The piano part in Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” carries an eerie beauty that could vaguely be described as ‘jazzy.’ Upon investigation, the lush chords at the arrangement’s core are nothing too shocking. The source of the eeriness is something very inconspicuous indeed – a high piano note that repeats and flitters exactly one half step up and down over the course of the track, often generating dissonance with the more dynamic notes below. This little twinge is what turns “Pyramid Song” from a spacey vocal jazz track to an otherworldly masterpiece.
It might be a stretch to say that perfumer Pierre Negrin took notes from “Pyramid Song” while concocting Interlude Man, but the approach remains very similar. The body of Interlude is a gathering of heavy-hitting mid and base notes: amber, labdanum, incense, sandalwood, patchouli, and leather. The collision of these elements results in an unsurprisingly bombastic fragrance. The richness of Interlude Man is truly difficult to overstate, and with a massive price tag of $300 for a 100mL bottle, that’s a good thing. However, that’s not what makes “Interlude” the legendary status it has rightfully earned.
What makes Interlude Man more than an olfactory smoke bomb is a remarkable top note that coasts over the surface of the perfume. That note is, of all things, oregano. It’s not tempered, either; Interlude plays into the funky green spiciness of oregano that makes the note easily identifiable even to those who aren’t looking for it. The miracle of Interlude is that the signature top note, unlike the gorgeous chili note in Amouage’s Journey Man, lasts deep into the dry down of the fragrance. The heart of Interlude Man lasts as long as the fragrance itself. In the case of this perfume, that’s twenty-four hours, easily.
For fans of incense and smoke, Interlude will almost undoubtedly be worth the plunge. Other noses may need to be more wary. The oregano is woven so well into the fragrance that there are actually other aspects of the fragrance that are more challenging, namely, the notorious Interlude dry down. Fascinatingly, Interlude acts like physical incense by fading into an unmistakably ashy final stage. For wearers who love the fragrance, this step in the journey is something magical to behold. Hesitance on ash is still well-warranted. A passerby might interpret your scent as containing a hint of the local ashtray, and you’d be hard-pressed not to see the validity in that impression.
Interlude Man is a perfect rationalization for the world of luxury fragrance. It’s bold, unique, and performs with the ‘beast mode’ characteristic whispered about in dark circles on the internet. The dark opulence is as likely to draw strong compliments as it is to draw strong criticism, and in the world of art, there’s no better sign of a remarkable creation.
Interlude Man is about as safe to buy blind as it is to drink, so be sure to check out a sample before splurging on an admittedly gorgeous bottle.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.