Monday, January 5, 2015

Atelier Cologne - Gold Leather (perfume review)

I'll be honest, of all of the samples that came in the Atelier Cologne set, I may have been the least enthusiastic to try Gold Leather. To be fair, I hadn't read anything about it and my prejudice was based solely on the name, which I didn't particularly care for. I'm not even really sure what I had against the name, I guess I just associated it with an image of gaudiness. I've also tried very few leather scents but haven't had great success with them on my skin (I'm looking at you Kelly Caleche and BV Knot), so perhaps those experiences contributed to my lack of excitement. 

So when I randomly drew Gold Leather from my fine jewelry box of samples, I kind of shrugged my shoulders in disappointment. But hey, I had to try it at some point, right?

And then I put it on.



Gold Leather is extremely alluring on (my) skin. I was immensely shocked by how quickly I was drawn into this enticing gourmandy leather. Everytime I wear it, I find my wrist stays glued to my nose - consciously or subconsciously.

The opening features a crisp, almost cranberry-like citrus that manages to be simultaneously warm and cool at the same time. After the first bursts of citrus die down, a sweet and spicy plum emerges. This temptress is dark, boozy, thick and jammy - with a touch of pepper. She's a bit playful, she's definitely sexy, and she is really quite delicious.

Elizabeth Taylor in 1960, via

This dark-haired siren calls for you as she lays seductively upon her bed of soft nude leather. The leather is soft, supple, warm and cozy. But before she can get too hot, the woods in the base wrap our jammy queen in their dry airiness - ultimately preventing Gold Leather from ever becoming too cloying, spicy or heavy. Interestingly for the first 30 minutes or so, the scent distinctly shifts between plum or leather, but after that they blend together seamlessly. 

Several hours (5 or so) into the dry down, Gold Leather loses its spicy edge and becomes an innocent skin scent - lightly sweet and slightly leathery. Still gorgeous, but in a new light. It stays on my skin that way through the next morning and occasionally through a shower. 

And as much as I hate to admit it, I can understand the name Gold Leather - the perfect combination of nude leather and wood emanates luxury. However, while the golden leather may be luxurious, it's the spicy plum that keeps me coming back for more. 

To me, Gold Leather feels like a power scent - it's assertive and sexy, bold yet refined. This is easy my favorite Atelier (so far).

This would almost definitely be on my FB wishlist, but at $195/100ml bottle (or $295 for the 200ml + 30ml ecrin absolu set), I think it's a bit out of my price range. Perhaps if the bottle weren't plated in real gold (it really is)... I suppose I can dream that they'll offer the 30ml bottles someday.


Clint's 3: Pleasant, Beachy, Floral

Hehe, I think he might be getting the beachy vibe from the wood. I'm not exactly sure about the floral - but that's what he smells!


My rating of Gold Leather: 4.25

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  - X -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation      


Gold Leather as described by the Atelier Cologne website:

Family: Woody Leather*

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

Perfumer: Jerome Epinette

*Personally I would consider Gold Leather more of a fruity leather than a woody leather (though I can understand why they would say woody leather). Interestingly though, the Atelier line has another fragrance, Rendez-vous, which they characterize as a fruity leather. I'm really interested to try that one too now!


Have you tried Gold Leather and if so, what are your opinions on it? What are some of your favorite Atelier scents?


  1. I like this cologne a great deal, but it is one of those that I must be in the mood to wear and a little goes a long way. My husband has coveted this from me and I have to say that it smells incredible on him, much more than what I believe it does on me. But for a leather, that sugared gourmand snap is really fun and interesting.

    1. You know it's interesting - I'm fairly scent sensitive and never look for particularly strong or sillage heavy scents, but I feel like I could just bathe in this stuff :) Maybe my skin soaks a lot of it up. Then again, I haven't tried it sprayed, only dabbed, and maybe that makes a difference. Either way, I covet it too! :) It may go on my birthday list. And so far I haven't really considered myself a huge fan of gourmands, but this is opening my eyes to a whole new world...

  2. To be fair, I must say that I haven't tried this one on my skin - just on the paper and my vSO's wrist. But I didn't like it either application. I will revisit it one day I am at a store that carries the line but I don't think I'll change my mind. Which, probably, isn't that bad taking into the account the price. Speaking of which, you might want to look for a split in one of the perfume groups on FB: big bottles are good for splits and you do not really need more than 20-30 ml of it anyway.

    1. Hi Undina! What a shame, this is my favorite Atelier so far, though I have many yet to try. But then again, I'm sure there are plenty of other perfume loves to keep you occupied - so really it is a blessing not to love everything. And you're right - I probably should look for a split - but who doesn't want a bottle plated with REAL GOLD on their vanity?? :)

  3. Those bottles do look amazing, and I haven't even seen them in real life, so I can understand how you feel about the bottle. It might be expensive to fall in love with fragrances, but it's also such a thrill :-) I liked this one a lot too, but thinking how often I wear leathers (not soooo much although I always like them) I will certainly not need a bottle, but that Silver iris...

    1. I haven't seen the bottle in real life either - perhaps I should order one just to see it, hehe! I really love the *idea* of leathers, but I have only tried a few and this is the only one that has worked for me so far. I need to find a good list of leathers to try because I really would like to find a few more that I like. I definitely need to give Silver Iris a couple more goes - that dry down was spectacular and Clint really liked it too. Fortunately I have 2 samples of it, so that should give me ample time to fall in love with it!


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