I must admit I have largely given up on designer fragrances. Before I get accused of snobbery, let me explain.
Even though the last couple of years saw new original releases from the major designers (Dior Sauvage, Saint Laurent Y, Prada L’Homme), they have been plagued with virtually no creativity. We’ve been seeing the same focus-group approved crowd-pleasers that smell largely the same.
Occasionally, however, I do get tempted to smell a “hot new release” by a “favourite” designer while paying for Q tips at the drugstore counter.
This is how I discovered Prada L’Homme Intense. I saw the bottle standing there and I said to myself, why not.
Despite my tempered optimism, the first notes of L’Homme Intense smelled surprising good. I got the same carrot-like accord recognizable from Dior Homme and many other quality iris fragrances. The quality iris was unmistakable in the opening.
By the time I paid for my Q tips, however, the iris accord had largely disappeared. Now, I was on the street frantically searching for glimpses of it on the back of my hand.
Sweet tonka had taken over. The accord was pleasant but I didn’t expect it to dominate the composition so quickly.
I continued on my way home, occasionally sniffing my hand. Prada L’Homme Intense was a pleasant fragrance. At times, I even found it handsome - something I would enjoy smelling in passing a well-dressed man. Still, I couldn’t find anything significantly different in Prada L’Homme Intense than all other recently released masculine orientals.
Waiting in another line, this time at the grocer’s, I detected a faint scent of creamy iris. It was subtle and unobtrusive. I smelled my hand again. All I got was sweet tonka and vanilla. I looked around me and I couldn’t identify a reliable source of the iris.
It must have been Prada L’Homme Intense. There was no other plausible explanation. The sillage of the fragrance was much better than its smell on the skin.
By the time I had unloaded the groceries in my fridge Prada L’Homme Intense had turned slightly floral. I smelled a stronger presence of vanilla, likely the listed amber accord.
Prada L’Homme Intense was interesting. It had stages of development and they were smooth and seamless. All of them smelled good, if not completely original.
Eventually, Prada L’Homme Intense settled to the predictable ambery base. The fun was over.
Despite its well-executed composition, there is little about Prada L’Homme Intense to compel a purchase. It is the mannequin of perfumes - all of its features meet the aesthetic standards of proportion and symmetry and yet, there is little to excite the senses. Prada L’Homme Intense leaves me thinking: it’s good but I’ve smelled it thousands of times before.
Give it a Try
About the Smell Test
The Smell Test is a series of mini reviews of popular fragrances. I take a sniff and share with you what I think based on my first impressions. The idea behind the Smell Test is to give you a quick thumbs up or down on popular scents without delving into its intricacies.
If you have a fragrance you’d like to see featured here, send me a note or comment below. If I don’t have a sample, I’ll try to find it and share my thoughts.