What is patchouli?

What is patchouli?

Webster defines patchouli as "1. A plant, Pogostemon cablin, of tropical Asia, that yields a fragrant oil (patchouli oil) used in the manufacture of perfumes. 2. A penetrating perfume made from this oil."

According to Wikipedia, patchouli is "a bushy herb of the mint family that bears small pale pink-white flowers. The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia and is now extensively cultivated in Caribbean countries, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, West Africa and Vietnam. Sources disagree over how to obtain the best quality oil. Some claim the highest quality oil is usually produced from fresh leaves, distilled close to the plantation, while others claim allowing the leaves to dry and ferment is the best process. During the 18th and 19th century silk traders from China traveling to the Middle East packed their silk cloth with dried patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying eggs on the cloth. Many historians think that this association with opulent eastern goods is why patchouli was considered by Europeans of that era to be a luxurious scent."

"Patchouli oil and incense had a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Contrary to its common association with an alternative lifestyle, patchouli has a widespread use in modern industry. It is a component in about a third of modern, high-end perfumes, including more than half of perfumes for men. In Asian countries, such as Japan and Malaysia, Patchouli is used as an antidote to a poisonous snakebite. Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat headaches, colds, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain."

According to , patchouli is also a "traditional aphrodisiac, cosmetic, insect repellent."

The Urban Dictionary defines patchouli as "hippie perfume" that "smells like the forest, marijuana and snuggling." The Urban Dictionary defines those who wear patchouli as "someone who is freed from societal obligations, like getting a job or taking a shower."

"" Mandy Valencia

Share This Story