"....by far my father's ( Jean Carles ) favorite product . It has an enormous amount of personality...one has to be courageous to use it ....Tabu , my father's creation , had 10% patchouli . Never before had anyone dared use such a high percentage of it . "
If you read my blog you know my love of patchouli . It is , on it's own a complex perfume with top notes that are herbal yet sweet , earthy heart notes and a soft woody drydown . patchouli improves with age , is the strongest plant essnce known . It can be medicinal and green when young , but after aging becomes more powdery and sexy . Considered an aphrodisia , it is also balancing and soothing to the senses , a mild nerve sedative and antidepressant . Externally it is useful for dry , wrinkled skin and is antiseptic and anti- inflammitory . It was used in the Orient to stuff pillows as a protection from infection and as a sleep aid . It is even said to
" sharpen the wit " ( Tisserand ).
Patchouli ( Pogostemon cablin ) is indiginous to India , China and Malaysia , but it is doubtful whether wild patchouli is harvested at all anymore . When cultivated , it can be harvested about 6 months after planting , with successive harvest after that at 6 month intervals . historically it was grown in rows between coffee plants ! After harvest is is dried and baled , then sent to the distillers where it is graded ( high grade being young leaves only , then rougher grades containing stalks )
Steam distilled from the stems and leaves , patchouli is made up of sequesterpenes , monoterpenes and patchoulol .
Napoleon is credited with being the first to bring patchouli scented cashmere shawls to Europe and popularizing the scent . Once patchouli was discoved as being the peculiar scent of these shawls , it became popular as a perfume ingredient and the rest is history . it is effective at repelling wool moths , but in perfumery is an excellent fixative and essential part of the chypre base , and the amber accord .
My favorite patchouli fragrances are :
Dawn spencer Hurwitz Vintage Patchouli - she uses a touch of tobacco that makes this warm , earthy and powdery
Profumum Patchouly - rich , mossy/musty and wonderful
Montale Patchouli Leaves - a little greener , sharper and musty , very realistic to the plant
What are your favorites ? Or do you hate it ?