Precious Metals – Review: Atelier Cologne Gold Leather and Silver Iris

By Tara

As you are probably aware, Atelier Cologne make Cologne Absolues which are cologne style fragrances with the lasting power of eau de parfums. The line is generally very well done and extremely wearable.

Gold Leather and Silver Iris are the first two releases in the new Collection Métal. This collection takes its inspiration from precious metals and genuine silver and gold have been used in the creation of the striking bottles. Jerome Epinette is the perfumer behind both of these fragrances and he has been responsible for a number of others by Atelier Cologne, including a couple of my favourites, namely Trefle Pur and Oolang Infini.

Gold Leather

gold leather atelier

Top notes: bitter orange from Seville, Indian saffron, Jamaican rum
Heart notes: plum, davana from India, eucalyptus from California
Base notes: gaiac wood from India, cedarwood from Texas, leather & oud accord

Gold Leather is a boozy concoction which packs quite a punch. In the opening you absolutely do get all three of those listed top notes. The orange, rum and saffron make for an unusual and very robust combination. Unlike most top notes which are usually gone in a matter of minutes or even seconds, this accord lasts for several hours. This segues well into a heart dominated by davana, which has a very distinctive character akin to sweet fruit.

Three hours or so in and the bland woods that take over seem very dull compared to what has gone on before.

However, not all is lost because things get more interesting in the base which is easily as much about oud as it is leather. You’d think these two powerhouse materials would be shouting for attention but in actual fact the effect is surprisingly tame.

Gold Leather exudes confidence in a laid back, old money kind of a way. It has the self-assured demeanour of the well travelled and well heeled. The overall affect is not really my style, but it is certainly striking. As you might expect with a concentration of 18%, longevity is excellent while projection is substantial. I think it’s fair to say that there’s very little that is cologne-like about this fragrance.

Silver Iris

silver iris atelier

Top notes: tangerine from Italy, pink pepper from China, blackcurrant from Burgundy
Heart notes: violet leaves from Grasse, iris pallida from Tuscany, mimosa from Grasse
Base notes: patchouli from Indonesia, white amber, tonka bean from Brazil

Silver Iris is a somewhat sweet and clean iris fragrance. The opening is typically fruity, while a sugary note – which I assume is the mimosa – makes itself known almost immediately and stays until the drydown. The iris is definitely a main player but it is a tad subdued. It may disappoint those looking for a good hit of straight-up iris.

About an hour in, Silver Iris takes on the character of what you’d expect an iris based cologne to smell like. It’s a cool breeze over your skin, clearing your mind and sharpening your senses. At this point Silver Iris is as shiny, smooth and cool as the precious metal itself.

The base is the kind of cosy fuzziness you’d expect from the amber/tonka bean combination and is almost edible.. Again at 18% strength, longevity is excellent and sillage is extremely good.

While Gold Leather comes across as rather manly, Silver Iris leans towards the feminine side. It’s less distinctive than its counterpart but it’s easy to wear, being not too floral, earthy or austere. It’s tranquil rather than serious or melancholy. Personally I would prefer less candied sweetness and a raspier iris, but I’m sure many will appreciate it for its light and bright feel.

If you are new to Atelier Cologne, be sure to check out Olfactoria’s wonderful reviews of a number of their other fragrances on the Perfume Reviews page.


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21 Responses to Precious Metals – Review: Atelier Cologne Gold Leather and Silver Iris

  1. lucasai says:

    Great reviews of new Atelier Colognes, Tara!
    You probably got a chance to notice already that I’m a fan on this brand and almost all compositions in their offer suit me.
    Silver Iris and Gold Leather were especially exciting fo me this year.
    After awaiting for these two to arrive in Poland I bought a coffret of Silver Iris and of Gold Leather too. No, I didn’t keep it all for myself. I split a big bottle of Iris so I have a full mini bottle and partial big bottle. For Leather, I kept a 30ml mini flacon, a couple of friends split a big bottle among themselves, a bottle went to one who took the highest amount of mls.
    And now I’m happy, owning them both.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Lucas! I’m glad you liked the reviews, especially as I do know you are a fan of the brand.

      It’s great that you have friends to split the bottles with so that you can own both .

  2. poodle says:

    I like Gold Leather and the Silver Iris is a great choice for people who might not usually like iris. It doesn’t have that root cellar quality to it. Those perfumes usually make me smell like I’m going moldy. This one does not. I love the boozy quality of Gold Leather. It has pretty good lasting power too.

    • Tara says:

      I agree poodle, Silver Iris could be a good option for those who aren’t keen on rooty iris perfumes. No earth covered carrots or turnips here.

      Gold Leather is sure to please those who like their perfumes with a good shot of alcohol. I’m glad you appreciate that about it.

  3. Sandra says:

    Lovely reviews Tara. You make me want to try Silver Iris. Thankfully I cannot get my hands on them yet.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Sandra. I’m surprised these haven’t come to Vienna yet but at least your money is safe for now. Hope you like Silver Iris when you get a chance to try it.

  4. ringthing says:

    Gold Leather sounds appealing to me, I like boozy fragrances like Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe, but I absolutely do not need any more perfume in the masculine /spice category. I’ll still sample these when I can. Thanks for the reviews!

    • Tara says:

      Thanks for commenting, ringthing. I’m sure you would like the booze in Gold Leather but if you have reached your limit for masculine fragrances, you probably won’t feel the need to add it to your collection. Ambre Russe smells very different but has a similar feel, if you know what I mean. Bold and boozy!

  5. Olfactoria says:

    Thank you for the reviews, Tara!
    I’m definitely trying those two when I see them in store. I am a fan of Atelier Cologne, I’ve had a good success rate with the house.

    • Tara says:

      I’d be interested in your thoughts when you try them, B.

      It sounds like damning with faint praise but it’s generally a very easy to wear line of fragrances, especially for a niche brand.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I was most interested to hear your thoughts on this duo – I am only now catching up with Vaara, hehe. I knew it would be the iris one that most appealed and your review has served to confirm this. To be honest, I am not that keen on overly realistic rooty irises, but prefer the cool waft of which you speak. My tolerance for sugar seems to be pretty good these days too. The gold one I would almost certainly pass on – I don’t care for boozy notes and can’t abide davana, blighted ever since a bad experience with Jasper Conran Mister!

    • Tara says:

      V, knowing your style I’d say you’re right to swerve Gold Leather but give Silver Iris a try.

      Interesting to learn that your tolerance for sweetness has increased while mine has reduced. Davana is such a distinctive note that if you didn’t get on with it could easily be a deal-breaker in any perfume it shows up in.

      I’m hoping that I find an iris that hits the right balance for me one day. It’s a tricky one. I love Equistrius but it’s about a lot more than iris.

  7. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Hm, the list of notes reads lovely (however, I’m a bit scared by eucalyptus…). I like and own some of AC’s scents so these new ones are definitely a “must try”. Tara, which Iris would you prefer : this – or the one from Penhaligon’s ?

    • Tara says:

      I honestly couldn’t detect the eucalyptus at all, so no need to be scared of that. I wouldn’t have been a fan either if it was noticeable.

      Now Silver Iris or Iris Prima? That’s a tricky one. Neither really do it for me. For me, Iris Prima is a bit too floral and Silver Iris is a bit too sweet. I think if pushed, Iris Prima might edge it. The iris that has come closest is Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue but I’m still looking.

      • Lady Jane Grey says:

        I quite like Iris Prima – or the idea behind (because the scent itself is so light on me, I’d have to re-apply it every 30 min…)

        • Tara says:

          Yes, I was thinking at lunch-time that I actually prefer Silver Iris because of the cooling aspect and fluffy drydown and I think you might too as its lasting is also pretty good.

  8. Undina says:

    Nice reviews,Tara!
    I haven’t tried Gold Leather on skin yet because Ididn’t like it on paper (maybe one day I will though I don’t think I’ll change my mind). I liked Silver Iris and would have bought a small bottle if they sold it separately.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Undina!

      Yes, I’ve heard they’ve stopped selling the 30ml bottles on their own now and only sell them as part of a set with the 100ml. So frustrating. All the niche brands seem to be going that way, if they haven’t already.

      I can imagine Silver Iris being more your style than Gold Leather. Mine too.

  9. Alexandra says:

    Wonderful reviews as ever thank you Tara! I have been impressed with this line ever since I fell for Orange Sanguine so I must say Gold Leather sounds quite tempting…

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