Today was chilly and drizzly in England, or at least where I am. I don't know what it is about weather and perfume, but for some reason cooler, damp days often make me want to wear patchouli perfumes. I wouldn't say that patchouli is necessarily a comforting, cozy note. In fact, patchouli can often be quite a challenging note. However, Borneo 1834 from Serge Lutens manages to make patchouli cozy in my opinion, without sacrificing any of the 'integrity' of the characteristic patchouli accords that patch fans know and love.
I wrote about Borneo 1834 a long time ago, in April 2010, see my review here. In many ways, my opinion of the fragrance hasn't changed. It still starts with those cocoa and camphor notes, then sweetens ever so slightly, then slowly seeps into a gorgeous, rich and smooth woody patchouli dry down, smelling plush and polished. I emphasise the words plush and polished, because to me Borneo does evoke the smell, feel and even 'vision', albeit olfactorily, of a room filled with old, polished furniture or panels. And perhaps that is where the comfort of this scent arises - to me being in an old room filled with beautiful, polished furniture, is comforting.
I've worn Borneo a lot over the last two years, and every time I wear it, I am struck by what a brilliant perfume it is. It really is. To my mind it is one of the masterpieces in the Lutens line and one of the best patchouli fragrances out there. Even if you aren't a massive fan of patchouli, I would recommend that one at least tries it. You may be pleasantly surprised.