Patchouli was first described by botanists in the Philippines in 1845. The
plant originated in Southeast Asia and is extensively cultivated in various
Indonesian Islands, India, Philippines, Malaysia, China and South America .
Today growing interest in its fragrance has led to patchouli's widespread
cultivation throughout tropical Asia. The name "patchouli" ("patch"
meaning leaf and "ilia" meaning green) originates from India.
Description of Patchouli :
Patchouli is a member of the mint family. It is a large 3 feet perennial
mint which grows in tropical climates. Patchouli oil has a rich musky-sweet,
strong spicy and herbaceous smell. It is light yellow to dark brown in color
and is a thick oil.
Heavy, exotic, rich, balsamic, herbaceous
Patchouli oil has various chemical
compounds that include b-patchoulene, guaiene, caryophyllene, patchoulene,
seychellene, bulnesene, norpatchoulenol, patchouli alcohol and pogostol.
: It is mainly extracted by steam distillation
of dry leaves.
Patchouli essential oil is used as a tropical remedy for skin problems such
as acne, eczema, inflamed, cracked, chapped and irritated skin. It is known
as a cell rejuvenator and helpful in healing wounds and scars. As an
antifungal it has been used to treat athlete's foot. It helps to reduce
tension, insomnia and anxiety. It is also know as uplifting fragrance that
helps to soothe away everyday cares and to bring about a sense of
nourishment. The very intense aroma is described as earthy, rich, sweet,
balsamic, woody and spicy. It is said to be a good sedative, nerve tonic and
aphrodisiac. It is also used to combat depression, frigidity, anxiety,
dandruff, wrinkles, herpes and other fungal infections.
Patchouli oil has a grounding and balancing effect on the emotions and
banishes lethargy. While sharpening the wits, fighting depression and
anxiety. It is also said to create an amorous atmosphere. With its excellent
diuretic properties it is effective in fighting water retention and easing
constipation and helping to reduce overweight. Patchouli oil is very
effective in sorting out rough, cracked and overly dehydrated skin and is
used to treat acne, acne, eczema, sores, ulcers, any fungal infections as
well as scalp disorders.
The major use for patchouli oil is in perfumery. Patchouli oil is
considered as an excellent base note and fixative in perfumery, being a
component in many famous perfumes. As a fixative, it slows the evaporation
of other more volatile oils so that their aroma may be released over a
longer period of time. A little patchouli can be used in natural perfume
blends, adding special deep and earthy aroma. It mixes well with many other
essential oils. It is often the fundamental note in oriental-type of
perfumes which are sold at very expensive rates.
Patchouli blends well with sandalwood, bergamot, cedarwood, rose, sweet
orange, cassia, myrrh, ylang ylang, opopanax, and clary sage.
Patchouli is a component in about a third of modern, high-end perfumes
including more than half of perfumes for men due to its heavy odour.
Patchouli is an major ingredient in manufacturing of incense. Patchouli
incense are very popular and preferred form of incense used in Chinese and
Japanese cultures, thus most of the incense produced in those countries are
in stick form. It is largely used in places of worship. Incense is available
in numerous forms and degree of processing. Incense are mostly mixed into a
oil of patchouli , as carrier and wood powder or other solid fragrance
material, before being formed into incense. Incense made primarily from
patchouli oils are mainly used for pleasure and burned for their fragrances
alone.These oil based incense is usually cheaper than original material
Patchouli has been used extensively in industrial processes like the
It is used in making detergents as it is not hard penetrating. It is used
especially in making laundry detergent which is a type of detergent that is
added when one is washing to help get the laundry cleaner. It is often
colloquially called laundry soap and it helps wash the fabric. Laundry
detergent has traditionally been a granular solid but the use of liquid
laundry detergents has gradually increased over the years.
Patchouli has been also used to make a scented paper towel
that is a piece of absorbent paper made for the general purposes of towels
but is most often used for drying hands. They are also used to apply
cleaning sprays for windows and dusting. Patchouli is a pest
deterrent used to keep wool moths out of Indian shawls and rugs.
Patchouli essential oil is used in flavoring chewing gum, baked goods,
candy, non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, desserts, puddings, meat and
meat products. It has recently been added to low-tar cigarettes and tobacco
for flavor. Fresh leaves are used as seasoning and added to potpourri
Cosmetics and Toiletries:
It is an important ingredient in toiletries, cosmetics, breath fresheners,
insecticides, disinfectants, and commercial food flavoring. Patchouli is one
of the most widely used ingredients in which is employed as a fragrance
component in cosmetic preparations, soaps, and hair removal creams. It is
mainly due to its masking effect on obnoxious odors. It is also used in
burners and vaporizers, therapy as a blended massage oil or diluted in the
Patchouli oil can be used neat on insect bites. In a lotion or cream
patchouli oil can be used for general skin care.