This bizarre naming trend, adding misleading adjectives and nouns such as "essence" and "absolue" to the names of successfully launched perfumes, generates lots of dashed expectations, as there does not seem to be a lot of attention being given to the meanings of the words being attached by marketers casting about desperately to generate names as quickly as new perfumes are being launched. One might have thought, for example, that the "absolue" of a perfume would be its extrait. Not so, in the case of Prada INFUSION D'IRIS ABSOLUE, which is not just a stronger version of INFUSION D'IRIS--no, not by a long shot.
As someone who has managed (unbelievably enough) to drain an entire 200 ml bottle of Prada INFUSION d'IRIS edp and is making inroads into an even bigger jug of the stuff, I feel eminently qualified to pronounce on the difference between the latest Prada Infusion in the line-up, INFUSION D'IRIS ABSOLUE, and its namesake.
First off, it is different. Those who detect no difference between the two compositions are probably working from memory. Yes, they are more similar than either is to, say, CHANEL NO 5. But they are distinct compositions, without a doubt. My initial impression upon applying ABSOLUE was that this version was quite a bit more resinous than the original, what I see borne out in the hierarchy of notes above, where not only benzoin but also "mastic resin" is listed. This version also seems sweeter and inches in the direction of Guerlain L'INSTANT. It also conjures up in my mind memories of Kenzo FLOWER. One review mentions the Prada baby oil accord and, yes, I'd have to agree that it is much more pronounced in this version.
The biggest effect of the increased resin content is that ABSOLUE seems less clean and airy than either the eau de parfum or the eau de toilette, and also less green. The resins start to get just a bit gunky on me in the drydown, something that never happens with any other of the INFUSIONS. In fact, my favorite part of the entire series, the original, the eau de toilette, INFUSION D'HOMME, INFUSION DE VETIVER, INFUSION DE FLEUR D'ORANGER, and INFUSION DE TUBEREUSE, is the slightly soapy or clean edge in all of them. The only one which I do not own and have not tried is INFUSION DE ROSE, which I have never seen for sale anywhere!
All of the previous members of this series familiar to me are not too sweet nor do they have any dirtiness whatsoever, which makes them boring to some reviewers. For them, the ABSOLUE may be a welcome change. As for me, I'll stick with what I know.