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Patchouli…Not Just a Marijuana Cover-Up!

Posted by Patty Taulbee
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Image by © Ashley Cooper/Corbis

With the recent elections regarding legalization of Marijuana, my mind filtered back to the 60s when pot smoking hippies had turned on and tuned out! When the only thing that mattered was peace, love and rock n roll.

Yes, it was a time where inner reflection was discussed openly as people tried to “find” themselves through whatever means they discovered.

But what I remember the most was the wonderful aromas of that time period, where people dressed in rags and smelled like kings. Where candles incense and oils were burned in homes to disguise other scents that people didn’t want to get busted for! One smell in particular stands out…patchouli.

I’ve always loved the earthy aroma of patchouli but did not understand the value of this wonderful oil until a few years back.

A Bit About The Plant

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is from the plant family Lamiaceae or Labiatae (a bushy herb of the mint family). The plant is native to parts of Asia and is now grown in China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, West Africa and Vietnam.

The plant loves a warm, tropical climate! Patchouli essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the plant which are harvested multiple times every year.

A very sustainable plant (anyone ever try to remove mint plants from their garden? It NEVER gives up). The plant is claimed to be a repellant for termites and insects.

It is also noted to be effective in repelling bed bugs (both the Patchouli plant and oil). And to top it off, Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat headaches, colds, nausea, diarrha, and abdominal pain…makes me want to grow some!

From A “Scent” Perspective

The aroma of Patchouli essential oil actually gets better with age… It’s a dark, thick oil that has a very earthy, robust and exotic aroma. Some consider the aroma to be sensual and luxurious and others find the aroma a bit too overpowering.

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Image by David Sieren/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

I have found that Patchouli essential oil smells wonderful on men as it blends well with their natural pheromones (my husband is often stopped by women wanting to know what aftershave he wears… Patchouli is a natural chick magnet!).

It has a reputation as being an aphrodisiac and is widely used in modern perfumery. It’s used to scent products such as paper towels, detergents, air fresheners, incense, potpourris, sachets, hair care and cosmetic products.

Today, Patchouli is still associated with the hippie movement (there must be a ton of them out there as it’s our top selling product) but Patchouli has been around for centuries!

In India, Turkey and Persia, Patchouli has been used to keep moths and other insects out of cotten, wool and silk goods. Its used when shipping cloth goods…a familiar scent found in the countries hand-made bedspreads, rugs and tapestries (if you don’t find the scent of Patchouli, it may not come from that country)!

I was told that in Europe (1800s), patchouli was used to scent leather gloves for the rich (leather actually retains the oils smell indefinitely).

Why We Use It

Plantlife uses patchouli in many products because of the wonderful properties of the oil. It is a cell rejuvenator and is excellent for mature skin (known to prevent wrinkles…I use it daily).

It treats a number of skin issues such as eczema, dermatitis, rashes, inflamed, chapped, irritated, itchy or cracked skin. It is soothing and non-irritating to the skin.

As an antifungal it counters athlete’s foot, fungal infections and helps rid dandruff. Products made with patchouli should be used by anyone suffering from skin issues.

Your skin will thank you and you’ll smell wonderful!

From an aromatherapy perspective, Patchouli essential oil is an appetitie supressant and aids in the relief of headaches, depression, anxiety and stress. It has a calming and balancing effect on the emotions and acts as a sedative.

I guess us hippies were smarter than we knew!

So next time you get a whiff of infamous Patchouli, you’ll now know it’s not just a Marijuana cover-up!

To use: Apply topically, diffuse, add to humidifier water, vaporizer, massage, inhalation, bathing or add to other existing products

Blends well with these essential oils: Geranium, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Pine, Rosewood, Myrrh, Sweet Orange, Frankincense, Ginger and Lemongrass.

Plantlife Products Made With Patchouli Essential Oil:

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Patchouli Essential Oil (100% pure)

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Patchouli Aromatherapy Soap

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Frankincense & Patchouli Candles

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Patchouli Herbal Foam Soap

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Patchouli Body Oil

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Patchouli Aromatherapy Soap Loaf

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"Peace" Essential Oil Blend

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"Love" Essential Oil Blend

Many Gift Sets (search patchouli on

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