What comes from a fermented leaf, sweetens with age, rejuvenates skin cells, balances one’s energy, and releases an appealing musky aroma? This 100% natural essential oil comes from a bushy herb in the mint family originally grown wild in the high elevations of Indonesia and cultivated in Asian tropical jungles for hundreds of years. It develops a sweet top note the older it gets. We are, of course, talking about patchouli oil, an exotic scent that has been used in perfumes and fragrant incense for centuries.
Patchouli oil comes from the perennial herb called pogostemon cablinb. Its soft, hairy leaves are hand-picked two to three times a year, bundled, shade-fermented for a few days, and then steam-distilled in order to extract the oil. Like frankincense, cedar wood, sandalwood and vetiver, the aroma of patchouli essential oil improves with age and darkens, during which time it loses its harsh tones and develops sweet ones. This aged sweetness blends harmoniously with its earthy, musky, woody and deep fragrance.
In perfume, patchouli is a natural fixative that slows the evaporation of some of the other oils, allowing their combined fragrance to be released over an extended period of time. Just a small amount of patchouli brings fragrant blends its deep and earthy aroma. Patchouli also holds an important position in aromatherapy as a balancer, with its scent causing the sensations of both relaxation and stimulation to arise, bringing the body’s three forces of creativity, love and transcendental wisdom into harmony. Its warm and spicy fragrance helps uplift the mind, and is considered both an antidepressant and a relaxing aphrodisiac. All of this energetically leads to prosperity and abundance, and it is often used in ceremonies and prayers for those who need a boost of some sort in their lives. For centuries, patchouli oil has been used as tradition medicine in Asia for skin conditions and is believed to help alleviate dermatitis, chapped skin, acne, and eczema, and may even reduce the appearance of scars. Sometimes used as a rubbing oil, it is also used to strengthen the immune system. When skillfully blended with other oils, as Prabhuji’s Gifts’ fragrant body oils and scented stick incense are, the distinct aroma of patchouli oil can only be savored, over and over.