Common Name: Patchouli
Scientific Name: Pogostemon cablin
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Origin: Indonesia, India, Philippines, Malaysia, China and South America
Synonyms: P. patchouli, patchouli, puchaput
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Fresh patchouli essential oil has a sharp, earthy, oriental and sensual fragrance, and needs to age to develop the deeper, earthier aroma of good patchouli oil.
Patchouli essential oil should always be aged and will continue to improve the longer it sits. The colour of the oil will deepen from a light yellowish, pale red to deep, dark amber upon aging, and the oil will become more and more viscous.
Origin and History
Patchouli is a member of the mint family. It is a large (3 feet) perennial mint which grows in tropical climates. It has white flowers and large fragrant leaves. The plant originated in Southeast Asia, and is extensively cultivated in various Indonesian Islands, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, and South America. Patchouli is also known as patchouly, tamala pattra in Sanskrit and guang huo xiang in chinese.
Originally, Patchouli leaves were collected from Sumatra, baled and shipped to France (later to England and the USA).
Patchouli's warm, mellow, earthy scent was especially popular in the 1960’s.
Patchouli is still used today in temples as incense. It is said to assist in grounding and centering the mind prior to meditation. It is also produces a strong connection to the earth as such is an aid to connecting with the natural beauty of our planet.
Method of Extraction
The essential oil of patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of the dried leaves. The leaves need to be shade dried and partially fermented before distilling.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Patchouli is non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising and has no specific contraindications, may cause sensitisation in some individuals.
Patchouli essential oil is a relaxing and soothing essential oil. This essential oil is antiseptic, deordorant and sensual. Patchouli essential oil has regenerative properties making it a highly valuable essential oil for dry, mature, problem or itchy skin.
Patchouli is a popular essential oil for bath and skin care, and it blends nicely with sandalwood, cedarwood, orange, rose, geranium, lavender, vetivert, bergamot, ylang ylang, clary sage and frankincense.