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

1.5052145477043
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5032701400857
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5023863184409
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5019885987008
The Lover Gap
1.5019885987008
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5019885987008
Forsaken True Blood
1.5019885987008
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5019002165363
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5016350700429
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5015908789606
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015466878784
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.501104777056
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5010605859738
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.500928012727
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5005302929869
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5004861019046
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004861019046
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004419108224
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003977197402
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003977197402
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003535286579
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003535286579
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003535286579
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5003535286579
JLS Kiss JLS
1.5003093375757
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5003093375757
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002651464934
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002651464934
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002651464934
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002209554112
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002209554112
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002209554112
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002209554112
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002209554112
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002209554112
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.500176764329
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.500176764329
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.500176764329
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.500176764329
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.500176764329
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001325732467
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001325732467
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001325732467
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001325732467
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001325732467
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001325732467
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5001325732467
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.5001325732467
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000883821645
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000883821645
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000883821645
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000883821645
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5000883821645
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000883821645
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000883821645
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000883821645
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000441910822
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000441910822
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000441910822
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000441910822
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.5000441910822
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000441910822
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000441910822
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.4999558089178
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999558089178
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998674267533
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.499823235671
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794099681382
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4788354840691
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4764551464934
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4760123333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727964840691
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4672856751514
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668879554112
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4575499935923
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4504419108224
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4470454647576
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4454162038093
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4451952483981
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447533375757
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446649554112
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444881910822
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4389045015246
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4375883821645
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4335539554112
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4289687197402
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288803375757
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287035732467
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4287035732467
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286151910822
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
1.4243745732467
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.4234188216448
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4214065286579
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4145930315966
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4112723948915
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4105653375757
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4064412611251
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4051643184409
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4010140571391
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.4003977197402
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003093375757
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002651464934
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.400176764329
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.400176764329
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.400176764329
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001325732467
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000883821645
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000441910822
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3971343375757
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3954648699015
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3949553948915
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3947344394803
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.3929987706483
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3929711464051
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.392203331168
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3895960573158
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892867197402
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3891541464934
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3877083757568
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3831173630297
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3812633374873
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3801496305626
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3793027451942
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3772979362765
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3763226430244
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3758290190464
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3754225793009
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3752651464934
Varens Je t'aime Ulric de Varens
1.3752651464934
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.375176764329
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3751325732467
Road Trip West Third Brand

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