havenessence » about our stuff » letting it all hang out with Havenessence patchouli

Havenessence sells some of the strongest Patchouli oil in London. So strong, in fact, that the pure, unmixed oil smells a bit like… Dettol. Some customers love it, returning again and again to satisfy their Patchouli fix. Others exclaim “Good grief” and joke about hippies. It is indeed the smell of…


or possibly…


So what is this odiferous, culturally important and much loved/hated plant? Here it is:


Patchouli — pogostemon cablin

Patchouli likes a hot climate — tropical or subtropical — and prefers to be out of direct sunlight. When steam distilled it gives a generous amount of oil and, like sandalwood and vetiver, improves with age. It grows primarily in Indonesia and the Philippines.

As patchouli oil ages it mellows, becoming sweeter and more balsamic. The vintage patchouli top note is more prominant: a fruity, wine-like, floral-sweet odour.

The patchouli bodynote is rich, sweet, woody, balsamic and earthy. It can cling to clothing and seemingly empty bottles for weeks.

As mentioned elsewhere, Queen Victoria was a notorious patchouli babe…