The warm, spicy, musky and sensuous scent of Patchouli Essential Oil is commonly associated with the hippy generation and referred to as “the scent of the sixties.” This oil is derived from the leaves of the highly-valued Patchouli plant, which belongs to a family of other well-known aromatic plants, including Lavender, Mint, and Sage. Patchouli is native to and extensively cultivated in tropical regions such as Brazil, Hawaii, and Asian regions like China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In the Asian countries, it was traditionally used in folk medicine to treat hair problems like dandruff and oily scalp, as well as skin irritations like dryness, acne, and eczema.
Although its use was widespread in the 1960s, it began to be used hundreds of years earlier; its high value inspired early European traders to exchange Patchouli for gold. One pound of Patchouli was worth one pound of gold. It was also believed that the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, better known as “King Tut,” was buried with 10 gallons of Patchouli Essential Oil inside his tomb. Having been used to scent Indian fabrics such as fine silks and shawls to rid them of moths and other insects in the 1800s, Patchouli Oil is believed to have received its name from the Hindi word “pacholi,” meaning “to scent.” Another theory states that its name comes from the Ancient Tamil words “patchai" and "ellai,” meaning “green leaf.” The story goes that the scent of Patchouli Oil became the standard by which fabrics would be judged as being true “Oriental” fabrics. Even English and French clothing makers would scent their fabrics with artificial Patchouli Oil to boost clothing sales.
There are 3 species of Patchouli, which are calledPogostemon Cablin, Pogostemon Heyneanus,andPogostemon Hortensis. Of these, theCablinspecies is the most popular and is the one cultivated for its essential oil, as its therapeutic properties lend it a relative superiority over other species.
The main chemical constituents of Patchouli Oil are:
Country of Origin: Indonesia Botanical Name: Pogostemon Cablin Family Name: Lamiaceae INCI: Pogostemon Cablin Oil Common Names: P. patchouly, P. patchouli, Pogostemon cablin, Puchaput Parts Used: Leaf Extraction Method: Steam Distilled Scent: Medium, Warm, Earthy with Fresh Fruit Tone