Sometimes when I look at an excating movie or read a well written book, it makes me want to go to the place where the book or movie taking place. The last time that happend, was when I read the book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, his love to the city of Bombay is so strong that he even managed to make the slumareas of the city places worth visiting.
As a kid I dreamed of being an explorer. I was a nerdy child, fascinated of geography and far away places with exotic names. My father informed me that there wasn´t hardly any white spots left to explore, most places on earth had allready been explored, and that quite long time ago. I had missed the time for the big around the world explorations with at least one hundred years, or much more if I start to count when Christoffer Columbus sailed toward America in 1492.
But when I put on a few drops of Serge Lutens Borneo 1834, that dosn´t matter much. With the help of the perfume I do a travel through both time and geography. A travel through time to the era of the big sailing ships. A travel through time to adventourus seamen and hardcore captains that crossed infinite sea areas to debark foreign harbours and ship exotic spices, sumptous fabrics and foreign kind of woods to an entusiastic upperclass in Europe. A travel trogh geography to southeast Asia`s tropical, rainforest covered and mythic islands.
Oh, if I could sneak aboard on one of the ships and hide in the cargo space and just go along. A cargo space in a squeaking ship that must absolutly have smelled almost exactly as Borneo 1834 smells. The topnote isn´t anything but an olfactory sensation, it takes me by storm. A strong, saturated smell of cacao blends with aromatic spices, warm woods and strange tinctures. It isn´t straight off pleasant, more of powerful, bold, bitter and very exciting. Time to take off, and I really want to follow. I have noticed that I am having a weak spot for just a little medical notes in perfumes, maybe because I am married to nurse? No, probably not, but no matter why, I still like it. That kind of abrasive, mellow notes is it plenty of in Borneo 1834. In this perfume I thrive, I make myself at home in the cargo space and make a little nest among the spice sacks and the piles of fabric, surviving on seabisquits, rhum and water that i sneak out in the night and steal.
After some time I have get used to all the fragrances in the cargo area, and they have soften, become warmer and more pleasant. Maybe I am getting falsely secure and safe, because offcourse the ship cook manage to catch the sneaking stowaway. Cry and remorse and they sure don´t want any women aboard. But they can´t really throw me overboard, so the rest of the journey I have to swab the deck and empty potties. Well, my struggle pays off when I can stride a land in Sandakan harbour on Borneo.
The fragrance is still softening, becoming warmer, woodier and very exotic. The patchouli is there all the time, but it is very nice, saturated and intriguing. Borneo 1834 isn´t at all a sweet perfume, more of acrid and aromatic. It works on both women and men, but I realise it isn´t a fragarnce for everyone. Personal preferences and skinchemistry can make a lot of different here. But I found it fantastic, perfume at it´s best, almost kind of magic. When it has warmed up on my skin, it holds for hours and hours. After about five or six hours it is a tender smelling warmth that stays close to my skin. Even tough I like, yes love, Borneo 1834 I have to admit it is a bit demanding. Or much, it is a bit wearyingly with all the fantasies I´ve get in my little head. In that way it reminds a bit of Frederic Malle`s Dans Tes Bras, they are both kind of olfactory trips than everyday perfumes.
But offcourse you should try Borneo 1834, it may be one of the big fragrance experiences, don´t miss it!