the similarities vanish relatively quickly under an overlay of floral notes. While Euphoria does not take the concept of pomegranate into uncharted waters, it offers an elegantly composed interpretation.

Other fragrances with pomegranate notes include Annick Goutal Quel Amour!, Antica Farmacista Melograno, Christian Dior Addict 2, Comme des Garçons White, Fresh Index Pomegranate Anise, Index Redcurrant Basil, Gucci Envy Me, Guerlain Samsara Shine, i Profumi di Firenze Melograno Selvatoco , Rykiel Rose, Santa Maria Novella Melograno, Tocca Eau de Touch. If you have your favorites, I would love to hear what they are.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir contains notes of plum, raspberry, pink pepper, patchouli, frankincense and spicy woods. Fragrances are available from Jo Malone, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus.

Calvin Klein Euphoria includes pomegranate, persimmon, green notes, lotus, champaca, black orchid, black violet, liquid amber, mahogany, musk. It is available from Sephora, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy’s and other select retail stores.

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27 Comments

  • Laura: Hmmm. Too bad about the Jo Malone. I have never managed to like any of her scents very much. I love her Verbena bath oil, though–does that count for anything? October 31, 2005 at 5:26am

  • annieytown: This review is making me want to seek out the new Calvin Klein. I never bothered with it. The notes sound wonderful!
    The Jo Malone was a pleasant surprise. I thought it was very good and interesting. I will not purchase a bottle but would love a shower gel or a candle. October 31, 2005 at 5:30am

  • Sisonne: V, I´m not a big fan of pomegranate scents in general, to me they always smell kind of soapy. I´d like to test Pomegranate Noir though, but it isn´t available here, the only store that carries the line only has the “older” scents of the line. Perhaps they´ll get the newer ones next year.
    I´ve a sample of Euphoria, but haven´t tested it yet.
    KM Grenades is another pomegranate scent that I´ve tested. It´s fresh & fruity, not as soapy as Fresh Pomegranate Anise. It´s nice but a bit too linear for my liking. October 31, 2005 at 6:36am

  • Robin: V, we had the opposite reaction: I liked the JM much more than I thought I would, and the Euphoria much less 😉

    Still, I cannot think of a *perfect* pomegranate fragrance. Olivia Giacobetti should do one! Or it could be the next Hermessence. October 31, 2005 at 9:11am

  • Marina: I *love* Pomegranate Noir, love its dry fruitiness, the almost leathery note, love how long it lasts…I should finally try Euphoria…and adding two more scents to your list of pomegranate scents, i Profumi di Firenze Melograno Selvatoco (light, gren-ish, refreshing) and Antica Farmacista Melograno (extremely sweet and fruity).

    Thank you for this review, Vikochka, I think Pomegranate Noir will be my next purchase. 🙂 October 31, 2005 at 9:19am

  • BoisdeJasmin: Laura, I thought that it was nice, but rather one-dimensional and based around a pairing that I would much prefer as a home fragrance. Like you, I also like some bodycare products from the line. October 31, 2005 at 10:29am

  • BoisdeJasmin: Annie, I thought that Pomegranate Noir was nice, especially given the relative simplicity of other Jo Malone fragrances. On the other hand, it makes a great room spray, even if it is a bit too expensive for that function.

    Euphoria was a pleasant surprise. I like oriental compositions, and its woody notes are very interesting, especially when paired with apricot tinged florals. October 31, 2005 at 10:40am

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, thank you for mentioning Grenades. I have not tried it yet, but I have a sample. I have not been able to find a perfect pomegranate scent, but I wonder if it is even something I really want–the scent is lovely, but I find the appearance of the fruit much more interesting.

    SMN Melograno is another one I forgot to mention. It captures a scent of pomegranate skin remarkably well. Have you tried it? October 31, 2005 at 10:44am

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I cannot think of a perfect pomegranate fragrance either. I love your suggestion of this note being explored by either Olivia Giacobetti or Jean-Claude Ellena.

    I am not surprised you did not like Euphoria, as it falls squarely into the oriental category. 🙂 October 31, 2005 at 10:47am

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I cannot think of a perfect pomegranate fragrance either. I love your suggestion of this note being explored by either Olivia Giacobetti or Jean-Claude Ellena.

    I am not surprised you did not like Euphoria, as it falls squarely into the oriental category. 🙂 October 31, 2005 at 10:48am

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marinochka, I am glad that Pomegranate Noir works so wonderfully for you. Thank you for mentioning the other fragances. I have not tried them yet, but now I will make sure I will. I added them to my list already. October 31, 2005 at 10:55am

  • Tania: I was distinctly underwhelmed by Euphoria. After its mock-Angel beginning, it dropped into an unexpectedly bright, sweet, hollow fruity floral, if I remember right. I may not be remembering right. But it only means I didn’t find it memorable.

    Haven’t tried the Jo Malone, but it does sound like it would make a good candle! October 31, 2005 at 11:20am

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I grew to like Euphoria more as I was wearing it last week to write the review. I thought that the composition was rather well-done, with the fruity notes of the opening melding into the floral heart and then into the base notes. However, an edgier, darker touch would have been very interesting. October 31, 2005 at 11:40am

  • linda: V, I am sorry to say this, but I didn’t like either at all. Maybe I just don’t get pomegranate notes. 🙁 October 31, 2005 at 12:31pm

  • Sisonne: V, I have a sample of SMN Melograno, but on my skin it doesn´t develop very well. A lot of people do like it & describe it as powdery, so I was disappointed when I tested it. I really wanted to like it & cannot find the right words to describe how it smells on my skin, but it´s definitely nothing I can imagine to wear. To be honest: it smells rather bad on me. October 31, 2005 at 1:28pm

  • Tara: The only pomegranate fragrance I know and love is SMN Melograno. Last week I sampled JM Pomegranate Noir and it was one of the worst things I have ever smelled. It reeked of cumin (read: BO) and I had to scrub it off, it was so pungent and vile. I also didn’t care for CK Euphoria, despite being an oriental fan. I guess pomegranate goes into the category of peach and plum, notes I avoid. October 31, 2005 at 1:28pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, do not feel sorry at all. It is good to hear opinions from the both ends of spectrum. I am sure you can find lots of other things to like. 🙂 October 31, 2005 at 1:45pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, this does not sound good. I only remember it as being green and powdery, which struck me as interesting. Not sure if I would want to wear it as a personal fragance though. Search continues… October 31, 2005 at 1:47pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tara, yes, SMN Melograno was not particularly of pomegranate flesh to me, but more of its skin, which is why you probably liked it the most. I am yet to find a pomegranate note that is perfect for me. October 31, 2005 at 1:49pm

  • Katie: My impressions of Euphoria were a lot like Tania’s: fruity floral, emphasis on fruity. I did dig the creamy-ambery thing it had going on, it just doesn’t quite overcome the fruity on me. However, this is by leaps and bounds one of the more interesting things CK has put out in the past couple of years. (P.S. Love the pommegranate pic you used.) October 31, 2005 at 5:54pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, I have to agree that it is definitely one of the most interesting fragrances in the past couple of years by CK. I was getting tired of the flanker fragrances. Euphoria was such a pleasant surprise.

    Love pomegranates, even though here we do not have the best of selections. I miss markets in Kiev, where pomegranates would come from Georgia and they were the most delicious I have ever tasted. Even the sight of the fruit being split was fascinating–the seeds immediately began to cascade from its tough orb, as if someone dropped a handful of rubies! October 31, 2005 at 6:17pm

  • Ayala: While I sahre my love and fascination for pomegranates with you, Victoria, my impressions of Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir were quite different, and not on the pleasant side:
    I found it to be a disharmonious arrangement of notes creating a muddy impression (very unlikely for a Jo Malone scent, which is usually sprarkling with clarity and deifinition).
    It is reminiscent of the dry peel, and creates a feeling similar to tasting the peel (a very unpleasant experience as it is dry and ascerbic – just the effect of eating unripe banana peel), with hints of ashtray notes – perhaps burnt pomegranate peel?

    As for Euphoria – I never bothered trying it, as the sales associates in the department stores were trying very hard to push it under my nose in my recent visits… That gets the opposite result with me 😉

    My favourite pomegranate scents are Fresh Index’s Pomegranate Anise and Redcurrant Basil. In fact, these are pretty much the ONLY Fresh Index scents I like. I also have sympathy for Samsara Shine – but find it a bit of an exaggeration o the fruity notes. Hardly ever wear it and find it too strong…

    I loved your sensual description of the pomegranates!
    In Jewish tradition, the pomegranate symbolizes the heart as it has 4 “rooms” in it – different sections where the seeds are stored.
    Also, it is eaten in Rosh HaShana as a symbol and a wish for having “as many a good deeds this year as the seeds of the pomegranate”.

    Happy new year and a beautiful Autumn! November 1, 2005 at 2:33am

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, I agree on your impressions of Pomegranate Noir–as it is chiefly dry (which is why I smelled dried cranberries, not pomegranate flesh) and rather muddy, in that all I smell are woods and frankincense. It was not altogether unpleasant, but not something I want to wear on my skin.

    Thank you for sharing the meaning of pomegranate in Jewish tradition! What a beautiful symbol!

    Wishing you a very happy new year as well! November 1, 2005 at 9:50am

  • Shin Ae: I agree with you about the Pomegranate Noir. My husband and I both thought it would make a really great potpourri. I had no inclination to wear it, however. January 7, 2006 at 5:40pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: I ended up spraying it in the air, and it seemed to work great, as the scent is very wintery. I would love a candle in this fragrance. January 8, 2006 at 8:37pm

  • D Morgan: Just picked up a bottle of Pomegranate Noir. This was exactly what I was searching for. I wanted something different for fall/winter. I asked the sales person for something mysterious, with cedar undertones.

    I applied the perfume at the beginning of my shopping day – wanted to see how it smelled after it warmed up a bit before buying. In the very beginning I smell a fairly noticeable clove scent. However once this warms up I’m left with a very sexy, mysterious cedar/pepper/vanilla scent.

    Used it this weekend for an early holiday party. I had so many people that hugged me ask what I was wearing – the men loved it as did my girl friends.

    Very light after it warms and definately not overpowering. December 4, 2006 at 3:37pm

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, thank you for your impressions! I always love reading comments like yours. It makes me want to rush and resample the fragrance. 🙂 I love the scent of pomegranate in general.

    No worries about the multiple posts. The system is not working well today. December 4, 2006 at 3:56pm

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