Patchouli oil is obtained from the steam distillation of the leaves of the odoriferous plant, native to India. This is a scent people tend to either love or hate; it is earthy, with an aroma that improves with age. This particular Patchouli is dark, warm, well-aged, and has been loved by folks that never before have appreciated this wonderful plant. It has a fantastic, deep aroma not often found in other oils that may a little younger.
A customer recently had this to say about this oil: "...for a long time, many years ago, i was a 'hippie'. The smell of choice was patchouli oil. over the last 35 years or so, i have bought many bottles, since it is still one of my favorites. I rate this in the top three of all times." - J.B., North Carolina. We had another customer that had driven all over Colorado, and was about to leave to California on his Patchouli search, before finding us and aquiring several ounces for his personal 'stash'.
Patchouli is used as a 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 can be used in natural perfume blends, adding that special deep and earthy aroma. It mixes well with many essential oils, with almost all common oils being mentioned across a variety of sources – these include Vetiver, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Jasmine, Rose, Citrus oils, Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Geranium and Ginger.
As a crop, the leaves of the plant are hand picked two or three times a year, with the best oil-producing plant being harvested in the wet season. Leaves are dried for three days and partially fermented before distillation of the oil. The oil has been used in India for years for medicinal purposes, but chiefly as an aphrodisiac and to perfume cloth. The aroma of Patchouli in homepsun cloth was so pervasive that garment makers importing their wares were obliged to scent their imitations for the local marketplace.
Energetically, the oil is considered warm in nature. It may help ground and stabilize the the overanxious mind, bringing one back to one's body. Long considered an aphrodisiac, it may work through this relaxing, re-establishing connection to one's sensuality. The aroma may also uplift and work as an antidepressant for some, and has been considered to bring about a sense of spiritual nourishment.
As if this were not enough, Patchouli is thought to be a bringer of prosperity and abundance. Perhaps by allowing one to open to these possibilities energetically, the oil is used in ceremonies and prayers by those in need of financial or other type of infusion in their lives. One may simply close their eyes, imagine the abundance they need, and inhale the oil’s aroma for a few seconds.
Patchouli is thought to be antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-fungal, but its primary traditional medicinal usage is for skin conditions such as oily skin and stimulating the growth of healthy hair. It has has been described as 'very beneficial for the skin and may help prevent wrinkles or chapped skin.' Also indicated as a vein tonic, and may be a digester of toxic material in the body.
For a few simple blends, try:
3 parts Patchouli oil and 1 part Rosemary Cineol. This is a wonderfully uplifting blend combining the deep earthiness of Patchouli oil with the invigorating aroma of Rosemary. This can certainly be worn as a perfume, or used in a diffuser.
When the going gets tedious, try brightening with 3 parts Coriander, 2 parts Patchouli and 1 part Bergamot. This may uplift the spirits and remind one of the joy to be found in life.
For the sensually insecure, try 1 part Geranium, 1 part Patchouli and 1 part Bergamot. A beautiful yet simple blend for getting comfortable in one’s own skin.
To learn more about the use of all our essential oils, we encourage you to visit The Ananda Apothecary Forums, where you can post questions regarding specific applications of each oil. Questions in the forums are regularly answered by Ananda Apothecary staff, and other experienced aromatherapy practitioners.