With its fragrant revival, Patchouli has emerged from the shadows of its hippie past and captivated contemporary sensibilities. In the following, we explore the resurgence of its popularity, shedding light on its rich, earthy, calming qualities and timeless allure while unveiling our perfumer’s newly-composed collection of four new Patchouli-infused diffuser oils, marking a harmonious blend of nostalgia and modern perfumery.
The return to a preference for vintage era items of all types is much more than just a passing trend in modern culture.
Whether based on a love or appreciation of the past or just the simple desire to return to simpler, more natural elements in all artistic forms, including the cycles of fashion and perfumery, vintage promotes uniqueness and individuality.
In both sectors it represents a consumer digression from the mainstream into the rare.
Vintage perfumes are timeless, luxurious formulations crafted with meticulous detail, artistry and a sophisticated fusion of ingredients.
They represent the quintessence of times past. In the same manner as the elegant, iconic and floral Chanel No.5 captivated perfume aficionados back in 1921, their mystical palette of rich and enduring facets are popular today in the many formulations we create as well.
The hidden power of these fragrances lies in their evocation of nostalgia, and they become vintage the moment it becomes difficult if not impossible obtain them via conventional channels.
A study of vintage formulations becomes a source of inspiration for modern masters who learn from the artistry and techniques of their predecessors.
This results in the development of cutting edge, compelling fragrances that provide insight into both the history of fragrance and the evolution of societal trends.
The various notes in vintage perfumes are never created from fixed formulas.
They either correspond to a certain retro perfume structure, such as citrus cologne or chypre, or to a specific concept or moment in time.
The unique concept of boldness within vintage perfumes is found within the realm of animalic formulations, which derive their one-of-a-kind, primal character from facets that imitate the natural scent of animals.
These ingredients include: musk, civet and ambergris. They add a a mysterious, sensual dimension to a fragrance that cannot be found anywhere else.
Patchouli is a species of flowering plant in the mint family that grows as a bushy perennial herb and bears small, pale, pink flowers that bloom during the autumn months.
Indigenous to India, Madagascar and Indonesia, which currently produces over 90% of the global volume of patchouli oil, it thrives in warm and tropical climates.
This heady, woody, and intensely sensual scent has been used for centuries in perfumes. Its earliest recorded use dates back to the Tamil population who migrated to India in approximately 6000 BC.
They were known to use patchouli for medicinal purposes and added it to their herbal teas.
The use of patchouli in perfumery had an unlikely start as an insect-repellent. Its natural, anti-moth and anti-vermin attributes made patchouli leaves vital to merchants traveling to Europe with their perishable wares along the iconic Silk Road.
The leaves were bartered for gold, silk and spices for more than 1,500 years. The use of these leaves increased exponentially with European demands for silk.
They were wrapped inside precious fabrics to protect them from moths as they journeyed by boat from India and Indonesia.
Patchouli’s power is overwhelming and down through time it has always been either loved or hated.
It did not become part of the olfactory family known as Chypre until 1917 when Francois Coty launched a patchouli-based perfume with that very name.
Patchouli oil underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s both in the United States and Europe, where it became a unisex symbol of the hippie movement, peaceful protest and freedom.
Patchouli is deeply rooted in the aromatic essences of the ancient world, but it is also found in both classic and modern perfumes of today.
Its olfactory prowess lies in the seductive nature of its alluring smell. It has left a vibrant trail that even over the course of centuries never disappoints.
It is a valuable ingredient in aged perfumes because unlike other facets, patchouli oil intensifies and mellows as it ages, deepening the alluring richness and staying power of a perfume when it is exposed to air and light.
Patchouli can also be a unisex fragrance. While it tends to be favored more in male perfumes, it is also found in bolder, more intense feminine scents.
The earthy, woody and dark character of patchouli can be combined with a myriad of other notes to create countless, one-of a-kind compositions.
Its rich, complex olfactory accords are renowned in the world of perfume masters.
They include: sensual ambery accords such as: vanilla and sandalwood; floral accords of rose or jasmine, which add depth and warmth, and fresh or deep, sophisticated citrus varieties.
Patchouli is often found in skin care products and research has indicated that it does help to promote a healthy complexion, reduce signs of aging and the appearance of scars, wrinkles and stretch marks.
Its magical, grounding scent is a boon to aromatherapy where it used to promotes emotional balance and harmony.
Globally, patchouli oil is considered an effective remedy for dandruff, dry peeling skin and dermatitis.
Patchouli continues to find favor in the new and exciting perfume formulations developed by our perfumers. More on each follows below.
Citrus, floral and resinous facets aided by a dry down of intense patchouli with spicy and musky elements define the character of this intriguing fragrance.
If you favor Nag Champa incense, our Floriential Patchouli oil captures the essence of Nag Champa’s rich, earthy, and calming qualities, and is perfect for use in aromatherapy diffusers, oil burners, or humidifiers to elevate your meditation, yoga, or relaxation sessions without the smokey clouds that come from burning incense sticks.
Natural notes of sharp, metallic ozone and clean, fresh aspects are blended with floral, gourmand and woody elements, which are ultimately crowned by dark, potent and erotic patchouli.
Head notes of warm black cassis and cool fresh facets swirl into a heart bouquet of rich jasmine and sweet white tea leaf that completes with a woody, warm dry down featuring amber wood, earthy musk, soft powder, wood shavings and intoxicating patchouli.
Bursting with sharp, grapefruit-infused pomelo, a floral heart of lavender blossom and lily-of-the-valley eventually flow into a dry down of smooth powder, earthy musk, erotic patchouli, creamy tonka bean and honeyed amber.
While the definition of timeless or vintage perfumery may evolve over the passing years, certain concepts, such as: quality, artistry, and a profound emotional connection will always remain the same.
The intricate olfactory tale they weave becomes implanted even more deeply into human consciousness as the world becomes more interconnected across a multitude of cultures and passing generations.
Patchouli’s bold and and colorful past will never cease to rekindle the imagination of modern perfumers, and it will always be integral to the power of individual expression and artistic diversity.
So if you’re looking to try a modern twist on an iconic vintage perfume, give one of new patchouli-infused fragrances a try today!
With patchouli’s peaceful, grounding and calming qualities, each of our Patchouli fragrances will surely surround your soul with the balance and harmony Patchouli itself has become so famously known for.
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