Originating from Southeast Asia, Patchouli is a bushy perennial herb grown in tropical regions around the world.
Historically, Patchouli oil has been used for centuries for medicinal, insecticide and culinary uses. In the 19th century, cloth exported from India was packaged with dried Patchouli leaves to prevent moth damage. This gave the material a unique fragrance, which was greatly appreciated by the Victorians. In 1960s America, it was then widely adopted by the hippy movement for its natural scent.
Patchouli oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves, either using relatively fresh young leaves or leaves that have been dried and stored for several months. Solvent extraction is also used to create Patchouli absolute.
Patchouli has been used for hundreds of years in ancient medicine and aromatherapy. Studies have found Patchouli oil to have several medicinal properties, including being antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and aiding mood improvement.
Used primarily as a Base Note