Full disclosure: I cannot objectively review Pomelo Paradis because I am a one-woman Ralf Schwieger cult. (We are currently accepting new membership. Dues are payable in perfume samples. All hail Ralf.) Mr. Schwieger was the one and only perfumer who responded to one of the hundreds of increasingly desperate networking emails that I sent during my year in New York. And not just responded- he generously put me in touch with his fragrance firm’s office manager, who called me in for an interview that very same day. I am still awestruck by the kindness and helpfulness he showed to an unknown, lowly aspiring perfumer. Ralf Schwieger for sainthood! Ralf Schwieger for Pope! Hillary Clinton/Ralf Schwieger 2016!
Even pre-cult, Ralf Schwieger was one of my all-time favorite perfumers. From Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose to Hermes Eau de Merveilles to Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, he never fails to deliver creative, vibrant fragrances, and Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis is no exception. Pomelo Paradis opens with one of the most thrillingly realistic grapefruit notes in fragrance history. I can detect some tangy blackcurrant, but I don’t get any of the florals that are supposed to be in here. Pomelo Paradis stays perfectly juicy and bitter for about half an hour before softening into a quieter, sweeter grapefruit scent, where it stays for the remaining two hours. I wish that the gorgeous top notes lasted longer, but Pomelo Paradis is priced decently enough that I don’t mind reapplying. Compared to some other classic grapefruit scents, Pomelo Paradis is rounder/fuller than Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose and a bit sweeter than Guerlain Aqua-Allegoria Pamplelune.