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

1.5040931545519
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5028228652082
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020701011527
The Lover Gap
1.5020230533992
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5016937191249
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.501599623618
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015525758645
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5015525758645
Zizanie Fragonard
1.501505528111
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5009880028229
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009409550694
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009409550694
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5005175252882
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5005175252882
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5003763820278
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003763820278
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002822865208
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002822865208
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002822865208
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002822865208
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002822865208
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002822865208
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002352387673
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002352387673
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002352387673
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002352387673
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002352387673
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001881910139
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001881910139
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001881910139
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001881910139
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001881910139
Patchouly Rosso Il Profumi di Firenze
1.5001411432604
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001411432604
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001411432604
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001411432604
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001411432604
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001411432604
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001411432604
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000940955069
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000940955069
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000940955069
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000940955069
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000940955069
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000940955069
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000940955069
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000940955069
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000470477535
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000470477535
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.5000470477535
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000470477535
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000470477535
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5000470477535
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000470477535
French Mastic Queen B
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999529522465
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999529522465
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999059044931
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998588567396
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4870313370972
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.4835981489061
Forsaken True Blood
1.4799432472359
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4794371938367
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4763781910139
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4732583333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728336207951
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4711996207951
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673256685486
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669022387673
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4519020929193
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453379073159
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.445243811809
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447733342743
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446792387673
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4399874203717
Midnight Poison Dior
1.4364249550694
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4332788595625
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290414775347
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289944297812
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4289944297812
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289003342743
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287121432604
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286180477535
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.4090439522465
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4065027668784
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4023990508116
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.4021171489061
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4003293342743
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002822865208
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4000940955069
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000940955069
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000470477535
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000470477535
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3972013820278
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3948799550694
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3948366996001
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3935582107739
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3923878990826
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3916803820278
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3911849550694
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3896417640555
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893594775347
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3879553904964
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3848972865208
Deher Syed Junaid Alam
1.3847363427429
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.38325733992
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3803279273112
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3801411432604
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3793757334745
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3788368146319
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787167725241
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3758269411903
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3756257275935
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3755175252882
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752352387673
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751881910139
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.3750470477535
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3742703006351
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3719901039755
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3696230056457
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3683055928017
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.368172528111
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3634690533992
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3608468595625
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3606189529522
Miss Dior (new) Dior
1.3602352387673
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3574252865208
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.35524633992
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3540230983298
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536790141143
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.353646716302
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.3502822865208
Birdie Xerjoff
1.3496301552576
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Narciso Rodriguez
1.3479356850153
Chance Chanel
1.3446426939544
Patchouli Leaves Montale

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