I love Amouage, a unique perfume house that has created some of the best fragrances in the niche category. Amouage Gold is not just a grand parfum, it’s one of the best perfume symphonies. The Jubilation duet blends wistful loveliness with edgy glamour. Wearing both Lyric perfumes, I finally grasp how it is that ‘bold and dramatic’ can also be ‘elegant and suave.’ Homage Attar transforms the lavish Middle Eastern oud and rose idea into a wearable but nevertheless sumptuous variation. Interlude, on the other hand, leaves me cold.
The fragrance opens with a sharp green, leafy note that smells at once like paint thinner and lawn clippings. It’s a bold move to overdose a fragrance with this rough and raspy note, and for a while it keeps my interest. After all, the diesel fumes that crown the top of Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle are similarly hard on the nose, but it feels like a natural part of the tuberose in the composition. Here, the green notes layered over the woods and incense feel jarring.
As Interlude settles into the skin, the green accents soften, but they are still hovering in the background enough to be present. The immortelle is another strong element in the perfume, and it smells like maple syrup minus the sweetness. The musk and amber fill out the spaces in the base of Interlude, with incense lending its pleasant smoky darkness. The drydown smells like Indian lime pickles–sharp and zesty, metallic and smoky.
Interlude has some terrific touches like the smoky plums, the soft leathery notes, and the luscious richness of woods, but the fragrance never coheres into a beautiful harmony. The concept behind Interlude is chaos, and I completely understand through the composition how this might be the case. In theory, it’s interesting, but it’s not aesthetically appealing. Maybe my goals for wearing perfume can be construed as shallow, but I want to be entertained and to smell good. Interlude does the first part well, but not the second.
My favorite perfumes, even if challenging, are beautiful from all the angles, and while there are some fragrances that are best understood after a long courtship, the process shouldn’t be painful. At almost $300 for a bottle, the sting is felt with the double intensity. For my part, I will indulge in Gold, Lyric, Epic and Jubilation, and hope that the next soprano will hit the perfect pitch.
On the other hand, I had more luck with Interlude Man and enjoyed its spicy drydown that calls to mind a masculine version of Chanel Coco. It starts out straight-laced and cool, but it quickly unravels into sexy amber and incense.
What about you? Did you enjoy this chaotic perfume?
Amouage Interlude Woman includes notes of bergamot, grapefruit, ginger, marigold, incense, rose, orange blossom, helichrysum (immortelle), jasmine, opoponax, vanilla, benzoin, amber, sandalwood, oud, oak moss, leather, tonka bean, animalic notes, and musk. Amouage fragrances are available online at Aedes, Luckyscent, Fourseasons,Parfumsraffy, The Perfume Shoppe, First-in-Fragrance. Amouage website provides more information and location listings.
Sample: my own acquisition