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Patchouli Essential Oil

Updated on September 20, 2007

Love it or hate it, Patchouli essential oil is valuable not only in perfumery, but in skin care as well.

Pogostemon patchouli is a tender upright herb with spikes of white flowers, purple tinted. The essential oil is steam distilled from the plant's leaves, most of which are grown in Indonesia.

Patchouli is indispensable in perfumery. Most think of the hippy fragrance of the 1960's. This was Patchouli on its own (and lot's of it too!), and sadly this gave the wonderful essential oil a bad name, or more on the mark--a malodor. In those days, many of the commune crowd chose to use our humble Patchouli as a substitute for soap and water, so much of what was thought of as Patchouli was really a "musky mix".

Patchouli does however, out of the bottle, have an "earth" scent. When you get that straight hit, it comes across strongly. When you use an, ever so light hand, it can be an entirely different animal. It is still earthy, but nicely so, somewhat spicy, rounded, a little smoky, a lot mellow, and a rich -somewhat herbaceous sweet scent. It is in so many perfume blends it would make your head spin, as it is a fabulous "fixative" (making the scent "stick"). A perfect blender and base note.

I love Patchouli for its skin care and aromatherapy benefits. It has a broad spectrum of uses that make it not only unique in the essential oil world but also make it an essential oil I will never be without.

Let's go back to the hippie crowd of the 60's. There was a certain lifestyle that went with being a hippie. Sometimes it meant that you couldn't get to a shower as often as you liked. Camping out under the stars, living in communes, traveling like Easy Rider....use your imagination. Patchouli essential oil has deodorant properties! Hey! But the best is yet to come for the free love generation... Patchouli is reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Alright. My kidding is over. Serious business ahead.

Skin care benefits abound. Patchouli is wonderful for mature skin and is used in many anti wrinkle products (it does have an action that causes some tightening of the skin). In addition to that, it is known to have cell regeneration properties that is wonderful for aging skin, hastens wound healing, and preventing disfiguring scar tissue from forming.

Patchouli has been effective for healing dry, cracking skin conditions such as eczema and fungal type infections. It is also wonderful for dry cracked heals and dry dehydrated skin in general.

It has been found to be of benefit for cellulite, due to its diuretic properties. Use in a massage oil for this purpose.

Patchouli has been found useful in treating acne and fighting skin infections. It is also strongly astringent.

In scalp care it works in treating dandruff and other scalp disorders. It has also been found to give relief from insect bites. For this use, some have used this essential oil neat on a cotton swab and dabbed on the insect bite itself. Most experts on essential oils however will not advise the use of an essential oil without dilution. Mixing essential oils as a 1percent dilution is generally regarded as the safest route to take.

Large doses may cause appetite loss in some individuals. Some may also find it somewhat sedating.

Well, again, love it-hate it? I love it. I love it for all the wonderful things that it can do. A great multi tasking essential oil...and I will be brave enough to admit it... I love the scent also. Give it a try.


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    • Jaynie2000 profile image

      Jaynie2000 7 years ago

      This is absolutely my favorite scent. I find it so relaxing, fresh and clean. I've never been one for floral or sweet aromas, but this earthy, refreshing scent is definitely tops!

    • profile image

      M Granger 8 years ago

      Something was in the air on Christmas Eve. Not, not the freshly burned slice and bake cookies my wife was making, not the little "ornaments" my dog was busy making in the backyard, something hauntingly familiar....PATCHOULLI...I looked all around.

      Under the couch, under the bed, under my wife...then I realized it was coming from my stocking. I pulled out a bar of Made from Earth's "Patchouli Herb" soap. Nice. Clean. Not overpowering. Amazing. For patchouli lovers everywhere!

      The first time I used it my bathroom house filled with the smell of Patchouli. I did enjoy how it made my skin softer and glad it is not as strong now but it has a totally diffrent smell after using for a few weeks. Highly recommended from Made from Earth.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

      I love patchouli, and I had no idea it had all of these other benefits and such a beautiful flower, too! Thanks! :)

    • profile image

      Patchouli 9 years ago

      Patchouli antiseptic action not only helps to cool down inflamed skin, but also helps to sort out the source of the inflammation.