My vetiver cup runneth over. You’d laugh if I told you how many vetiver fragrances I own. It’s rare for me to come across a vetiver perfume I hate, but after disliking Prada’s take on another perfume note I love, orange blossom (Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger), I wondered if its interpretation of vetiver would also be a disappointment.
Infusion de Vétiver is a limited edition Eau de Toilette developed by perfumer Daniela Andrier. Apart from vetiver, the listed fragrance notes include tarragon, pepper and purple ginger. The first time I smelled Infusion de Vétiver was on paper, and it smelled like watery, slightly peppery vetiver: plain. When I wore the fragrance, I detected other notes but the composition remained aqueous and simple.
On my skin, Infusion de Vétiver starts with the scents of powerful, acidic "citrus" (just a second or two) followed by fresh tarragon. The aroma of tarragon is hard to describe — imagine sweet, green grass with hints of chilled butter and aniseed. Tarragon is the overriding scent of Infusion de Vétiver’s opening; in mid-development, it’s mixed with an almost-vegetal citrus note (is this the “purple ginger?”) Mixed in with the tarragon and ginger and citrus are pallid musk and clean, mild pepper. And under all these notes lies slumbering vetiver…pale, and barely breathing.
I certainly don't hate Infusion de Vétiver, but it's a puny fragrance. I guess one could think of Infusion de Vétiver as an April Fool’s joke by Prada aimed at literal-minded vetiver/perfume lovers. But no matter the name of the perfume, the actual juice needs an added infusion of something to bring it to life. (Now, if you like super-light, mild, watery fragrances, do give this perfume a try.)
Prada Infusion de Vétiver is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette ($70-90).
Note: top image [cropped] of Rain on Grass via Wikimedia Commons.