The story of a symbol - Patchouli

What is patchouli?

Patchouli is an aromatic plant native to Southeast Asia, particularly present in Indonesia. Its name comes from the Tamil word "paccilai", meaning green leaf.
Known for its distinctive earthy, woody and slightly sweet fragrance, patchouli resembles a large shrub that can grow up to a meter in height, with broad, rough green leaves.
A plant with a long history of use in perfumery, traditional medicine, and spirituality.


The story of a symbol 

Patchouli entered the West in the 19th century through trade with the Orient. Its popularity gradually grew over the years and was reinforced by its use in perfumery, as well as in aromatherapy for its relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

However, it was in the 1960s and 1970s that patchouli really took off, marking an era marked by the rejection of social norms and a quest for freedom and personal expression. During this period, patchouli became a veritable emblem, an icon that transcended an entire generation who adopted it as their signature fragrance. It was a way of moving away from conventional fragrances and expressing oneself in a more natural, exotic way.

Its fame reached new heights, with music and fashion stars of the 70s playing a key role in popularizing its use. Its association with the rock music movement, bohemian fashion and anti-conformism made it the ingredient of choice for all those seeking to express their olfactive individuality.

Idolized or hated

Although patchouli has a loyal following, not everyone loves its scent. It's a very distinctive scent, often loved or hated. There are several reasons why some people don't like it.
Firstly, it's a very powerful scent that can become overpowering, especially when used excessively. (How should you scent yourself)
Often associated with a specific era, it can evoke memories or negative associations in some people. Smells are closely linked to our memories and emotions, whether positive or negative, which will influence our appreciation of the scent.

Finally, personal preference plays a major role in the appreciation or rejection of the scent of patchouli, just as it does for any other perfume. 

Its use in perfumery

Patchouli is an essential ingredient in perfumery, bringing richness and complexity to a composition. It's a versatile note used for many reasons:

⁃ Stabilizer and fixative: a persistent base note that remains perceptible for hours, patchouli acts as a fixative. It helps fix the more volatile notes in a composition, allowing the fragrance to last longer. (The olfactory pyramid)

⁃ Oriental and chypre accords: it's a key element in oriental and chypre fragrances. It blends extremely well with sandalwood, vanilla, labdanum and bergamot to create sensual, sophisticated accords. (The 7 olfactory families)

⁃ Attenuates sweet notes: patchouli can moderate the intensity of sweet accords or notes by offering an earthy, spicy nuance to the fragrance, allowing a balance to olfactory compositions that are slightly too sweet.

Patchouli perfumes that made history

They were more than a symbol, for their olfactory impact still resonates in the perfume industry, recalling patchouli's golden age.

  1. Patchouli Précieux by Dior: Dior made its mark on the 60s with Patchouli Précieux in 1965. Blending patchouli with notes of leather and musk, it embodied audacity and elegance. Though discontinued, its influence persists in the history of luxury fragrances.
  1. Patchouli de Reminissence: Released in 1970, this fragrance captured the free spirit of its generation. With its bewitching notes of patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla, it seduced all those in search of adventure and escape. Today, it continues to evoke nostalgia for that revolutionary era.
  1. Patchouli by Molinard: Launched in 1971, this fragrance conquered hearts with its rich patchouli composition and accords of flowers and spices. This fragrance embodied bohemian elegance. Although time has passed, this perfume continues to captivate lovers of timeless fragrances. 

Our patchouli fragrance

At Kanopé Fragrances, we've worked this wonderful material into an accord of sandalwood and spices.

Uluru is a fragrance that connects us to the power of a sacred land in calm and serenity. A fragrance that invites us to discover the red center of Australia, a warm, sun-drenched land where patchouli offers all its power and complexity.

The fragrance opens with orange notes like the color of this land, a citrus cocktail that takes us to a drier, spicier heart where the smoky scents of hinoki wood mingle with the dry, spicy notes of black pepper. The fragrance ends with a raw yet gentle accord, where patchouli is enveloped in the soft, caramel notes of sandalwood.

A charismatic fragrance that's sure to take you on a journey.


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