The Devil May Wear It, And So Do I

When Prada introduced one of its first colognes onto the market, I drove breathlessly into Boston to purchase it. I was ready to buy it scent unsniffed, but this was my first lesson that no matter how much you may admire a brand, it doesn’t always automatically register into a love of its fragrance. As I sprayed a generous spritz onto my wrist, I instantly recoiled: it was awful. Well, maybe not awful, but awful on me, and awful to my olfactory receptors. At the time, I wasn’t ready for the complexity of such a fragrance. There is a learning curve involved in developing one’s appreciation for cologne, and at that point Prada was too much.

I revisited every new launch, but for some reason the magic of Prada always eluded me. There was something too floral about it, tinged with a chemical note that I found slightly repellant. I’m not saying they were bad, simply not suited to my taste. Yet times, and tastes, change, and the challenge of Prada that I could not quite answer years ago can be taken up and conquered now.

Pictured here is Luna Rossa – one of the new Prada fragrances. If my years of Latin are recalled correctly, I think it roughly translates as Red Moon. Perfect for a fragrance to bridge the gap between summer and fall, when the nights turn cold, and only a red moon is there to remind you of the heat that came just days before.

Part of my prior Prada reluctance was due to the fact that I was making quick decisions based on sample sticks and hasty dry-downs. This time around I boldly spritzed some on and let it linger on me for a while, and that’s when the transformation took hold. Those chemical aspects dissipated quickly, replaced by warmer shades of something richer and earthier. Spicy notes crept into the mid-section, and the evolution of this cologne on the skin restored my faith in the Prada name. Patience and perseverance are often rewarded, particularly when it comes to fragrance. For that reason, Luna Rossa may not be for everyone, but if carefully employed can be an elegant addition to a gentleman’s cologne arsenal.

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