Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae
Description: Patchouli is an aromatic, perennial shrub with large green leaves and white- pink flowers. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the dried, fermented leaves.
Countries of origin: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China, Mauritius
Characteristics: Patchouli is dark orange and viscous with warm, rich, sweet, spicy, woody top notes and earthy, herbaceous, musky, balsamic undertones. It blends well with lavender, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, rose, neroli, jasmine, ylang ylang, lemon, bergamot, geranium, clove, myrrh, frankincense and clary sage.
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrizant, cytophylactic, deodorant, fungicide, insecticide, sedative,
Patchouli is the ‘hippy’ essential oil, much used in the 1960s and early 1970s as a perfume, to mask the unpleasant odour of Afghan coats and disguise
the smell of marijuana! It has always been extensively used in perfumes and deodorants, and to protect clothes and carpets from insect damage. Patchouli
is a powerful aphrodisiac, and adds a sensuous, erotic, oriental note to mood perfumes, although not everyone likes its distinctive scent. Overall, patchouli is relaxing, uplifting and sensual.
Excellent in skin care, patchouli heals inflammation, dermatitis, sores, eczema and other skin conditions, and is particularly suited to mature and oily skins. It helps to regenerate healthy new skin cells and, when blended with wheatgerm oil, reduces the visibility of scar tissue. Patchouli makes a good addition to base shampoo and conditioner, helping to alleviate dandruff.
Psychologically, patchouli is soothing, stabilizing and slightly hypnotic. It is excellent for reducing stress and for alleviating anxiety and depression. It is good in massage oils, and helps those who are overly intellectual, bringing them in touch with their earthy, sensual nature. Patchouli grounds those who get lost in daydreams. It is also good in meditations for calming too many thoughts, and generally for grounding and centring.