Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a large perennial that is a member of the labiatae family, which includes lavender, mint and sage. Its origin is traced to Southeast Asia, and is extensively cultivated in various Indonesian Islands, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, and South America. The oil extracted from the leaves of the plant is well-known for its deep, earthy and musky fragrance. While it is used extensively around the world, the aroma of Patchouli is nowadays often associated with the very poor quality or synthetic fragranced used in the 60s. Because of this, some people have strong aversion to it. Regardless of your personal opinion, it is important to remember that there is so much more to this oil than just its scent.
Patchouli has long been used in skin care for its ability to help alleviate such issues as acne-prone conditions, eczema, inflammation, and cracked, chapped, irritated skin. It is often found in anti-aging skin care for its cell-rejuvenating properties and its ability to lessen the look of scars. Patchouli’s anti-fungal properties make it useful in treating athlete’s foot, and for hair it helps alleviate signs of dandruff and balance oiliness.
The nervous system definitely benefits from the aromatherapeutic scent of Patchouli. It helps reduce tension, insomnia and anxiety, while uplifting the mind. Its deep, rich, intoxicating aroma has also been used as an aphrodisiac. Maybe the “love children” of the 60s were on to something! It is used today to scent textiles, to help repel insects, and is used extensively in the flavoring industry. And although the undiluted aroma of Patchouli is oftentimes unpopular, when it is used in small amounts it adds depth and beauty to almost any blend. As a base note and fixative in natural perfumery, nothing beats Patchouli. This is truly one multifaceted oil.
Eden Botanicals offers a unique variety of Patchouli’s. Our Patchouli, Dark is steam distilled and has the depth and richness expected from aged Patchouli. Our Patchouli, Light (formerly Patchouli, Iron-Free) is much like Patchouli, Dark, but with lighter notes and color, and we offer an Organic Patchouli from Sri Lanka as well. We also have a couple of unique types of Patchouli not often found. Our Patchouli, Double Distilled is lighter in color than conventional Patchouli and during the second distillation, removes sharp edges from the scent. This type of Patchouli is perfect for natural perfumery, as it is virtually colorless with a smoother aroma. And lastly, our Patchouli CO2 is produced using a fairly new method of high pressure, low heat extraction. This renders an aroma profile that is broader and quite different from the other Patchouli’s.
We also offer Patchouli Amber Spice, one of our Essence Blends, diluted and ready-to-use directly on the skin as a natural perfume. If you are not sure which Patchouli is right for you we now offer a Patchouli Sampler Packs for an easy, affordable way to try and compare the oils before committing to a larger purchase.
Whatever your current opinion of Patchouli, we’re sure to have one that will be a richly rewarding addition to your blends!