Atelier Cologne introduced Gold Leather in 2013, as part of the new Collection Métal fragrance series that also included Silver Iris. Like Angie, I thought Silver Iris was nice enough, but it couldn't compete with the fabulous iris fragrances already in my collection. Gold Leather, which seems to be less widely distributed, was much more interesting to me after a quick sniff on paper.
Gold Leather starts off boozy and rich, with a sweet, spicy rum (although it smells like something heavier) and a twist or three of orange peel. There's a generous dollop of plum jam — the first few minutes are much like a dessert cocktail, or maybe more like a dessert (it's almost chocolate-y in the very early stages) and a cocktail. It's strong and loud: if you object to smelling like booze, even for a short time, this one is not for you.
After that, it calms, slowly, into a very soft and smooth woody leather, almost more like suede, but given some darkness by gaiac wood and a mild oud accord. There is something that smells briefly like tobacco leaf in the early stages, and the eucalyptus is noticeable enough to provide some brightness, but not overwhelming, ditto on the saffron, which is hard to pick up until the plum starts to recede (the notes: bitter orange, saffron, rum, plum, davana, eucalyptus, gaiac wood, cedarwood, leather and oud accord). The dry down is considerably quieter than the opening, but it's far from sheer, and the lasting power is excellent — it will easily make it through your work day and then some.
Verdict: Gold Leather is nicely done, and if your main complaint about Atelier Cologne is that the fragrances are too light and plain, it might please you. It's certainly the deepest and strongest scent they've done so far, and it's probably more suited to cool weather wear. Again, I feel about Gold Leather much like Angie did about Silver Iris — my enthusiasm after the first sniff on a paper blotter did not last through repeated wearings, when the sweetness of the opening began to wear on me, and the relatively mellow dry down seemed like too much of a contrast. I would say I'm in "strong like", but not quite love. If they were selling this one in 30 ml bottles, and I ever saw one at a good price, I'd consider it, but it's not going on my buy list. In the end I think I prefer the more subtle Lubin Idole, but if that one is too wimpy for you, or if you've never found your perfect leather (or booze) scent, Gold Leather is very much worth a try. My own favorite from Atelier so far is still the charming one-off Sous le toit de Paris.
Do chime in with your own favorite leather or boozy fragrances, or both.
Atelier Cologne Gold Leather Cologne Absolue was developed by perfumer Jérome Epinette. It is $195 for 100 ml and $295 for 200 ml + a 30 ml travel spray. There is also a coffret with the 100 ml bottle and a soap for $215; the soap on its own is $19.50, and a matching candle is $65. For buying information, see the listing Atelier Cologne under Perfume Houses. In the US, Gold Leather appears to be exclusive to Neiman Marcus as of this writing.