Pomegranate Noir is the latest fragrance release from Jo Malone, the British perfumer who started out mixing fragrance oils in her kitchen and now heads the Jo Malone division under the ownership of Estee Lauder. It has notes of pomegranate, pink pepper, raspberry, plum, opopanax, frankincense, patchouli, musk, and spicy woods.
Pomegranate Noir starts with very dry, very peppery fruit. The pomegranate adds a nicely tart undertone, but for the most part it remains just that: an undertone, and the pepper likewise subsides as it settles into a lightly smoky blend of incense, earthy notes and woods. It has a nice but indistinct spicy buzz, and while the patchouli contributes to the Noir of the title, it is a very light, dry, earthy patchouli.
Like the other fragrances in the Jo Malone line, it is of cologne strength. Although it is relatively sheer and soft — it is not the deep, rich oriental you might expect from the name and the notes — the lasting power is excellent. If Black Vetyver Café could only be made to last this long, I would buy it by the vat.
Pomegranate Noir is very nicely done, in fact I would say it is one of the nicer releases from this line, but I have worn it several times since it was released and have not felt moved to buy. It does, as advertised, layer beautifully with Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia, a fragrance I called "lightly sweet" back in April but has since struck me as sweeter than that, and possibly sweeter than I like. A spritz of Pomegranate Noir tones down the sweetness and emphasizes Vintage Gardenia's very light incense note, while lending a floral brightness to the otherwise dusky Pomegranate Noir.
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir is available in 30 and 100 ml bottles, and in matching body products and home fragrance. For buying information, see the listing for Jo Malone under Perfume Houses.