Luna Rossa is the new woody citrus for men from Prada. It's named for the the brand's America's Cup Challenge team, and is supposed to be an "unconventional marine fragrance" featuring lavender. Marine fragrances, unconventional or otherwise, are rarely my sort of thing — I do still adore Comptoir Sud Pacifique Aqua Motu, and I have a sort of soft spot (theoretical more than practical) for the old classic New West, but that's about it for me on the marine front. On the sporty front, well, the less said the better. There are surely perfumistas who are fans of sporty fragrances, but they're not exactly a majority contingent.
In its favor, Luna Rossa is by perfumer Daniela Andrier for Prada, and as a general rule, I like their style, even if I don't uniformly love all of the fragrances. So I was at least mildly looking forward to Luna Rossa.
Lavender is the star of the show early on, but it's a billowy and mild sort of lavender, with all the spikiness of natural lavender smoothed over — lavender haters probably won't be unduly bothered (other notes: orange essence, clary sage, spearmint, ambrette and ambroxan). Still, with the mint and the clary sage, Luna Rossa has a decidedly herbal-aromatic feel in the top notes, and is pushed firmly into modern masculine sport territory only via a cold metallic finish and plenty of citrus.
As it dries down, all of that fades away, and Luna Rossa softens and turns woodier and muskier. At no point does it really stand out to me as a marine fragrance, but a hint of salt air lingers in the middle for a time before things start to turn soapy. And the longer it is on skin, the soapier Luna Rossa gets — eventually, it's a soft, creamy-soapy woody musk that recalls Prada Amber Pour Homme and/or Prada Infusion d'Homme — it could be the sport flanker of either scent, really.
Verdict: it's well done, and it's considerably more elegant than your average sport fragrance. It would make a great gift for a fan of sports fragrances, and if the reviews at Boots are to be believed, many men have in fact received it as a gift and loved it, and many more have bought it for themselves. As for me, it did not set my world on fire. I wouldn't mind smelling it on someone else, but I wouldn't be so very sorry if I never did, either. I'd much rather wear Amber Pour Homme or Infusion d'Homme.
The quick poll: your all-time favorite sport fragrance?
Prada Luna Rossa is available in 50, 100 and 150 ml Eau de Toilette and in matching grooming products. I found the lasting power quite good. It does not launch in the US until early next year, but can be pre-ordered now at Macy's.