Tag Archives: Prada

Sophisticated Simplicity, Prada Infusion d’Iris

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.

infusion-iris

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.

Tagged , , , ,

Light before the Night, Prada Marienbad

Hello 2019! Since a new year has begun I’m going to kick it off with my traditional review of a Prada fragrance. The idea of boutique exclusive perfume collections launched by big fashion houses like Chanel or Dior is nothing new these days. Of course not all fashion labels have joined this bandwagon (think Versace). Prada was one of the latecomers to this game, introducing Olfactories collection in 2015. But… it wasn’t their first attempt as between 2004 and 2012 they released a bunch of boutique-only fragrances but those came without much echo in the fragrance universum.

Marienbad starts as a luminous amber perfume but that’s just how it looks (smells?) on the outside. Its take off is full of brightness, feels exhilarating, kind of fresh even… but there’s way more complexity hiding underneath this external layer. It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes until the perfume starts to put on weight and develop greater density. Amber becomes more resinous, having a slight fudgy sweetness in the background. The perfume still has a bright nature at this point.

However some shadows start to sneak in as well. Those shadows smell of black leather. This accord is introduced to Prada Marienbad in a seamless manner, as if it emerged straight from the sea of amber. Leather feels very elegant and sophisticated in this perfume. Stylish. Its glossy, shiny finish combined with the way it smells suggests a very expensive pair of shoes or a luxurious hand bag. Of course both would have to come from Prada boutique. This leather doesn’t feel offensive at all.

Next up in the fragrance development we have insense. Its smokiness – immaterial, clear but present only adds to the overall elegant feeling that Marienbad evokes. It’s contrasting with radiance of amber and merges with leather that itself has a darker side – some sort of chiaroscuro effect is created with these notes. Adding more to the noir of this Prada composition there’s oud. This wood-derived resin creates more depth and enriches the impressions with a bit of dramatism.

Agar in Prada Marienbad feels oily, balmy and rich. It also gets a tiny bit animalic because of some civet. But those are countered with boozy oriental vanilla note so that the fragrance has a good balance between dark and light elements. Tolu balm makes everything feels very smooth & seamless while the signature Prada iris brings some powdery tones to this perfume, giving it a nice finishing touch. I think of this Olfactories release as a fudgy, cuddly amber – ideal for winter.

Among original (read: first) boutique collection of Prada Olfactories, Marienbad stands there as one of the more complex ones to be honest with you. Great part of the other ones focus on 2-3 ingredients and those have a tendency to get more linear. In case of Prada Marienbad you can experience more interaction between the ingredients, there are different layers that entwine and overlap with one another. Perfumer Daniela Andrier  did a great job. The entire collection is available in eau de parfum concentration in 100 ml heavy glass bottles, each perfume comes with a pouch.

Tagged , , , ,