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

1.5042587807446
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5028710881424
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5021533161068
Forsaken True Blood
1.5021054646378
The Lover Gap
1.5020576131687
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5016269499474
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015790984783
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5015312470093
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5015312470093
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5013876926022
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5011005837879
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5010048808498
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009570293808
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5005263661594
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004306632214
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5003828117523
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5003828117523
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003349602833
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5002871088142
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002871088142
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002871088142
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002871088142
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002871088142
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002871088142
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002392573452
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002392573452
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002392573452
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002392573452
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001914058762
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001914058762
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001914058762
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001914058762
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001914058762
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001435544071
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001435544071
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001435544071
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001435544071
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001435544071
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001435544071
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001435544071
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5000957029381
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000957029381
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000957029381
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000957029381
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000957029381
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000957029381
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000957029381
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.500047851469
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.500047851469
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.500047851469
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.500047851469
French Mastic Queen B
1.500047851469
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.500047851469
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.500047851469
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500047851469
Black OUD Illuminum
1.500047851469
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.499952148531
Black Patchouli Refan
1.499952148531
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999042970619
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998564455929
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.486910286726
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.4856068998947
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.479457286726
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4763814058762
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4734253333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728440690975
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4710665146904
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673369205666
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669062573452
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4470040245
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453053264427
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452574749737
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4446832573452
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4402520648866
Midnight Poison Dior
1.4364410293808
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4332454749737
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290495146904
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4290016632214
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4290016632214
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4289059602833
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287145544071
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.428618851469
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
1.409043148531
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4065803558235
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4019619102306
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4003349602833
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002871088142
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001435544071
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4000957029381
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000957029381
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.400047851469
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.400047851469
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3972078117523
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3949438808498
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.393583868887
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3929278696526
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3924951039334
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3916868117523
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3912010293808
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3897550832616
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.3896546235046
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893675146904
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3879167513638
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3849499602833
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.3847926028328
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.383296721983
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3822990451718
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3800586550866
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3791090881424
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3790716257058
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3788673558235
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787324145851
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.375753146904
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3755263661594
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752392573452
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3750957029381
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.375047851469
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3696089102306
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3683376806393
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3681025440712
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3662311071873
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3634557616997
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3608613264427
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3602392573452
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3574301088142
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3555693498899
Miss Dior (new) Dior
1.3551900190449
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3540415837879
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536677013111
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3536587720356
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.3514833955402
Patchoulissime Keiko Mecheri
1.349093293808
Patchouli Leaves Montale
1.3455217531821
Chance Chanel
1.3440196322136
La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Patchouli Imperial Dior
1.3436413776438
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Narciso Rodriguez
1.3436226235046
Promenade In The Gardens Maison Martin Margiela
1.3432876632214
Santa Subita Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.3430899499474
Very Irresistible Sensual Velvet Givenchy

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