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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patchouli Perfumes

1.5093637020969
Patchouli Absolu Tom Ford
1.5038322487346
Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra Jeanne Arthes
1.5034345625452
Patchouli Santa Maria Novella
1.5024222704266
Zizanie Fragonard
1.5022415039769
Patchouly Indonesiano Farmacia SS. Annunziata
1.5022053506869
Brutus Orto Parisi
1.5016630513377
The Lover Gap
1.5016630513377
Patchouli Solinotes
1.5016268980477
Patchouli The Body Shop
1.5015907447578
Velvet Patchouli Dolce&Gabbana
1.5013738250181
BOSS The Collection Cashmere & Patchouli Hugo Boss
1.5012292118583
A*Men Summer Flash Mugler
1.5011569052784
Patchouli Molinard
1.5010122921186
Live Joyously Philosophy
1.5008676789588
Tramp Lush
1.5008315256688
Fashion Decree Woman Atkinsons
1.5007592190889
H&M Comme des Garcons
1.500686912509
Stardust Oriflame
1.5006146059291
Herbessence Helena Rubinstein
1.5005784526392
Beyond Victoria`s Secret
1.5005784526392
Patchouli Arawak Ligne St. Barth
1.5004699927693
Blackbird Meshaz Natural Perfumes
1.5004338394794
Patchouli Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003976861894
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5003253796095
Anise Patchouli Compagnie de Provence
1.5003253796095
Patchouli C.O.Bigelow
1.5003253796095
Dianoche Passion Daisy Fuentes
1.5003253796095
Essence of Arabia Patchouli Syed Junaid Alam
1.5003253796095
Bodhi Sativa (Patchouli project no.1) DSH Perfumes
1.5002892263196
Bohème Alkemia Perfumes
1.5002530730296
Tunisian Patchouli Kuumba Made
1.5002530730296
Patchouli Companhia da Terra
1.5002530730296
Ravenous Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002530730296
Patchouly Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.5002169197397
Patchouli TerraNova
1.5002169197397
No. IX Patchouli Rose Mad et Len
1.5001807664497
Flowerbomb Fairy Tale Viktor&Rolf
1.5001807664497
Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.5001807664497
Patchouly Teufels Kuche
1.5001807664497
Patchouly Pure Sin Teufels Kuche
1.5001807664497
Cherie Hoity Toity
1.5001807664497
Patchouli Molinard
1.5001807664497
Mitti Arte Profumi
1.5001446131598
Patchouli Queen B
1.5001446131598
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5001446131598
Erdbeermund Teufels Kuche
1.5001446131598
Intense Patchouli La Maison de la Vanille
1.5001084598698
Patchouli & Rose Suhad Perfumes
1.5001084598698
Patchouli Les Ecuadors
1.5001084598698
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5001084598698
Patchouli & Musc Blanc Accord Parfait
1.5001084598698
Patchouli Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000723065799
Depraved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000723065799
Black Patchouli Refan
1.5000723065799
Masquerade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000723065799
Patchouly Incubus Teufels Kuche
1.5000723065799
Master JoJo Handsome London
1.5000723065799
Patchouli Mercyful Almond Teufels Kuche
1.5000723065799
Patchouli Avon
1.5000723065799
Patchouli Rose Scent by the Sea
1.5000723065799
Power Instinct Airness
1.5000723065799
Mix 13 Platinum J
1.5000723065799
Patchouli Anglia Perfumery
1.5000723065799
Bleu Magador Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5000723065799
Patchoulissimo Les Ecuadors
1.5000723065799
04 Forest Patchouli Fred Segal
1.5000723065799
Pomegranate Patchouli Voluspa
1.5000361532899
Demonic Slayer Teufels Kuche
1.5000361532899
Lonach Castle Forbes
1.5000361532899
XVII Patchouli Secret RPL
1.5000361532899
Patchouli Crisp Pear Teufels Kuche
1.5000361532899
Patchouli Coconut Junky Teufels Kuche
1.5000361532899
Ippi Patchouli Carrement Belle
1.5000361532899
Mind Matter Tromborg
1.5000361532899
Cuir Patchouli Elie Saab
1.5000361532899
Piccolo Amor Cerchi Nell’Acqua
1.5000361532899
Unholy Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Soul Ne`emah For Fragrance & Oudh
1.5
Patchouli Spicy Cinnamon Teufels Kuche
1.5
Blood Edition - Holy Vampire Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Saint Charles Shave
1.5
Amour de Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Fogos Ésika
1.5
Patchouly Lavandula Teufels Kuche
1.5
Dark Patchouli Scent by the Sea
1.5
Patchouli Passion Charme Essência
1.5
Haraayer Reehat Al Atoor
1.5
Jungle Code Bi-es
1.5
Paris - Saint-Honore Stephanie de Bruijn - Parfum sur Mesure
1.5
Sexy Patchouli Harvey Prince
1.5
Patchouli Shadow Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.5
Patchouli Les Petits Plaisirs
1.5
No. 2 Aromatologic
1.5
Flambee Dilis Parfum
1.5
Merci Intense Jequiti
1.5
Scorpio Ajne
1.5
Unveiled Red Pearl
1.5
Patchouli YanFroloff Perfumer
1.5
Argonaut STILLLIFE
1.5
Une Vie en Or pour Homme Frederic M
1.5
Blood Edition - Gothic Poison Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Patchouli Vintage The Merchant of Venice
1.4999638467101
192 Light Refan
1.4999638467101
Oui, mais il a aime Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999638467101
Patchouli Love Ulric de Varens
1.4999276934201
Burial Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4998915401302
Oriental Rose Vertus
1.4997830802603
Azraq Dua Fragrances
1.4886726789588
Marrakech Patchouli E Ginger Tesori d`Oriente
1.4883834526392
Cristina Hilde Soliani
1.4804338394794
Patchouli Coconut Musk Victoria`s Secret
1.4767213333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.4762174772234
Voleur de Roses L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.4726919927693
Vintage Naturals 2009 Patchouli Demeter Fragrance
1.4707326131598
Nue au Soleil Prada
1.4700585328995
Musk Denim
1.4674623723789
ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli Crazylibellule and the Poppies
1.4671731460593
Patchouli Leaves Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4617549197397
Rendezvous Night Urban Retreat
1.4616103065799
Kanion Classic Pollena Ewa
1.4585137664497
Wanton Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.458333
Tribal Arte Profumi
1.4576129927693
Patchouli Intense Molinard
1.4546534598698
Mix 10 Platinum J
1.4546173065799
Rodolfo Teatro Fragranze Uniche
1.4545811532899
Patchouli Lost Dragon Teufels Kuche
1.4448055328995
Mysterieuse? Vanille Patchouli Sephora
1.4445163065799
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.444444
Vanille Intime Secret Des Filles a la Vanille
1.444444
City Rain Neil Morris
1.4415013796095
Patchouli Tendre Soupir Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4404699927693
Genuine Patchouli Melvita
1.4391324598698
Road Trip West Third Brand
1.4382592190889
Patchouli Jalaine
1.4375
Black Shark Paris Elysees
1.4365906644975
Nightfall Patchouli Carolina Herrera
1.4362946861894
Caoba Fueguia 1833
1.4335860730296
Ambra e Iris Dr. Vranjes Firenze
1.4290048394794
Patchouli Murdock London
1.4289686861894
Jivago 7 Elements Jivago
1.4288963796095
Lily Theo Parfums
1.4287156131598
100 E. Marinella
1.4286794598698
Patchouli Woman Bjork and Berries
1.4286433065799
No.6 Patchouli Spice Angela Flanders
1.4286433065799
Patchouli Rain Scent by the Sea
1.4286433065799
Patchouli Man Bjork and Berries
1.4286433065799
Patchouly Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4286071532899
Patchouli Süßes Blut Teufels Kuche

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