Amouage Interlude Man: Review
When it comes to fragrance, we often spend a little too much time talking about what’s “masculine” and what’s “feminine”. Distinguishing between women’s perfumes and men’s aftershaves does make things a little neater on the most practical level, but does it actually describe reality? There are definitely notes and chords that over the years came to be read as typically feminine or masculine, but what does not exist are any strict rules as to which category you should favour based on your own gender. It’s all fragrance, and so long as it smells wonderful to you - and on you - all is well and you can happily wear it day in, day out.
Yes, even if the bottle packs a punch the likes of Amouage Interlude Man.
Strong Balsamic Beauty
Unlike many other niche perfume houses, Amouage does indeed gender its fragrances, coupling them into marital pairs of sorts: shared name, two bottles with similar design, two different scents dancing to the same tune. Interlude Man is no exception, complementing the balsamic beauty of its feminine counterpart, a well-loved Amouage perfume. That being said, Amouage Interlude Woman leans decidedly more gourmand, while the masculine version stays a little more reserved.
The promo materials characterise it as spicy and woody, which is undoubtedly true, but there is another word that should trump those two - resinous. What gives Interlude the roundness, the velvety touch combined with a sweet aftertaste, is not vanilla or any similar note traditionally conveying sweetness, but opoponax. Just like other resins, opoponax gives you an idea of what honey might smell like if you’d magically take all the sugary quality out of it.
Woods and Spices
All of these themes let themselves be known straight away when you put the fragrance on, but none of them takes center stage. Instead, this aftershave opens with the freshness of bergamot and the spicy edge of pepper, beautifully carried on a cloud of frankincense. Even in its first minutes you might recognise a certain animalistic undertone to the whole composition, courtesy of leather and patchouli.
As the fragrance develops on your skin, the smell of citrus quickly fades into the background and you get a full dose of that non-sugary pyramid of sweetness built from opoponax, oud and sandalwood. At this point, Amouage Interlude Man becomes almost fiery and stays that way for hours on end, offering you variations on this beautiful and potent yet still well-contained composition.
As it finally reaches drydown, you discover perhaps the most wondrous thing about this fragrance - it lasts. Oh dear olfactory gods, does it last. Not that it’s anything new with Amouage fragrance, after all you’re paying a substantial amount of money and it would be a disappointment to say the least if you had to reapply every two hours. But it’s still quite amazing when you sniff your coat a week after and you catch a whiff of a scent that is nearly as complex as the day you put it on. Amouage Interlude simply does not go away until you wash your clothes (not that we’re suggesting not doing your laundry).
So who was this fragrance made for? Who will enjoy wearing this gorgeous, intense, elegant creation? As the name suggests, there is definitely a certain calm to it, which might be surprising when you consider how many strong notes it contains. Interlude is powerful, but by no means a show-off, and your attitude should match its subdued character. It’s an amazing fragrance for loners and travelers, for those who enjoy company, but don’t require it to feel comfortable.