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

1.5042468992809
Surreal Garden Avon
1.502847352927
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5021717098596
Forsaken True Blood
1.5021234496405
The Lover Gap
1.5020751894214
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5015925872303
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015443270112
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5015443270112
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.5014960667921
Zizanie Fragonard
1.501447806573
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5011099850393
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5010134646011
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009169441629
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5005308624101
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004343419719
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5003860817528
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003378215337
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5002895613146
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002895613146
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002895613146
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002895613146
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002895613146
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002895613146
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002895613146
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002895613146
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002413010955
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002413010955
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002413010955
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001930408764
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001930408764
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001930408764
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001930408764
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001930408764
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001447806573
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001447806573
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001447806573
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001447806573
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001447806573
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001447806573
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001447806573
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000965204382
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000965204382
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000965204382
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000965204382
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000965204382
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000965204382
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000965204382
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000965204382
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000965204382
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000482602191
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000482602191
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000482602191
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5000482602191
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000482602191
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5000482602191
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5000482602191
002 Alexa Lixfeld
1.5000482602191
French Mastic Queen B
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.4999517397809
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999517397809
Black Patchouli Refan
1.4999034795618
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998552193427
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4869205054775
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.4855864346798
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4763830408764
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4746033333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728493828483
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4716979850393
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.471070602191
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4672943828483
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4669083010955
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.4579634237247
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4453126839438
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452644237247
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4446853010955
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4405008368322
Midnight Poison Dior
1.438211229236
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.436449204382
Patchouli Jalaine
1.429053602191
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4290053419719
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4290053419719
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4289088215337
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287157806573
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286192602191
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
1.4100462821292
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.4090427397809
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4065958883259
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4019786689832
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4014997726461
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.4003378215337
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002895613146
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001447806573
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4000965204382
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.4000965204382
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000482602191
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.4000482602191
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.3972110817528
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3949524646011
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3928869381304
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3916900817528
Pashmina Patchouly Dr. Taffi
1.3911126839438
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3906506131461
Javanese Patchouli Ermenegildo Zegna
1.3896611635056
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3896138982192
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Dior
1.389371602191
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.387944955118
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3849045613146
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.3848212153371
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3839008872641
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3832202302978
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3823124785001
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3813547117417
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3788828883259
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3787642970899
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3786909869215
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.3757721635056
Singosari Molton Brown
1.3755308624101
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3752895613146
Twiggy Twiggy
1.3752413010955
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3750965204382
Comme d’Habitude Histoires D`Eaux
1.3750482602191
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3696256689832
Chile Vanilli Smell Bent
1.3682570737416
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3680182861348
Vanille Patchouli Laurence Dumont
1.3668919292023
Gothic I Loree Rodkin
1.3661783230056
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3608686839438
Comme Une Evidence 10 Ans Yves Rocher
1.3602413010955
Patchouli Envoutant Les Petits Plaisirs
1.3594399401573
La Collection Couturier Parfumeur Patchouli Imperial Dior
1.3574325613146
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.3552092302978
Miss Dior Cherie Extrait de Parfum Dior
1.3539544646011
Chakra 1 Motivation Aveda
1.3536649032865
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.3532286986632
Miss Dior (new) Dior
1.3515443270112
Patchoulissime Keiko Mecheri
1.3489820029439
Patchouli Leaves Montale
1.3481740219101
Hindu Grass Nasomatto
1.3458675135853
Chance Chanel
1.3436291635056
Promenade In The Gardens Maison Martin Margiela

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