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

1.5061014363798
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5031354603618
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5024575229863
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5022880386424
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5021185542985
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5019914410406
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5019490699547
The Lover Gap
1.5016948434388
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016948434388
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5012711325791
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5012287614932
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5011440193212
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5008897928054
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5007203084615
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5006355662896
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5005508241176
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.5005084530317
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004237108597
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5004237108597
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5004237108597
Nightfall Patchouli Carolina Herrera
1.5004237108597
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5003813397737
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003813397737
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003813397737
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5003813397737
JLS Kiss JLS
1.5003389686878
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002542265158
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002542265158
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002542265158
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002542265158
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002542265158
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002118554299
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002118554299
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5002118554299
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002118554299
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002118554299
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002118554299
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002118554299
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001694843439
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5001694843439
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001694843439
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001694843439
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001694843439
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001271132579
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001271132579
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001271132579
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001271132579
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001271132579
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001271132579
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000847421719
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000847421719
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000847421719
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000847421719
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000847421719
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5000847421719
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000847421719
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000847421719
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.500042371086
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.500042371086
French Mastic Queen B
1.500042371086
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Un Soir A Paris Korloff Paris
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Shining Star Bi-es
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.499957628914
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.499957628914
Patchouli Molinard
1.4999152578281
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998728867421
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998305156561
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4858624410406
Forsaken True Blood
1.479957628914
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4766137108597
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4728113333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727728241176
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4675567928054
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4672601952036
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668788554299
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.454545
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4504237108597
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4484402898182
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453761638914
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4447405976018
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446558554299
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.444486371086
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4372868314478
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.436639253252
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4289099686878
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4288675976018
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4286981132579
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286981132579
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.428613371086
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
1.4242210193212
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4232812771493
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.4232553084615
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4220807695013
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4220275349773
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4214767108597
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4213492771493
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.4167941132579
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.4105525976018
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4092181132579
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4064144723529
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4023810559722
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.4006355662896
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4002965976018
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002542265158
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4002118554299
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.4001694843439
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001271132579
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000847421719
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000847421719
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.400042371086
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4
Love Offence Estiara
1.3997789133935
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3979666637007
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3945745662896
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3901000459726
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3895669373755
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892703397737
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3892279686878
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.388622359095
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.3883978121266
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.3876657181899
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3865699014025
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3841212651583
Isvaraya Indult
1.3811184097284
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3801150506334
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3790845976018
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3783049447057
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.375750850769
Baby Phat Seductive Goddess Kimora Lee Simmons
1.3754660819457
Noor Royal Crown

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