Patchouli

lat. Pogostemon cablin, family Lamiaceae

Group: Woods and Mosses

Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, family Lamiaceae
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, family Lamiaceae
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, family Lamiaceae
Odor profile: An exotic bush that grows mainly in India, the leaves of which produce the essential oil of patchouli. Sweet, dark, with an earthy, woody edge, it is very popular in many blends, especially the contemporary woody floral musks. Synthetics and fractal extractions of the material also abound.

Patchouli is a wonderful green bushy herb of the mint family. It belongs to the genus Pogostemon and grows up to two or three feet in height. The herb is graced with delicate pinkish-white flowers and aromatic leaves that have been used for centuries in perfumery, due to their wonderful and strong scent. Patchouli is native to tropical regions of Asia, but it grows well in all warm to tropical climates. Nowadays, several varieties of the Pogostemon genus are cultivated allover Asia, West Africa and South America for their aromatic oil known as patchouli oil.

The name patchouli derives from the old Tamil words patchai, meaning "green", and ellai meaning "leaf". The origin of the name points out to the native land of this herb, stemming from the Dravidian language spoken mostly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. The plant was brought to the Middle East along the silk route, and it was thanks to the famous conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte that patchouli reached Europe. Napoleon brought to France a couple of patchouli-scented cashmere shawls that he found in Egypt. The shawls were redolent of patchouli oil, which was used to repel insects and protect them from moths, but the origin of the scent was held as closely guarded secret. Wonderful patterns of the oriental fabrics have soon become easy to replicate, but sneaky European manufacturers were still forced to import the fragrant oil from the East. The secret was finally broken in 1837, when Francisco Manuel Blanco first described patchouli as Mentha cablin, revealing the secret of the mysterious oriental scent to the rest of the western world.

The world’s major craze for patchouli happened in the Europe and America during the 1960s and 1970s. This pungent scented oil that bears a strong reference to India was typically worn by the hippies, who were often associated with the Hare Krishna movement. Unfortunately, the hippies contributed to the bad reputation of patchouli oil because they were typically wearing very bad synthetic formulations. The association of patchouli with the hippie culture finally resulted in misperception of this raw material, and for most of us today, patchouli is just a synonym for too heady, too overwhelming and too common fragrance. Here is an example taken from the UrbanDictionary:

patchouli

  1. 1. A plant that smells like a Grateful Dead concert.
  2. 2. Not a shower, contrary to San Franciso's public policy on hygiene.
  3. 3. Slang term for Filty Filthy Hippie
"No hipppie, that's a bad hippie. Patchouli is not a shower!"

Of course, this example only illustrates another common fallacy and everyone who seriously wishes to explore the wonderful world of perfumery should remember that patchouli is the elementary unit of the entire class of perfumes – the chypre fragrances. The scent of patchouli is described as earthy and herbaceous with rich green heart and a woodsy base. The olfactory profile of patchouli oil, however, strongly depends on the cultivation techniques, time of the harvest, the process of drying and distillation techniques. The highest quality oil is obtained from only 3-4 top pairs of mature leaves, where the highest concentration of the purest oil is found. Proper drying is ensured by placing the cut stems and leaves on a dry surface and turning them over frequently to prevent rapid fermentation. When the process is complete, the leaves are stripped from the stems and placed in woven baskets to allow fermentation and release of their wonderful aroma. The final quality will also depend on the skill of the grower, who controls the level of fermentation by using his own nose. Only a small number of distilleries is specialized in production of this highly refined extract which finds its use in haute parfumerie.

Patchouli oil is obtained by steam distillation or CO2-extraction of the dried leaves. The oil has a rich, balsamic and herbaceous flavor with a minty-woody undertone. Patchouli absolute is a dark green liquid obtained by the solvent extraction of dried leaves. The absolute has a rich, pronouncedly sweet and herbaceous aroma with woody-balsamic undertone. They both blend perfectly with oriental bouquets, chypre and fougère-type fragrances, and powdery perfumes. Patchouli blends well with vetiver, which contains the same earthy olfactory profile, sandalwood, cedarwood, clove, lavender, rose, labdanum, and so on.

One of the most wonderful features of patchouli oil is that it becomes even better with aging. Freshly distilled oil may appear more green, tart and unmelodious in comparison to well aged oil that has a rich and full fruity-like nuance.

In the opus of L Artisan Parfumeur, there are two patchouli-dominated fragrances: the oriental fragrance for women Patchouli Patch, and oriental-woody men’s fragrance Voleur de Roses.

The floral woody musky fragrance for women Nuits de Noho, by Bond No9, features patchouli in the top notes, while Lorenzo Villoresi’s unisex Patchouli offers straightforward interpretation of this herb, laid on a base of woodsy and musky notes. Let me also mention a vintage creation, Patchouli Pour Homme by Reminiscence. Launched in 1970, this fragrance features geranium, cedar and patchouli in the middle notes.

Among the oriental woody fragrances, I would single out two wonderful unisex scents: Montale’s Patchouli Leaves and Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens. More refined, softer, and ultimately feminine interpretation of patchouli is offered in oriental vanilla fragrance for women - Angel by Thierry Mugler.

To embark on your own journey to discover more wonderful patchouli-based fragrances, use our search for notes.


Author: Marina Milojević (Mary)
Fragrantica Writer, Translator & Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfumes and Colognes With Patchouli

1.5041468642251
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5027956388035
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020501351225
The Lover Gap
1.5020035411425
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5018171652223
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5016773832821
Zizanie Fragonard
1.501630789302
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.501584195322
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015376013419
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5013978194017
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5009784735812
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009318796012
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5009318796012
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5005125337806
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005125337806
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003727518405
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003727518405
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5002795638803
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002795638803
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002795638803
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002795638803
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002795638803
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002795638803
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002329699003
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002329699003
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002329699003
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002329699003
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002329699003
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001863759202
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001863759202
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001863759202
Patchouly Rosso Il Profumi di Firenze
1.5001863759202
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001863759202
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001863759202
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001863759202
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001397819402
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001397819402
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001397819402
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001397819402
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001397819402
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001397819402
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5001397819402
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001397819402
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000931879601
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000931879601
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000931879601
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000931879601
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000931879601
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000931879601
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000931879601
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000931879601
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000465939801
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000465939801
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5000465939801
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000465939801
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000465939801
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.4999068120399
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999068120399
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998602180598
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4835777291026
Forsaken True Blood
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794724434815
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4764695638803
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4728683333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728277217408
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4711937217408
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673193157208
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668999699003
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4655343906439
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4457567351598
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453292856211
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.445236097661
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447701578604
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446769699003
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4409466478427
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4333172856211
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290369398006
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289903458205
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289903458205
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4288971578604
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287107819402
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286175939801
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.4162702856211
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4105821578604
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4065325712422
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4021899170627
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4003261578604
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002795638803
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4000931879601
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000931879601
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000465939801
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000465939801
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3971511578604
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3948708796012
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3935926092629
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3934896909887
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3926736522225
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.3923861037182
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3911758796012
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3896345036809
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893549398006
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3880629545243
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3879231725841
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3849877518405
Deher Syed Junaid Alam
1.3832351050228
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3801397819402
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3788195712422
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3780732154506
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3779278020688
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3758903445159
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3756057217408
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3755808040257
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3752329699003
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3750465939801
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3742665257665
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3696039471624
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3691629244246
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.368251195322
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3640087518405
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3635893230827
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.360838691641
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3607397539838
Miss Dior (new) Christian Dior
1.3602329699003
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3591462247694
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3575157518405
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3553172929829
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
1.3540126615413
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536399097009
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.3514137364644
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3503727518405
Birdie Xerjoff
1.3493369618861
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3488935456155
Chance Chanel
1.3477347988072
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Narciso Rodriguez

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