I want to love the Ephemeral Infusions series from Prada.1 Infusion d'Iris, the fragrance that inspired the series, is one of my favorite scents, and the packaging, as always from Prada, is picture-perfect. You could almost get me to buy them just for the gorgeous outer boxes (see below), and the perfectly-aligned, dyed-to-match fabric covering the caps.
So I do try to love them. But the "veil of scent" / watercolor concept that worked so well in Infusion d'Iris (and in Prada L'Eau Ambrée, although it is not part of this series) has just seemed, well, wimpy, and dull, in the scents that followed (Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger, Infusion de Tubéreuse & Infusion de Vétiver). It is not just a case of oh-this-is-really-nice-just-not-me, as it was with yesterday's Jardin Sur Le Toit, but more wow-this-could-have-been-awesome-but-somehow-it's-just-not.
Still. I like Infusion d'Iris, and I like Prada, and I like the work of the perfumer, Daniela Andrier. So I was happy to hear that rose was up next. The description — "fresh rose petals mingle with tea, roses and honey, crushed in the hand with mint leaves" — sounded perfect. And I will say that of the Ephemeral Infusions so far, this one is my favorite. Plus, at least it smells like rose — Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger smelled mostly like baby aspirin and soap, and Infusion de Tubéreuse smelled like flowers, but not tuberose flowers.
Infusion de Rose starts off with some promise. The opening is a bright citrus tea, joined in short order by a sheer rose with a lightly sweet honey / beeswax note. Then the tea fades, and the rose, while remaining soft, turns powdery-sweet. It doesn't get heavy, but it does take on a rather old-fashioned air. The mint struggles to make a showing — on some wearings I noticed it, on others I didn't. On my skin, the trajectory I've described above takes about 15 minutes, after which, nothing much in particular happens. It's a pretty enough rosewater-y rose, clean and pale and delicate, but it's rather plain, and it stays that way for the duration.
Infusion d'Iris showed a different side of iris as a fragrance note, and I've heard from more than one person that it was their "gateway drug" to iris perfumes. You could argue that likewise, Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger and Infusion de Tubéreuse said something new about their respective floral notes even if I didn't particularly like what they had to say.2 Infusion de Rose, well, it smells like rose, but it also has much more competition; pale rosewater-y scents, after all, are not so very hard to find. There are modern roses, there are old-fashioned roses. There are roses with tea, there are roses with mint. If Infusion de Rose is adding anything new to the mix, I'm missing it entirely, and there are certainly pale rosewater-y scents with more personality than this.
Verdict: it's pretty enough, and very wearable, but doesn't keep my interest.
Prada Infusion de Rose is a limited edition, and is available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum.
1. Actually, I don't know if they're still using the name "Ephemeral Infusions".
2. Note that I'm leaving out Infusion de Vetiver — Kevin reviewed that one and I only tried it very briefly, and on paper at that. I hardly remember it.