The Prada Olfactories have arrived on counter in the UK and the spirit of Quality Street selection tins, there’s something for everyone. The presentation is stunning. Along with your handsome 100ml bottle of gently-tinted juice, you get a matching printed silk pochette to carry it in. These are retailing for £195 which inches towards a new £200-£300 sweet spot for luxury perfumes that put them a tier above average.
The PR sent me a variety box of all ten scents to try a few weeks ago, and the unboxing of that with the press materials was quite the experience in itself. The beautiful collaged imagery is meant to evoke surreal dreamscapes rather than the usual collection of fragrance notes.
I wrote about the Prada Olfactories when they launched a year ago, so you’ll remember how powerful the imagery is. But you still have to have an idea of what the smells are, no? My favourite is the one I have in the standard size, Marienbad, a coffee, oud and leather concoction to soak the senses. Second, third and fourth faves are as follows:
Pink Flamingos – the most intriguing, this sweet, almost bubblegum-like (but sophisticated) fragrance is camp and fun and makes you think of Tokyo club nights where anything might happen.
Cargo de Nuit – a warm, woody unisex perfume that’s really easy to wear
A Chant D’Amour – starts off medicinal then becomes a musky orange blossom. Very comforting.
The other six are Heat Wave (sherbet-y), Day for Night (semi-sweet vanilla), Double Dare (soft sandalwood), Purple Rain (a slightly sharp and powdery infusion of iris, vetiver and neroli notes), Nue Au Soleil (a medium intensity tuberose, my mum will like this) and Tainted Love (an elegant powdery violet with a nice gentle dry down if you like classic scents).
Most of these are fairly refined; there don’t seem to be any humdinger headache-inducers. However, I do wish that the sillage (intensity) was a little bit stronger. The one that’s most ‘me’ is Marienbad and I definitely think that all the accompanying theatrics (the bottle, the collages, the pochette) make it so much more than just about the smell and something you want to keep as a personal signature.
The Prada Olfactories perfumes are available exclusively at Selfridges in the UK.
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WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
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