Patricia takes Gold Leather to task.
In the first two offerings of their Collection Métal, Silver Iris and Gold Leather, Atelier cologne gives us two fragrances that have many things in common. Both are Absolues, which means they have a higher than usual concentration of perfume oil, 18 percent, giving them a depth and longevity more similar to an Eau de Parfum than a cologne.
Silver Iris and Gold Leather were created by perfumer Jérome Epinette. Both have over-the-top bottle designs in real gold or silver and “handcrafted leather caps.” The 200 ml size of these bottles comes with complimentary engraving. Both fragrances are accompanied by overwrought ad copy promising the wearer of these fragrances the “absolu” man or woman of one’s dreams.
But there the similarity ends. Where Silver Iris, one of my favorite launches from 2013, is all serenity and balance, Gold Leather is rough and top heavy. This is one boozy fragrance. The opening is like being doused with a full bottle of Jamaican rum, which with the plum notes makes the whole thing more than a little cloying. This stage lasts almost an hour, at which point a touch of eucalyptus provides a needed head-clearing note and brings the sweetness back a notch or two.
The dry down, with soft leather notes belatedly added to the mix along with woods and oud, is pleasant enough but seems like an afterthought, though I found it to be much more wearable than the jarring opening. Atelier Cologne has promised us a rich leather cologne but delivered an alcoholic brew with some wan leather notes at the end.
Although the ad copy would have you believe otherwise, Gold Leather is considered unisex, and it’s equally suitable for both men and women.
Atelier Cologne Gold Leather includes notes of bitter orange, Indian saffron, Jamaican rum, plum, davana, eucalyptus, guaiac wood, cedar, leather, and oud. 100 ml/$195. Available at Luckyscent, Aedes, Bergdorf Goodman and directly from ateliercologne.com.