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

1.5047281323877
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5033187852337
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020458265139
Forsaken True Blood
1.5020458265139
The Lover Gap
1.5019549008911
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5019549008911
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5019094380797
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5017730496454
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5016366612111
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5016366612111
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015911983997
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5010001818512
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5010001818512
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009547190398
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5005910165485
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005000909256
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004091653028
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003637024914
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003637024914
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003637024914
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002727768685
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002727768685
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002727768685
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002727768685
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002727768685
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5002273140571
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002273140571
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002273140571
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002273140571
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002273140571
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002273140571
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002273140571
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001818512457
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001818512457
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001818512457
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001818512457
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001818512457
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001818512457
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001818512457
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001363884343
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001363884343
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5001363884343
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001363884343
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001363884343
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001363884343
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5001363884343
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5000909256228
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000909256228
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000909256228
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000909256228
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000909256228
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000909256228
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000909256228
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000909256228
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000909256228
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000454628114
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000454628114
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000454628114
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000454628114
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000454628114
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000454628114
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.4999545371886
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999090743772
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998636115657
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998181487543
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794430330969
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4788520165485
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4764627768685
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4748713333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728130165485
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4673034793599
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4671216281142
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.4668943140571
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4668943140571
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4654574711766
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4546813884343
Night Flower Milton Lloyd
1.4504546281142
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4454441818512
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452168677941
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447622396799
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446713140571
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444894628114
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4399545377341
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4396986737589
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4290256281142
Zara EST 1975 Denim Couture Extreme Zara
1.4289801653028
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288892396799
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287073884343
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286164628114
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286164628114
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.4243329256228
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.4194233306056
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.416248793417
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4131235290053
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4113925702855
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4105742396799
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.406489586834
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4004091653028
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003182396799
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002727768685
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001818512457
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001363884343
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000909256228
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000909256228
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000454628114
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000454628114
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.3971432396799
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3971383064193
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.3956571392981
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3948937190398
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3930715786507
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3926459754501
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3923041818512
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.3922987108565
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3907152649573
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3896164049827
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892981653028
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3890253884343
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3887711985816
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3878428596108
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3852060165485
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.3831796777596
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3791402893253
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3766188437898
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3758779836334
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3752727768685
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751363884343
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3750454628114
Losanges C. Darvin
1.3750454628114
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3750454628114
Jardind Du Luxembourg C. Darvin
1.3743386199309
Miss Dior Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior

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