Amouage is a fragrance house heralding from Muscat, Oman known for their luxurious Middle Eastern styled compositions. One of the most popular perfumes from the men’s line is Interlude Man, composed by Pierre Negrin, which debuted in 2012. Curiously, since Amouage is not known to release flankers, an exception to this occurred in 2020, with the release of Interlude Black Iris, swiftly followed by the highly acclaimed Extrait version of the original Interlude, titled Interlude 53, in the same year.
Occasionally, I see mentions of Interlude purporting to be similar to Myths Man, an amazing Amouage creation talked about less frequently that was released in 2016. Although they both share that signature Amouage touch, or as some people like to say, “the fragrances share a similar DNA”, to my nose, they are in fact quite different from each other.
First off, let’s explore Interlude. Upon application, a rich herbal oregano ensconced in dark, verdant shadows pops off the skin, with the effect made all the more explosive with some added pepper and sparkling bergamot. In combination with this spicy, herbal texture are billowing clouds of incense, most likely rendered through a mixture of frankincense and elemi. Through these plumes of smoke, introspective whiffs of agarwood start to peek through, making this fragrant experience exceedingly meditative in quality.
As those of you who have burned incense know, as it burns, the hot resins start to bubble and boil as they release the redolent smoke, so this aspect is expertly expressed through labdanum and amber. Opoponax is another resin used in Interlude providing just the right amount of sweetness, while also adding some depth and body to the original, chaotic piquancy of the oregano and pepper. These dulcet tones just serve to heighten the meditative quality of the incense as we progress into the dry down.
In the dry down, Interlude gradually transitions into a more ambery composition as the smokiness somewhat subsides into the background and is absorbed into your surroundings. Accompanying this amber is a more developed woody backbone, dominated by a rich oud shaded with comparatively smooth, yet zesty sandalwood echoing the spicy overture and by patchouli. Topping off Interlude is this soft, gentle, yet masculine suede-like leather.
Now let’s take a look at Myths Man. This perfume is unique in that it employs chrysanthemum as one of the introductory notes. While clearly being a floral hue, it stands out with a particular fresh verdure quality, almost herbal in nature. This floral note makes for a fantastic opening to Myths Man, it is both fresh and lively, yet simultaneously somber and mature, quite a juxtaposition of terminology, I know. Paired with the chrysanthemum is orris root, which although it lends a certain verdant like quality to perfume compositions initially, here however, it provides luxurious contrast to the sharpness with its powdery character.
The freshness of the chrysanthemum’s verdancy is prolonged and deepened through elemi resin, as the floral facets are further fleshed out with an opulent rose. At times the elemi almost seems to display faint, tantalizing smokey facets. Myth Man’s green introduction is soon dispelled with an embellishment of sweet, boozy rum and exceptionally warm and earthy vetiver, which really complement the opulent rose. Even here, the powdery orris remains as a medium binding everything seamlessly together.
This orris though, plays an integral part in the transition to the ash accord that becomes more pronounced in the dry down. I smell hints of the ash as the elemi burns and transforms, but this perception finally comes to fruition as the fragrance enters the later stages of development. A soft, suede-like leather makes itself known in this final act, cocooning the lingering finish of the boozy vetiver, along with labdanum as an enriching supplement to warm the overall accord. Here, the fragrance almost brings to mind an image of sitting somewhere in a smokey lounge furnished with relaxing leather armchairs and ashtrays while enjoying an after-dinner drink.
As seen from my descriptions of both fragrances, their distinctiveness is quite evident. Although they are rich, long-lasting, and masculine in character, Interlude is much darker and more “spiritual” than Myths, which is less introspective. Yet they do share leather accords that are similar in character, along with labdanum and that signature Amouage smokiness. It is in those accords that gives some people the impression that Interlude and Myths are “the same”. If you love Amouage creations, I highly recommend checking both perfumes out.