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

1.5051371392835
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.503305637452
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.502010184937
Forsaken True Blood
1.502010184937
The Lover Gap
1.5019655141606
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5019655141606
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5019208433843
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5018761726079
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5017421602787
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016081479496
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5016081479496
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5011167694095
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5009827570803
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009380863039
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5004913785402
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004913785402
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004467077638
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5004020369874
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.500357366211
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.500357366211
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.500357366211
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.500357366211
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003126954346
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5003126954346
JLS Kiss JLS
1.5003126954346
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5003126954346
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002680246583
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002680246583
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002233538819
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002233538819
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002233538819
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002233538819
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002233538819
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002233538819
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5001786831055
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001786831055
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001786831055
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001786831055
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001786831055
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001786831055
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001340123291
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001340123291
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001340123291
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001340123291
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5001340123291
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001340123291
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001340123291
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5000893415528
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000893415528
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000893415528
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000893415528
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000893415528
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000893415528
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000893415528
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000893415528
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000446707764
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000446707764
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000446707764
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000446707764
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000446707764
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000446707764
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000446707764
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999553292236
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999106584472
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998659876709
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998213168945
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794224401858
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4788417200929
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4767973333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4764580246583
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4764133538819
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4728027200929
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4672923908693
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668903538819
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4654482835701
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4504467077638
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.447180199589
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4454267570803
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452034031984
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447566954346
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446673538819
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444886707764
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4390047286697
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4375893415528
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4289730369874
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288836954346
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287050123291
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4287050123291
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286156707764
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
1.4242866707764
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.4162337447512
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4112834278567
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4105686954346
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.406414818726
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4051902219244
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.401083014652
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.4004020369874
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003126954346
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002680246583
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4002007877245
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4001786831055
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001786831055
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.4001340123291
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000893415528
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000446707764
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000446707764
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.3971376954346
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3949664278567
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3947430739748
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.3938163110873
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3930493365496
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3929987114268
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3922393082284
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.389603732422
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892910369874
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3891123538819
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3877419543465
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3851957200929
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.3831408680425
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.382836007326
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3793272095953
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.377367551148
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3765230959528
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3758817854016
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3756033055481
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3752680246583
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751786831055
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.3751340123291
Road Trip West Third Brand
1.3750446707764
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3750446707764
Jardind Du Luxembourg C. Darvin
1.3750446707764
Losanges C. Darvin

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