The culture of fragrance advertising is quite a hackneyed domain. Think men’s perfume and you likely imagine a James Bond-type, all chiselled jaw and sculpted body, partially draped in a swooning, nude female. The more rational among us don’t buy a fragrance based on someone else’s view of aspiration – no – we buy one because we like the smell.

Prada films

Click here to see stills from each of the films.
Trust Prada to be the house that’s turning this formula on its head. Fresh from winning Best Fragrance at our 2008 Design Awards for the women’s Infusion d’Iris, today Prada launches a men’s take on the same notes. Instead of wheeling out the models to advertise the fragrance though it’s commissioned nine young directors from nine leading production houses around the world to each produce a short film instead.
Given complete freedom to interpret the fragrance exactly how they wished the only constraint was that it had to be a short story and not a commercial. The results are certainly varied, encapsulating Prada’s intention presumably to show that Infusion d’Homme is both inspiring and personal and far from the realms of the advertising formula.
The nine films were unveiled at the end of the Spring/Summer ’09 show in June and can be seen in full on Prada.com. This isn’t all: Oscar winning film editor Pietro Scalia will edit the films to create one single work in the future by way of creating a synthesis of the project.
And what of the fragrance itself? Created by Daniela Andrier, the distinguished nose behind Infusion d’Iris and Amber Pour Homme, the smell is at once soapy and sophisticated. Notes of iris palida and neroli from Tunisia give a light floral feel, whilst vetiver and cedar provide a more robust woody undercurrent. The overall combination has a notable cleanliness.
Andrier explained at the fragrance’s launch that she took inspiration from the soap form of Infusion d’Iris, that she wanted it to smell like a man had used his girlfriend’s soap in the shower and had the lingering smell of her scent on his skin. Intriguingly the two fragrances contain exactly the same collection of notes – the difference between them is achieved by the varied dosings of each ingredient.