Patchouli, or more specifically its essential oil, is one of the most used ingredients in perfumery. In this article you will discover all the details about this plant, which was once one of the most recognized hippie symbols.
What is Patchouli?
Patchouli is a plant native to Asia that belongs to the mint family. In fact, it has saw-shaped leaves that are reminiscent of common mint and, like these, are very aromatic. They give off an intense and perfectly recognizable smell, so it is from them that patchouli essential oil is obtained.
In order for patchouli to fully develop and acquire that characteristic smell, it needs to grow in a warm, tropical climate. For this reason, it is mainly grown in places like Indonesia, China, Thailand, Madagascar, etc.
In ancient times, Chinese merchants collected patchouli leaves, allowed them to dry for several days, and then wrapped them in the silks they traded with. In this way, the scent of patchouli acted as a protection against moths and prevented them from eating the fabrics, but at the same time it remained impregnated in them. Thus, the scent of patchouli ended up becoming a representation of luxury and exoticism all along the silk road.
Today, its smell is widely associated with the hippie movement, since during the 60s and 70s many of them made pilgrimage to India and other parts of Asia, where they discovered its fantastic aroma and decided to adopt it as a symbol of their lifestyle. . (And, make no mistake, they also found it to be great at masking the smell of marijuana)
Patchouli oil is one of the most used ingredients in perfumery, not only because of its incredible smell, but also because it is capable of acting as a fixative. That is to say, when mixed with the rest of the ingredients, it makes the aroma of the perfume last longer.
Its smell is intense, slightly sweet, with touches of earth, musky and a little woody. It is no coincidence that it is normally used as a base note in the most elegant and mature perfumes, since it conveys a depth that is difficult to match.
Being so intense, it can be diluted in different proportions depending on the aroma you want to achieve. When slightly diluted, its aroma is strong, woody and herbal, while in small concentrations it brings out its sweet side, even a little floral.
Patchouli is found in most fragrances of the Chypre olfactory family, usually in combination with bergamot. It is no coincidence that this is the case, since patchouli has the amazing ability to add herbal volume to any perfume, which makes those who smell it feel as if they were in the middle of a mountain forest.
In order to use patchouli in making perfumes, it is first necessary to extract its oil. To do this, first the leaves are collected, then they are left to dry in the shade for 3 days and, finally, they are subjected to a distillation process through which the oil is obtained.
In these 3 perfumes the scent of patchouli can be precisely identified, since the essence used to make them is natural and of very high quality.
For men: Bottega Venneta Pour Homme
For woman: Coromandel chanel
Unisex: Dolce Gabbana Velvet Patchouli