Scent for Duty: Prada – Infusion d’Iris Cèdre Review

On picture: Prada – Infusion d’Iris Cèdre – Eau de Parfum – 200ml – circa 2017

The pandemic has taken a toll on everybody, all around the world. Many countries enacted lockdown measures, some more flexible than others. In my country, the lockdown turned more severe over time, which meant that my work, as a lawyer, inevitably got into an absolute pause for months. My occupation as a painter kept me somewhat busy and, more importantly, motivated, along with reviewing perfumes. Staying productive and keeping the mind active became a necessity.

This week, the lockdown measures where relaxed, allowing me to resume my duties as an attorney, including going to the office. I have never been a fan of the concept of safe-scents, although there are some of those that are to my total liking. My tastes veer toward bold, interesting, and at times, challenging compositions. I meditate about which perfume to wear, every day, but my choices have more to do with my mood than anything else. Yes, I have little care for people’s sensitivities when it comes to scents, and that probably makes me a terrible person at some level, but that’s a badge I wear with pride, no matter the implications. However, I must confess that I’ve never been more excited to wear what is known as an office-appropriate fragrance until this week.

The hallmarks of an office perfume are mid-to-low projection, tenacity, harmoniously unfuzzy structures, and a lack of overly spiced, bodily, or tooth-achingly sweet notes. In this category, cleaner smells are favored. Of course, great compositions which comply with the abovementioned characteristics and also stay on the non-generic side of the spectrum can be found, but such results are sparse. Office scents that manage to be captivating are olfactory gold. A spellbinding occurrence, if you will.

There is a brand that stands out for producing entrancing, refined, and also suitable fragrances for professional environments, and that is Prada. Whether due to the development of its characteristic sophisticated bases of frankincense, benzoin, and woods, or its ongoing fascination with clean iris notes, the Italian brand has managed to build a solid reputation over the years. I turn to them for more than safe but refined scents, but if I had to pick one for work, it would certainly be one from Prada.

Within their extensive catalog, there is one fragrance in particular which tickles my olfactory fancy when a suitable option for work is my definite target: Infusion d’Iris Cèdre. Once called Infusion d’Homme, it was originally released in 2008 as the masculine counterpart of Infusion d’Iris (the seminal composition that captivated a new generation of soon-to-be iris devotees) before it was repackaged in 2015 under the current denomination, with a minor recalibration of the formula. At first, when comparing both perfumes, one would assume they are redundant, but a close inspection reveals that the compositions behave quite differently from each other.

Infusion d’Iris Cèdre opens with a soapy collision of neroli and fizzy aldehydes, and an undertone of mandarin, before the heart of iris, tinted with galbanum with the utmost care, reveals itself. Prada has a very specific way of treating the orris root. Certainly, a fascinating ingredient, Prada’s iris often has a cold, aloof, clean, almost engineered quality that brilliantly strides both elegance and wearability, subtracting the vegetal, earthy facets of iris, subtly evoking the sensation of holding freshly printed dollar bills (a curiously suitable nuance, considering orris is one of the most expensive materials in perfumery). A dry, woody note of cedar emerges on the first ten minutes of wear, increasing over time along the frankincense and benzoin base, accompanied by vetiver to emphasise the woody nature of this composition.

If balsamic notes frighten you, fear not: the resins are lightly handed, configuring a tenaciously soft-spoken accord for a symphony of classiness and restrainment, ineffably recognizable as Prada. I will dare to call this the Pradlinade accord, much like the Guerlinade is to Guerlain -as factually debatable the latter may appear to perfume historians thanks to declarations made by Monsieur Wasser, it’s a term that certainly describes a harmony constantly employed by Guerlain, and in my opinion, a similar linguistic construction can be applied to Prada’s signature accord.

The composition has the dryness of a martini, contains a soapiness that suggests an immaculate personality, it has a woodiness that translates as composure, and the abovementioned nuance of freshly printed money that communicates success, but above all, it is a scent of commanding rigorousness. In comparison to the original Infusion d’Homme, this one is slightly more unisex, less soapy, but overall, it remains practically the same.

Juxtaposed to Infusion d’Iris, it has its balance tipped in favor of woods instead of florals. Both are comparable, but Infusion d’Iris is more persistent, at times intrusive, and once you think it has faded, it strikes back, which might indicate a higher content of ionones -organic compounds present in both violets and orris. It has a bolder texture and denser sillage than Iris Cèdre (for the Infusion standards, anyway, as these are light scents in typical Daniela Andrier style).

The professional endeavors that more often than not make me gravitate towards Infusion d’Iris Cèdre are hearings, and there is a tactical purpose behind that choice. It smells clean and collected but asserting and unassailable, all things that one would like to project when facing a judge. Nowadays, Iris Cèdre seems like the perfect option to resume duties, even if such responsibilities are still somewhat constricted.

Name: Infusion d’Iris Cèdre
House: Prada
Concentration: Eau de parfum
Nose: Daniela Andrier
Release Year: 2015
Category: Woody

Reviewed Batch: circa 2017
From personal collection.

3 thoughts on “Scent for Duty: Prada – Infusion d’Iris Cèdre Review

  1. Glad to read that you are back at work, Armando. What a superb choice and write-up! I love what you say about Prada’s treatment of iris. It’s so cool, almost austere. When I used to work in an office, I would often wear very bold scents. Bad boy! But for many people, it’s understandable to be on the safer side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We are back to lockdown, can you believe it? Freedom only lasted one week!
      I am guilty of wearing bold scents to the office as well! And I confess that I have a disregard for people either liking it or not, but lockdown made me crave the work-appropriate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Such is life in 2020, Armando. Hope you are doing well under the circumstances. We moved from level 4 to level 3 a few weeks ago in South Africa, but with our numbers on the increase, I can see that changing, too. As I’m working from home, I can wear whatever I please. Tee hee!


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