Overture Man 
Amouage (2019)

Average Rating:  10 User Reviews

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Reviews of Overture Man by Amouage

There are 10 reviews of Overture Man by Amouage.

Overture Man by Amouage (2019) is the final men's fragrance released under the creative direction of Christopher Chong, a man who has more or less defined the Amouage style since he came on board in 2006, from the standardization of the bottles to the overall "extroverted" feeling of everything the house released afterward. In some ways, Overture Man feels like coming full circle, like a riff on his debut opus of Amouage Jubilation XXV (2007), being a sort of book end to it. Ironically, an overture usually begins a piece of music, rather than finishing it too, so maybe there's some humor to be found here as well. Anyone who has smelled Amouage masculines released between 2006 and 2019 under Chong can tell you that they are nothing if not potent, complex, and simultaneously merging of the Omani sense of opulence with Western perfumery's penchant for airy elegance. Bringing to bear all the dark, smoky, resinous, deeply indolic, spicy, animalic, or ambery materials that comprise the bulk of Middle Eastern perfumery, and merging them with the citric, floral, sometimes powdery, sometimes woody, sometimes soapy feeling that pervades Western perfume (particularly French) is no easy task, as these olfactive concepts are basically oil and water to each other. Chong had his work cut out for him then, just as his replacement Reynaud Salmon has now, and the way Chong chose to be the arbiter of these contrasting values more often then not resulted in something explosive and emotional, a true 80's powerhouse style statement-making fragrance, layered in the beautiful gilded Arabic calligraphy of the Middle Eastern approach. Granted, this didn't yield many mass-appealing or easy-to-wear fragrances for the brand, at least on the men's side of the counter, but the kind of customer buying into the Amouage brand at that time wasn't looking to be particularly affable or easy-going anyway. You wear Creed or Parfum de Marly if you want to smell affluent but lackadaisical , and you wear Amouage if you want to smell powerful. That to me, is the key distinction of the brand during Chong's tenure.

Overture to that end, combines bits and bobs of XXV''s incense and oud vibes, some of the sour spicy dynamism of Epic Man (2009), and the smokiness of fan favorites Memoir Man (2010) and Interlude Man (2012). Overture Man isn't entirely self-referential of Chong's career with the brand, as it does tend to do it's own thing with a sort of by-the-fireside rustic accord that reads more European old house than Omani royal palace, and that's kind of neat. The opening is a bit boozy and spicy, with bits of citrus from grapefruit and heaps of cinnanom and ginger. The booziness comes from a listed cognac accord, and perfumer Karine Vinchon-Spehner has been onboard for a number of Amouage scents since Chong's tenure began, so all this just feels fitting. Maybe Overture wasn't intentionally made as a "this is your life" swan song fragrance for Chong, but I'll be damned if it doesn't feel like it. Especially considering some of the things released under Chong's direction towards the end were really oddly commercial like Myths Man (2016), or just bizarre like Figment Man (2017), leads me to believe there was some combination of burn out and capitulation to the bean counters wanting bigger sales to stretch their R&D dollars further. Overture Man certainly isn't going to be that however, as it moves quickly through its spice melange into the aforementioned incense and animalic tones reminiscent of Jubilation XXV, before developing into its firewood vibes. Mastic, labdanum, patchouli, davana, clove, vetiver, frankincense, sandalwood, and myrrh produce one walloping punch of classic oriental perfumery that lingers forever on skin and clothes. Overture remains slightly sweet, spicy, smoky, and full of baroque depth until the very end. You'll feel that now-expected Amouage performance insanity of 12+ hours, with projection that never quits, veering shy of being overbearing. This is easily a cold season signature, or something you really just wear for yourself, and I would call it very masculine in design. A woman could definitely pull it off, because oriental-theme fragrances have been part of the lady's fragrance lexicon for centuries.

The closest things to this in style coming from outside Amouage would be Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker (2017), Collection 34: 34 Boulevard Saint Germanin by Diptyque (2011), or Alford & Hoff (2009), but none of them get anywhere near as dense or redolent as Overture, plus none of them reproduce that burning fireplace and roasted spice vibe this has. I'd say Chong went out on a high note releasing this, even though there was the bittersweet limitation of Overture Man being a Harrod's exclusive for a whopping two years, meaning you couldn't get your hands on this legitimately outside London until 2021. Perhaps then, you understand why I was so late to the party finally getting to review this fragrance, and had to busy myself in the meantime with the new output coming from Mr. Salmon until this little gem finally was able to cross my desk. Salmon's output has had much of the same trajectory it seems as Chong's, only in reverse. Many of the post-2019 releases like Meander (2020) or Enclave (2020) feel exceedingly commercial or more pandering to club-hopping new money tech bros in coastal US cities that want mass appeal with a high price tag, than their more hobbyist/collector-oriented luxury customer that want indulgence over raw curb appeal. Mix in the unsettling direction of playing the same game designers play by milking the brand cachet of sucessful lines with inane flankers, and one can't help but feel a bit of cynical profit-mongering creeping into Amouage brand overall, although I don't blame this on Salmon, and this direction may have been planned before Christopher Chong left, hence his resignation. What I do know is Salmon's Boundless (2021) and Material (2021) echo the spicy and resinous potency of classic Amouage made under Chong, so the house is in good hands overall I believe, while Overture Man is the parting shot of the man responsible for making Amouage what it is. If I had to nitpick, then it would be to say Overture Man lives and dies by nostalgia for past works. I doubt there will be much complaining to this effect, knowing how powerful a drug nostalgia is to perfume lovers, and may just make Overture Man that much more endearing. Thumbs up
Dec 6, 2021

Overture Man has to be one of the best buys and the best fragrances i have ever come across.....Its Epic! Its beautiful.....And i love it so dam much i want to find similair fragrances!
Oct 12, 2021

Sipping cognac and smoking a pipe on a dangerous street corner and then brutally kills the prostitutes in the city and leaves them after removing their internal organs.welcome to movie "From Hell".It's a dark painting with a lot drops on it that wrave the danger of the dark alleys of the red light district of whitechapel to extortion,murder, opium,and a range of other dark themes just like this scent.

Overture is a challenging fragrance.deep,dark,boozy,enigmatic,balsamic,gothic,extremely intoxicating and addicting. luscious myrrh,with some damp woody notes,smokey labdanum and tobacco and a good dose of cognac.powerful spicy opening, after a while,it starts to settles down into this dirty darkness which can best be described as a congress of tobacco,incense.finally balsamic later transitioning comes to the spices and woods while still retaining the darkness of the scent.

This elixir is like walking into a castle with old furniture,dusty books,rare old cognac,and candles burning in the night.a modern sophisticated oriental.perfect for an avid cognac drinker. Sillage is pretty heavy and longevity is effortlessly +12 hours.
Feb 28, 2021

Initial reaction: Opening reminds me very much of my Eight & Bob Original. I like it a lot, but unless I get something better from the mid and base, it would be redundant.
Nov 1, 2020

Overture is an orchestral term meaning "prelude." In that there are many instruments and notes that contribute to the whole, a review of the notes in this fragrance reveals a complexity that defies my grasp. It is intimidating, at first, to be confronted with what seems like a monolith of fragrance by a menagerie of players, so that this orchestral movement reminds me of a character arc in Pride and Prejudice. Almost too impersonal or austere upon first exposure, like Mr. Darcy in his pride, I'm tempted to form a sketch of his character too quickly, like Elizabeth in her prejudice. With repeated exposure, however, themes emerge--like a meeting of old friends--and a discovery of a strong and abiding character that we can admire and grow to love.

There is at the opening a beautiful balance and tension between the animalic notes, familiar in Tom Ford's Tobacco Oud, and the almost too sweet notes in Tobacco Oud Intense. Darcy can't be rendered as a combination of a wild Wickham and a sweet Bingley, however. To this, we must add a smokey incense from Interlude, and bitter grapefruit, and spices, to begin to appreciate a character at once both taciturn and intimate. Darcy says little at first, but his eyes speak volumes.

Perhaps Darcy is a product of his lineage? Partly so, and if Interlude and Tobacco Oud Intense had a baby, but each one's most overt aspects were toned down and infused with the fine traces of other lines--exotic spices and fruit, we might be close to recognizing him.

Overall, there is a dryness in greeting that is at first disappointing, as if we expected this fragrance to be more personal than he is, but in time there is a surprising freshness and vigor that breaks the parched earth, like a desert flower, and is a beauty to behold.

I never tire of watching A&E's Pride and Prejudice, and what was at first viewing almost too much to take in, has become known to me in all of its detail so that I can quote most of its lines word for word. I suspect it will be this way with Overture. We will be old friends before we are done, Mr. Darcy, but for now we are still in the prelude--and unlike Elizabeth, I've lost my prejudice already.
Aug 25, 2020

Heavy, waxy, dry incense opening. The drydown stays linear to me, never really sweetening up or getting heavier. Reminds me of Interlude Man minus the oregano note, which actually makes this preferable to me. Smokey incense throughout.

I find that Overture may resemble the blue beast but it's not as beastly in performance. It does last all day but projection is just above average. Not a huge cloud but still projects well.
Jan 19, 2020

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