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

1.5071017509489
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5032651728501
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5031835435288
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5021223623526
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5021223623526
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5018366597282
The Lover Gap
1.501632586425
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5015509571038
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5014285131219
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5013468838007
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5011836251582
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5011836251582
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.5008571078731
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5006938492306
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.50065303457
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.5006122199094
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004897759275
Patchouli Arawak Ligne St. Barth
1.5004489612669
Patchouli Leaves Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5004081466063
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003673319456
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.500326517285
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.500326517285
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002857026244
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002857026244
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.5002857026244
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002448879638
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5002448879638
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002448879638
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002448879638
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002040733031
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002040733031
IX Patchouli Rose Mad et Len
1.5002040733031
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002040733031
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001632586425
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5001632586425
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5001632586425
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001224439819
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001224439819
Patchouli Molinard
1.5001224439819
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5000816293213
Pomegranate Patchouli Voluspa
1.5000816293213
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5000816293213
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000816293213
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000816293213
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000816293213
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5000816293213
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000816293213
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000816293213
Patchouli Queen B
1.5000816293213
Mix 13 Platinum J
1.5000408146606
Maria Manhã de Sonho Jequiti
1.5000408146606
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000408146606
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000408146606
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000408146606
Unholy Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Bleu Magador Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Patchouli Vintage The Merchant of Venice
1.5
Lady Rebel Diamond Edition Mango
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Une Vie en Or pour Homme Frederic M
1.5
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.4999591853394
Oui, mais il a aime Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999591853394
Cedar Woods Woods of Windsor
1.4999591853394
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4999591853394
Gold in Shadow Ana Hickmann
1.4999183706787
192 Light Refan
1.4998775560181
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4883764052488
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4755104660626
Surreal Garden Avon
1.4746113333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727525905881
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4719030799967
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4675649225338
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4617828879638
Rendezvous Night Urban Retreat
1.4616196293213
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.4584962586425
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4546674439819
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.4545858146606
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.4511019958369
Nightfall Patchouli Carolina Herrera
1.4445256293213
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.4444848146606
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4436858063344
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.441502517285
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4384387371944
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4382754785519
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4291015905881
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.4290199612669
Patchouli Murdock London
1.4288567026244
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.4286934439819
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286934439819
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286526293213
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4286118146606
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Vintage Alan Bray
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
Colore Colore Pretty Bouquet Parfums Genty
1.4285301853394
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4234443319456
Naeem Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4213387026244
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4201639142076
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4170343319456
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4167894439819
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4167486293213
55 Bois de Sycomore Mad et Len
1.4155257592751
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.4139154439819
Musk Denim
1.4128261811763
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.4120098879638
Aura of Patchouli Caswell Massey
1.408225586425
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.4064567673972
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4006122199094
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4004081466063
Cuba City Las Vegas for Men Cuba Paris
1.4002448879638
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.4000408146606
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4
Love Offence Estiara
1.4
Patchouli Lilith Teufels Kuche
1.3999591853394
Patchouli New Romantic Teufels Kuche
1.3966341466063
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3960370733031
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3947007605404
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3943879612669
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3932243319456
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3929794439819
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.3922019225338
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.3894195905881
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3878724785519
Lovely Patchouli Krigler
1.3866048325783
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3859043236194
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3853471881964
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3851842016244
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3846966293213
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3845129900412
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.3822078409045
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3812104785519
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3783958879638
Intriga No1 Dzintars
1.3776083581895
Osmo Scents Patchouli Noir Il Profvmo

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