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

1.5042518239358
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5028506546843
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.502174228149
Forsaken True Blood
1.5021259119679
The Lover Gap
1.5020775957868
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5015461177948
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5015461177948
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5014978016138
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5014978016138
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5014494854327
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.501111272165
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5010146398029
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009180074407
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.500531477992
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004348456298
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5003865294487
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003382132676
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5002898970865
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002898970865
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002898970865
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002898970865
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002898970865
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002898970865
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002898970865
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002415809054
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002415809054
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002415809054
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002415809054
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001932647244
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001932647244
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001932647244
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001932647244
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001932647244
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001449485433
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001449485433
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001449485433
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001449485433
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001449485433
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001449485433
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001449485433
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5000966323622
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000966323622
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000966323622
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000966323622
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000966323622
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000966323622
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000966323622
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000966323622
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000966323622
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000483161811
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000483161811
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5000483161811
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.5000483161811
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000483161811
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000483161811
Patchouli Durance de Provence
1.5000483161811
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000483161811
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.4999516838189
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999516838189
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999033676378
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998550514567
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4869219045272
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.4744263333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728501103542
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4722765517708
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.471699272165
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4710711618109
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4672951103542
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669085809054
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4580610074407
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4453136912596
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452653750785
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4446855809054
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4405640640189
Midnight Poison Dior
1.4382289132241
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4364503236218
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4290541618109
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4290058456298
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4290058456298
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289092132676
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287159485433
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286193161811
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
1.41005193429
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.4090426838189
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4065980148814
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4019809634247
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4015081109823
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.4003382132676
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002898970865
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001449485433
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4000966323622
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000966323622
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000483161811
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000483161811
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3972115294487
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3949536398029
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3933716599024
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3916905294487
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3911136912596
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3896620588974
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3894889281055
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.3893721618109
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3879488164951
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3854400675943
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3849048970865
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.3848251326762
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3832373385032
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3832228605112
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3823274203508
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3813349361743
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3788850148814
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787686621249
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3764082963715
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3757730588974
Singosari Molton Brown
1.375531477992
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752898970865
Twiggy Twiggy
1.3752415809054
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3750966323622
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.3750483161811
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3696279634247
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3686142647244
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.3682656918877
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3680198530705
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3668942796057
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3661841990143
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3608696912596
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3603393019278
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3602415809054
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3594450886602
La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Patchouli Imperial Dior
1.3574328970865
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3552118605112
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3539556398029
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536657427163
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.3532845487269
Miss Dior (new) Dior
1.3515461177948
Patchoulissime Keiko Mecheri
1.3489446553124
Patchouli Leaves Montale
1.3457376784558
Chance Chanel
1.3447944414166
Patchouly Profumum Roma

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