Due to the low cost of its production in addition to its woody, earthy qualities, patchouli is a prolific and important perfume ingredient. It gives richness and depth and can be quite varied in character, depending on quality and method of extraction.
The plant itself is leafy and herb-like, giving a scent that can evoke mint, chocolate, wood and earth. Indonesia and other parts of Asia produce the majority of the world’s patchouli.
Patchouli ‘heart’ can be obtained by selective distillation methods, keeping the richness without some of the musty, earthy characters, allowing for a cleaner scent. Patchouli is essential in florals, orientals, as well as being a suitable replacement for the restricted oakmoss in chypre fragrances.