If there's one name we often find on the back of our perfume or eau de parfum bottle, it's patchouli. An emblematic fragrance of modern perfumery, patchouli has been dressing women and men around the world in its elegant notes for nearly 200 years. Like a gift from the East, patchouli enhances your outfit and your home with a subtle scent of wood and resin.
From its history to its benefits and how it is made, discover all the secrets of patchouli with Adopt!
From the women of the Second Empire to the spokespersons of a rebellious youth: the history of a perfume
Patchouli, an oriental note in the lives of 19th century demi-mondaine women
The smell of patchouli reached the nose of the European customer in the 19th century via the Silk Road, as trade between East and West continued to flourish since the 15th century. Packaged in the hold of ships with cashmere fabrics, patchouli impregnated the fabric with its woody fragrance and it was through this that women and men discovered it in Paris in the 1850s. Patchouli soon became the fragrance of the "cocottes", the demi-mondaines who led a life satisfied by the gifts of the Parisian man. Its very strong smell was the origin of the popular expression referring to an excess of perfume: "Ça cocotte!"
A subversive eau de parfum for the liberated youth of the 1970s
Far from the salons of the Parisian bourgeoisie, it was in the heart of the hippie adolescence of the children of May 68 that patchouli resurfaced in the 1970s. Its woody scent and its status as a natural product seduced a youth in full revolt, who quickly associated it with the liberation of morals.
The new youth of patchouli in the 1990s
Forgotten in the 1980s in favour of other, more iodized fragrances, patchouli was given a second lease of life in the 1990s by being accompanied by new spicy elixirs. It gradually regained its credentials with perfumers and went from being an obsolete scent to a modern and luxurious fragrance.
From the bush to the bottle: the perfumers' secrets for a quality patchouli
The scent of starry Eastern evenings at the price of a bottle of eau de toilette
Patchouli reveals its fragrance to us from the farthest reaches of Southeast Asia. A small, one-metre-high shrub, it grows in Indonesia, the Philippines and even India and produces green leaves that, according to some, can be similar to those of the mint.
The distillation of patchouli leaves to create a woody elixir
To make patchouli perfumes, the leaves must first be picked and dried to reveal their scent. The leaves are in fact odourless and it is only during the process of transformation of the product that they discover their smell. Once dried, the leaves are distilled with steam and then transformed into essential oil.
The growing supply and international delivery of patchouli
For 1 kg of usable product, 250 kg of patchouli leaves are needed. As this fragrance is becoming increasingly popular with perfumers and customers alike, those who produce it have had to adapt by calibrating their price offers and adapting their delivery systems. All over the world, patchouli contributes to the influence of oriental knowledge and marks the body with its seductive scent.
A touch of rose, a touch of cedar or a whiff of vanilla: a recipe for sublimating the scent of patchouli
Wood as the dominant note in patchouli perfume
Depending on the opinion, the smell of patchouli is sometimes described as woody, resinous, earthy or smoky.
Amber, rose, cedar, vanilla: these scents that accompany patchouli in your bottle of eau de parfum
Already strong with its oriental notes and woody fragrance, patchouli can also be accompanied by other woods and spices used in perfumery. Amber, cedar, vanilla and rose, for example, go very well with patchouli. At Adopt, we have chosen bergamot as the top note and amber and vanilla as the base note for