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.