Patchouli instantly evokes the spirit of the 70s. With its earthy, haunting and distinctive scent, it has thousands of devoted followers. In this article, we’ll explore the history of patchouli: a captivating ingredient that adds depth and sensuality to fragrance compositions.
A fascinating story
Patchouli is a herbal plant native to South-East Asia, more specifically Indonesia. Its use in perfume goes back thousands of years: it was used as a natural remedy for various skin ailments. It wasn’t until the 19th century that it became popular in Western perfumery. We have devoted a detailed article to the history of this now cult scent.
The 70s and the growth of patchouli
The 70s were a time of rebellion, freedom and self-expression. Patchouli quickly became the olfactory essence of the decade, symbolising the bohemian spirit and counter-culture. Hippies and followers of the flower power movement quickly adopted this note as their signature scent, and it became impossible to miss its trail at major gatherings such as the iconic Woodstock festival.
The characteristics of patchouli
Patchouli is distinguished by its rich, earthy, woody and slightly sweet fragrance. Its warm, sensual notes make it a unique and iconic scent, and its staying power is certainly one of its most striking features. Its trail lingers on the skin for long hours, providing a beautiful afterglow.
A plant with multiple benefits
Patchouli has been used for thousands of years: in addition to its irresistible scent, this plant has many benefits for the skin. It is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products such as lotions, creams and soaps.
In essence, it was renowned for its soothing and relaxing properties, promoting a sense of well-being and tranquillity. And we’re not going to deny it…
How can I find the patchouli of the 70s?
Changing trends in perfumery
As the decades go by and tastes in perfume evolve, the codes change. After the heavy, earthy perfumes of the 70s, the trend today is towards lighter, fresher, more subtle fragrances. Perfumers and perfume houses are seeking to respond to these changing demands by creating new olfactory compositions, to keep up with trends or set new standards. Which do you prefer?
The impact of strict regulations in the perfume industry
Some ingredients have also had to evolve or disappear to ensure that formulas remain compatible with changing regulations, which are constantly evolving. This leads to the reformulation of certain fragrances, which can have an impact on their smell, strength or staying power. Fortunately, perfumers can rely on advances in synthesis to replace banned natural ingredients with high-quality synthetic materials that are less allergenic and more respectful of the environment and animal species.
An interpretation for every nose
As you know, perfume is subjective: the perception of a scent varies from one person to another, because we all have our own references. Each juice is made up of several ingredients, which give the fragrance its own identity. At Carrément Belle, for example, patchouli is the main ingredient in 3 fragrances. But each time, it is surrounded by other ingredients that give the fragrance its unique character. As a result, your memory of the patchouli of good old days will not be the same as that of another person. That’s why some fragrances containing patchouli will feel like Proust’s madeleine to you, while others will have little or no effect. Ah, olfactory memory…
Patchouli: a unisex fragrance?
It’s no secret that the patchouli accord is used in a large number of fragrances, both for men and women. At the risk of repeating ourselves: all perfumes are mixed by nature! The ingredients are neither originally feminine nor masculine, and the gendering of perfume is a very Occidental concept.
While patchouli is often associated with other ingredients such as vanilla, sandalwood, cedar or citrus, it can be found in a variety of recipes, much to our delight!
Patchouli and Carrément Belle, that makes 3!
Patchouli is an iconic ingredient at Carrément Belle. And the least we can say is that you can’t get enough of it! To show our mutual love for it, over the years we’ve created three fragrances dedicated to it:
- ippi patchouli: a raw, woody, earthy patchouli in homage to the 70s
- ippi patchouli clair: a sunnier version, with citrus notes at the top, white flowers and gourmand praline at the base. The patchouli of sunny days, without a doubt.
- kilim: an oriental patchouli, full of colours, flowers and spices. A journey to the doorstep of the Orient…
If you’re addicted to patchouli and these 3 fragrances tempt you terribly, they’ve been brought together in the scented set La Patchouli Addict.
Patchouli is still the talk of the town, with its multi-faceted nuances…