Interlude Woman (Amouage)

"...in the heart of chaos and disorder, this floral chypre fragrance reveals an interlude moment of unity and sentiment..."
This is why I distrust advertising. Told to expect "chaos" from Interlude Woman, eight out of ten reviewers did just that-- even making that word the very theme of their assessments. I've since read so many reviews alluding to the tohu-bohu of Interlude Woman's scent elements, I ought to consider it a foregone conclusion, too.

But I smelled it before I ever read the promo copy, and my first impression was of something far simpler and more innocent than "chaos". In fact, upon my return from Sniffapalooza -- and before any outside opinions could influence me -- I boiled it down to six words: Odd but compelling floral Play-Doh.

In a manner similar to Jacomo Art Collection #2, Interlude Woman smells like the contents of a grade-school art studio-- a place of promise where crayons, oil pastels, and tubs of bright-colored polymer clay give off a rich, waxy scent conducive to creativity. This is the spirit of childhood distilled and bottled to be worn by adults-- brighter and more spirited than Art Collection #2, but still redolent of the peaceful, happy hush that accompanies the act of making stuff.

I can't smell half the individual notes listed in the scent elements, mostly because they've been woven so compactly into one another that there's no picking and pulling them apart. Of the few that I do detect, dulcet orange blossom, spicy marigold, and piquant rose predominate-- blended together beneath a whispery haze of powdered suede. There are no sharp edges here; all angles, lines, and planes have been softened to an artful, lovely blur.

Playful without being childish, nostalgic without being melancholy, this fragrance packs just the right amount of adventure in its pencilbox. I may not be able to locate one smidge of the "chaos and disorder" with which it's is supposed to be invested. .. but the "unity and sentiment" part, I do get.

Scent Elements: Bergamot, grapefruit, ginger, marigold, rose, jasmine, orange blossom, immortelle, opopanax, sandalwood, frankincense, coffee, kiwi, honey, oud, vanilla, amber, benzoin, oakmoss, leather, tonka, musk