Patchouli is the scent of hippies, right?
It might conjure images of those who chose peace and love in the 1960s, but its rich history dates back long before the swinging decade. But even then, patchouli was always much more than just a scent choice for those who wanted to be different.
With an unmistakable earthy aroma that’s simultaneously fresh and warm, patchouli is a complex scent with an earthy yet sweet smell, and despite its polarising reputation, the combination of notes also makes it one of the most versatile scents out there.
So let’s get into it - here’s why patchouli is not just for herbalists and tie-dye devotees, and could be the perfect addition to your scent of choice.
What is Patchouli?
Native to Southeast Asia, patchouli is a bushy herb in the Lamiaceae family. Known for its aromatic plants, Lamiaceae includes basil, mint, rosemary, and of course, patchouli. The patchouli plant can grow up to a metre tall, and its fragrant leaves poke out among delicate white and purple flowers on woolly spikes. Its scent is deep, earthy, and intoxicating, taking on an almost meditative quality - it’s no wonder the hippies loved it so much. Its natural and non-manufactured quality, as well as its raw, calming notes, fit the earth-loving subculture’s mission statement, and some experts even suggest its strong scent was favoured to cover the smell of marijuana and alcohol. But they weren’t the first people to fall in love with patchouli’s warm aroma.
Patchouli was initially named by South Indian people known as Tamil, and was used by them for medicine as well as in herbal teas. Tradesmen in the Middle East would wrap precious silks and fabrics in patchouli leaves to keep insects away from their fine goods. This could be why patchouli became a beacon of luxury, since when the items arrived at their destination, they’d be infused with patchouli’s intoxicating musk.
How is Patchouli created?
Thriving in tropical, humid conditions, patchouli is often found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and India, as well as Brazil and Hawaii. It’s commonly found growing near rice paddies and open fields, in soft soil that’s not too tightly packed. The leaves are steam distilled, purifying the fragrant compounds in patchouli’s enchanting botany and producing this precious essential oil. It’s believed that the top few pairs of leaves provide the most fragrant oil, and that the fresher the leaf, the stronger the fragrance. Both light and dark patchouli oil is harvested from the same plant, with the difference being the containers in which they are distilled - in stainless steel vats, the oil is thinner and lighter in colour, creating an amber liquid that is characterised as light patchouli, and dark patchouli is distilled in cast iron vats, producing a dark, viscous oil. The scents remain largely the same, and they can be harvested several times a year.
Which CopyCat perfumes can you find patchouli in?
Fleur - Inspired by Oud Fleur
If you're looking for a perfume that will leave everyone around you breathless, look no further than Fleur.
We've taken the most expensive, inviting scent in the world—oud—and blended it with a range of other exclusive aromas, like rich rose, patchouli, resin, and sandalwood. The perfect evening-wear fragrance for both men and women, it's ideal for use on a special occasion, or simply on days when you want to enrapture everyone who walks by.
If you want to make sure that everyone knows you smell good, this is the perfume for you.
Noir 2 - Inspired by Noir de Noir
Think of this perfume as the perfect night out.
You know the one: you've got a big night planned and you want to look your best without being over-the-top. You want to smell good - you want to exude confidence and sexiness - but you don't want to turn heads (or noses) with too much scent. If that's what you're looking for, then Noir 2 is the perfume for you.
A balanced, sultry scent, Noir 2 is rich, deep, and enticing. Lavender and black rose are met by truffle, an ingredient that adds a potent kick. Vanilla provides a delicate touch of sweetness, and oak moss and patchouli give a deep, earthy base.
So go ahead: take this perfume out on the town!
VK - Inspired by Viking
Looking for a zesty, invigorating scent at a reasonable price? Look no further than VK, our version of Viking. It smells incredibly similar to the original and is packed with high-quality ingredients that make it stand out from the crowd. VK's notes of bergamot, pink pepper, lemon, and patchouli make it crisp and fresh – perfect for those sunny spring mornings when the air just feels energising.
It has just enough spice to keep things interesting without being overpowering or overwhelming. In fact, it works well as an everyday scent because it’s light enough not to interfere with your other fragrances but still gives off enough aroma for people around you to notice it.
Embrace that springtime freshness and get people asking “what perfume are you wearing?” while you do it!
Orchid - Inspired by Black Orchid
The world is a big place, and if you want to take in all of its beauty and mystery, you're going to need a perfume that can keep up. Orchid is the answer.
Orchids’ curious mixture of aromas creates an intoxicating composition. Blackcurrant and truffle top notes are sweet and almost nature-esque, while the middle and base notes of ylang-ylang, gardenia, and patchouli that emerge throughout the day (or night) create an exotic and exhilarating sweetness tinged with spice. And as if that wasn’t enough, it's long-lasting and strong enough for even the most daring woman (or man).
Add some mystery into your life with Orchid!
Executive - Inspired by Aventus
Success, sophistication, and allure - Executive is inspired by the iconic Aventus, a fragrance that oozes strength and power. Combined with unique fruity notes of pineapple, blackcurrant, and bergamot, patchouli gives Executive a sensual, enchanting aura. If you’re after the perfect scent for the modern man, Executive has you covered - it's a sultry, bewitching perfume that will turn heads wherever you go.
This fragrance has been designed to appeal to people who want to show off their individuality but also be able to impress people with their style. It's perfect for when you want to stand out from the crowd in a subtle way that still gets noticed by everyone around you.
Is Patchouli the right scent for you?
If you like your scents with a little something extra, then the answer is a resounding yes.
Whether it’s the dominating characteristic of a fragrance or something in the background that beguiles and allures, patchouli is a versatile powerhouse of a scent. Musky, woody, and magical, it’s perfect for that touch of other-worldly ambience that intrigues and enchants. You'll feel like you've stepped into another world when you wear it, and whether it’s taking centre stage or playing a supporting role, patchouli is the scent of people who know they're a little different, and they're proud of it.
So whether you're looking for something out of this world or just want to stand out a little bit more, get some patchouli in your life!