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Jun 06.18

10 Things You Might Not Know About Patchouli

Posted In: LUSH Facts

1968 called - it wants its perfume back.

The counterculture may be steeped in grounding, groovy Patchouli, but even nowadays it's a popular ingredient outside the drum circle. Several LUSH best sellers rely on patchouli to mellow out their aura. There are plenty of other uses and associations for this shrubby herb, and the distinct essence it carries.

Turn over a new green leaf on Patchouli with these ten tidbits:

1. Patchouli is a member of the mint family, and grows well in containers. The herb doesn't do well in cold climates, however. If you live somewhere it's frosty part of the year, bring your pots inside during cold winter weather. It's an increasingly popular herb at nurseries, or can be started from cuttings kept in water until roots sprout, and then planted.

Karma soap

2. Characteristically musky, woodsy, and downright earthy, patchouli either turns people on, or off. It can trigger a strong aphrodisiac response for some people, while making others run for the hills. There is seldom any middle ground. We say seldom rather than never, as our most popular fragrance line, Karma, has won people over worldwide. Many claim they didn't like patchouli until experiencing Karma, and still don't care for the scent outside of our perfume.

3. Patchouli is grown and produced throughout Asia, where it has been used in traditional medicines in many cultures. Recommended for a number of skin and scalp ailments, patchouli has both antiseptic constituents as well as a soothing quality, making it an excellent nursemaid for troubled skin.

4. The name of patchouli is believed derived from a word meaning "green leaf" in the Tamil language spoken in parts of India, where the shrub thrives and has been used in medicine and cultural ceremonies for thousands of years.

5. Renowned French Aromatherapist Daniele Ryman has another suggestion for patchouli oil, along with other great information about it. We would love to get a patchouli-scented note in the mail, even better if it contained a check! 

Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar

6. Cinnamon, frankincense and patchouli mingle in the beloved Blue Skies And Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar. The result is cobalt water, the color of a deep spring sky, and the mounds of bubbles on top resemble a cumulus cloud mass. The perfume is deeply relaxing, like how you might feel lying in a sunshine-soaked field, watching the clouds roll by.

7. Patchouli is used as an important note in perfumes, anchoring lighter notes and providing warmth to the whole mix. Synthetic versions often overshadow the higher quality, pure essential oil, giving patchouli a bad wrap. Quality patchouli is distilled from mature leaves that have been properly dried and stored for distillation. Patchouli oil gets better with age, becoming more robust and valuable to the perfumer.

8. With noted powers as an insect repellent, patchouli is said to have been used long ago on Asian trade routes, its leaves layered in traders' silk cargo to repel moths that would lay their eggs in the precious folds.

9. Patchouli is one of few essential oils that can be applied undiluted to the skin. In fact, people often wear the essential oil directly on their skin as perfume. It should still be used sparingly; even a few drops will smell on the skin for hours.

Aromaco natural deodorant

10. Aromaco deodorant was purposefully perfumed with patchouli due to its potency factor. The fragrance sticks to the skin for hours, making it a great one for long haul products like deodorants. Combined with the chamomile vinegar, baking soda and witch hazel, the patchouli in Aromaco keeps your pits pleasant throughout the day.

While Patchouli's charms are not always appreciated by some, it's an endearing, nostalgic and truly meaningful scent for countless other people. It's been in use for several thousand years, so the appeal is clearly lasting. For our part, it's made classic products like Karma and Aromaco hits around the LUSH world, and like those ancient traders, we wouldn't pack our caravan without it.