Bath & Body Works recently released the Midnight Pomegranate line of products as an addition to its Signature Collection. This new fragrance, as described by the company, includes top notes of pomegranate, sparkling citrus, dewberry, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg; heart notes of cassis, blackberry, iris, jasmine, raspberry; and base notes of musk, sandalwood, vanilla, tobacco, patchouli.
This list of notes led me to hope that Midnight Pomegranate body products would layer well with Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne, whose pomegranate rests on a spicy base of frankincense and patchouli, or with Calvin Klein Euphoria, which pairs pomegranate with exotic florals, amber and mahogany. The name Midnight Pomegranate itself, I thought, might be an indirect reference to Pomegranate Noir; Bath & Body Works has been, shall we say, inspired by niche perfumes and bath products in the past. I should also add that I normally avoid this company because of the harsh ingredients in its body products (mineral oil in the lotions, alcohol in the body splashes), but I was willing to make an exception for one of my favorite fruit notes.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the scent of the Midnight Pomegranate shower gel and body lotion. I could only smell an unsubtle blend of orange and raspberry, reminiscent of powdered fruit-punch beverage. There were no discernable spices or floral notes, to my nose, and no warmth or depth. The advertising tagline for Midnight Pomegranate reads, “Enticing. Fiery. Seductive.” However, a better triad of adjectives might be “Juicy. Bright. Playful.” There’s nothing particularly wrong with this kind of scent, in itself, as long as it isn’t disguised as something else. Despite their marketing and the dark, dramatic graphics on their labels, this shower gel and lotion would probably combine better with an upbeat fruity fragrance such as J Lo Live or one of the Escada limited editions, rather than the more mysterious Pomegranate Noir. I haven’t tried the Midnight Pomegranate Eau de Toilette; perhaps the scent is more complex in that formulation.
Ancient mythology connected with the pomegranate is as fertile as the fruit itself: the pomegranate plays a key part in the story of Persephone and Demeter, and in the Garden of Eden, according to some interpretations, it may have been the forbidden fruit that brought about the downfall of Adam and Eve. More recent widespread promotion of the pomegranate has stressed its health value as a source of antioxidants, and now it appears as an ingredient in everything from tea blends to facial moisturizer. I myself have occasionally been tempted by pomegranate martinis (although I can’t kid myself that they provided any significant health benefits), but I’m willing to pass up Bath & Body Works’ rendering of this fruit.
Midnight Pomegranate products are available at bathandbodyworks and at Bath & Body Works stores nationwide. The Body Lotion and Shower Gel are $9.50 each, and currently available as part of the Buy 3 Get 1 Free Signature Collection promotion.