1560s, "a perfumed ointment, especially as used for the scalp and in dressing the hair," from French pommade "an ointment" (16c.), from Italian pomata, from pomo "apple," from Latin pomum "fruit; apple" (see Pomona). So called because the original ointment recipe contained mashed apples. It is attested late 14c. as "a kind if cider or other drink made from apples."