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Botanical Spotlight: Patchouli

Find out more about patchouli in our Botanical Spotlight series, where we delve into the scientific and olfactory roots of our botanicals.

3 min read

CRANBOURN® luxury fragrances are packed with thoughtfully hand-picked botanicals from all around the globe. It is so important to us to discover and utilise botanicals in the most effective way possible, ensuring our fragrance collection stays high quality, timeless and recognisable.

In our Botanical Spotlight series, we will delve into the scientific, cultural and olfactory roots of the key botanicals from our fragrance collections.

One notably distinctive fragrance is patchouli, from the family Lamiaceae, genus Pogostemon and species P. cablin. The patchouli plant is a bushy, evergreen perennial herb native to Southeast Asia. It is grown in tropical regions around the world, and it has fragrant leaves and white flowers with purple hues.

The scent of the 60s

The first thing that springs to mind when it comes to the scent of patchouli is most likely that it was hippies’ fragrance of choice in the 1960s. The earthy scent is synonymous with hippy culture, favoured due to its strong natural aroma.

However, its history stretches long before that.

Tutankhamun was buried with patchouli oil in his tomb, the Romans used the plant as an appetite stimulant, in the 19th century it was used in exported packages to prevent moth damage, and early European traders even exchanged patchouli for gold.

In short, it has been popular for several reasons throughout history– but now it is favoured for its aromatherapy benefits and unique scent.

Earthy goodness

Not only does patchouli have a grounding, earthy scent, but it also has many natural properties–  including being antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and aiding mood improvement.

To extract the oil, the leaves are harvested and dried, before the oil is steam extracted and distilled.

Its musky scent is used primarily as a base note, and pairs beautifully with several other oriental, woody or sweet scents. Patchouli acts as a grounding, earthy base in our English Garden Party™ fragrance, complementing lighter floral notes of rose, lavender and lily.

To delve deeper into the history, biology and uses of the diverse botanicals in CRANBOURN® fragrances, explore our extensive botanicals directory.

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