Lighting up Transparent – Prada Infusion d’Oeillet (2015)

I recently read about someone who was automatically drawn towards light-liquid perfumes. Obviously it makes sense that we are drawn to different juice colours as well as genres, and yet it was one of those things that had never occurred to me before. Indeed I thought it really strange that anyone should be drawn towards transparent and very light coloured perfume, as I would normally be drawn to golden coloured fragrance. I realised that where others see serenity and floral freshness I translated transparency mostly into stingy and anorexic, whilst the golden tone feels rich and opulent and talks to my eyes and heart. But of course, it’s not really about rich or stingy, it’s about which fragrance genres you generally prefer.

Being a lover of oriental, woody and spicy fragrances, Prada’s new Infusion d’Oeillet, by perfumer Daniela Andrier, was absolute top of my to-test list, and I was happy to receive a sample from a fellow perfumista. I hadn’t looked too much into it before, but liked the concept of a new carnation fragrance given the infusion-overhaul. I was very surprised at the pale pink juice and the girly pink carnation used for the advert; in fact, I found the whole picture of little promise for the perfume.

Prada Infusion d'Oeillet Advert

Prada Infusion d’Oeillet Advert

Carnation is a flower which goes extremely well in an oriental/ floriental composition because its spiciness leans towards cloves and pepper and can be given both a cold metallic and a warm spicy side depending on the composition. Also, carnation has been out of flavour for so long, there are not many modern takes on the flower.

Prada Infusion d’Oeillet starts out similar to the original Infusion d’Iris, with a cologne-like peppery freshness. The pepper makes the opening completely unisex, even if the hesperidic notes are little soft and a little sweet due to mandarin essence. The pepper connects to the emergence of the carnation, making the transition into the floral heart seamless like a Tai Chi sequence. It’s beautifully done; all of a sudden you are in the heart of the fragrance and the pepper is no longer pepper but the metallic scent of a carnation flower.

I have always felt that Infusion d’Iris had an austerity in it from the iris and wood. It isn’t overwhelming or sad but rather elegant. Carnation, which can so easily be warm and fierce, is none of that here, yet distinctively a carnation, it’s floral and cool metal, with just enough sweetness. After a swirl through the douce carnation heart, a mellow and sweet sandalwood provides yet another smooth passage into the dry down. Thanks to woody notes (and styrax is mentioned) the sandalwood is uncloyingly serene and the end is as slick as the rest of the composition.oeillet book old

I was impressed by Infusion d’Oeillet’s likeness to Infusion d’Iris, it truly is like iris was simply exchanged for carnation, the atmosphere being so similar. Much like its predecessor, Infusion d’Oeillet is clear and transparent; it speaks of cool minimalism and is almost meditative in its expression. I do see it as a transparent fragrance to justify the light juice, the pink coming from the red carnation in a diluted colour. After all it’s not Infusion d’Oeillet’s fault what I associate most pale or even pink juices with, and even if Infusion d’Oeillet might not make it to my personal  absolute top carnation-heavy fragrances (at least not for winter), I do believe it has made me see transparency in a new light.


Sighs of Autumn Rain by Du Fu

In autumn rain, the grasses rot and die,
Below the steps, the jueming‘s colour is fresh.
Full green leaves cover the stems like feathers,
And countless flowers bloom like golden coins.
The cold wind, moaning, blows against you fiercely,
I fear that soon you’ll find it hard to stand.
Upstairs the scholar lets down his white hair,
He faces the wind, breathes the fragrance, and weeps.

21 thoughts on “Lighting up Transparent – Prada Infusion d’Oeillet (2015)

  1. I would love perfumers to create some ‘aura soma-like’ scents. There definitely is a connection between attraction to colour and what the body wants/needs.
    Ps. Great review, thanks.

    • Thanks for commenting Patsi, I know that April Aromatics does a chakra kind of thing, but not based on colour.

      • thanks for the info Asali – i have heard of April Aromatics, but as you say its more of a chakra vibe than colour. Cheers!

      • Interject away Vanessa 🙂 Thank you for alerting me to Anastasia Brozier; i shall go and check out her scents now. Cheers me dear.

  2. Beautiful, Asali. Carnation is not a flower I would associate with transparant, interesting to read Daniela Andrier has created such a fragrance with this flower. I enjoy a lot of her fragrances and love her style. Fascinating what you write about THE colour of fragrances and people who love light liquid fragrances.

    • Dear E, well, transparent to me 😉 I find the original transparent, so based on that perhaps you understand my level of transparent. Skin scents, are completely lost on me, as they will disappear in under an hour. I like Andrier too, so elegant and French in style.
      I never even considered that there might actually be people out there reaching for pale fragrances first, I feel quite foolish.

  3. Hello Asali! What a wonderful review! This was the ONE sample I requested from the fabulous KaDeWe fragrance floor and I enjoyed my one wearing of it. I can’t wait for it to come to the U.S. I need to stop in and comment more seeing as we we’ve met each other in real life!

    • Dear Hajusuuri, I was waiting for your write-up to hear more about your European trip (and you’re not the only one I owe an email I assure you). kaDeWe is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I do find Oeillet so very wearable, but to me personally perhaps more so in slightly warmer weather, I hope you get it soon.

  4. I tried this one yesterday. I am a big fan of Infusion d’Homme (something went wrong with the name because in French it sounds absolutely disgusting) and I also love carnations. I loved it. I get a fleeting anise note in the opening which is also interesting as it intensifies the metallic feel of the carnation.

    Lovely description

    • Dear Christos, I know that name! What were they thinking, it’s spooky, but then the other day I came across a vintage perfume from Lentheric in a database called Adam’s Rib… Sort of in the same vane.
      I didn’t get the anise, although I wish I did since it’s another favourite note of mine. Thanks for commenting.

  5. That poem drew tears to my eyes – must be getting old! Beautifully written Asali, I’m loving the ‘seamless like a tai chi sequence’ picture! Obviously various essences must have their own natural colours, but I’m sure a lot of energy goes into the design also of the colour of the perfume, to awaken specific associations? I wonder what chemical processes goes into this…

    • Søde Trine. I know, one can get a little teary eyed reading these melancholic verses. Many essences have a colour (as you well know from the oak moss) but also many don’t, or are diluted that they are near transparent. I think you’re very right that the colour of the perfume itself is as much part of the design as the bottle. And it talks to us in much the same way as bottle design or perfume name: green and blues for fresher, airier fragrances, golden warm tones for oriental, woody, and feminine florals often take on a soft yellow or light pink shade. So obviously it’s a way of directing the customer.

  6. I love carnation oil so much but sadly have never found it replicated in a perfume to my satisfaction. They are always too clove-like and not floral enough. I will try this one though, maybe when the weather warms up again.

    So interesting that you post this in the week I went to Perfume and Colour at Perfume Lovers London. It can be fascinating to compare your sense perception with others. A few times that evening we came up with differing colour associations with a number of perfumes and ingredients. It can definitely enhance your experience of scents to think of them in terms of colours.

    I love autumn and that poem is a beauty. The wind is moaning outside my door right now!

    • How exciting that the theme for your meeting was Perfume and Colour. I felt that the pastel rose colour didn’t enhance my experience of IdO, in fact, had I known of the baby pink advert I might have given the perfume a miss, which would have been a shame. I do hope this one is floral enough for you, I like it a lot, but as I said, for this time of year I prefer to go all in with spices and warmth.
      I’m glad you liked the poem, those Chinese poems are so very special and full of atmosphere.

  7. I am not big on carnation for the reasons Tara mentions, but a wan and fresh take on the note might work for me, albeit I don’t care for metallic either as a rule, hehe. You must think me very hard to please! Still, I enjoyed your delicate water colour of a review, and the pretty illustrations. I would certainly give this a sniff if I saw it, especially as it has a simliar vibe to Infusion d’Iris. Never say never…

    • You certainly are a tough one to please, but you know I think this one might be of interest to you… I go with ‘never say never’ 🙂

  8. Being an original perfume’s fan I can’t wait for this one to get to the U.S.

    As to the perfume juice colors, I prefer darker colors myself (if we’re talking about the “natural” yellow-brown spectrum) or strange colors (blue, violet, red).

    • I was really looking forward to this one too, and still need to try the almond one which seems like it could be fun too.
      I see we see the colour-thing equally. No flimsy pastel coloured juice.

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