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

1.5056702592737
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5032030472233
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5025537808943
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5021209366749
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.502034367831
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.502034367831
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5019477989871
The Lover Gap
1.5017746612994
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5016880924555
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016448080336
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5012985326581
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5011253949704
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5009089728607
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5008224040168
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.500692550751
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.5006059819071
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.5005626974852
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5004761286413
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5004328442194
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003895597974
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003895597974
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5003895597974
Mix 11 Platinum J
1.5003462753755
JLS Kiss JLS
1.5003462753755
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5003462753755
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003462753755
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003029909536
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002597065316
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5002597065316
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002597065316
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5002597065316
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002164221097
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5002164221097
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002164221097
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5002164221097
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002164221097
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5002164221097
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002164221097
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001731376877
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001731376877
Patchouly Rosso I Profumi di Firenze
1.5001731376877
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001731376877
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5001298532658
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5001298532658
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001298532658
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001298532658
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001298532658
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001298532658
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001298532658
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001298532658
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000865688439
Soul Radar Berlin Eudora
1.5000865688439
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000865688439
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000865688439
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5000865688439
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000865688439
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000432844219
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.5000432844219
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.5000432844219
French Mastic Queen B
1.5000432844219
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000432844219
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.4999567155781
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999567155781
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999134311561
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998701467342
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998268623123
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.485905367831
Forsaken True Blood
1.4799567155781
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794296793923
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4764497065316
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4757123333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4727846974852
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4672729819071
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4668834221097
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.454545
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4507787628014
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4504328442194
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4453962572826
Miss Dior Esprit de Parfum Christian Dior
1.4453962572826
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452664040168
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4450066974852
Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod Molton Brown
1.4447469909536
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446604221097
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.4444872844219
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4441255024456
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4376551009826
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4375865688439
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4336792753755
Lord of Misrule Lush
1.4289605597974
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288739909536
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287008532658
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.4287008532658
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286142844219
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
1.4233574040168
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4233367065316
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.4220052572826
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4214858442194
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4186416873566
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.4167968532658
Classic Scent Musgo Real
1.4105589909536
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4064068080336
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4008014280829
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.4005626974852
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4003029909536
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002597065316
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001731376877
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4001731376877
Cymbelline The Cotswold Perfumery
1.4001298532658
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.4001298532658
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.4000865688439
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.4000865688439
Italiano Nero Armaf
1.4000865688439
S. Privée Eudora
1.4000432844219
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.3949345417045
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.394588266329
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3944274936155
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.393001020084
Surreal Garden Avon
1.3929532140415
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3898597175691
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.389581550751
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3892785597974
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3891487065316
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.3877314783794
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3866371306324
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger
1.3847373225988
Nombril Immense Etat Libre d`Orange
1.3831595055188
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3801324040168
Lily Prune Musk Patchouli Ulric de Varens
1.3798092140415
Patchouli Patch L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.3794296432065
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3790909909536
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3782463316452
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3753029909536
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751731376877
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd

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