Prada scent: building a collection (and why carnation and almond make for unexpected stars)
I’ve long been a fan of Prada scent, and more to the point, Prada’s Infusions – scents created, by perfumer Daniela Andrier, around one ingredient. One of the first was Infusion d’Iris followed closely by Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger (I still have the fabulous original floral packaging of the latter). The iris was launched loosely around the same time as Chanel perfumer, Jacques Polge, created a more powdery spin on the iris of irises, No 19, with No 19 Poudré. There began the trend for bringing iris to the fore in scent (it remains super chic and elegant, not sweet but soft, powdery, dry and lovely).
What I loved about Prada’s renditon was its fresh, citrus opening and how it moved into a dry, powdery, yet piquant riff on iris. I wear it still, though it is in competition with a scent called Iris Meadow by the American beauty brand, Aerin. The latter is softer, gentler and makes me feel (forgive the cliché) like I’m being wrapped in a cashmere blanket. But I think the former is a richer, deeper and more complex scent.
Now Prada’s Infusions concept has become a full collection. There are the above iris and oranger scents; there is Vetiver (it has notes of ginger, bergamot, tarragon and lime) and then there’s Iris Cèdre, a more woody version of the original iris.
There is Amande (I think this one spells the start of something: at a recent press launch for little known scent company, Heeley, the favoured scent by the press was L’Amandière. Also built with a note of almond – note to reader: it isn’t in the slightest sickly (Prada’s version I have yet to try). Forget marzipan or amandines, think spring flowers – almond blossom, hyacinth and bluebell.
Then there is Oeillet, a perfumer’s interpretation of the scent of carnation achieved with spices, mandarin, patchouli, sandalwood and styrax (a resinous extract from the Styrax tree). It is spiced and enveloping. If you thought Roget & Gallet’s carnation soap was old fashioned, this, by contrast, is thoroughly modern. The soap for the record is a favourite and what first drew me to this pink-flowered concoction. The one I still wear though? As my middle God daughter will be particularly pleased to hear, it’s Iris.