Amouage Interlude (Woman)

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.


19 thoughts on “Amouage Interlude (Woman)

  1. This one has still been keeping me guessing, so I really enjoyed your take on it. And, it’s really nice to see you back. 🙂

    1. LOL, well, I’m sort of back 😉 Working so many hours I’m having a hard time even sitting down for a few minutes, but it feels good to be at least trying to get back in the groove…

      It’s a really neat fragrance, isn’t it?

  2. It’s amazing how things work out sometimes. I recall at various times in my life hearing that song, seeing that film, reading that book, or sipping that glass of wine or pint of ale that was just perfect for a particular moment. It happens at the best and worst of times. Maybe a perfume can be that as well?

    When you throw your Caribbean Dance Party, send me an invite.

  3. Dee, I am a relatively new reader to your blog. Though our circumstances are completely different, I do think that fragrance can capture the disparate emotions involved in such life changing events. I haven’t found my “perfect” perfume for this place in time just yet, but I do believe it is out there. The journey to discovering it has provided me with much needed beauty for the soul on some pretty dark days. Welcome back, lady. 🙂

    1. “Beauty for the soul on some pretty dark days”

      Well said, Melis. Thank you so much for reading, and for the kind welcome back to the blogosphere!

  4. I have a small sample of Interlude Woman, and it certainly has movement and interesting change-ups in its progression. I think your Caribbean dance party theme is pretty fitting, Dee. This is one Amouage that doesn’t make me say, “Ooh, I’d love to own it!” … *yet*. But it’s so intriguing that I have a feeling I might change my mind, the more I study it. 🙂

    1. It’s a trickster, for sure! I actually prefer Interlude Man–but Woman completely knocked my socks off, and is still knocking my socks off. Gives me something to think about 😉

  5. I find it fascinating how individual everyone’s review is on this perfume; I think it bodes well that we’re reading so many different metaphors and images to go with it. As I said earlier this week to Portia for her review over at APJ, looks like its time to actually break down and acquire my very own Amouage samples.

    1. Dang it! I wish I hadn’t already sent your package! I failed to think of making any Amouage samples, but I promise that I will on the next round.

      I’d be interested to see what your thoughts are on this one; part of me thinks you’d go bonkers for it, but another part of me wonders if it might be a total NO-GO.

      It’s an odd little duckie 😉

  6. Interlude Woman fascinated me the only time I tried it and I love it for that alone. Looking forward to testing it again.

    I love the way – like you say – each Amouage perfumes tells an epic story. I love their ambition!

  7. I’m going back and forth on this one: I love it one wearing and can’t stand the next time. So, most likely, not a FBW for me – but I’ll see if I finish my small decant.


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