It’s fascinating how our olfactory and aromatic memory associates the deep lasting scent of patchouli with its bad reputation from the hippie culture. For some of us, old enough to remember, Patchouli brings back memories of the sixties. During the Environmental Movement of the 1960’s patchouli oil was favoured over the more commercial perfumes on the market. Sometimes known as the hippie scent because of its smoky, spicy and earthy yet undoubtedly musky scent.
You may be surprised to hear that patchouli is used in a number of perfumes due to its strength as a long-lasting deep base note. It’s a staple in the fragrance industry today acting as a fixative in numerous perfumes.
Found in Michael Kors Men Eau de Toilette alongside bergamot, star anise, thyme and sandalwood. Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere Black with black cherry and smooth praline. Clinique Aromatics in White patchouli is blended with rose water, Sichuan pepper and orange flower. One of our favourites is its appearance in Lancome La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Toilette with magnolia, blackberry, pear and iris.
Patchouli dates back thousands of years. Textiles, spice and exquisite items would make the journey west along the trade routes known as silk road. The fragrant leaves of the patchouli plant were packed in the trunks containing carpets, silks and worldly treasures to repel insects and protect commodities from moths. The strong and musky aroma of patchouli indistinguishably linked with the exotic treasures from the Far East. The scent became so well known that if fabrics or carpets didn’t have the fragrance of patchouli it was rejected by merchants as a fake.
Patchouli oil is undoubtedly one of the most polarising of all the essential oils due to its misunderstood reputation from the 60’s.
This oil is unique to a lot of essential oils on the market in that, just like wine, cheese and scotch it gets better with age. As it ages the viscosity and colour of the oil gets deeper and its rich earthy notes intensify. It’s for this very reason that the essential oil of patchouli is such an important component within so many perfumes on the market today. If you’re looking to include patchouli essential oil in cosmetic, fragrance or personal care applications to only people to contact are Aromatic Ingredients.