Patchouli Essential Oil
I'm not alone in my fondness for Patchouli Essential Oil...
Despite its aroma being an "acquired taste" (so to speak) for some, Patchouli Oil has many uses and offers numerous benefits. I use Patchouli Essential Oil in skin care applications, emotionally in diffuser blends, romantically in sensual blends, spiritually at times for meditation, and in making natural personal fragrances. Try using Patchouli Essential Oil in low dilution and blend it with other essential oils if you find the aroma a bit overpowering or too earthy to use alone. Patchouli shines beautifully when used in synergy with other essential oils.
Unlike most essential oils that oxidize and diminish in therapeutic and aromatic quality over time, Patchouli Essential Oil improves with age like a fine wine.
Often associated with the hippies and the 1960s, the fragrance of Patchouli Essential Oil is rich, earthy and grounding. In perfumery and fragrancing applications, patchouli is a base note that acts as a fixative and grounds a blend. Its aroma is suitable for unisex and men's blends. It can act as an aphrodisiac.
In skin and hair care, Patchouli Oil is a wonderful staple to keep on hand. It is helpful for most all skin types ranging from dry, cracked skin all the way to helping to regulate oily skin and acne. Those with eczema, psoriasis and dandruff have said that patchouli is especially helpful for them. Emotionally, Patchouli Essential Oil is calming and grounding. Spiritually, it has been used alone or in blends during prayer and meditation.
Patchouli thrives in tropical regions and can be found in Hawaii, regions of Asia and other tropical areas of the world. Patchouli is not native to where I reside in Michigan, but I have enjoyed growing it during the summer months for the past few years. For more about my experiences growing patchouli, read the AromaTalk blog post Growing Patchouli.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Deep Golden Brown
Medium - Thick
Strength of Initial Aroma
Rich, earthy, woody aroma with a nearly hidden fruity note.
Patchouli Essential Oil Uses
- Athlete's Foot
- Chapped Skin
- Hair Care
- Insect Repellent
- Mature Skin
- Oily Skin
Source: Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 160-161.
Major Constituents of Indonesian Patchouli Oil
See Essential Oil Safety for complete constituent list and for chemotype differences for Chinese Patchouli Oil.
[K. Bruns, Ein Beitrag zur Untersuchung und Qualitatsbewertung von Patchouliol. (Parfumerie Kosmetik 59, 1978), 109-115. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 15. B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1988-1991 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1993), 91.M.J. Milchard, R. Clery, N. DaCosta, et al. Application of Gas-Liquid Chromatography to the Analysis of Essential Oils. (Perfumer & Flavorist 29, 2004), 28-36. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 382.]
Patchouli Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young indicate that Patchouli Oil may inhibit blood clotting and pose a drug interaction hazard. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 382.]
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
Essential Oil Book Suggestions
Click on a book's title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb's Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.
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