There are certain perfumes where my inner Billy Idol sings to me “more, more, more”. They are full of ingredients that I think I would like to have more of. At this point I know it isn’t as easy as just putting more of everything into a bottle. Sometimes it dissolves into a fallen souffle as everything great about the original collapses under the weight. I was interested to see if Amouage Interlude 53 would hold up.
The new creative director at Amouage, Renaud Salmon made a really interesting decision at the beginning of his new job. Instead of immediately jumping in and designing new perfumes he chose to take one from his predecessor and create a couple of flankers. Out of everything that came before I do not know what made him choose Interlude Man as the place he would begin. Just over a year ago the first new release under his review was Interlude Man Black Iris. It was recognizably Interlude Man with iris skillfully woven into it. I thought it was a luxurious flanker that fans of the original would really enjoy.
At that time it wasn’t obvious if M. Salmon was going to strike out on his own or make flankers. It has turned out that he has his own vision which appeared at the end of last year and is coming this year with two new releases. I no longer have the concern about Amouage under his stewardship becoming a flanker operation.
Which makes me kind of sheepish to admit this second flanker really appealed to me. Perfumer Pierre Negrin who did the original and the flanker is also behind Interlude 53. The 53 represents 53% as in that’s the amount of perfume oil in the formula. That’s a whopping amount of perfume oil. My inner Billy Idol curls his lip in appreciation. I adored the original for its quirky development. Once things get more concentrated one of the biggest surprises was how that smoothed out the transitions.
It again opens with herbs as allspice and oregano form the top accord. In the original this was fresh and vegetal. In this deeper version it is denser leaving the freshness behind. It also shows some of the grace notes inherent in all the ingredients. The oregano and allspice show off subtle sweet nuances. The biggest change was in the heart of amber and frankincense. In the original it was cool and austere. At 53% it is diffuse and warm. It was so much fun switching arms back and forth to really experience this difference. The oud and sandalwood base are the piece where they are both identical although Interlude 53 does have more depth because of the strength.
Interlude 53 has 24-hour plus longevity and average sillage.
I enjoy this much more than the original because it is “more, more, more”. To be fair I still think this is for someone who enjoyed the original even though it is different. I’m not sure higher concentration will convert new admirers. If you are a fan of the original and Billy Idol whispers to you when you wear Interlude Man, then you should let yourself try Interlude 53…..with a Rebel Yell.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Amouage.