The opening greet with a cocoa-cum-galbanum duo that results in a nice sweet-spicy gourmand start.
Soon a cardamom is added in, giving the spicy side and agreeable twist. A cistus note provides a bit of a sharper and brighter edge, at times with a fleeting and slightly camphoric undertone, but without feeling in any way medicinal on me.
at times whiffs of white musks are transiently evident. It becomes weaker after the first couple pf hours, and then is gradually petering out over time.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection initially, and nine hours of total longevity on my skin.
Whilst this sweetly spicy gourmand is not the mother of inventiveness, it does result is some unexpectedly original olfactory impressions, given that it uses notes that are applied not infrequently in contemporary perfumery, at lest by some houses. It lack texture a bit and is quite linear at stages. 3.5/5
I wanted to love it, but sadly, I don't. It starts really sweet like a cinnamon-raisin cookie, which is directly up my fragrance alley. When it dries down, it smells awful to me. It's a very dry, dusty powder aroma. The cocoa and patchouli notes are definitely present, but don't do enough to salvage the juice. I found this one off-putting enough that I had to scrub my arms.
A Patchouli between Coromandel and PG L'Ombre Fauve with a Fumerie Turque smokiness.
The overall feel has me much like FT feeling sepia non bright tone. Has the Chocolate of Coromandel and none of the Pastry. Dry Tobacco with a background of vague sweetness in the canvas. It captures a whisper of the animalic lactose sweatiness of L'Ombre Fauve with a slightly more complex finish. The glittery gold bits of Coromandel are absent ,however the Cacao puts this into the Gourmand. A fave of the Lutens for me, however the the other two fulfill my needs for this type of Patchouli.
The opening of Borneo 1834 is most compelling. A wonderful semi-gourmand accord of patchouli and cocoa with sublime balance. The gourmand element aspect is perfectly abstract as it should be. This is followed by a camphoraceous phase that finally leads to the dusty, dry patchouli base that is cosy, and hints at the cocoa. There is no earthiness/dirt/head shop vibe, and hardly any tinge of green in the composition.
The problem with Borneo 1834 is that it dies down quickly, and is severely muted beyond the first hour, even though duration is acceptable. One star is deducted for this shortcoming. My experience is based on the old style 'Paris house logo' 50 ml export bottle. I'm not aware whether this drawback has been addressed in any later version.