On me, Interlude man is dominated by a mix of smoky frankincense and lightly dusty oak, made quite sweet with a pinch of red cedar. There's a thick base of what I think is mostly ambrox and iso e super, with swirls of sweet amber and chocolate, which is concentrated enough to lend richness from the start of the scent, which is good for a perfume of this price.
Smoky iso e super incense and woods have been done a LOT - even Amouage itself has the superior Jubilation XXV - so the appeal of Interlude Man comes down to the clever juxtaposition of sweet woods and chocolate. I personally don't like the combination very much, but I can see how this could easily be grail material for people who fall in love with its cleverness.
Where Memoir Man falls short, Interlude Man gets it right. The traditional masculine notes of woods, leather and tobacco are replaced by amber and resins. The result is an astonishing blend of incense and sweetness that is a unique olfactory experience. It seems to project more and last longer even than most other Amouages.
The structure of Interlude Man is of a classic leather-velvety fougère with herbal and incense notes (on the polished-synthetic-woody side), reminding me of other contemporary niche fougères for man like Fetish pour Homme by Roja Dove. Decent and pleasantly plain, and a bit derivative too, as it basically smells like the drydown of any leathery masculine scent from the '70s or the '80s, even if (obviously, I'd say) less powerful and compelling. Nonetheless, it is surely balanced and pleasant, the leather is refreshed by balsamic notes and softened by incense, green notes and a hint of amber - all a bit plain and synthetic to my nose to be honest, but pleasant, refined and classy ("it smells expensive", shortly). Given the pretenses and the price, it's just not that worth it in my opinion.
This is perfume on steroids - a super sweet and smoky incense that hammers away at you for days like a man with a bellyful of Viagra. Impressive at first, and then progressively tiresome. I wanted it to be over at some point, tried to scrub it off, but the damn thing kept going and going.
As for the smell, well, one day I might summon the energy I need to trace the lineage between Interlude Man and Dzhongka, but for the moment, suffice it to say that there is a smell of roasting sweet red peppers that links the two. I find Dzhongka insufferable for this (but mostly for other) reasons, but at least Interlude does the pepper note well.
There are not many advantages to living in the arse end of the Balkans, but there are certain smells here that do provide a kind of consolation - the smell of raw tobacco leaves curing in the sun, the smell of the coffee houses roasting raw beans in the morning, and every September, the smell of those long, sweet Balkan peppers (capsicums for you Americans) being roasted on open fires, often out on the street, prior to them being used in winter preparations such as Ajvar. The smell is delicious, intoxicating even - the burning point at which the natural sugars in the peppers sizzle, turn black....well, it's one of nature's best smells, in my opinion. Interlude Man smells like my neighborhood when they start roasting the peppers, for at least the top half of the scent. Thing is, I am torn between finding this attractive and nauseating in perfume form - some wonderful smells in real life are not supposed to find their way into perfumes, I think. Sweet peppers are one of them, I feel.
Anyway, the scent becomes smokier, more incense-based, and less about those red peppers as it goes on. It seems to grow sweeter and more syrupy, too. I am not sure how wearable this is, ultimately, but it sure is a compelling type of smell. Maybe a bit too strong, too sweet, and just...too too. Men, please, if you do be wearing this, please do be doing the one spray thing.
Genre: Woody Oriental
I’m afraid I have to break with the pack on this one. Frankincense, opopanax, an oudh reconstruction that smells of burnt hair, and a whole lot of patchouli add up to a very loud, crude composition, which I really don’t enjoy. This fragrance seems to have too much going on, all at once, and all at stentorian volume. The frankincense and patchouli fight one another like two mismatched paint colors, the opopanax is a bit too powdery and sweet, and the oudh just feels like superfluous decoration in a composition that’s already too baroque and monumental by half. Perhaps most damaging of all is a piercing reconstructed sandalwood base note that creaks like a rusty hinge, and which has no business smelling so cheap in a fragrance that costs roughly $150 US per ounce. To my nose, this is simply one of the weakest offerings Amouage has released in years. I’d much rather wear the vastly superior Interlude Woman.