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Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

If you like A*Men, but find it a bit overwhelming, Borneo 1834 might fit the bill.

Whereas A*Men "attacks" people with sometimes good and sometimes bad results, this one is much lower key and in the same basic vein of A*Men.

The chocolate/patchouli mix is a winner. Very intoxicating. Very sexy.
This scent could work well on a lot of men. Best as a "date" or going out frag. Like many Lutens to me, a bit sexual for office wear.

This is a "come a little closer" kind of scent. Though I've only tested it a couple of times, it strikes me as the kind of scent that would easily drive some women bonkers if they get close enough.

Though a unisex scent, this could work on men or women easily.

Having been nearly stoned to death for wearing A*Men, I think this is a great, if expensive, alternative.
The Basics: New (late 2009) release for the US market from Serge Lutens, along with the pine and resin Filles de Anguilles, and the long rumored and often legendary Musc de Kublai Khan. Named after the place and time where Western noses were first exposed to patchouli leaves and their pungently funky aroma.

Price: Damned Expensive. $140 for 50 ml. It is what it is. You can roll with it or not. If you do make sure they load you up with samples of other Serge's, to reduce the sting.

Quality: It's Serge, baby. "Nuff said. Even if Serge made crap, there is no way Shiseido would finance it. So, think of Shiseido as a "quality assurance program". They have a world-wide name to uphold.

Packaging: Smart and effective. Bottles are tall and sleek, which helps offset the smaller size. They come with both small round wooden tops and the dark metal atomizers we are all familiar with from Serge retailers.

Scent: Last year, or the year before, Patchouli and Chocolate blends were the FOTM, see IL Profumo, etc. Serge's entrant into this sweepstakes veered away from the expected and substituted dark, bittersweet chocolate for the lighter sweeter chocolate tones other scents used.

The patchouli is restrained in its innate funkiness in the beginning, with a slight amber sweetness, like that found in the Montale Patchouli or, to a lesser degree, the Annuziata Patchouli. The missing funk of the patchouli is soon replaced by the camphor-y bite of the chocolate in the middle. The long-term is a masterpiece of dryness, like the dryness of the Commes des Garcons wood or incense blends. It has a very Eastern quality, as opposed to most scents, which try to blend the foreign note of patchouli with Western elements, (i.e. amber) to try and Westernize the patchouli. This one, however, remains foreign and exotic throughout.

Complexity: Patchouli, then chocolate, then dark drying down period. Not much complexity here--little else needed, quite frankly.

Staying Power: I burn through everything pretty fast, so I am a poor judge of these things. But this one stays around pretty well, the dryness becoming more and more of a skin scent as the day progresses.
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