Patchouli - Pogostemon Cablin

Very fragrant shredded Patchouli leaves, wild-harvested in Indonesia.

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Contents: 10 grams / 50 grams


Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Patchouli (also Patchouly or Pachouli) is a bushy herb of the Lamiaceae (Mint family). The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia. The scent of Patchouli is heavy and strong. It has been used for centuries in perfumes and continues to be so today. Sachets are made of the coarsely-powdered leaves, and before its common use in Europe, genuine Indian shawls and Indian ink were distinguished by the odour, which has the unusual quality of improving with age. It became popular among devotees of the free love and hippie lifestyles, since the pungent smell of Patchouli is alleged to cover the smell of burnt Cannabis and body odor. Patchouli also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, a notion that probably originated in India, where it is used as an anointing oil in Tantric sexual practices.


During the 18th and 19th century silk traders from China travelling to the Middle East packed their silk cloth with dried Patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying their eggs on the cloth. Many historians speculate that this association with opulent eastern goods is why Patchouli was considered by Europeans of that era to be a luxurious scent. This trend has continued to the present day in modern perfumery.

Patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly among devotees of the free love and hippie lifestyles, due in part to the fact that the pungent smell of Patchouli is known to cover the smell of burnt Cannabis. During the Vietnam war, American soldiers used Patchouli to mask the smell of the graves of enemy soldiers killed in combat. War protesters of the time used Patchouli on themselves, to demonstrate that "We are all one race, we are the same as the enemy soldiers". Also, the Hare Krishna movement may have been partly responsible for this surge, as the god Krishna is said to "inhabit" Patchouli.

Other names: Pogostemon cablin, Pogostemon patchouli, Patchouli, Patchouly, Putcha-pat.

More Information
Incense Type Smudge Material
Incense Form Resin / Herbal
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