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

1.5080883496656
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5035386529787
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5033053351999
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5026053818634
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5021776326023
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.501827655934
The Lover Gap
1.5017109970446
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016332244517
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5015554518588
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5014776792658
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5013610203764
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.501244361487
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.5008166122259
Patchouli Eau de Parfum Molinard
1.5007777259294
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5007388396329
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5006221807435
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.500583294447
Stardust Oriflame
1.500583294447
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005444081506
Tramp Lush
1.5004666355576
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004277492612
Patchouli Arawak Ligne St. Barth
1.5004277492612
Patchouli Leaves Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5003888629647
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5003499766682
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003499766682
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5003499766682
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.5003499766682
Live Joyously Philosophy
1.5003110903718
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002722040753
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002722040753
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002722040753
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002333177788
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001944314823
Patchouli Molinard
1.5001944314823
Patchouli Intense Eau de Parfum Molinard
1.5001944314823
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001944314823
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001944314823
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001944314823
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5001944314823
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5001944314823
Tunisian Patchouli Kuumba Made
1.5001944314823
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001555451859
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5001555451859
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5001166588894
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5001166588894
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001166588894
No. IX Patchouli Rose Mad et Len
1.5000777725929
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5000777725929
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000777725929
Bleu Magador Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5000777725929
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000777725929
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5000777725929
Patchouli Queen B
1.5000777725929
Master JoJo Handsome London
1.5000777725929
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000777725929
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5000777725929
Patchouli Rose Scent by the Sea
1.5000777725929
Pomegranate Patchouli Voluspa
1.5000777725929
Mix 13 Platinum J
1.5000777725929
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000388862965
Ippi Patchouli Carrement Belle
1.5000388862965
Unholy Teufels Kuche
1.5000388862965
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000388862965
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000388862965
Royal Brand Gold Bi-es
1.5000388862965
Oriental Rose Vertus
1.5000388862965
Black Shark Paris Elysees
1.5000388862965
Maria Manhã de Sonho Jequiti
1.5000388862965
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000388862965
Lonach Castle Forbes
1.5000388862965
Patchouli Les Ecuadors
1.5000388862965
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000388862965
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Flambee Dilis Parfum
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Vintage The Merchant of Venice
1.5
Patchouli Lothantique
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Merci Intense Jequiti
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Unveiled Red Pearl
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
MTV Man MTV Perfumes
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5
Fragrance №10 Nikkos-Oskol Fragrance
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Lady Rebel Diamond Edition Mango
1.5
Dark Patchouli Scent by the Sea
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Passion Charme Essência
1.5
Oliver Peoples Green Byredo
1.5
Paris - Saint-Honore Stephanie de Bruijn - Parfum sur Mesure
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Patchouli YanFroloff Perfumer
1.5
04 Forest Patchouli Fred Segal
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Une Vie en Or pour Homme Frederic M
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999611137035
Indigo Swing BillyXClub
1.4999611137035
Oui, mais il a aime Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999611137035
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4999222274071
192 Light Refan
1.4999222274071
Cedar Woods Woods of Windsor
1.4998833411106
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4883494081506
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4759413333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727275218541
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4718065126769
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.470588
Nue au Soleil Prada
1.4699303177788
Musk Denim
1.4675224985223
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4617713177788
Rendezvous Night Urban Retreat
1.4615768862965
Kanion Classic Pollena Ewa
1.4584885451859
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.458333
Tribal Arte Profumi
1.4546616588894
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.4545838862965
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.454545
Yunkerskiy No. 1 Novaya Zarya
1.4514387929694
Nightfall Patchouli Carolina Herrera
1.4448328629647
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4445217725929
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.444444
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4432847492612
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4415259766682
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4405055218541
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.4383166122259
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4334885451859
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4289987492612
Patchouli Murdock London
1.4288432040753
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.4286876588894
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286487725929
Patchouli Rain Scent by the Sea
1.4286487725929
Road Trip West Third Brand
1.4286487725929
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4286487725929
100 E. Marinella
1.4286098862965
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Wafa Attar Asgharali
1.428571
Beloved Cologne Parfumee Prince Matchabelli
1.428571
Patchouli La Belle Italienne Des Filles a la Vanille
1.428571
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.428571
Vintage Alan Bray
1.42373806704
Naeem Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4213252040753
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4210918862965
Rhythmus L`acqua Di Fiori
1.4205300407528
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff

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