Prada Infusion d’Iris : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

“They were black when she was in shadow and dark blue in full daylight.” I smell Infusion d’Iris, the latest fragrance from Prada, and Gustav Flaubert’s description of Emma Bovary’s eyes floats up in mind. Is it because I just finished re-reading Madame Bovary and the phrase is still fresh in my memory? Or is it because I find that Infusion d’Iris exhibits the marked diversity of nuances, much like the eyes of beautiful Emma? …

The composition seems to blend the scents of spring flowers, fallen leaves, frozen roots and summer greenery—a full spectrum of aroma derived from the roots of iris pallida. The beautiful natural iris butter which forms Infusion d’Iris conveys a misty, ethereal presence. The floral heart is sketched around the orange blossom, while the soft verdant notes provide the main leitmotif, from the marriage of anise and galbanum in the top notes to the delicate bitterness of vetiver in the base. For all its gorgeous natural materials, Infusion d’Iris is a classical fragrance—the fleshy naturals are braced by man-made essences. It strongly references Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, even down to Guerlain’s exquisite melancholy.

While the impact of Infusion d’Iris is based on strong contrasts and juxtapositions, it possesses the polished delicacy that marks perfumer Daniela Andrier’s body of work (such as Prada pour Homme, Armani Prive Pierre de Lune, Guerlain Angelique Noire.) In this sense, Infusion d’Iris is a perfect fragrance to be launched under the Prada brand. Much like the fashions of the house, the composition is refined and stylized, blending quintessentially feminine flounces with masculine austerity. The only detraction of Infusion d’Iris might be the ethereal presence, but its loveliness more than makes up for it.

Iris Ganache (Guerlain), Orris Noir (Ormonde Jayne), Iris Noir (Yves Rocher), Iris Pallida (L’Artisan Parfumeur), 28 La Pausa (Chanel)… It seems that iris is a rather au courant note in the European market. Even if US fragrances have not traditionally engaged in the same passionate love affair, I only need to smell the drydowns of Estee Lauder fragrances to draw different conclusions. From Beautiful to Pleasures, these all-American classics are underpinned by iris. Ethereal, mysterious and alluring, a mere touch of it manages to transform a bright hologram of a fragrance into a softly lit daguerreotype.

The notes of Prada Infusion d’Iris include mandarin, orange blossom, galbanum, iris, incense, benzoin, cedar, lentisc and vetiver. The Eau de Parfum can be found at Neiman Marcus.

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23 Comments

  • Robin: Lovely review, V. I do think the Prada will end up being one of my favorites of 2007. October 16, 2007 at 7:14pm Reply

  • Aline et Valcour: I love how delicate it is but I ‘m with you on the “disturbing” etheral quality of this iris infusion which feels to me closer to an eau de Cologne than a perfume. October 16, 2007 at 7:50pm Reply

  • aryse: Beautiful Emma, yes but unfortunately with a very sad life.If Infusion d’iris is a very romantic perfume (like Emma Bovay was a very romantic woman), I hope its destiny will be very different :-) October 17, 2007 at 4:50am Reply

  • aliki: Lovely, but with a too wide fluctuation “ethereal” wise: I could have followed my daughter’s sillage during hours, whereas on my skin, I had a few seconds of nice opening notes, then nothing, not even soap clouds! October 17, 2007 at 6:18am Reply

  • Marina: What a beautiful review. Loved the comparison with Mme Bovari’s eyes!! I liked Infusion d’Iris very much too. Polished delicacy- yes, definitely! October 17, 2007 at 7:55am Reply

  • Mimi: I really hate this perfume!

    [url removed for security reasons] October 17, 2007 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Suki: Infusion d’Iris is a lovely fragrance, but it is fleeting. For me, it seems perfect for early fall. I’m wearing it today and while the edp has vanished the lotion still has a delicate presence. October 18, 2007 at 1:44pm Reply

  • Karen: I don’t like this fragrance, either. There is something very harsh about it that doesn’t smooth out in the wearing. October 18, 2007 at 6:06pm Reply

  • john Parodi: Prada Homme lite….not impressed. October 21, 2007 at 9:41pm Reply

  • s&r: Fashion eras are funny creatures; to think that a fragrance containing notes of iris, orange blossom, galbanum and vetiver could ever be novel, when it’s probably been one of the most common and fashionable combinations in fragrance history. Despite this, we haven’t experienced such introspective subtlety in quite some time. Iris as a scent frontrunner is just far enough away in our fragrance past, that it now feels fresh as well as nostalgic. I could easily imagine this on Snow White or Miss Mina Murray of “Dracula” fame, as I could on a modern socialite, historian or writer.

    Your review is wonderful–fitting justice for such a unique, modern fragrance! November 11, 2007 at 9:06pm Reply

  • cokey: i love this fragrance. it stayed with me all day, which surprised me since the general sentiment seems to be that it is not long lasting. i kept catching unexpected, pleasant whiffs of myself. very classy, elegant and streamlined. definitely one of those scents that has an odd way of inspiring confidence and comfort at the same time. November 21, 2007 at 12:56am Reply

  • lcs: Yes!! L’heure Blue!! I wore Infusion for the first time yesterday and at the drydown completely flashed back to L’heure that I haven’t worn in more than a decade. Infusion is almost like a more modern and much lighter (in an good way) version of L’heure. You’re spot on! January 23, 2008 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Janet: I bought this recently at Sephora when I first started looking for a new fragrance, then returned it after a few days. It did not last on me, and the drydown reminded me distinctly of urine. But I’m not sure why, and was wondering if anyone can shed some light on this. July 13, 2011 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Sanam: Janet – It’s so funny that you mentioned the urine smell. Infusion was beautiful at first, but when it dried I was left with a mildew/urine smell. eeks. October 12, 2011 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Janet: Sanam– thank you for confirming this;) I thought it smelled like that just because I have a nursing background and so many things smell like body fluids! Eeeuuu! I never want to smell like something unpleased from work when I wear fragrance! November 14, 2011 at 10:00pm Reply

  • sara: do you think it smells like cosmetics? July 30, 2012 at 6:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I can see that. Iris notes sometimes give that impression. July 30, 2012 at 8:00am Reply

  • Maggie: I’m on my third bottle. I love it — so clean, modern, and sophisticated. I blame its failure to last longer on my dry skin, alas. August 21, 2012 at 3:00pm Reply

  • marios: Victoria,
    Can this be used by men as well? or in comparison with the infusion d’homme, is miles away and cant be used? January 21, 2013 at 11:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I think so, especially if you liked Infusion d’Homme. January 21, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • marios: Hi Victoria,
    infusion d’homme is not available in my country…can i use this or there are big differences and is feminine? April 16, 2013 at 7:56am Reply

  • marios: i didn’t see that you replied already, thanks, apologize. April 16, 2013 at 8:03am Reply

  • Adriana Galani: Having it on today from a sample. On me it is soapy, like a washing product something like shampoo, soap, shower gel, name it, but it smells unique, yes. Well, it lasts on me now since almost 9 hours and I guess it still will. It is surely wonderful and a delight to wear, little goes long way but I have a small issue regarding this: Hubby. God, why he told me right after applying it” “My what’s this, You smell like our old lady customers!” It is first time he places such a remark about a fragrance I use. Still, I love this one! April 14, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

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