Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
To be perfectly honest, the news of Prada launching Infusion de Vétiver did not catch my attention last year. The main reason was that my perfume shelf was breaking under the weight of all of the fantastic vetiver fragrances available today, from the classical Guerlain Vétiver to the avant-garde interpretation of Annick Goutal. Now I regret waiting so long to make myself acquainted with the luminous and refined version presented by Prada. Perfectly executed, it pays great homage to this classical perfume note, while lending a romantic aura, which is not something I find in other vetiver fragrances.
The natural grapefruit bitterness present in vetiver, a woody material derived from the roots of a grass native to Iran, is extended in Infusion de Vétiver with dry citrus notes—bergamot and lemon, layered with a salty cilantro note. The initial freshness is maintained throughout the development of the composition. As in Martin Margiela Untitled, the woods are rendered as sheer and silky, with the vetiver retaining its vivid green hue into the late drydown. It has the rejuvenating quality of a citrus cologne, yet the interplay of sensations—freshness, warmth, crispness—lend it a far more complex character than one would find in a classical citrus-vetiver blend.
Like other Infusion fragrances, Infusion de Vétiver was created by perfumer Daniela Andrier, whose work I have loved since I discovered the exuberant Kenzo Le Monde Est Beau. Despite its transparent structure, Infusion de Vétiver nevertheless has great tenacity and a distinctive sillage. This summer it has been my little black dress perfume, the one that can make a perfect transition from morning to evening.
Prada Infusion de Vétiver includes notes of vetiver, tarragon, pepper and ginger. It is available from Prada boutiques and select department stores (Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York.)
Sample: my own acquisition
Image credit: Dandelion puff by T.Kiya via flickr, some rights reserved.