Best soapy fragrance around? I think so. While Patrick is certainly in the running.. I'd call that more of a green soapy scent while Infusion d'Homme is more of a white soapy scent. This couldn't be done more perfect. It lasts long, it projects well, it reeks of high quality. Sadly, you can expect to pay high discontinued prices. I still have a full bottle, and although I rarely wear it, it's good to know that I paid about $35 for mine some years back. I thought it was just a simple generic soapy fragrance back then. Fast forward all these years later, tons and tons more fragrances, I can honestly say, there is really nothing quite like Infusion d'Homme.
The citrus opening is a nice one, orange, mandarin - both discreetly sweet in character - underlines by a bright and light neroli.
In the drydown the iris develops; it is a pleasant green iris, which dominates the heart notes. It is accompanied be a very discreet galbanum, which adds a gentle spiciness in the background. A soft vetiver comes and goes, whilst a cedarwood impression develops further in the development that lead towards the base.
With times the iris develops a clean and powdery undertone. This is a fresh and bright powderiness with a slight lipstick accent, which lacks any dowager-style boudoir-mustiness. Glimpses of frankincense and a restrained benzoin appear closer towards the end, with the spiciness and the powderiness of the iris creating an interesting finale.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and an excellent eleven hours of longevity on my skin.
A very agreeable scent for warmer spring days, with a citrus-floral first half that changes into a gently spicy second stage. Is has some original features, shows good development and texture, but some components can be a bit synthetic at times; the performance is excellent. Overall a good creation. 3.25/5
An exceptionally nice powdery soap vibe after a zingy opening. If this is what you want to achieve then this is highly recommended.
For me there needs to be slightly more depth. Afterall Infusion de l'homme does not immediatley conjure up images of powdery soap. Prada have fiddled with this by creating the Vetiver and Iris Cedre but the mistake they make is these make it more unisex rather than adding interesting body. The former smells of grapefruit, and its very nice for what it is but what man really wants to smell of grapefruit especially for an 'homme flanker and its called vetiver, and the latter is insipid and instantly forgetable.
Prada missed an opportunity of creating an iconic male fresh fragrance. Incidentally Cargo de Nuit that is eulogised so often is a complete flop opening with a burst of surgical spirit rapidly drying down to cloyingly feminine. There are two youtube reviews of CdN. One appears honest, the second is clearly fake.
I am going to commit the ultimate sin and trying layering. MY idea is Roja Vetiver Cologne and see what I get. Anyone want to join me?
Fragrance: 8/10 as powdery soap but it misses the spot as a fresh male fragrance which is what it purports to be.
Prada perfumes began early on with amber as the signature house accord, as evidenced by both the original and rebooted Prada (2004) and Prada Amber pour Homme (2006). Inbetween several single-note homages in their numbered exclusive range, the house quietly shifted to iris being the house accord, no doubt due to the success of 1 Iris (2004). House perfumer Daniela Andrier has proven both deft at amber and iris, but the latter seems to be her real knack, shown even more evident by the popularity of Infusion d'Iris (2007), which ultimately led to the release of cult classic Infusion d'Homme (2008). Before we go on, we need to rewind a few years back to 2005, because the stir caused by the release of the original Dior Homme is indirectly responsible for this scent. The mid-2000's was the height of the "metrosexual" fashion movement among CIS heterosexual men, and traditionally-feminine notes were being wrestled into some masculine-market fragrances to address this, with the prominent iris ionone developed by Olivier Polge and stuffed into Dior Homme being one of them. The iris used by Prada is of similar ilk but dressed more-traditionally rather than wrapped in gourmand notes or leather, meaning a scent like Infusion d'Homme would be a "next level" for those happy with the Dior Homme range. I can imagine this had a pretty big initial impact, but once the unisex popularity of the original was established, then flankers of it followed suit, Infusion d'Homme became the odd "man" out, with much of its DNA making it over to Prada l'Homme (2016) as the new iris-focused masculine pillar. Ironically, Dior has seemingly thrown in the towel with iris as a prominent masculine note by re-orchestrating Dior Homme in 2020, leaving the children of the Infusion line plus some things made by Olivier Polge for Valentino to carry on the fight.
The scent profile of Infusion d'Homme is reactionary to men enjoying the use of Infusion d'Iris, and in a more-referential way, the use of Dior Homme. Infusion d'Homme is to Infusion d'Iris what Guerlain Mouchoir de Monsieur (1902) was to Guerlain Jicky (1889), not much of a departure and only different due to a few key twists in the formula. Poeple knowledgable in the smell of Infusion d'Iris can tell you that it is very soapy and clean; the same is likewise true of Infusion d'Homme and the only real point of separation are two subtle additions to the composition of the latter. Infusion d'Homme opens with a very bright mandarin and neroli, with some dihydromyrcenol to add a watery/laundry kind of clean that attaches itself well to orris/iris in general (see some older fougères for reference). This key twist in the opening helps Infusion d'Homme read marginally more masculine than Infusion d'Iris, but not much. The real game changer here is vetiver, which sits as the second new addition alongside the iris, galbanum, and cedar notes. The base is benzoin, olibanum, and a clean white musk, furthering the white shirt/hanging laundry vibe. Infusion d'Homme in particular reminds me of several powdery men's scents made throughout the mid 20th century, so there may be some throwback appeal here as well. Wear time is very long with this one, as that iris note is very tenacious, especially with a backing band of incense, resins, and laundry musk. The vetiver is of the grassy nature, and pokes its head through intermittently as the wear progresses, making Infusion d'Homme unusually summery for something based around iris. Projection is above average and sillage is equally formidable as the longevity, so you will detect this on skin all day. Iris has always struct me as cold, emotionless, and business-like in demeanor, so Infusion d'Homme might be a good office scent for fans of soapier fragrances, and will offend absolutely no one.
This next bit you may already know if you've been in the fragrance community for a while, and that's the fact Infusion d'Homme is discontinued. However, fret not because it was really only discontinued in name alone, since Prada decided to relaunch the scent with very mininal tweaking outside IFRA regulations as Infusion d'Iris Cèdre (2015). My guess is the original Infusion d'Homme got one too many complaints of feeling "too girly" or women took interest in it but balked at the male-centric naming, so the scent itself was brought more in line with the rest of the Infusion range. Some people detect major differences between Infusion d'Homme and Infusion d'Iris Cèdre, but I don't know how much of that is empirical versus some psychosomatic thing caused by the usual hype and veneration fragrance enthusiasts have for anything after it's been pulled from market. I won't quite call Infusion d'Homme a "unicorn" (or at least not a major one), because it was never something that got a lot of post-discontinuation gouging or panic buying, and the price just seemed to slowly increase organically as supply decreased like 90% of discontinued fragrances that dodge the bullet of becoming the next Maltese Falcon in the eyes of the covetous "FragBro". Be expected to pay more for it than it was at retail, and likely even more depending on how much time has passed since this review was posted, but you're never likely to finance a new car purchase with a backup bottle of the stuff, and that's simply because it still exists under a different name. Infusion d'Homme is an interesting anecdote in masculine perfume history, representing a "gender inversion" the likes of which haven't been seen since the tomboy chypres of the 70's, and may be the ultimate in clean prim smells for some guys, which is a title it perhaps deserves. Thumbs up.
My take on Infusion d'Homme is that it is basically Prada Amber pour Homme (2006), but made less feminine.
What's interesting is that the note profiles listed for both scents are totally different, yet once you smell them both, there is no denying their similarities. It lists "clean notes" and "powdery notes" as actual ingredients, and I would say that along with galbanum, benzoin, and iris, that's what's driving this train. Like Amber pour Homme, this also has the soap-vibe going on, but it's more restrained than the former. Amber would be more the "perfumed decorative soap," and this would be more of a "utility soap," and that's where my issue lies. I can't help but be reminded of the type of low-grade soap and cleaners that they used in my high school art class when I smell this. Norlimbanol seems to be in there, giving this that "scratchy" effect that I have never enjoyed, and it makes this a scent that comes off as something manufactured trying to come across as high class. It's high-end industrial soap trying to pass itself off as luxurious. That's the most apt way I can put it.
Just like Amber pour Homme has its fans, this also has its fans, and they're most likely one and the same. Amber pour Homme was a confused fragrance that seemed to be playing with the idea of androgyny, as it was, to me, neither masculine nor feminine, and purposely so. Infusion is less feminine, but certainly not a "manly" scent by any means. I would choose this one over Amber, but I would choose almost anything over either. I don't think that this scent is bad in and of itself, I just don't like it. I'll give it a neutral, as giving this a thumbs down seems a bit harsh.
Now that the dust has settled on the first decade of this century, I find it easier to think about Infusion d'Homme in relation to what it captures for me, and how much I've remembered it. Among mainstream releases marketed to men, it is one of the best of that decade. I recall trying it many times at stores together with other perfumes, and its smell was always lost on the test strip: I simply couldn't smell anything in the olfactory cacophony of other perfumes sprayed in the same environment.
A few years down the line I tried it from a small decant, received due to the courtesy of a Basenotes friend. I was struck by its soft-hazy yet clear form. It reminded me of Mugler Cologne because of the soap; however, while Mugler was fun and uplifting, Infusion d'Homme was sombre and introspective. I found it to bear some similarities with Bois d'Argent, in part because of the iris and the myrrh, and in part because of their personalities. Years later when I'd sampled Iris de Nuit, I found they sometimes speak in the same language, but always tell different stories. Infusion d'Homme was always compared to Prada Amber pour Homme, and they had many similarities, both being fresh, interesting and reminiscent of soap, but with one key difference: Amber pour Homme was warm and friendly, while Infusion d'Homme was cool and aloof.
If you like Christian Dior's aesthetic of pale greys and pastel pinks, Infusion d'Homme could be for you. I find it soft yet gently persistent, with notes of clean iris, a light and moody incense, and a touch of myrrh; they together manage to create something airy, and an accord that is a dead ringer for soap. A good quality bar of white soap; very simple but quintessentially chic and androgynously beautiful. Yet, the most unique feature of this scent is its subtlety, and that, it is inoffensive and always appropriate; and another very interesting aspect is that it is clean, soapy yet shyly sensuous and intimate, while completely shunning any conventional notes used for such effects. On my skin it sits quietly with soft occasional wafts, and duration is moderate at about six hours. It's been one of my most worn scents, and it's been uplifting in the heat and comforting when cold.
I once read a comment on a blog post about Infusion d'Homme: "young people, especially single, could use this". For some reason, those words have stayed with me; maybe because I did use it quite a bit in my twenties. These days I find it more calming than before; it reminds me of the cacophony that it got drowned in, and I connect it to the cacophony of a world that gets messier each day. It doesn't solve life's problems, but it is comforting. If I weren't nuts, I'd have worn it everyday.
P.S. Infusion d'Homme has been discontinued. I have tried Infusion d'Iris Cedre on paper and on skin, and it is at least 98% identical. I attribute the difference of 2% to my vivid imagination. The prices are not identical.