Patchouli

Patchouli is a herb native to the Asian tropics, it is part of the mint family. The name Patchouli comes from the Tamil(in the Indian sub continent) word patchai, meaning green, and ellai meaning leaf. Not content with just being a green leaf, this plant produces a little cocooning pyramid of pink and white flowers.

Patchouli is a herb native to the Asian tropics, it is part of the mint family. The name Patchouli comes from the Tamil(in the Indian sub continent) word patchai, meaning green, and ellai meaning leaf. Not content with just being a green leaf, this plant produces a little cocooning pyramid of pink and white flowers.

The discovery of patchouli in Europe was brought about by one of the most well known historical figures in Napoleon Bonaparte. The story goes that he bought a couple of shawls that were doused in the oil in order to protect them from insects, and moths. The smell however became a kept secret for a while, and help people recognize genuine material from India, and China, as patterns in their materials became easily be replicated. However once the scent was figured out, Europeans began to douse their clothing with the scent as it became associated with luxury.

Modern science has in fact shown the oil effective as an insect repellent, the oil proved effective in repelling termites, causing damage the tissue inside their exoskeleton. Those pesky bugs digging away at your beautiful furniture can be kept away with this simple natural solution. To create this eccentric essential oil, the leaves of the herbs must first be dried. The sun’s rays allow the cell walls of the leaf to rupture, preparing for it to unleash its inner essence. It then undergoes steam distillation, scalding the liquid out, and providing us with the golden brown liquid, with a slight red tinge. The oil has a smooth, creamy, and rich texture to it. You can really feel the weight and density of the extract, as you smoothly glide it across your skin. Applying the oil to your skin transforms it into a gleaming golden yellow, moisturising you, and imbuing you with its fragrance.

The scent is unmistakable and distinct. It’s a blend of a dark and earthy base. Followed by sweet and woody top notes cutting right through the base in sudden burst. This essential oil is like fine wine, and is one of the very few essential oils that improves with aging. Properly aged Patchouli develops into a smoother and richer scent, adding sweetness, and losing some of its harsher top notes. Most essential oils oxidize, which causes them to lose their aroma, and therapeutic effects. However patchouli ignores this, and decides that it rather likes oxygen.

If you want to get the most out of the aroma, how about a few drops of the liquid into a bath or diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere, perfect for calming those nerves down. Slowly burning it in a seductive orange glow is another great way to release the intoxicating aroma into the world, making it a crucial ingredient in East Asian(could put Utama here) incense.

Not content with moisturising, relaxing, and keeping bugs away, this herb takes it one step further, with medicinal properties. The extract from oil known as patchouli alcohol works as an anti- inflammatory agent, and it also has anti-tumour and anti-virus replication properties. Ideal for scrapes, cuts, and bruises. Keep a bottle on you just in case. Worst case scenario, you’ll get to instantly smell like forest angels sprouting from the ground and up into the canopy… or maybe they’re just after your bottle of patchouli.

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