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

1.5079346187416
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5032928667778
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.503253193684
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5024994049036
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5021026739665
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5017852892169
The Lover Gap
1.5017456161231
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5015075775609
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5014679044672
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5013488851861
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5013488851861
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5012695389987
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.5007934618742
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.500674442593
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5006347694993
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.5005950964056
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004760771245
Patchouli Arawak Ligne St. Barth
1.5004364040308
Patchouli Leaves Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5003967309371
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003570578434
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003570578434
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5003173847497
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.500277711656
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500277711656
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.500277711656
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.500277711656
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.5002380385622
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002380385622
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5001983654685
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001983654685
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5001983654685
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001983654685
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001983654685
IX Patchouli Rose Mad et Len
1.5001983654685
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001983654685
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5001586923748
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5001586923748
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5001190192811
H The Exclusive Parfum Pour Homme Roja Dove
1.5001190192811
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001190192811
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5001190192811
Patchouli Molinard
1.5000793461874
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5000793461874
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000793461874
Pomegranate Patchouli Voluspa
1.5000793461874
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000793461874
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000793461874
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000793461874
Patchouli Queen B
1.5000793461874
Mix 13 Platinum J
1.5000793461874
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5000396730937
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000396730937
David Beckham Classic Summer David & Victoria Beckham
1.5000396730937
Maria Manhã de Sonho Jequiti
1.5000396730937
Unholy Teufels Kuche
1.5000396730937
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000396730937
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000396730937
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5
Unveiled Red Pearl
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5
Patchouli Vintage The Merchant of Venice
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Une Vie en Or pour Homme Frederic M
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Colore Colore Pretty Bouquet Parfums Genty
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Wafa Attar Asgharali
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5
Bleu Magador Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Lady Rebel Diamond Edition Mango
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.4999603269063
Oui, mais il a aime Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999603269063
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4999206538126
Cedar Woods Woods of Windsor
1.4999206538126
192 Light Refan
1.4998809807189
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4883604233119
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4751383333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727377502182
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4716540464175
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4698556923748
Musk Denim
1.4675398080616
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4617760385622
Rendezvous Night Urban Retreat
1.4584916923748
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4546640192811
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.4545846730937
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.4545846730937
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.4512298659049
Nightfall Patchouli Carolina Herrera
1.4448407309371
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4445233461874
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.4444836730937
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4432934040308
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4415330578434
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4405157502182
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.4383331349679
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4334916923748
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4290074040308
Patchouli Murdock London
1.428848711656
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.4286900192811
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286503461874
Road Trip West Third Brand
1.4286503461874
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4286106730937
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Vintage Alan Bray
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.423751442593
Naeem Al Haramain Perfumes
1.421330711656
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4167860192811
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4167463461874
55 Bois de Sycomore Mad et Len
1.4157401358407
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4124880981512
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.4120030385622
Aura of Patchouli Caswell Massey
1.4099064049036
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4056325931128
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.400952154249
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4005950964056
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003967309371
Cuba City Las Vegas for Men Cuba Paris
1.400277711656
Musgo Real Classic Scent Claus Porto
1.4000396730937
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000396730937
BHPC Colors for men Air-Val International
1.4000126354043
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.4
Love Offence Estiara
1.4
Patchouli Lilith Teufels Kuche
1.3999603269063
Patchouli New Romantic Teufels Kuche
1.3999603269063
Gold in Shadow Ana Hickmann
1.3960313654685
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3953456941204
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3943754040308
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3939786730937
Jewel Rasasi
1.3932140578434
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3926123137348
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3894047502182
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3878507887804
Lovely Patchouli Krigler
1.3865018098072
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3862537068952
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3846943461874
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3841784049036
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3818977028485
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3815410674443
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior

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