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

1.5041462846494
Surreal Garden Avon
1.5036338225017
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5028418355462
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5020498485907
The Lover Gap
1.5020032611228
Kate by Kate Moss Luxury Edition Kate Moss
1.5018169112509
Solinotes Patchouli Arno Sorel
1.501677148847
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.501677148847
Zizanie Fragonard
1.501583973911
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.501537386443
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5013976240391
Zen Gold Elixir Shiseido
1.5009783368274
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.5009317493594
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5009317493594
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5005124621477
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5005124621477
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003726997438
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003726997438
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003261122758
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002795248078
Ponant Charrier Parfums
1.5002795248078
Magnetic for Him Mexx
1.5002795248078
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5002795248078
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5002795248078
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5002795248078
Vixen Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002329373399
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5002329373399
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5002329373399
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002329373399
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.5002329373399
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001863498719
Aqua Alba Angela Flanders
1.5001863498719
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001863498719
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001863498719
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001863498719
Patchouly Rosso Il Profumi di Firenze
1.5001863498719
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5001863498719
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001397624039
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5001397624039
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001397624039
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001397624039
Bohemian Wedding Rich Hippie
1.5001397624039
Black OUD Illuminum
1.5001397624039
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001397624039
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001397624039
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.5000931749359
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5000931749359
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000931749359
Maravilla Bvlgari
1.5000931749359
Widow Queen Teufels Kuche
1.5000931749359
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000931749359
Desire Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000931749359
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000931749359
Terra Rossa Salvatore Ferragamo
1.5000931749359
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5000931749359
Nuits de Noho Chandelier Bond No 9
1.500046587468
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.500046587468
Vivara Turquoise Edition Emilio Pucci
1.500046587468
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.500046587468
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.500046587468
French Mastic Queen B
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Sandalwood Farfalla
1.5
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dance of Death Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Cherry Mary Greenwell
1.5
Basha Khan Queen B
1.5
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5
Anne Bonny Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
To A Woman Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.4999068250641
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999068250641
Mary Read Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998602375961
Hetairae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4835774360587
Forsaken True Blood
1.48
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4794722741672
A*Men Summer Flash Thierry Mugler
1.4764695248078
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4728683333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4728276370836
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4711936370836
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4673192245516
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.4671328746797
Rock & Republic Eau de Toilette Spray for Women Rock & Republic
1.4668999373399
ArbitRary Ayala Moriel
1.465533947822
Thundra Profumum Roma
1.4546847624039
Night Flower Milton Lloyd
1.445894263918
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4453291618915
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4452359869555
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4447701122758
Lumia Slava Zaitsev
1.4446769373399
Agenda Eclectic Collections
1.444490587468
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4408817223387
Midnight Poison Christian Dior
1.4403726997438
KIORI KIÖRI
1.4333171618915
Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Her Air-Val International
1.4290368746797
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4289902872117
New Experience Man Tom Tailor
1.4289902872117
DKNY Be Delicious Art Men Donna Karan
1.4288971122758
Jeans Spirit! for Him Replay
1.4287107624039
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.428617587468
Gai Mattiolo Man`s Gai Mattiolo
1.428617587468
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche
1.428571
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.428571
Sabia Syed Junaid Alam
1.428571
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.4162701618915
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4105821122758
Patchouli Princesse Hippie Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4065323237829
Stunning Katie Price aka Jordan
1.4021896109946
Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff
1.4007919869555
Rouge Nocturne Terry de Gunzburg
1.4003261122758
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.4002795248078
Six Scents Series Two 6 Toga: Whiskey Caramelise Six Scents
1.4001397624039
Valentina Rosa Assoluto Valentino
1.4000931749359
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4000931749359
555 Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.4000931749359
Patchouli & Black Pepper Bath House
1.400046587468
Marlena Lulu Beauty
1.400046587468
Patchouli Euphoric Teufels Kuche
1.400046587468
Kaja Al Attar
1.3971511122758
Patchouli Empire CB I Hate Perfume
1.3948707493594
Patchouli L`Erbolario
1.3939356790123
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3934887076636
C`est la Fete Patchouli Christian Lacroix
1.3926711125087
Miss Dior Eau De Toilette Christian Dior
1.3924306398789
Ice*Men Thierry Mugler
1.3911757493594
Bohemian Spice April Aromatics
1.3896343994875
Comme des Garcons 2 Love Hurts Comme des Garcons
1.3893548746797
Storia Isabella Rossellini
1.3880624726299
Patchouli Mazzolari
1.3879227102259
Stella in Two Amber Stella McCartney
1.3849876997438
Deher Syed Junaid Alam
1.3832347859306
Mirror Mirror Collection - Miroir des Secrets Thierry Mugler
1.3801397624039
Casanova Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3794497624039
Joop! Homme Extreme Joop!
1.3788193237829
Les Heures de Cartier: L`Heure Defendue VII Cartier
1.3780697705567
Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens
1.3779245590496
Neonatura Cocoon Yves Rocher
1.37593514116
Let It Rock Vivienne Westwood
1.3756056370836
Vanille Des Filles a la Vanille
1.3755801593291
Midnight Bakula The Body Shop
1.3752329373399
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.3751397624039
Color Me Purple Milton Lloyd
1.375046587468
Jardind Du Luxembourg C. Darvin
1.375046587468
Losanges C. Darvin
1.375046587468
Patchouly La Vanille Noir Teufels Kuche
1.3742657964128
Loud for Him Tommy Hilfiger

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