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.
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.
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.