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POMONA: the goddess of abundance and artists’ muse

POMONA: the goddess of abundance and artists’ muse

Pomona's fruitful abundance is the inspiration for our latest perfume.
Of all the figures in Roman mythology, Pomona is perhaps the most unsung today, but it hasn’t always been thus. Since Roman times, she has been the muse for many artists, poets, dancers from Ovid to Rosetti. We have revived her spirit for our latest perfume, Pomona Vitalis. Discover the talents and inspiration that is Pomona…

THE PASSIONS AND PURPOSE OF POMONA

Her name derives from the Latin word pomum “fruit”, more specifically orchard fruit. A hamadryad – or wood nymph – she possessed a singular beauty and a singular interest. Fresh-faced, voluptuous and rosy-cheeked, she was impervious to the string of suitors preferring to spend her days tending to her precious orchards and gardens instead. Where other deities were associated with the harvest, Pomona’s focus was specifically on the flourishing of nature and fruitful abundance. In Metamorphoses, the narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, her passion for gardening is described in detail:

“No other hamadryad of the wood nymphs of Latium tended the gardens more skilfully or was more devoted to the orchards’ care, hence her name. She loved the fields and the branches loaded with ripe apples, not the woods and rivers. She carried a curved pruning knife, not a javelin, with which she cut back the luxuriant growth, and lopped the branches spreading out here and there, now splitting the bark and inserting a graft, providing sap from a different stock for the nursling. She would not allow them to suffer from being parched, watering, in trickling streams, the twining tendrils of thirsty root. This was her love, and her passion, and she had no longing for desire. Still fearing boorish aggression, she enclosed herself in an orchard (pomaria), and denied an entrance, and shunned men.”

Ovid, Metamorphoses

Pomona: the muse of many

Her paradisiacal garden and the temptation of her virginal beauty made her a subject of fascination among European sculptors and painters from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

Rubens, Bloemaert, Goltzius, Francesco Melzi and Rosetti all depicted the maiden in her garden, shunning her most persistent suitor, Vertumnus. This is Monna Pomona Monna Pomona 1864 painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882 and can be seen in the Tate Britain, London.

Writers have written her into plays, poems and novels, even inspiring a character in Harry Potter. Interpretations differ from artist to artist but she is always synonymous with rich, fantastical landscapes and a voluptuous sensuality.

THE SYMBOLISM OF ABUNDANCE

Symbolically, Pomona and her fruit garden represent abundance, nurture and the simple pleasure derived from nature. She is often depicted in a garden full of life, colour and opulence, with her milky soft flesh on display and a cornucopia of fruit and flowers on her lap. Paintings of Pomona are a feast for the senses and stand as a testament to the divine art of nature. They also served as our inspiration for the latest creation in the Eternal Collection, an exquisite elixir bursting with juicy fruits, rich roses and creamy woods.

DISCOVER POMONA VITALIS BY ELECTIMUSS

Pomona Vitalis is a perfume centred around sensual fruits of lychee and strawberry with a burst of Sicilian citrus. The rich dewy roses frequently found on her lap and in her hair are given pride of place in the heart of the fragrance. A voluptuous fruity floral amber perfume and a sensory homage to our overlooked goddess.