It’s only the fifth day of 2020 as I start writing this post and launches of 63 new fragrances are already listed in Profumo database. The number of of new scents has been growing or it maintained a similar level over the last couple of years. In the sea of fragrance from which each of us will try only a small percentage, what are the odds that you’ll find a perfume that will be claimed as a masterpiece of modern perfumery? Probably nobody can answer that question but all I know is that when Prada issued Infusion d’Iris in 2007, it quickly gained a title of a classic and cult fragrance.
A sheer and translucent opening of this perfume brings freshness of neroli and orange blossom. Though technically both are the same thing, the way they are processed results in quite different profiles. Neroli here feels brisk, kind of cold and soapy. Orange flower on the other hand is more intensive, inflected with white floral tones and oily undertone. There’s some naturally delicate orange sweetness that mingles between the flowers. Prada Infusion d’Iris additially has a bit of galbanum at the beginning, which adds a verdant, vegetal facet that intrigues. It’s an unusual twist.
The perfume has a seamless structure, therefore things change very smoothly. There’s no denying that powdery notes are a basic element that gives this fragrance its true identity, its DNA. Powdery accord of Prada Infusion d’Iris is unique. Powdery notes are often associated with laundry but even though here they create a very clean and fresh impression, there’s also something very elegant and sophisticated about this part. Iris plays a significant role in creating this pampering feeling of sensual & silky, powdery goodness. Mastic resin helps to give it more body, allowing this softness to linger.
A perfume like this one needed a well-thought base to last longer. For Infusion d’Iris from Prada perfumer Daniela Andrier decided to pair vetiver and cedarwood. Both of these ingredients are known for their dry, woody-oriented scents but also for some sort of plasticity while working with them. Neither cedarwood nor vetiver overpower the fragile, powdery heart of the iris. On the contrary – they help it to stand out more. Incense was another spark of genius here, to add a bit of airy smokiness to the blend. Benzoin adds a lovely balsamic layer that on my skin is always in the back.
In 2015 Prada decided to reissue Infusion d’Iris. Color palette of the bottle and the box were slightly changed to match the rest of Les Infusion de Prada compositions but the scent is not 100% the same anymore. From my very subjective point of view the new version is still true to the original but is slightly more fresh. It also lacks that airy smoky feeling of incense that was a highlight of the first version. Simultaneously with new Infusion d’Iris, Infusion d’Iris Cedre was introduced. The latter puts a little bit more accent on woody notes and it includes the frankincense again in the formula.
It’s been now 13 years since Prada Infusion d’Iris was introduced for the first time. Years have passed but the perfume hasn’t aged at all and it still very much in fashion. I suppose that’s one of the traits of a masterpiece – it suits any person, any occasion and any time. It’s made for more than just a current day. To me there’s something timeless in Infusion d’Iris, but also in other perfume offered by Prada. It must be a talent of Daniela Andrier, who’s been working with the brand since the beginning. And I hope this continues for many years, for Prada is my favourite designer brand.