I have a tonne of respect for the house of Prada and their fragrances. Unlike many other designer brands, they have successfully created a house style, one that pitches luxury against modern innovation resulting in fragrances that smell top notch. Their style ranges from the sober beauty of the Infusions line to the naughty gourmand of Candy, possessing both sophistication and frivolity across their offerings. In short, Prada offer some really great fragrances that are perfectly in tune with their fashion. They are perfectly on point.
This year, Prada are offering us a masculine and feminine duo that epitomises their brand: La Femme Prada and L’Homme Prada. Each fragrance has been created to capture the essence of the Prada Woman and Man, respectively, offering up new and exciting olfactory profiles to enjoy. The feminine is a traditional floral done in a thoroughly modern style, presenting effortless, everyday glamour, whilst the masculine is a multilayered fougère created in the softest and most sensitive way. Both fragrance place a stake in the ground for the olfactory aesthetic for Prada in the future, which certainly makes for some interesting sniffing!
La Femme Prada
Frangipani, Ylang Ylang, Beeswax, Vanilla, Tuberose and Vetiver
How Does it Smell?
La Femme Prada is floral with a capital F. Upon first spritz, it unleashes a wave of white florals that splash against the skin in a transparent, yet golden gleam. They feel rich and intense but at the same time, they’re also as light as a feather. The tropical fruitiness of frangipani and ylang ylang bring nuances of banana and warm almonds, ruffling brightly together to allow for a sheer contrast to the queen of flowers that is the real star within the composition – the tuberose. La Femme Prada’s tuberose is a solar tuberose, one that casts a glorious lens flare on the wearer, radiating shades of gold, green and white.
As it dries down, La Femme Prada warms up intensely with the honeyed, viscous nature of the white flowers dripping effortlessly into the unctuous base of vanilla. Remarkably, it all manages to be a real contrast of textures, swirling around with a glossy nectar that is transparent but warm. Vetiver adds a tiny touch of dirtiness in the base – just enough to stop the sugar taking control, making for a fragrance that is all about beauty, light and clarity, rather than headiness, sugar overload and thickness. It’s about as voluptuous as a fragrance can get.
La Femme Prada feels like the polar opposite to Prada’s minimalist Infusions and mischievous Candy. It’s a luxurious and golden floral that is heady, exotic and hugely elegant, like a silk shift dress or an oversized handbag. It has a bronze sheen that shimmers like jewels or billowing satin. It’s the kind of scent you want to overdose on, dropping ten good sprays all over yourself before you leave the house, just to let people know that you know how to rock some serious pret-a-porter realness. La Femme Prada is simply gorgeous. It’s a full bodied floral that is as luxurious as one expects from Prada and it smells like heaven.
Neroli, Geranium, Patchouli, Iris and Amber
How Does it Smell?
Many moons ago I used to wear Prada’s Man, a delightful, barbershop-style amber fragrance that smells effortlessly attractive on any man that wears it. I also was a big fan of Infusion d’Homme, which is a fizzy sort of iris for the more sensitive soul. So it’s fair to say that I have a soft spot for the brand’s masculine offerings and for that reason, I approached L’Homme Prada with a great deal of enthusiasm, after all, Prada has been very kind to us gents on the olfactory front for quite some time.
With L’Homme Prada I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The fragrance opens up peppery and woody with a grey sensibility. It’s immediately soft in the way that many Prada fragrances are, evoking that suede-like luxury that permeates all of their olfactory offerings. Iris quickly joins the fray, bringing earth and powder to round off the edges of the crackling pepper. Underneath all of this is a warm dose of amber that glows with a hint of sweetness and an almond-like nuance. Altogether it smells like dark grey fabrics, soft leathers and quiet moments, all wrapped up in a warm, cuddly little package.
L’Homme Prada is incredibly soft, like a cashmere sweater. It’s a fragrance that won’t make much of a statement but it will smell both elegant and refined, encouraging those close enough to smell it to lean in for a closer sniff. I’d say that it’s perhaps one of Prada’s less innovative fragrance and it definitely feels linear in terms of development, but it’s not dull and it does what so many masculine fragrances fail to do these days – it smells approachable. L’Homme Prada is the kind of scent you’d want to hang around with. It doesn’t shout it’s masculinity, in fact, it embraces its softer, more feminine facets and it just feels so darn comfortable it’s hard not to enjoy it.
Over to you!
What’s your favourite Prada fragrance?