As red as rubies and just as precious, the pomegranate is the jewel of the East. Perfect little droplets of sparkling sweetness that have had us in their thrall for thousands of years. Embedded into myths and traditions across the world, these succulent fruits have bewitched, entranced and led us astray.
The pomegranate is native to an area extending from northern India to Persia (modern-day Iran), and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region. In fact, it’s thought to be one of the first trees to be domesticated – some 7,000 years ago. Its fruits have been found in shipwrecks dating back to 1400 BC and in pharaohs’ tombs. They were also mentioned in ancient Egyptian doctors’ notes and depicted on Roman coins from the province of Judea (now Israel). There are stories about the fruit that go even further back than that.
As red as rubies and just as
precious, the pomegranate
is the jewel of the East
In Greek mythology, pomegranate seeds are believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis. Their irresistibility proved to be the undoing of Persephone. Daughter of Zeus, king of the Greek gods, she was kidnapped by Hades, God of the Underworld, who tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds. As a result, she was forced to remain there, in the land of the dead, for part of the year. Her mother Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, was so heartbroken to be separated from her daughter that she neglected the earth in her grief. It was only when Persephone was allowed to leave Hades for part of the year, through Demeter’s happiness, that nature flourished. Thus the seasons were supposedly born.
Pomegranates’ indelible link to seduction precedes them, with the fruit symbolising fertility and abundance throughout Asia and the Middle East. It was traditional for Armenian brides to fling a pomegranate against a wall – the broken pieces and scattered seed were seen as a good omen that the marriage would be blessed with children.
At Jo Malone London, we decided to add a twist to the scent of pomegranate partnering it with pink pepper, Casablanca lily, smoky guaiacwood and patchouli to create Pomegranate Noir Cologne. The result is a captivating blend, dark and enigmatic. Seductive. Intense. Enigmatic.