Amouage Interlude Man : Pass the scalpel, please

Having loved the Interlude Woman so much I was chomping at the bit to try Amouage Interlude Man. With notes of incense, amber, bergamot and patchouli (among others), which I love, I figured it would be a sure-fire winner and a slam-dunk like its female counterpart, just with a different note set. Visions of dueling wrists, ecstatically sniffing (Man on one wrist, Woman on the other) to experience their various fireworks/gyrations, danced in my head.

AmouageInterludeMan Excitedly I dabbed and waited with bated breath. It was only a few seconds before something in the top notes struck me wrong — a cross between plastic and some kind of crazy-funky tobacco (maybe the pimento berries or oregano?) and … Ai-yi-yi!! It kept pinging my nose most unpleasantly — so much so that I had to keep my wrist a safe distance away for a while. (I think something similar made me give Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille a thumbs-down, if I’m remembering correctly.) Or maybe I’m just not a tobacco girl, though I do enjoy Serge Lutens’ Fumerie Turque and Chergui, among others.

Later on in the day, the Amouage Interlude Man was a much different animal: a creamy, rich leather-vanilla-patchouli-sandalwood mash that I really liked. I would have been happy as a clam if I could wear just that all day. But I don’t think I can stomach that top-note thingy to get to the lovely drydown, so it didn’t make the cut. This one’s going over to the DH column, to see if his skin can make it work better, top to bottom. Maybe I will be following him around all day, nuzzling his arm, ha! I am so envious of those of you who loved it, like Patty or Anita

So that got me thinking: If we could just go in to an otherwise wonderful fragrance and surgically remove the offending note(s) and be left with only our favorite parts, well, wouldn’t that be nice? A little nip here, a little tuck there, and VOILA! Customized scent perfection: Amouage Interlude Man just for Ann. But I guess that would be cheating, eh? But still kind of cool, nonetheless.

So tell me, have you ever tried a fragrance, hated the top, heart or base notes, but loved the rest of it? Were you able to endure the bumpy parts to groove on the good stuff, or was it just too much and you had to give the whole thing a pass?

50 Comments
Dionne October 13, 2012

My latest encounter with the "almost there...." phenomenon (yes, I am referencing Star Wars) is Seville a L'Frenchy French. That first half hour there is something really unpleasant going on on my skin, but after that it's lovely. What was especially strange is it didn't smell too bad at a distance, only when my nose was pressed to my wrist. I plan on trying out more OB fragrances before I decided whether or not Seville is worth acquiring despite that first bit.

Darryl October 12, 2012

Whatever's in the opening of Mugler A*Men that makes it smell like burnt coffee spiked with Lemon Pledge...ayiyiyi. I used to recoil from the tester and swear the stuff off completely, despite the lusciously smooth and decadent chocolate/vanilla drydown. Now I almost - almost! - enjoy the brash opening, which I now find bitterly tangy and herbal in a strangely appealing, wake-up-your-nosebuds way. It's an unholy brew by any standards, though, and I'm frankly amazed that A*Men sells like it does. And while we're on the topic of Mugler, I'd like to excise half of Womanity's sugar content and up the salty woody stuff. Womanity could be the heir apparent to Dior's Dune, in my opinion, if it weren't for all that figgy sweetness.

nozknoz October 11, 2012

Great idea! I would definitely love to have Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle with 1/10th the musk, which wipes out what would otherwise be a wonderful floral vetiver perfume. I'd also like to have L'AP Timbuktu with a much lower level of that salty-celery-cumin note (maybe the cypriol??), which usually wipes out the rest, which people who aren't hyperosmic to that note describe as fresh and foresty.

Austenfan October 10, 2012

Cartier Baiser Volé: Stunning topnotes but I don't like the drydown. ELdO Bijou Romantique more or less the same. I am still not overly fond of the topnotes of Aromatics Elixir but what comes after that is so gorgeous that I really don't mind.

Maureen October 10, 2012

I absolutely loved Donna Karan Gold, but something in it gave me such a headache (I tried 3 or 4 times) that I had to give it away. I really wish I knew what that was, so I could slice it right outta there, and enjoy the really pretty parts, and so I will know to avoid it in other fragrances.

mals86 October 10, 2012

It seems that the closer something is to love, except for that oooooone thing, the more annoyed I get! I really loved DelRae Coup de Foudre for two hours, and then it did a disappearing act. Buh-bye, thoughts of full bottle! And thank goodness for Laurie Erickson's willingness to tweak her formula for a custom fragrance, or I would not own a half-patchouli version of SSS Tabac Aurea. There are others I'm not recalling at the moment, just that they exist. But THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! for spelling "bated breath" correctly. You rock.

kennycologne October 10, 2012

I received many negative comments the day I sampled Interlube Man at work. I can't remember the last time someone said something negative about what I was wearing. I found the drydown to be more disgusting than the opening.

Tai October 10, 2012

Oh Shalimar you evil b*tch. I love your hysteical top and your cream/lemon/incense middle, but I just can't with your base. There's something incredibly fusty that I just can't get over, and that's saying something since I love me some grandma scents. I can understand the devotion to this one, but that ending makes it a no-go for me. Just out of curiosity though: anyone know if the EDP or pure parfum versions make it any better? I love Guerlains in general and I hate to not be able to thoroughly enjoy this bad gal.

Zazie October 10, 2012

Actually, many of my favorite fragrances featured "difficult-to-disgusting" openings for me. But if the difficult part is only transient, if what follows is swoon-swoon-swoon, I will accept (and eventually find myself loving) what seemed like a flaw. Because of it, the fragrance will always retain an "interesting" quality, will never be rated "just pretty" - and because it took time to conquer, it will be a true long-lasting love and not just a flirt. Chanel n°5 extrait and Shalimar are luminous examples of dearest favorites which I used to delay testing because of their unappealing top notes... On the other hand, I will never forgive an unsatisfying base or a weak, artificial heart!!! 90% of the perfumes I try are dismissed because of this rule. hummm, I think this statement is true, for me, also for what concerns human beings! ;)

audrey October 10, 2012

That is the worst!!!! But yes. Been there, still doing that. My frenemy fragrance is Bruno Acampora's Seplasia. The top notes are soooooo awful on me, I think it's the geranium (and the fact that it's a super highly concentrated oil) but it is painfully strong and bitter. Like, cleaning agent allergy sneezing strong. And it lasts a long time, about 2 hours. BUT. The middle and drydown of the fragrance are truly incredible on my skin, and that parts lasts about 8 hours longer. I actually have a full bottle of the oil because I love it so much, but every single time I spend a couple of hours with my arms fully extended out from my body.

Sherri Miller October 10, 2012

Oop, sorry, I meant "edt", naughty Spell Check keeps changing my words! :-)

Sherri Miller October 10, 2012

There are a myriad of fragrances I would love if not for one note--usually pepper or cedar. I don't mind a little pepper but it is overused and the overdose in Velvet Love ruined that fragrance for me (and I so want a good modern carnation), Speaking of carnation, the modern formulation edp or eat of Bellodgia has a horrid, distracting pine note, which reminds me of Pinesol and ruined the entire thing for me. I would do surgery on these fragrances in a heartbeat! Too much cedar unfortunately either reads (a) too masculine or (b) the kids' guinea pig cage, neither of which I want to wear. It isn't always a deal-breaker, but it definitely dampens my enthusiasm and I would willingly use the scalpel to the cedar in SDV and L'Heure Fougeuse, but then again I would probably destroy their charm!

Mrs.Honey October 10, 2012

Virtually anything with an overload of cumin, including Femme, Jubilation 25 and Absolute Pour le Soir. Cumin does not make me think sweat, it makes me think Mexican food. I find it distracting for first hour. SL Santal Blanc is practically a different fragrance after two hours. I like part two, not part one, so I keep my sample but would not buy a FB.

Portia Turbo-Gear October 10, 2012

I'm so sad for you that the Interlude Man top not doesn't make you weep for joy. It gives me Stendhal Syndrome Moments. Portia xx

Louise October 10, 2012

Sadly, so many new releases have either Ambroxan, "blonde wood", or white musk in the base. These are all deal-killers for me; either unpleasant and synthetic and/or sharp and sometimes asthma inducing. I'm often resorting to older classics and perfumes released even 2 years ago. That leaves me a vast array of pleasant choices!

Catherine October 10, 2012

When I broke up with Brit I actually really loved London until I got to the screechy fake cedar base. Couldn't deal with that. And more recently both Slumberhouse Sova and Baque (which I still think are really beautiful) go through a bit of an awkward phase about 1-3 hours in where they pretty much smell like the dried sour plums my dad loves, but not just the dried sour plums, the entire somewhat scary Asian dried goods and traditional Chinese medicines cramped little store where they'd sometimes have boxes of them. Happily I find it mostly weird rather than a deal breaker and the opening and ending are really lovely, and I imagine that most other people don't have as strong of a scent association as I do. ^^;;

Lisa D October 10, 2012

Oh, lord, I can't count the number of scents that have come so close, only to miss by a note or two, often unidentifiable. Perhaps it's the daffodil in Le Temps D'Une Fete, or the immortelle in Jeux de Peau, the peach in Vraie Blonde, the flour in Bois Farine, or the air freshener in Un Crime Exotique. I'm with you on the Interlude Woman, though - that was wackily beyootiful!

Eldarwen22 October 10, 2012

I don't have a decant of Interlude Man but I've only tried the women's version. I've only worn Interlude Women once and remember it being a little different and a little difficult. Definatly going to give it another go tomorrow.

Musette October 10, 2012

Ann, if I could excise that oily musk note out of Drama Nuui I would be the happiest girl in Drama Land. That note broke my heart. xo