evoke[ing] an air of disorder while maintaining a sense of balance and tranquility through the inventive use of incense and myrrh…
Writing a review of a new Amouage fragrance is never an easy task. My first impression of the new duo, Interlude (Man & Woman) was somewhat perplexing, especially after reviews began to appear in the blogosphere. The vivid blue bottle, shrouded in vibrant, broad brush strokes in the marketing materials, evokes for me a Caribbean dance party more so than “chaos” (which I picture as dark and nebulous)… Then again, what’s chaotic if not a Caribbean dance party?
I suppose that the disconnect between my expectation and the actual smell emanating from the bottle, and then skin, is another kind of disorder, so in that way, Interlude is doing exactly as it was meant to.
Before the inconspicuously clear liquid even hits my skin, I’m smitten. Sweet, balmy, resiny, sticky, smokey, chewey, benzoin, labdanum, costus, woods… am I in heaven?
With each new Amouage release over the past few years, I feel, with the exception of Opus V (sorry Carrie Meredith) and Honor, that each one was created with me specifically in mind. Capturing, in snapshot form, a different facet of a story, or person, they’re telling a tale, epic in scope, with overlapping themes and brave new adventures. Amouage is a respectable house, with a prestigious history; and yet they’re taking risks all over the place, with their innovative marketing strategy and creative direction. These fragrances inspire epic tangential interludes… which brings me back to Woman.
The first blast on skin is fruity sweet–Juicy Fruit sweet, with a raspy undertone thrumming along underneath, casually reminding you that in all extremes, balance is what allows a thing to be beautiful. And balanced this fragrance is. The sweetness quickly drops pitch, becomes fuzzier, warmer, rounder. A perfectly ripe peach, succulent and seductive, nudges you to say, “Hey, I’m not just another woody Oriental. I’m a Chypre-Oriental.” Is that a genre? Did Vinchon-Spehner just define the genre?
The honeyed aspect reminds me a little of the syrupy-curry from Fougere Bengale, and the amber accord of PG’s L’Ombre Fauve; but to suggest that Interlude smells like either wouldn’t be fair. There’s also a forest effect that I can’t quite put my finger on–it’s a dusky walk through the Pacific Northwest just before rain.
Christopher Chong said of the fragrance, “The interlude moment is a reflection of all the trials and tribulations one overcomes to attain personal satisfaction and achievement.” Given the recent plot changes in my own life, Interlude is, at least on paper, the perfect fragrance for this moment in my life. Can a fragrance capture the sadness and the hope associated with the chaos and aftermath of a divorce?
Yes. And Interlude Woman is spectacular.