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

1.5043480384972
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5027846988128
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5021495920661
The Lover Gap
1.5021495920661
Forsaken True Blood
1.5021007377009
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5015633396844
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5015144853193
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015144853193
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5014656309541
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.501416776589
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5011236503982
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5010259416679
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5008793785725
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5005373980165
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004885436514
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.5003908349211
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.500341980556
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.500341980556
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5002931261908
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002931261908
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002931261908
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002931261908
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002931261908
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002931261908
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002931261908
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002442718257
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002442718257
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002442718257
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002442718257
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5001954174606
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001954174606
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001954174606
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001954174606
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001465630954
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001465630954
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001465630954
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001465630954
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001465630954
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001465630954
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001465630954
Egra Women Rasasi
1.5001465630954
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001465630954
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5000977087303
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000977087303
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000977087303
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000977087303
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000977087303
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000977087303
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000977087303
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000977087303
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000977087303
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000488543651
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.5000488543651
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000488543651
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000488543651
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.5000488543651
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000488543651
Patchouli Durance de Provence
1.5000488543651
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000488543651
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999511456349
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999511456349
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999022912697
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998534369046
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4869353591284
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.4749243333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728571067468
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4723115337339
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.471662796033
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4710765436514
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673021067468
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669112718257
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4481985242073
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.4453722329376
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452745242073
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4446882718257
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4405373980165
Autumn Ayala Moriel
1.4403178636475
Midnight Poison Dior
1.4364610873028
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4323171250183
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4290106892862
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289618349211
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289618349211
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.428912980556
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287175630954
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286198543651
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
1.4127964269872
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.4101062908789
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.4090421456349
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4019053202404
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4016371547706
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.400341980556
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002931261908
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001465630954
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4000977087303
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000977087303
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000977087303
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.3972158349211
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3948672329376
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3925040613611
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3908431746055
Patchouli Intense Parfums de Nicolaï
1.3896706698422
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893775436514
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3892886103376
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.3879859511945
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3875315627046
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3867643087596
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3854587270018
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3849081261908
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.3848628055596
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3848104174606
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3834384067614
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3802833202404
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.3798962523817
Promenade In The Gardens Maison Martin Margiela
1.3789054658752
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787617861156
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3766709301871
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3758841841321
La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Patchouli Imperial Dior
1.3758305242073
Singosari Molton Brown
1.3755373980165
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752931261908
Twiggy Twiggy
1.3751465630954
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3750977087303
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.3750488543651
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.373594717866
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3707171551615
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3685187087303
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.3654436115101
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3617796503982
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3608793785725
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3602442718257
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3593815821486
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3574361261908
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3556147662807
Patchouli Leaves Montale
1.3550905920661
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3547486115101
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3539669416679
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536738154771
Genuine Patchouli Melvita

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