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

1.5055255887383
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5032013331579
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5023681094593
Zizanie Fragonard
1.502104986186
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5020611323072
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5019734245494
The Lover Gap
1.5019734245494
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5019734245494
Forsaken True Blood
1.5017103012761
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5016664473973
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5016225935184
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5012279086085
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.501052493093
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009209314564
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5006139543043
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5005701004254
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.5005701004254
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004823926676
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004385387888
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003946849099
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003946849099
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003946849099
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.500350831031
JLS Kiss JLS
1.500350831031
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.500350831031
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.500350831031
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003069771521
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002631232733
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002631232733
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002631232733
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002631232733
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002192693944
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002192693944
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002192693944
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002192693944
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002192693944
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002192693944
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5001754155155
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001754155155
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001754155155
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001754155155
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001754155155
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001315616366
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001315616366
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001315616366
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001315616366
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5001315616366
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001315616366
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001315616366
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001315616366
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.5001315616366
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5000877077578
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000877077578
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000877077578
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000877077578
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000877077578
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000877077578
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000438538789
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000438538789
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000438538789
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000438538789
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000438538789
French Mastic Queen B
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.4999561461211
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999561461211
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999122922422
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998684383634
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998245844845
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4799561461211
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794012008508
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4764531232733
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4757713333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727921004254
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4672809543043
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668862693944
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.454545
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.450892766215
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4508203331579
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4504385387888
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4454087853353
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4451895159409
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4450579543043
Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Molton Brown
1.4447509771521
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446632693944
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4445755616366
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.4444878538789
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4396256823225
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4375877077578
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4335522693944
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4294042236986
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.4289656849099
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288779771521
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287025616366
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4287025616366
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4286148538789
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
1.4234120775775
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4220177853353
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.421403831031
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4140869532518
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4105629771521
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4064284473973
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4009904877867
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.4004823926676
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003069771521
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002631232733
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001754155155
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001754155155
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.4001754155155
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.4001315616366
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000877077578
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000438538789
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3971319771521
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3954805616366
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.3949476392141
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3949037853353
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.3947889974565
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3930915977722
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3930551184932
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3921780409157
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.389590662062
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892836849099
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3891521232733
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3876847715213
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3831008400649
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3817469266763
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3812080361356
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3801432236986
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3793732555804
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3758027109591
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.37536731031
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3752631232733
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751754155155
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3751315616366
Road Trip West Third Brand

Popular brands and perfumes: