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

1.5058810903627
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5031337196823
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5024468770122
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5021463833441
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5021034556772
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5020176003434
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5019317450097
The Lover Gap
1.5017600343421
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5017171066753
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016741790084
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5012878300064
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5012019746727
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009014810045
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5008156256707
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5006868426701
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5006868426701
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005580596695
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.5004722043357
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004292766688
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003863490019
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003863490019
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5003863490019
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003863490019
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003863490019
JLS Kiss JLS
1.5003434213351
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5003434213351
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003004936682
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002575660013
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002575660013
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002575660013
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002575660013
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002146383344
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002146383344
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002146383344
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002146383344
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5002146383344
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002146383344
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002146383344
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002146383344
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001717106675
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001717106675
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001717106675
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001717106675
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001287830006
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001287830006
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001287830006
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001287830006
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001287830006
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001287830006
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001287830006
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5000858553338
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000858553338
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000858553338
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000858553338
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000858553338
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000858553338
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000858553338
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000429276669
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000429276669
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000429276669
Patchouli Lost Dragon 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
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.4999570723331
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999141446662
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998712169994
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998282893325
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4858886003434
Forsaken True Blood
1.4799570723331
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4764475660013
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4742523333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727800596695
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4672679873363
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668816383344
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.454545
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4504292766688
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4454313363383
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.4453986454175
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453884086714
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452596256707
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4450879150032
Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Molton Brown
1.4448007196823
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4447444936682
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446586383344
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444869276669
City Rain Neil Morris
1.438161034986
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4375858553338
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4336764213351
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4289573490019
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289144213351
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4286997830006
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286997830006
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286139276669
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.4242360470058
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4233506256707
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4232916383344
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.4220403363383
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4215907737712
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4214822766688
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4167957830006
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.4105564936682
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4064361790084
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4005580596695
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003004936682
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002575660013
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4002146383344
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.4001717106675
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001287830006
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000858553338
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000858553338
Italiano Nero Armaf
1.4000858553338
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.4000429276669
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4
Love Offence Estiara
1.3993948407384
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3973836960721
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.395012191672
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3945829150032
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.393849924018
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3929671283537
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3899499710238
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3895758426701
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892753490019
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3891465660013
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3877057920155
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3866372476926
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3831413110109
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3811490216785
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3801256256707
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3790884936682
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3782195750161
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3765069203692
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3753004936682
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751717106675
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3751287830006
Road Trip West Third Brand

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