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

1.5039253717558
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5028632123395
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020781379884
The Lover Gap
1.5020781379884
Forsaken True Blood
1.5019857763
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5018472337674
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5018472337674
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5018010529232
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5015701487023
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015701487023
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5015239678581
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5009697977279
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009236168837
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009236168837
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5006003509744
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.500507989286
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003694467535
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003694467535
Twiggy Twiggy
1.5003694467535
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003232659093
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002770850651
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002770850651
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002770850651
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002770850651
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002770850651
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002770850651
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002309042209
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002309042209
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002309042209
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002309042209
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002309042209
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5001847233767
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001847233767
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001847233767
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001847233767
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001847233767
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001847233767
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001847233767
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001385425326
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001385425326
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001385425326
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001385425326
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001385425326
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001385425326
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001385425326
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000923616884
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000923616884
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000923616884
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000923616884
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000923616884
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000923616884
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000923616884
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5000923616884
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000923616884
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.5000923616884
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000923616884
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000461808442
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000461808442
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000461808442
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000461808442
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5000461808442
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire 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
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.4999076383116
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998614574674
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794617019488
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4788613509744
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4764670850651
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4743403333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728223509744
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4673135318186
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4671288084419
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.4668979042209
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4655062974046
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4557692759767
Surreal Garden Avon
1.4546835425326
Night Flower Milton Lloyd
1.4453214360395
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452290743512
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447672659093
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446749042209
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444901808442
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4412774763092
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4403694467535
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4398802357994
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4334017977279
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290328084419
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289866275977
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288942659093
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287095425326
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286171808442
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286171808442
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.4167131808442
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4162624360395
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4105792659093
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4064706912349
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4021704996767
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4010159785721
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.4003232659093
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002770850651
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001385425326
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000923616884
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000923616884
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4000461808442
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000461808442
Kaja Al Attar
1.4000461808442
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000461808442
S. Privée Eudora
1.3971482659093
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3948626168837
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3935011491641
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3934273074721
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3927896142976
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.3925330509837
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3911676168837
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.389627893507
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893508084419
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3880323824698
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3878938399372
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3849844467535
Deher Syed Junaid Alam
1.3832148613651
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3801385425326
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3794023616884
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.3788038720791
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.378039389951
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3780070604045
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3756465318186
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3756322652628
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3752309042209
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751385425326
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3750461808442
Losanges C. Darvin
1.3750461808442
Jardind Du Luxembourg C. Darvin
1.3750461808442
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3743383931837
Miss Dior Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior

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