The Dark Tower – Review: Amouage Interlude Woman

When I was in London in May, I had not only the good fortune to meet with Christopher Chong, the amazing creative director of Amouage, but I also got the chance to smell Interlude Woman and Man as the first person ever outside the company. Christopher swore me to secrecy and I complied of course, but thankfully the time of keeping the pleasure of smelling Interlude to myself is over. The new perfumes have launched in the middle east and are set to launch worldwide in July (September for some places).

So let’s talk about it…

Interlude Woman was created by Carine Vinchon Spehner and includes notes of bergamot, grapefruit, ginger, marigold, incense, rose absolute, orange blossom, helichrysum, jasmine, opoponax, vanilla, benzoin, amber, sandalwood, oud, oak moss, leather, tonka bean, animalic notes and musk.

To me Interlude Woman has many faces. It is a perfume that is hard to categorize, that keeps you guessing and just when you think you have it pinned down it shows you sides of itself (or maybe of yourself?) you least expect.

I like those perfumes.

What strikes me first when applying Interlude Woman is its harsher side. A strident, self-confident, spicy and woody floral heralds its unmistakable presence and commands attention and just when it gets that desired attention it draws back, lures you in, takes you with it into a calmer, softer heart, full of delicate floral curlicues and decorations.

In the end you come willingly, bewitched by the softness that came out of nowhere, you relent and give in to a tenderness you perceive somewhere in there, that you hope to find when the commanding, sharp nuances of the opening fully withdraw.

Only they never do. Interlude keeps you on your toes, doesn’t let you relax into the nebulous softness, there is a strength underneath it that can be dangerous, almost.

The many faces of Interlude Woman can seem chaotic at times, only to resolve themselves into recurring moments of perfect clarity again and again. The seemingly rivaling accords of almost masculine spices and woods and the tender, feminine florals dance a powerful choreography around a core that is imperturbable and stands like a rock in the midst of all that agitation.

This rock, this dark tower of balsams – myrrh and frankincense, which can’t be absent in any Amouage perfume – stands tall, anchors the composition, so it never fully descends into a chaos that is only hinted at after all.

Interlude Woman will not be an easy love for most people, I dare predict. But for us perfume-crazy folk, Interlude is a challenge to take on gladly. It will keep you on your toes, it will make you think and in the end it will make you smile and say to yourself – this is why I love perfume.

Samples provided for review by Amouage.
Image Source: parfuma.de, The Dark Tower by Armin Doww via
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About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Amouage, Chypre, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Spicy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to The Dark Tower – Review: Amouage Interlude Woman

  1. Flora says:

    A very enticing review, I can’t wait to try it! It sounds like a different direction for Amouage.

  2. Dubaiscents says:

    Yay! I have been eagerly awaiting your review of these since I got to smell them here in Dubai at the Boutique the other day. I think it is the Interlude Man that is the one I absolutely can’t stop smelling, such a wonderful smokiness that is still on the card days later (but, I am not positive because I stupidly didn’t label the strips right away). But both are so wonderful that I can’t wait to go back and try them on my skin. Amouage, as you said, is not always the easiest perfume to love but, for some reason, Interlude immediately intrigued me. I am jealous of your meeting with Christopher Chong…lucky you!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lucky me indeed, he is a very lovely and interesting man!
      I’m glad you like Interlude, you are really living in a very good spot on earth perfumewise. :)

      • Dubaiscents says:

        FYI, I went back to the boutique today and tried both the Man and Woman on my skin and immediately figured out that it is the smokiness of Interlude Man that I loved so much so, despite my ban on buying more perfumes for a while, I had to get a bottle. I do love the Woman as well and it is exactly like you describe. I got some samples of that so, at least I can use the Woman periodically as well. The SA told me if I could have waited another hour I would get to meet Christopher Chong who is in town for the launch. I really, really wanted to but, my 8 month old didn’t appreciate the significance and decided a nap was much more important than meeting a master perfumer… :-(

        • Olfactoria says:

          Oh you bought it? Great! Enjoy!
          My kids were always very uncooperative too. When it came to a decision between perfume and playground they always won. ;)

  3. Undina says:

    Did you see? Did you hear? Those hordes running around are lemmings you’re feeding by your review ;) (and that bottle…)

  4. Alexandra says:

    Grapefruit always worries me in a list of notes, but this sounds fascinating. It also sounds like a perfume you have to live with for a while rather than an immediate love. And it helps that the bottle is just GORGEOUS.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Honestly, I don’t smell grapefruit as such in here. It is part of a very wellblended opening accord, but I can’t make it out in its own.
      This is definitely a “let’s get to know each other slowly” perfume, rather than love at first sniff (only my opinion though).

  5. Tara says:

    Wow, what a captivaing and intriguing review! Quite a departure from Honour Woman and Beloved then.

    These kind of complex perfumes that keep you guessing are a favourite of mine too. They are so much more interesting.

    So many wonderful new things to try at the moment.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Right, is is a departure from Honour and Beloved. It follows more in the footsteps of Opus VI, I think.
      This would be a great opportunity to visit the Amouage boutique, wouldn’t it? ;)

  6. Sandra says:

    I love your review! Beautiful blue bottle makes it all the m

  7. andrea says:

    The blue bottle does look lovely and is an instant want, I have tried so hard to love the amouage perfumes but so far only one has wowed me enough to buy it and another I really like but have not gotton around to a full bottle which I guess means I don’t need it. (how restrained am I atm?) I will try this as you never know when you are going to fall in love. :-)

  8. masha7 says:

    This particular nose is fairly new to the scene, but I’ve really enjoyed her work so far. She tends to be a bit more delicate in her work than what you describe here, so it sounds as if she’s found some new confidence and boldness by working with M. Chong, and that’s very exciting. I can’t wait to try this one!

    • Olfactoria says:

      She did a few perfumes for L’Artisan which is why she is a bit familiar to me, and seeing her former style of work this is definitely a departure.
      I look forward to hearing your opinion, Marla!

      • masha7 says:

        She created Opus III and Memoir Man, also, but I haven’t tried either. How do those 2 compare to the new one?

        • Olfactoria says:

          I don’t know Memoir Man well enough to comment, but Opus III is a violet symphony, very nice and unusual and not a shrinking violet at all, so I guess it is more in the style of Interlude Woman…

  9. Natalie says:

    I have the opposite reaction to Undina, which is “why do they keep putting perfumes I don’t like or know I won’t like into beautiful blue bottles?!” :) This one doesn’t sound like my thing, but of course I will smell it, and even if I don’t like it, I can admire the bottle from afar.

  10. Suzanne says:

    Mmm, intriguing indeed. Do you get a nice dose of ginger? I love that note — it’s always very energizing to me.

    And I like the way you describe the rivaling masculine and feminine accords and the way this one is a bit challenging.

    Plus, there is little from the Amouage line that I don’t like, as you know. Count me already hooked! ;)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I don’t really get the ginger most of the time, it is a very well blended perfume. What is prominent to my nose is the marigold which makes it quite unusual.
      I think this is very much your kind of thing, Suzanne!

      P.S. I tried Jubilation 25 today for the umpteenth time and finally, finally I didn’t get overwhelmed by cumin and smelled more of the perfume. Hurrah! Testing will proceed tomorrow. :D

  11. Tatiana says:

    I am in love with the blue bottle. But will hold off until I smell the juice. After all, I love the blue bottle for AG Nuit Etoilee, too. But after being “sales pitched” by two different associates on separate occasions at Saks, I still don’t like NE enough to buy that bottle.
    There are a few Amouage scents I really like and have decants of, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to spring for a full bottle. Mainly because I can’t decide on just one and can’t find the correct logic to justify purchasing more than one to my DH, the CFO. But I am looking forward to trying this one. Especially, since you created a lemming with your captivating review. Maybe it will be the one to end up on my birthday wish list.

    • Olfactoria says:

      If it is not outright love, it is difficult to decide for just one FB.
      Maybe the one true love from Amouage is still in your future. Maybe it is even blue…

  12. Asali says:

    Oh, this sounds very exciting dear B, maybe *this* is my Amouage, you sure make it sound very enticing. I like choreographed perfume :)

  13. Eva S says:

    I’m going to try this although I don’t need any more Amouage-lemmings! I need a FB of Epic for sure and then there’s Memoir and Opus III and if someone gave me bottles of Honour and Gold I would’t say no either :-)

  14. Love, love, love your review, you’ve captured the essence of Interlude Woman so perfectly!

  15. Ines says:

    I’m thinking in the line of Asali. I don’t have an Amouage that really fits me but this one sounds very interesting (and there’s grapefruit in it!). ;)
    Just seeing the notes makes me think I’ll like it a lot.

  16. Dubaiscents says:

    Did everyone notice that you can now buy Interlude at the Amouage online Boutique? The promotional video is also quite beautiful. A new 12 fragrance sample set (men and woman versions) seems to be coming soon as well – I can’t wait.

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  18. Åsa Firth says:

    I fell for this, hook line and sinker, after just one brief day together. I’d had a sample for quite a few weeks but not felt inclined to try it. Until today. After several days of feeling under the weather I needed a change, a boost, and so on a whim I reached for Interlude. I sprayed once on each wrist, and without thinking much more about it I went on my merry way. And then it started to happen… what was it? Why was I suddenly feeling so, so… good, so present? Where did this burst of energy come from?

    In the afternoon, after a second spritz (greedy more than necessary), I thought to myself, okay, my husband will hate this, but I don’t care. This is medicinal, this really works and I need it! But then he came home, kissed me and said the magic words: “Ooh, you smell wonderful” and took me out to dinner.

    I know I ought to give it a few more days, but deep inside I know that beautiful blue bottle will be mine…

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is the best feeling when a perfume we love is also appreciated by the people we love. I’m glad you and you husband enjoy Interlude so much.
      And that gorgeous bottle… sigh. :)

  19. Safran says:

    Thank you for your fantastic review! I had the chance to finally try it today (sprayed on an hour ago) and it indeed keeps my nose and my emotions very busy, this scent. It actually dances on my skin and luckily it doesn’t come out manly at all.
    I might have found a new love, depending on the further direction of this dance….

    Cheers
    Safran

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