Unapparent Perversity: Prada – Infusion d’Oeillet Review

On picture: Prada – Infusion d’Oeillet – Eau de Parfum – 100ml – circa 2018

Back in January, when life as we knew it was exactly what it was, unlike in today’s pandemic crisis which I hope we will overcomes and for which I can only insist to everyone to stay at home unless extremely necessary; I came upon the irresistible urge to test and buy all of Prada’s Infusions. I became a loyal consumer of Infusion d’Iris in 2007 when it was released and my then young nostrils had their first encounter with it. I was instantly flabbergasted.

I went to my local perfume shop to fulfill my olfactory compulsions. There, I walked straight to the Prada counter and I started my testing binge precisely with the subject of this post. Then I sprayed Infusion d’Iris Cèdre, then Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger and so on. I found something to enjoy in all of them but Mimosa, which I will have to test again to understand properly and perhaps appreciate it as well, but that’s another story. In short, that day Infusion d’Oeillet came home with me (the rest came home within a week).

Prada’s treatment of ingredients in each of their offerings in this collection is deliciously transparent, watery and calming thanks to Daniela Andrier and her creative capacities. But do not be fooled: most of them are also persistent, which set these compositions outside of the expected cologne category. They are their own thing, as most Prada things are.

My initial interactions with a carnation note didn’t come through classic soliflores. It all happened through grand orientals such as the spice fest that was YSL’s Opium for instance. So, in my mind, there is no carnation without piquancy. If the zing is subtracted, don’t call it carnation. That’s how intensely I associated one thing with the other, and I believe there are plenty of people who will not accept a carnation without spice, although carnation is much more than that.

Carnation is a flower whose olfactory characteristics irretrievably connect it to cloves and pepper thanks to its eugenol and isoeugenol content. If you are interested in knowing in more detail the personality of carnation in perfumery, I can recommend Elena Vosnaki’s article from her blog Perfume Shrine, or the more recent Carnation and Clove from Matvey Yudov at Fragrantica, both tremendously comprehensive, not to mention fascinating.

Infusion d’Oeillet (french for carnation) starts with a perceptible spiciness. It has a peppery florality with cloves that border on liquorice, but not quite, accompanied by a hint of mandarin orange over a bed of sandalwood. During the first hour these notes mingle together in a somewhat metallic floral, spicy and powdery haze that stays close to the skin. A mildly sweet vanilla in complicity with musk sits with you until it dies out some five hours later.

At first you would consider this as innocent, but the patchouli and styrax keep it from being too prim and proper. There is a certain perversity underneath it all that sustains my curiosity for a couple of hours, as if this character finds pleasure in making you think that it is naïve, when it’s not. It is the total opposite, in fact. This is a cerebral interpretation of carnation with a healthy dose of piquancy, transparent and elegant with an unapparent inclination for mischief.

Name: Infusion d’Oeillet
House: Prada
Concentration: Eau de parfum
Nose: Daniela Andrier
Release Year: 2015
Category: Floral oriental/nouveau chypre

Reviewed Batch: circa 2018
From personal colletion.

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