Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
“Exquisitely elegant” was the first impression that formed in my mind as I smelled Prada Infusion d’Homme. It also struck me right away as a masculine fragrance that eschews the conventions of masculine perfumery: dihydromyrcenol (a citrus-lavender aroma material that is commonly used in masculine scents) is not noticeable, citrus is dealt with a light hand, florals are magnified. Created by talented perfumer Daniela Roche-Andrier, who is a nose behind many of Prada’s fragrances, Infusion d’Homme translates Prada aesthetic at its best—subtle, sophisticated, understated, yet somehow dramatic nonetheless.
The drama of Infusion d’Homme lies in its bold exploration of the floral notes. While iris used in perfumery is not strictly a floral—the material, after all, comes from the iris root and has a distinctive green-earthy profile—its floral violet-like facets are easily amplified. In fact, there are many obvious similarities between Infusion d’Homme and the feminine limited edition Infusion d’Iris. Both fragrances are based on the classical contrast between green galbanum, rooty-floral iris and leathery vetiver. While Infusion d’Iris makes iris a dominant player, Infusion d’Homme uses it as one of the leading characters, along with orange blossom, cedar and incense. The result is an interesting fragrance that oscillates between the earthy chill of iris and the warm smoke of incense.
The soft floral family in the masculine fragrance domain is a new phenomenon, which gained ground with the ingenious Dior Homme, a masculine iris gold standard, as it were. Infusion d’Homme renders its iris even softer, framing it in soft blond woods, as opposed to leather in Dior Homme. Yet, like Dior Homme, Lanvin Arpège Pour Homme, Divine L’Homme de Coeur, Donna Karan DKNY Men, Gianfranco Ferré Ferré for Men, and Hilde Soliani Il Vs Iris, Infusion d’Homme reveals that men and flowers can make for a lethally sexy combination.
Prada Infusion d’Homme includes notes of mandarin, neroli, galbanum, iris, incense, benzoin, cedar and vetiver. It is available from Prada boutiques and select department stores (Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York.)