Patchouli FragrancesPogostemon cablin | Woods And Mosses
Patchouli is a beautiful, bushy green herb from the mint family. It belongs to the genus Pogostemon and grows up to two or three feet in height. The herb is adorned with delicate pinkish-white flowers and aromatic leaves that have been used for centuries in perfumery due to their excellent and powerful scent. Patchouli is native to the tropics of Asia, but it grows well in all warm to tropical climates. Nowadays, several varieties of the genus Pogostemon are cultivated throughout Asia, West Africa, and South America for their aromatic oil known as patchouli oil.
The birth of patchouli: from Indonesia to Coty's chypre scents!
Patchouli is a tropical plant cultivated in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The plant has long stems that can reach up to a meter in height. However, do not look for an odor there because it is the drying and then the treatment of its leaves that will create the fabulous fragrance of patchouli. After distillation, the essence of patchouli obtained will release the earthy and humid scent of its Asian roots and an airy camphor freshness. For some, patchouli gives off the delicious smells of a cork of wine.
If patchouli was used for a long time as a raw material in perfumery for its incredible virtues of stability and binding material, it was put in the spotlight thanks to the fashion for chypre perfumes, relaunched by Coty in 1917 thanks to its famous "Cyprus."
Indeed, the range of contemporary chypre perfumes (20th-century chypres) is essentially composed of bergamot, jasmine, oakmoss, rose, labdanum, and of course, patchouli!
"Even when we had not yet mastered molecular distillation, and despite its hints of moldy mushroom, we never did without patchouli," explains Jean-Michel Duriez, exclusive perfumer of the Maison Patou. "
From patchouli from the hippie years to modern fragrances
Patchouli is, of course, for many of us, the symbol of the 70s "peace and love." A fragrance adopted purely for its vegetal and Asian roots by many hippies in search of exoticism! So much so that its massive use even ends up tiring lovers of this yet so delicate scent.
It was also born from this love story between supporters of peace and patchouli, a 1970 perfume now cult of the Reminiscence brand called "Patchouli."
A few years later, we found patchouli in new accords that were much less heady than the essences used before. We discovered by the same that patchouli goes divinely well with many different chords. Patchouli is particularly suited to oriental, woody, or even leathery notes.
The first fragrance to once again put patchouli in the spotlight was, of course, the famous Angel by Thierry Mugler in 1993. The innovative and cult fragrance of the house of Mugler alone contains 30% pure patchouli essence! No one could therefore ignore it! It will appear after that in many great perfumes for women of course, but also men.
One might think that patchouli is exclusively reserved for feminine fragrances. While its undeniable advantage lies in that its power and its scent exhale as well on a woman's skin as on a man's skin. Thus many male perfumes have notes of patchouli, such as "Black XS" by Paco Rabanne, the patchouli governing spicy flavors, in "Polo Black" by Ralph Lauren or even in "Midnight" by Daniel Hechter, where patchouli is note dominates citrus and sandalwood.