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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 is remarkably versatile. I use Patchouli Oil in skin care applications, emotionally in diffuser blends, romantically in sensual blends, spiritually at times for meditation, and in making natural personal fragrances.
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 Oil Uses
Acne, athlete's foot, chapped skin, dermatitis, eczema, fatigue, frigidity, hair care, insect repellent, mature skin, oily skin, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]
Major Constituents of Indonesian 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.]
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.]
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The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
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. 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. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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