Less is more here. Earthy and musky, I find that people either love the scent or steer clear of it.
Patchouli was used on Asian trade routes, its leaves packed between layers of valuable silk cloth, carpets and other exotic objects to help repel moths from laying eggs. In fact, if a silk or a carpet didn’t smell like patchouli, merchants along the trade routes doubted its credibility, indelibly linked with all that is authentically exotic. Throughout the ages, patchouli oil has been used as an incense. The oil gained popularity in the 60's and 70's mainly because of the hippie generation. That's what many people are reminded of when they think of patchouli - counterculture, anti-establishment and flower children.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a plant native to East and Southeast Asia, a member of the labiatae family which includes mint, lavender and sage. The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves, becoming richer and stronger with age just like a fine wine. It is widely used as a base note in perfume blends with its strong yet sweet and earthy fragrance. Even if you're not a fan, a small amount in a blend not only "fixes" or holds a fragrance longer, its intense aroma is minimized and can be quite complementary.
Properties of Patchouli Essential Oil
- Anti-depressant / balances emotions, reducing feelings of anxiety and sadness
- Natural insecticide repelling moths and ants
- Astringent, helps tighten loose skin
- Cell regenerator, a valuable ingredient for vibrant, young looking skin
- Aphrodisiac, stimulating hormones
- Reduces inflammation
- Anti-fungal and anti-septic
I admit that I am a patch fan. I love growing it, I love wearing it, I love working with it! I adore its mysterious, sensual scent.
If you are not a patchouli lover, I would suggest trying it in a blend. Our Lavender Patch scented products have a unisex fragrance and are enjoyed by many who don't like patchouli on its own. Whether it is in our soap, body oil or candle, the patchouli scent successfully rounds out the calming, herbaceous scents of lavender and geranium. I do hope you give them a try.
Please note: In addition to the Lavender Patch line, there are other soap and body care products which contain patchouli. Just type "patchouli" in the Search box, and the products will show up for you.