Let’s just say it didn’t take long for me to moan and groan, huff and puff until a 50ml bottle appeared as a gift to cheer me up - it was a record time actually after extending my bottom lip out and mumbling something along the lines of “but I never buy any new aftershaves any more“.
The first blast of Luna Rossa had me hooked.
‘Prada introduces a new masculine fragrance in Sept 2012, named after the sailboat and the sailing team "Red Moon" or Luna Rossa, which participates in the American Cup competitions. The new fragrance, considering its name, draws its inspiration from the world of extreme sailing, prestige, marine nature and passion for innovation and victory.
The composition is developed around the main note of lavender by perfumer Daniela Andrier of Givaudan. Intensity and freshness of accords are emphasized by the use of classical notes in new, innovative ways. Those notes include lavender absolute and bitter orange in the top, clary sage and spearmint in the heart, and ambrette absolute and ambroxan molecule in the base.
Bottle design is inspired by modern sailboats, signed by Yves Behar. The fragrance is available as 50, 100 and 150 ml Eau de Toilette. The nose behind this fragrance is Daniela (Roche) Andrier.’
So you have the basic notes in the blurb but here they are at a glance:
- Head: Bitter oranges, Lavender
- Heart: Clary Sage, Spearmint,
- Dry-down: Ambrette, Ambroxan
When I first smelt Luna Rossa I have to admit that an in depth analysis was not undertaken, I was simply blown away by the fact that I loved the overall first impression and how it evolved on my skin over time to the dry down. It was immense, and considering I expected something cheap and nasty (on a par with Gucci Rush which regular readers will know I use as a benchmark for filth) to say I was smiling was an understatement.
I have seen some describe this as having almost herbal top notes - personally I’m not sure what they are sniffing (aftershave or stronger) but it didn’t and has never been my experience.
The oranges provide a fresh blast of citrus, its very sharp initially and is by far the most over-riding note, and remains so for a good five minutes. It is fresh and screams young and vibrant. Within the first five minutes of putting this through a full analysis (i.e giving it a long hard whiff every five minutes before getting people to smell me) I thought to myself that this would make a great summer fragrance - this thought process didn’t change, even though as it blended and dried down it did.
Personally I didn’t detect even the remotest hint of lavender until after around fifteen minutes, it is there but so subtle and soft you really struggle to pick it out. It provides a good counter balance to the sharpness of the orange making it much warmer. Still no hints of herbal though.
After around twenty minutes you start to notice that the sharpness of the orange top note has completely gone, leaving a warm citrus - lovely. However, at this point the whole fragrance has altered to become slightly heavier on the nose, the sage is evident but again, the warm citrus is the dominating fragrance.
After an hour to me this became more of an earthy, masculine fragrance. The oranges started to fade and the dry down notes became evident. I would have put this down to either cedar wood or sandalwood but no, it is all down to the Ambroxan.
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on this kind of thing, I just say what I smell, but I was intrigued and played around on Google to find out what this mystery note is. I was quite surprised that the response I received from Google wasn’t that technical. Ambroxan is a key element responsible for the odour produced by ambergris. Ambergris is well sought after and is produced by the digestive systems of whales - it sounds vile but the waxy substance is used in a lot of high end perfume and aftershave as it provides a long, hardwearing and almost sweet fragrance (it also means they don‘t have to add alcohol to the fragrance that dries out your skin - there, you learn something new every day).
These dry down notes provide an excellent base - it turns this once fresh and citrus fragrance into one that is quite sweet, even after five-six hours. That sweetness that you would associate with Joop, Uomo by Valentino or Eros is balanced by the light musk of the Ambrette.
Only a few sprays - three at most are needed to make sure you stay smelling from dusk until dawn, and I say this as Luna Rossa is perfect for nights out as it is so hardwearing, leaves a slight trail which means others will be able to smell it and it will give you the self confidence that you smell amazing.
50ml of this baby will set you back around £35 so it isn’t going to break the bank and when you consider the fragrance, how long it lasts and the compliments that you’ll receive you can’t ask for more.
It’s true what they say, the Devil really does wear Prada (and he wears it regularly)!