CHYPRE

Type
Natural raw material
Parts used
Dried up leaves
Extraction method
Steam distillation

Penetrating woody, humus, earthy, powerful and heady yet tender.

Deep, warm and powerful, patchouli is an ever-popular perfume ingredient renowned for its heady, hedonistic qualities as both a smooth fixative and intoxicating note. Its heavy, woody facets are incredibly earthy and beautifully structure chypre, woody and ambery accords. It is a particularly penetrative ingredient, permeating a fragrance composition with a unique intensity. Thus, perfumers use this note thoughtfully and with balance in mind.

Production

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, the ever-popular patchouli plant is a perennial bush that grows to a height of 1 meter. Its iconically fragrant, purple petals decorate its tall, green stems. The fragrance of patchouli is captured through a process of steam distillation whereby dry leaves are distilled to obtain essential oil, which is then refined for several months. This process is crucial to ensure the essence loses its bitterness—resulting in the woody, smooth scent we know and love.
Photo by courtesy of Gregorie Mahler © and LMRNaturals (IFF)
Photo by courtesy of Gregorie Mahler © and LMRNaturals (IFF)
Origin
People's republic of china, guatemala, indonesia, philippines
Iconic perfume
Reminiscence
PATCHOULI

Patchouli has gone through the decades by bending to fashions and desires. Being one of the ingredients of the fragrance Chypre de Paris, created by Guerlain in 1909, it is essential in all the perfumes of this new chypre family. It took pride of place, thanks to Reminiscence, in 1970, before the beginnings of niche perfumery. The designer hands patchouli leaves, found in London, to perfumer Henri Sozio: “I want a perfume that smells like this! ". This elegant woody fragrance was quickly adopted by a whole post-68 generation, and remains a bestseller of the brand to this day.

Reminiscence

PATCHOULI

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)

History

Patchouli made its first debut on the European fragrance stage during the Victorian era, with dried patchouli being added to scented sachets, potpourris and its essence being mixed in fragrances. Patchouli enjoyed a brief stint as the symbolic scent of excess, self-indulgence and decadent hedonism. Women who enjoyed patchouli were often fascinated with the likes of Baudelaire and Huysmans—who wrote with an exoticism inherited from the Romantics, and who were known for their influence in the French Decadent movement. Rehabilitated by the carefree hippies of the 60s, patchouli was then reformed again as an influential scent during the “flower power” movement, as its scent relaxes and soothes both body and mind.
Photo by courtesy of Gregorie Mahler © and LMRNaturals (IFF)
Photo by courtesy of Gregorie Mahler © and LMRNaturals (IFF)

Did you know

The penetratingly woody, earthy and heady characteristics of patchouli contributed to its success during the 60s. However, the verdict is out as to whether it was also a convenient disguise to cover the potent scent of marijuana.
The mystical prowess of patchouli extends well beyond the confines of perfumery: it is known to have anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, decongestant, circulatory, invigorating and aphrodisiac properties. In aromatherapy, patchouli is said to regenerate skin cells, while in cosmetics, it is thought to be a revitalizing ingredient in body and skincare.
Photo by courtesy of Gregorie Mahler © and LMRNaturals (IFF)

Some fragrances related to the ingredient

Van Cleef & Arpels | Extraordinaire

PATCHOULI BLANC

WOODY
Van Cleef & Arpels | Extraordinaire

MOONLIGHT PATCHOULI LE PARFUM

CHYPRE / FLORAL
Al Haramain

OUDH PATCHOULI

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Perris Monte Carlo | Black

PATCHOULI NOSY BE

WOODY
WOODY / CITRUS
Dolce & Gabbana

VELVET BLACK PATCHOULI

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Roger & Gallet

L'HOMME PATCHOULI

WOODY / CHYPRE
Laboratorio Olfattivo

PATCHOULIFUL

WOODY / CITRUS
WOODY / CITRUS
Molinard | Les Éléments

VANILLE PATCHOULI

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Reminiscence

PATCHOULI

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Dries Van Noten

CANNABIS PATCHOULI

AROMATIC FOUGERE / CHYPRE
Guerlain | Les Absolus d'Orient

PATCHOULI ARDENT 2020

WOODY
WOODY / CITRUS
Perris Monte Carlo | Extrait

PATCHOULI NOSY BE EXTRAIT

WOODY
Officine del Profumo

PATCHOULI IN LOVE

WOODY
The Library of Fragrance

PATCHOULI

WOODY
WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
The Merchant of Venice | Accordi di Profumo

PATCHOULI INDONESIA

CHYPRE / FLORAL

Musk

Bergamot

Sandalwood

Amber

Vanilla

Jasmine

Cedarwood

Rose

Mandarin

Vetiver

Lemon

Tonka Bean

Iris / Orris

Orange Blossom

Cardamom

Pink Pepper

Lavender

Grapefruit

Woody Notes

Leather

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