What is Patchouli?

A little information about the origins of Patchouli

Pogostemon cablin is a species of plant commonly called the “deadnettle” or “mint” family. The word derives from the Tamil patchai  (green), and ellai  (leaf).

Patchouli grows as a bushy herb reaching around 80 centimetres (2.6 ft) in height with small, pale pink-white flowers. It is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in South East Asia, South America and the Caribbean. Patchouli grows well in these warm to tropical climates. It thrives in hot weather but not direct sunlight. If the plant withers due to lack of water, it will usually recover quickly after rain or watering. The flowers are very fragrant and blossom in late autumn. The tiny seeds they produce can be harvested for planting, but they are very delicate and easily damaged. Cuttings from the mother plant can also be rooted in water to produce additional plants. Leaves may be harvested several times a year and, when dried, may be exported for distillation.

The distinctive and alluring scent of patchouli has been used for centuries in perfumes and, more recently, in incense, insect repellents, and alternative medicines.  It is extracted as an essential oil by steam distillation of the dried leaves, requiring rupture of its cell walls by steam scalding, light fermentation, or drying. The main chemical component of patchouli oil is patchoulol, a sesquiterpene alcohol.

We only use the finest and most pure of these oils for our fragrances.

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