Patchouli – a rich, sweet, and earthy fragrance note

Patchouli is an exotic bush from the mint family with pinkish-white flowers. It grows mainly in India and has a very strong aroma. It’s been used for its scent since antiquity in perfumery, incense, and in insect repellents. The essential oil is extracted from the plant through steam distillation of its leaves. Apart from perfumery, patchouli oil is also used for its health benefits – it is used as an antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, sedative, etc.

An interesting fact about patchouli is that it was brought to Europe thanks to the famous conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte. He brought to France a few cashmere shawls that were patchouli-scented. During the hippie era in Europe and America (the 1960s and 1970s) patchouli got its bad reputation as hippies were great admirers of the scent, but they wore very bad synthetic formulations of the fragrance. Another fact worth mentioning is that (like wine) patchouli oil gets better with aging.

patchouli in perfumes

Patchouli note is widely used in modern perfumery as a fixative and as a base note for its rich, sweet, earthy aroma. Its profile, however, highly depends on the cultivation process, the harvest time, the drying process, the distillation techniques, and the skills of the grower. Patchouli blends well with vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, clove, lavender, rose, labdanum, etc.


Here are some of our famous patchouli perfumes:

  • Tom Ford White Patchouli EDP for women – launched in September 2008, this sensuous perfume is a modern retro-classic fragrance. The combination of patchouli and white flowers contributes to the sophisticated essence of the perfume. The top notes in it include bergamot and its heart opens with rose and jasmine. The base notes behind the fragrance are patchouli, incense, and wooden notes.
  • Dior Homme EDT for menthis woody-flowery musk fragrance is perfect for the elegant man who is strict, romantic, and confident at the same time. The perfume is classic, but it also has a modern touch to it. The nose behind this fragrance is Olivier Polge. He builds the perfume around amber, vetiver, patchouli, and leather for a luxurious and markedly masculine feel.
  • Armani Si EDP for womenthis is a new fragrance (it was launched in 2013). Here’s what Giorgio Armani says about the perfume: “Sì is my tribute to modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independent spirit.” Soft and intense at the same time, this fragrance is made for the elegant and unique woman.
  • Chanel Coco Mademoiselle EDT for womenthis modern oriental fragrance was launched in 2002. Its distinct feminine composition features orange, grapefruit, and bergamot in its top notes. Its floral heart reveals litchi, pure rose extract and pure Italian jasmine extract. Its base notes add to the richness of the perfume with a combination of patchouli, vetiver, Bourbon vanilla, and white musk.
  • Dior Fahrenheit EDT for menlaunched back in 1988, this is a classic musk men’s fragrance. It is full of controversies: it’s hot and cold, delicate and powerful, gentle and wild at the same time. Its masculine aroma is based on leather, tonka beans, amber, patchouli, musk, and vetiver. Its character is so specific that you will either love it or hate it.

Are you a fan of patchouli? Which is your favorite patchouli fragrance?


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