Prada Infusion d’Iris was an interesting fragrance turnaround for me. I spent weeks (months?) after it was released grumbling that I couldn’t smell it. It was a faint, tepid thing that barely qualified as fragrance. Every now and again, however, I’d get a tantalizing whiff of it, and the raves of others were enough to get me to keep trying. At one point I discovered I could smell the (very nice) body lotion, and shortly thereafter all the pieces fell into place. It’s a popular scent in my conservative city, judging by the regular whiffs I catch of it on people nearby – in elevators, on the subway. It strikes me as the sort of scent you could get away with wearing in almost any but the most strict no-frag zones. I still think I can smell it better on other folks than on myself, but I wear it pretty regularly in the summer, and/or at times when I need something clean and stealthy. It’s a fragrance that I keep winding up with sample vials of, somehow, so I still haven’t bought any. But if the sample supply dries up indefinitely, I’d probably end up with at least a decant, or maybe I’d go ahead and fork over for the pretty bottle. I like Infusion d’Iris a lot.
Having lived the dream once with Prada Infusion d’Iris, I was prepared for the shenanigans of Prada’s new release, L´Eau Ambrée. Sure enough, the first time I smelled it – at the end of an intense sniffage session with a group of gals – I couldn’t smell a thing, and they mostly couldn’t either. I wound up with a sample so I could keep playing when my nose wasn’t already assailed with other things.
I keep renaming this scent Infusion d’Ambre in my head – it’s just about as light as Iris, maybe a bit stronger (notes: citron, May rose, gardenia, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla). It’s a different smell, although it takes a pretty good soaking to pick the differences out — it’s both a tad sweeter and more powdery than Iris. Like the Iris, it has the same interesting stealth effect, at least to me. It dries down and fades away but has a habit of popping up again and again, all day long. Also like Iris, for something that wears lightly it has excellent lasting power. It’s not wildly “amber” in that it’s missing the cloying liquid sweetness of many modern ambers, and it’s not particularly feminine. Do I like it as much as Iris? Personally, no. Infusion d’Iris has a subtle, bitter, rooty/arid strangeness that I find compelling. But I wouldn’t be surprised if most people smelling them side by side preferred the drydown of L´Eau Ambrée.
L´Eau Ambrée is in the regular Prada oblong rectangle bottle, which is fine but nowhere near as pretty as the tall Infusion bottle, in my opinion. I vastly prefer L´Eau Ambrée to Infusion de Fleur d´Oranger, which looked gorgeous but which I found unbearably soapy and bitter (no offense to its fans) and which – after a big rollout – seems to have disappeared from my local Nordstrom, making me think that I’m not the only one who didn’t love it (and I mostly love orange scents.)
If you’ve tried this I’d love to know what you think, especially if you have much in the way of feelings about the other Prada scents.