Earthy, deep, and sensual patchouli’s still got the reputation as having a hippie aura and is known as ‘the scent of the 60s’. Surprisingly patchouli isn’t a wood, or a root: it’s actually a delicate frilly green-leafed, purple-flowered member of the mint family, called pogostemon patchouli.
The name comes from the old Tamil words patchai (‘green’) and ellai (‘leaf’). These green fragile-looking leaves naturally produce a slightly sweet, nonchalantly spicy, weirdly smoky, cedarish and powerful scent. Quirky fact; Patchouli is a fantastic insect repellent, effective against flies and other bugs and Paisley shawls were traditionally layered with patchouli leaves to keep them fresh and bug free in transit. Frenchwomen in the 19th Century swathed themselves in these patchouli-scented shawls and the Parisian Perfume houses were quick to embrace this and turn it into a desirable fragrance.
Patchouli is also a natural aphrodisiac, a unisex fragrance and an all round joy to use as a soap! Which will you choose?