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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patchouli Perfumes

1.5086881623788
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5038946934801
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5034827547467
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5024716324009
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5023218364978
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5019098977643
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5017226528854
The Lover Gap
1.5016852039097
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016477549339
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5016103059581
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5013481631277
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5012732651762
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.5008613264427
Patchouli Molinard
1.5007864284912
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5007115305396
Tramp Lush
1.5007115305396
Stardust Oriflame
1.5006366325881
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005991836123
Patchouli Arawak Ligne St. Barth
1.5005991836123
Live Joyously Philosophy
1.5005991836123
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.5005242856608
Patchouli Leaves Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5005242856608
Beyond Victoria`s Secret
1.5004493877092
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003744897577
Excentrique Moi Art de Parfum
1.5003744897577
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5003744897577
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5003370407819
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.5003370407819
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003370407819
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002621428304
Bohème Alkemia Perfumes
1.5002621428304
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5002621428304
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002621428304
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002621428304
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001872448789
Patchouli Intense Eau de Parfum Molinard
1.5001872448789
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001872448789
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001872448789
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001872448789
Patchouli Molinard
1.5001872448789
Tunisian Patchouli Kuumba Made
1.5001872448789
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001872448789
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5001872448789
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5001497959031
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5001497959031
No. IX Patchouli Rose Mad et Len
1.5001123469273
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001123469273
Patchouli Les Ecuadors
1.5001123469273
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5001123469273
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5001123469273
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5000748979515
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5000748979515
Pomegranate Patchouli Voluspa
1.5000748979515
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000748979515
Patchoulissimo Les Ecuadors
1.5000748979515
Patchouli Avon
1.5000748979515
Master JoJo Handsome London
1.5000748979515
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5000748979515
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000748979515
Patchouli Queen B
1.5000748979515
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000748979515
Bleu Magador Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5000748979515
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000748979515
Patchouli Rose Scent by the Sea
1.5000748979515
04 Forest Patchouli Fred Segal
1.5000748979515
Mix 13 Platinum J
1.5000748979515
Power Instinct Airness
1.5000374489758
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000374489758
Lonach Castle Forbes
1.5000374489758
Unholy Teufels Kuche
1.5000374489758
MTV Man MTV Perfumes
1.5000374489758
Ippi Patchouli Carrement Belle
1.5000374489758
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000374489758
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000374489758
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5000374489758
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000374489758
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Lady Rebel Diamond Edition Mango
1.5
Paris - Saint-Honore Stephanie de Bruijn - Parfum sur Mesure
1.5
Patchouli Passion Charme Essência
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Jungle Code Bi-es
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Unveiled Red Pearl
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Patchouli Vintage The Merchant of Venice
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
Flambee Dilis Parfum
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Haraayer Reehat Al Atoor
1.5
Merci Intense Jequiti
1.5
No. 2 Aromatologic
1.5
Black Magic Parfums Genty
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dark Patchouli Scent by the Sea
1.5
Patchouli YanFroloff Perfumer
1.5
Une Vie en Or pour Homme Frederic M
1.4999625510242
Oui, mais il a aime Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999625510242
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4999251020485
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999251020485
192 Light Refan
1.4999251020485
Oriental Rose Vertus
1.4998127551211
Azraq Dua Fragrances
1.4883292856608
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4770887754185
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4753513333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.472708836685
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4706628979515
Nue au Soleil Prada
1.4701089387335
Musk Denim
1.4695435286672
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.467490877467
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4617626938546
Rendezvous Night Urban Retreat
1.4615754489758
Kanion Classic Pollena Ewa
1.4585202448789
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.458333
Tribal Arte Profumi
1.4546573469273
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.4545824489758
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.454545
A.R.T. Etnic Eudora
1.4448184897577
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4445188979515
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.444444
City Rain Neil Morris
1.444444
Patchoulystan ArteOlfatto
1.4415130407819
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.440486836685
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.4382864284912
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4375
Black Shark Paris Elysees
1.4363089387335
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4335951428304
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4290203877092
Patchouli Murdock London
1.4289080407819
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.4287956938546
Lily Theo Parfums
1.4286833469273
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286458979515
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.4286458979515
Beloved Cologne Parfumee Prince Matchabelli
1.4286458979515
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4286458979515
Road Trip West Third Brand
1.4286458979515
Patchouli Rain Scent by the Sea
1.4286458979515
100 E. Marinella
1.4286084489758
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.4286084489758
Tsuki DI SER
1.428571
Patchouli La Belle Italienne Des Filles a la Vanille
1.428571
Wafa Attar Asgharali
1.428571
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

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