This very important perfume oil is produced by steam distillation of the dried leaves. In order to get a full yield of the essential oil by steam distillation, it is necessary to rupture the cell walls in the leaf material prior to distillation This can be performed by controlled, light fermentation, by scalding with superheated steam (like the 'blanching' process of vegetables before canning). Or, by stacking or baling the dried leaves thus 'curing' them by modest and interrupted fermentation. If carried out properly, the latter method yields the best perfume oil.
An almost wine like, ethereal-floral sweetness in the initial notes is characteristic of good oils although this topnote can be absent or masked in freshly distilled, otherwise good oils. Our Patchouli is a vintage from 2000, which we bought in quantity as it was a luscious scent and it is aging to perfection. For the true Patchouli Lovers like me, you will adore this material.
(Note: Those that know of my love of Patchouli, know that I buy in bulk .. and then rotate the inventory so that the Patchouli is at least 2 years old when offered)
Although the odor is objectionable to some, its a 'love it' / or / 'hate it' with Patchouli .. widely used both in Asia and India.
A typical chemical composition of patchouli from Indonesia:
B- patchoulene (2.9-3.8%)
caryophyllene (3.3 - 3.9%)
a-patchoulene (5.1- 5.9%)
seychellene (8.6 - 9.4 %)
a-bulnesene (14.7 - 16.8%)
patchouli alcohol (32.0 - 33.1 %)
Its rather earthy aura promotes a grounding & balancing effect. Patchouli will help ground and integrate energy & keep us in touch with our physical selves. Seems to banish lethargy & sharpen the wits.
Perhaps Patchouli's most outstanding feature is its binding action due to strong astringent properties. This could be helpful for loose skin especially after dieting.
Seems to have marked diuretic properties which could prove valuable in cases of water retention & cellulite. Also, said to offset heavy sweating, though certainly has a marked deodorizing action, helpful when feeling hot and bothered.
Also, may be helpful as an insect repellent.
Said to be a tissue regenerator helping regrowth of skin cells & forming scar tissue. Apparently cools inflamed conditions & heals rough, cracked skin. May also be useful for acne, fungal infections & scalp disorders.
Blends well with:
Bergamot, black pepper, cedarwood, clary sage, clove, frankincense, galbanum, geranium, ginger, labdanum, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, neroli, oakmoss, pine, rose, sandalwood, vetivert, ylang-ylang.
Apparently sedative in low dose, stimulant in high doses. May cause loss of appetite which is fine if eating habits need to be addressed. Generally nontoxic, non-irritating & non-sensitizing.
S. Arctander - Perfume & Flavor Materials of Natural Origin
S. Battaglia - The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy
W. Sellar - Directory of Essential Oils