Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Melograno by Santa Maria Novella

Total Reviews: 20
Melograno (Pomegranate) is by far and away the bestselling fragrance in the Santa Maria Novella line-up, a fact that surprises me every time I smell it. It’s not so much that it’s an odd fragrance (although it is) but that it’s extremely hard to pin down.

If you read the reviews for Melograno, you will see that it seems to be a different fragrance from one wearer to the next – to some, it is a green chypre along the lines of Givenchy III, to others it is the edgier twin of the grandest aldehydic monster ever created, Chanel No. 22, and to yet others, it is nothing more than detergent soap made into a fragrance. The one thing that everybody agrees upon is that it doesn’t smell like pomegranates.

Perhaps Melograno is successful because it is so dependent on the individual skin chemistry and scent memories of each wearer, and is therefore the olfactory equivalent of a mood ring. Mood rings were popular for a reason – we all like to feel that the end result is reflective of our individual personalities and chemistry. In that case, Melograno is the ultimate bespoke fragrance – it smells like a mixture of scent, your skin, and a complex bundle of memories and mind associations that are purely your own.

For what it’s worth, to me it smells like a mixture of aldehydes, green flowers, luxury soap, and church incense, with a faint but stirring note of urinal puck running through the base. Why this odd mish mash of elements should work is beyond me, but without doubt, the end result is resolutely appealing. What it will smell on you, and whether you’ll like it, is anyone’s guess.
21st May, 2016
My favorite of the SMN after shaves. IMHO what makes the SMN head and shoulders above the rest is the healing ingredients. LOVE the smell !
03rd September, 2015 (last edited: 28th October, 2015)
Genre: Fruity Floral

Melograno opens up with the most bizarre mix of candied fruit, sweet florals and aldehydes you could imagine. Or maybe, then again, you can't. I prefer distinctive fragrances, but these top notes leave me absolutely baffled.

Left to develop, it's still freakish: a clashing mess of sweet fruit and harsh aldehydes that make no apparent sense together. It also smells aggressively synthetic, whether its ingredients are or not.

I don't get it, and I sure don't want to wear it!
19th June, 2014
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Another extremely soapy SMN's old recipe (another non-fragrance perfume) which hardly exudes a typical sharp pomegranate aroma, leaning on the contrary towards something yet fruity but more properly bamy/resinous, cedary/powdery, ambery/animalic, orangy and exotic (i feel the typical ylang-ylang vibe combined with a white tobacco/balsams combo). The outcome is really barber-shop, chypre/aldehydic, sharply ambery, secretly green and classic (with hints of bergamot and patchouli- may be also lavender) with a notable tobacco/powder/vetiver presence. I detect some Hammam Bouquet's soapy nuance in the air probably because of the vanilla combined with rosey soap and resins. The fruity floral background is influenced for sure by the note of pomegranate which is anyway such of cedary/powdery and almost berrish/orangy in its feel. I note a faint structure and finally a basically linear inoffensive clean (almost laundry type) combination. Classic and restrained but not enough original and satisfactory to me.
15th December, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The top note is fruity with a hint of pomegranate and a floral note. Layer, a gentle sweetish wood note is added, and the drydown has a gentle powdery note, milder and more elegant than a typical English barbershop impression. It can project well, lasts about three hours on me and evokes connotations with leisure time and romance. An elegant summer evening dinner scent, conservative but with a unique combination of several disparate notes that combine to a successful total. Try before you buy.
02nd June, 2012
I thought it would be a stroke of genius when in the aftermath of 'Casino Royale' I had friends of mine sneek a bottle of Melograno back from Florence. I was very exited to gift my then girlfriend with Vesper Lynd's scent of choice as she's a sophisticated and sexy woman in her thirties. Bingo I thought.

However, nothing the likes can be said about Melograno. I don't understand it. It's powdery and offensive to my perhaps unsophisticated nose. It dries down to a somewhat pleasant smell after 8-12 hours, but nothing I'd go through the initial experience for. I was dying to love this scent. So was my sweet-heart. Alas, we can't. Now we remember the scent for my romantic gesture for her birthday and not the grim disappointment of what's in the bottle. I'm so sad this couldn't be a high-spirited review. Sorry.

This scent might be right for you. Probably not if you're younger that 50. .. And it's about as unisex as Liberace and Dame Edna's lovechild. Caveat Emptor.
17th February, 2012
Someone may not like the way I speak, but I always try to go straight to the point. Many aspects that I understand but I don't like about the perfumery industry are based on "hooks". They always try to capture our attention with intriguing (inconsistent) description, bizarre effects (girls/boys catching feromones), weird ingredients (urine, tear gas etc.) or tradition. But first of all is our nose, our feelings, our sensations and that's what we should really follow. Santa maria Novella was founded in 1700 and based everything on tradition but unfortunately, sometimes, it's not enough. I'm not talking about Melograno, this is more of a general SMN review. A bunch of their perfumes have a great opening, some others not but IMO the real problem with their scents is the drydown. They all tend to smell old (litterally), rancid, obsolete. Sometimes tradition is a very good value, something to hand down from father to son, sometimes tradition should be a little bit revised.
06th March, 2011
There seems to be no pomegranate in this fragrance and I am not sure whether I should be happy with relief ( because I am not sure about pomegranate in perfume ! ) or displeased .
Immediately perufmey and soapy,turning slightly powdery. Very classical perfumeactually. Strong, long lasting.
This smells like a cross between Hermes' Caleche Soie de Parfum and Chanel No.5 . But more towards Caleche.
Good stuff.
18th May, 2010
For so many years I have tried to imagine what a perfect fragrance would smell like. Hundreds of scents have stroked my nose, some of them were gentle and smooth, others were rough and sharp. Some were classic, other were odd and innovative. From florals to fougeres, from citruses to orientals, all of them had something to offer, but none of them had everything to offer.

I have now found an almost perfect fragrance... Melograno. This has one of the most divine mixes of lush flowers and fruits, with slightly smoky undertones (in my opinion, not the best choice to yoke with the floral/fruity character of the fragrance) perceivable throughout the entire development of the fragrance. The typical SMN odd, harsh notes, combined with a clean barbershop note, could label this fragrance as an "original classic". There are very few fragrances that can claim that label, and even fewer produce such a contradictory, but absolutely wonderful effect.

Melograno is not just to be worn, but to be enjoyed, savoured from the first strong, bold opening notes, through the intoxicating fruity-floral mid notes, ending up with the smooth and sophisticated dry-down.
06th September, 2009
I agree with those who don't find any pomegranate/grenadine fruit here, also with those who find this to be a soapy scent. The image I get in my mind is a clear, powerfully-scented pink soap. It is a pleasant, clean smell and also quite rich. Not my sort of scent, but interesting.
16th May, 2009
I tried wearing the cologne, probably because it reminded me of My Sin (in the top 10, despite its demise ) but that's where it ended. I tried and tried to like it but we just couldn't make it work. Confess I have not smelled a real pomegranate so I can't speak to that. I am a chypre person though, which is probably what attracted me to it. That and the recommnedation of a shopkeeper in Boston who regularly travels to Florence to replenish her SMN stock. I think I'd like the soap or hand creme. Or to put in drawers. On second thought, no drawers.
08th March, 2009
I think my sample is mislabeled! I don't find this scent weird or even unusual. My nose almost immediately gets the fragrance of a very exclusive, powdery, white bar of soap. Italian, expensive, hand poured, exquisitely scented, and sold in an exclusive department store like Nieman's or Barneys, but soap nonetheless. It's quite beautiful, really, but not my cup of tea.
29th December, 2008
I do agree with the above reviewers that this fragrance is aldehylic and somewhat powdery and there is no pomegranate (melograno) to be found, however I do find it to be leathery because of a big dose of isobutyl quinoline, which is where the "synthetic" reviews and smokiness might come from. I equate it with a clumsier take on vintage bandit, still it has its cozy aspects. The florals are so blurred it is hard to name them, and there's some citrus in the mess. This review makes it sound horrible, which it's not, it's my favorite SMN next to aqua di colonia, but still I don't reach for it often, and never in warm weather.
30th November, 2008
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This is a very odd fragrance indeed. It has elements of classic barbershop, mixed with all sorts of stuff that is supposed to include pomegranate. I suppose there is pomegranate, it certainly is like pomegranate, because it's sour and seedy. One could possibly find SMN Melograno "refreshing" -- tart and refreshing. Unfortunately, I find the tart turns to our and as time goes by the sweet/sour elements become a muddle that never resolves into anything very satisfying. I can imagine wearing this and people around me making that exaggerated sniffy sound with their noses, wondering what the heck that smell is. I don't want to be the cause of all that. Might be good to wear liberally if you have unexpected company and you had hoped for a quiet weekend alone.
03rd November, 2008 (last edited: 19th December, 2008)
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
Peculiar but not extreme. A quiet scent. Reminds me of the Lava pumice soap my dad used to use, plus ... well, I'm not sure what else. I keep envisioning a clean, white, dated bathroom. There's the slightest hint of incense and the slightest bit of sweetness. Seek out a sample to break the monotony that can set in after you think you've tried everything.
03rd July, 2008
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This packs a powerful punch to begin with. I do like the slightly tart smell of the grenadine/pomegranate and the powdery/incense is very unusual.
Maybe I wouldn't wear thie every day but it would be great for a formal occasion or a winter party. Santa Maria Novella is a perfume house of quality.
12th October, 2007
comme des garcons has nothing on santa maria novella for weirdness...

the dry down of this is nice, and incenselike, I think.

but the whole thing is "out there" for sure...!

01st November, 2006
Powdery and floral, and as Marlen points out, sort of aldehydic. To me this is an almost strictly feminine fragrance. I haven't spent enough time smelling pomegranates to say whether this hits the mark or not, but I can say that the fruit here is between say a mandarin and a plum in its smell. There's not much here to make it unisex or deepen it beyond the fruit and floral notes. Seems very one-dimensional to me.
18th September, 2006
Can't make up my mind on this one - I don't get pomegranate at all (as the scent is named for), but rather something powdery and slightly aldegydic. Nut my cup of tea, but pretty nonetheless.
15th January, 2006
This one starts fruity-fresh and bittersweet, the drydown is floral and a bit powdery. IMO Melograno is more on the masculine side. The pomegranate accords are quite unique and for sure not everybody's cup of tea - so try it befor you purchase. Good staying power. I personally love it, it's a good choice for summer evenings.
19th August, 2005