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

1.5040816326531
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5028149190711
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020642739855
The Lover Gap
1.5020173586676
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5018296973962
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5015951208069
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015482054891
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5015482054891
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5014543748534
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5014074595355
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5009852216749
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.500938306357
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.500938306357
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5005160684964
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5005160684964
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5003753225428
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003753225428
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5002814919071
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002814919071
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002814919071
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002814919071
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002814919071
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002814919071
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002345765893
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002345765893
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002345765893
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002345765893
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002345765893
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001876612714
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001876612714
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001876612714
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001876612714
Patchouly Rosso Il Profumi di Firenze
1.5001876612714
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001407459536
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5001407459536
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001407459536
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001407459536
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001407459536
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001407459536
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001407459536
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001407459536
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000938306357
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000938306357
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000938306357
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000938306357
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000938306357
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000938306357
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000938306357
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000938306357
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000469153179
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000469153179
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5000469153179
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000469153179
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000469153179
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.5000469153179
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.4999530846821
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999530846821
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999061693643
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998592540464
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4835921893033
Forsaken True Blood
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794338829463
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4763776612714
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4733163333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728318991321
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4711978991321
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673238144499
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669015765893
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4656031569317
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4529534621159
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453353910392
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452415604035
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.444772407225
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446785765893
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4390694142623
Midnight Poison Dior
1.4332764757213
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290401531785
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289932378607
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289932378607
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.428899407225
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287117459536
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286179153179
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
1.416323306357
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4064978667605
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4025366514192
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.4021111893033
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.400328407225
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002814919071
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4000938306357
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000938306357
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000469153179
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000469153179
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.397153407225
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.394877306357
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3947537609665
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3935382129955
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3923934944875
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.391182306357
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3896396450856
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893581531785
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3879929028853
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3879459875674
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3848964919071
Deher Syed Junaid Alam
1.3832508505747
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3802587959184
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3801407459536
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3788317820783
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787063101103
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3780409129721
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3757910511377
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3756595317851
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3755160684964
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752345765893
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751876612714
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.3750469153179
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3742556002815
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3696174433498
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3681682901712
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3676964508562
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3668262416139
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3640113225428
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3634633586676
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3612282892329
Miss Dior (new) Dior
1.3608913910392
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3602345765893
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3574244919071
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3552398505747
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3540200523106
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536447297678
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.350328407225
Birdie Xerjoff
1.3493241083744
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3485560227539
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Narciso Rodriguez
1.3476232688248
Chance Chanel
1.3463118095238
Patchouli Leaves Montale

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