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Home Page > Essential Oil Profiles > Patchouli Essential Oil

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 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.

Patchouli Essential Oil

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 Leaves Patchouli Plant

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.

Botanical Name

Pogostemon cablin

Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used

Leaves

Color

Deep Golden Brown

Consistency

Medium Thick

Perfumery Note

Base

Strength of Initial Aroma

Medium

Aromatic Description

Rich, earthy, woody aroma with a nearly hidden fruity note.

Patchouli Essential 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

Patchouli alcohol
a-Bulnesene
a-Guaiene
Seychellen
Gamma-Patchoulene
a-Patchoulene
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.]

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.]

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

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.

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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Own Safety Profiles for 400 Essential Oils and 206 Constituents:
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
Level: Intermediate • Advanced
Authors: Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young


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The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Also known as "The Fragrant Pharmacy" in the UK.
Level: Beginning • Intermediate
Author: Valerie Ann Worwood


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Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, The
Level: Beginning • Intermediate
Author: Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele


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The Heart of Aromatherapy
Level: Beginning
Author: Andrea Butje


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The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils
Level: Beginning • Intermediate • Advanced
Author: Julia Lawless

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Wendy Robbins (Cert. Aroma ACHS), Founder of AromaWeb, is a Professional Level Member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

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