Patchouli essential oils became popular in the 1960’s as an aphrodisiac
. Patchouli essential oil has a distinctive fragrance that is sweet, spicy, heady, woody, even smoky, and slightly balsamic. The oval leaves and square stems of the patchouli bush are hairy and when they are rubbed the unusual odor of patchouli is released. These bushes grow two to three feet in height, and the leaves are dried and fermented for several days before patchouli essential is distilled from that brew.
The machines used by the distillation process determine the color of patchouli essential oil. When iron machinery is used, patchouli essential oils are an exotic dark orange but if distillation is done in stainless steel vessels, the resulting patchouli essential oils are a pale golden yellow color with a medium consistency. This strong and distinctive aroma is of medium strength, with a base note, and is balancing, sensual, uplifting, and regenerative.
When used as a perfume ingredient Patchouli essential oils are preferred to be aged instead of newly harvested. As a fixative, Patchouli essential oils extend more expensive oils. Some people indicate that they allow their oil to “age” to allow the heady fragrance to intensify.
The earthy smell of Patchouli essential oils grounds and helps people to center,
especially when they have spaced out ways of thinking, or overly daydreaming. This quality of Patchouli essential oils is also useful with procrastination that occurs from confused or depressive or negative thoughts.
Patchouli essential oils are beneficial to skin care products for mature skin, oily skin, scarring, and conditions such as dermatitis, dandruff, athlete’s foot, sores, acne, and skin irritations. Skin cell renewal is enhanced by the regenerative properties of Patchouli essential oils.
As a bug repellant, Patchouli essential oils are effective, and historically Patchouli essential oils have been used on snake bites and insect bites.
An aphrodisiac is a substance that arouses or stimulates sensual arousal. Aromatherapeutic oils enhance sexuality by fragrances that stimulate our brain and our skin centers to remember an innate sensuality. Patchouli essential oils are listed as an aphrodisiac by Julia Lawless in The Complete Illustrated Guide to Aromatherapy.