Organic patchouli oil has a long history of use with regard to medicine, perfumery, rituals, cosmetics and scenting. The oil can also act as a deterrent to insects. Many people dislike the aroma of undiluted patchouli oil, but if the oil is high quality and used in small quantities, it is a scent that can be liked by almost everyone. Patchouli oil is used widely in the flavoring industry, and is also used in many foods and beverages.
Patchouli oil comes from the patchouli plant, which is a member of the mint family. The plant is about three feet in size and tends to grow in tropical climates. The origin of the plant lies in Southeast Asia. Patchouli oil is extracted from the plant through the use of steam distillation. Leaves require drying in the shade and must be partially fermented before the extraction process begins. Fresh patchouli oil has a sharp fragrance, and requires aging in order to develop the deep, earthy aroma that we expect from patchouli oil. The oil continues to improve with age, and the color will change also during the aging process. It will begin as a light yellow or pale red and will gradually transform into a deep, dark amber.
The oil can also be produced through a CO2 extraction method. This is a modern technique and requires the use of CO2 as a solvent. This allows patchouli oil to be extracted without heat. However, the oil produced by this method will have a slightly different aroma when compared to the steam distilled patchouli oil.
Usage of patchouli oil
Patchouli is widely used as a topical skin remedy. It is believed that patchouli oil can help with afflictions such as eczema, acne, and irritated skin. Patchouli is considered to be a cell rejuvenator and thus helpful with regard to the treatment of scars and wounds. The oil has also found use as an antifungal, particularly with regard to athlete’s foot.
As indicated earlier, patchouli oil is widely used in the world of perfumery. Famous perfumes like Tabu and Shocking employ the use of patchouli oil. Many natural perfume formulations will greatly benefit from the addition of patchouli to the list of ingredients. The oil mixes well with many different types of essential oils.
Many temples also use patchouli oil as incense. Some believe that patchouli oil can help with grounding and centering the mind during or prior to meditation.