I feel as if Les Infusions de Prada best showcases the DNA of the Prada brand. It was Infusion d’Iris, the genesis of the collection, that really birthed that inimitable Prada signature that is now so familiar. This Prada trademark is the result of the fusion of two materials; iris and benzoin, both of which come together to create a fizzy, powdery, grey and sweet, gauzy aroma that is so luxurious and so ‘Prada’. It’s glorious and to be found front and centre in the brand’s many infusions.
Speaking of infusions, the latest to join the collection is Infusion de Mandarine, a fragrance that seeks to distil the essence of mandarin and merge it with that Prada signature. Created by perfumer Daniela Andrier, who is responsible for most (if not all) of the Prada fragrances, Infusion de Mandarine presents a cacophony of orange notes wrapped together in a little juicy package. This may look like an unassuming citrus on the surface but boy, it is anything but!
Orange Amère, Vert de Mandarine, Coeur de Mandarine, Fleur d’Oranger and Neroli
How Does it Smell?
If you didn’t know that this fragrance was centred around mandarin before you sniffed it, you certainly would be under no illusions after the first spritz. It opens with a huge, photorealistic burst of mandarin that feels as if one is ripping the peel from the pith of a juicy mandarin orange. It’s ripe and filled with fruity goodness. This is accompanied by a luminous orange blossom accord that has the feeling of a floral water, bringing a cottony depth to the fragrance but also added intensity to that 3D, Technicolor, IMAX blast of mandarin.
It’s difficult to do a really in-depth review of Infusion de Mandarine because it’s not a huge developer on the skin. To me, it feels like a fragrance of two halves, the first of which is the aforementioned citrus euphoria, and the second being a surprisingly warm and gourmand base of amber. But this is no traditional amber, it is heavy on the benzoin, which itself feels like it has been soaked in orange juice, and missing the heaviness of vanilla and benzoin. This accord rounds the fragrance off nicely – softly with a cosy veil of Prada-ness. Sigh, it’s lovely.
I’m trying to work out where Infusion de Mandarine sits amongst the others in terms of my favourites. Iris is most definitely at the top, followed closely Iris Cedre, which is just above Mimosa. I think Mandarine would be middle of the pack along with Vetiver and Rose. It’s beautifully vivid, juicy and refreshing, but also manages to feel much more luxurious than many citrus-centric fragrances. It’s just the thing if you feel that you’re a tad too posh for your average citrus or cologne. I think I’m going to be leaning on it quite heavily for some orange-based refreshment during this heatwave and I’m gonna smell fab, come at me if you think otherwise!
Infusion de Mandarine is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £102.50.
Sample, notes and quotes via Prada. Images are my own.