Introduced by the English bourgeois in the nineteenth century, patchouli’s fragrance was highly successful in France during the Second Empire. It was used at the time to perfume cashmere shawls and represented elegance and luxury. In the 70's, patchouli was a favorite fragrance among the hippie movement, when it was often burned in the form of incense sticks and became a symbol of freedom and rebellion.
Origin: native to India, patchouli is produced today in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Java.
Plant: patchouli is described as a tall shrub measuring more than a meter with leaves that are similar to mint. The white flowers are tinted with violet. It was often represented in the psychedelic drawings of hippie artists.
Production: patchouli is distilled in a tank filled with boiling water for approximately 8 hours. The vapor of the plant collects in a tube which allows the mixture to cool. It takes over 50 kg of patchouli to obtain more than one kilogram of essential oil.