Patchouli: Love It or Hate It?

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Patchouli: Love It or Hate It?

Patchouli is one of the most unique and surprising scents you can find. For this reason, it can be divisive. Do you love or hate it? While each person's tolerance will vary, it can enhance the scent profile of a candle or perfume, especially with careful dosage. What's more, its distinct smell and culinary properties make it stand out among other flowering plants. Learn more about this singular plant and how you can reap its benefits.




What Is Patchouli?

The name refers to a pink-white flowering plant that has countless uses and applications. It is mainly found in Southeast Asia and parts of India, where the climate is ideal for cultivation. Like other flowering plants, it is known for its excellent essential oil. This, in turn, makes it easy to incorporate into products like candles and perfumes. It is also available in certain areas as a fresh plant to use in the kitchen. All in all, this little plant is versatile and bold!

What Does Patchouli Smell Like?

Those that love this flowering plant seek it out for its singular smell. The scent is best described as very earthy and natural. Think of a lush garden of spices with some flowers mixed in. Aside from earthiness, it also has slightly spicy or herbal tones. Some have described it as resembling the smell of the herbs and spice section of a supermarket, although much more refined. You may like this particular flower if you tend to gravitate toward sophisticated and unique scents.

What Benefits Does It Offer?

Like all essential oils, patchouli oil has a number of benefits depending on how you use it. While primarily known for its particular scent, it can be used in the kitchen or for certain health benefits. Here are some of the most common applications.

Personal Products

The first and most obvious reason to try this oil is the alluring smell, which lends a unique scent to anyone who wears it. The essential oil derived from the flower can be added to any number of creams, lotions, and waxes. It also mixes well with other essential oils, allowing for precise scent combinations. For this reason, you will find patchouli in personal care products and scented items like candles. Most people are familiar with the plant in this form, which is a great way to try it out.


Fresh and dried varieties are available in their original form and consumed in various ways. It is often a component of fragrant herbal teas, especially blends that aim to increase alertness. The bold scent lends itself well to anything bright and zippy. It can also be consumed as a whole leaf for a fresher flavor. In dried form, it is an excellent seasoning for dishes, adding unique flavor and aroma. The availability of the fresh variety can vary depending on your area. Seek it out to add an unexpected and rich twist to your cooking.


There are many purported health benefits derived from patchouli, although little scientific research has been done to verify the claims. Its distinct flavor and scent can have an effect on alertness. When applied as an essential oil, its smell can refresh and enliven. It can also be applied to the scalp to relieve dryness or irritation. Additionally, some studies indicate that it wards off certain insects, acting as a natural repellant. Always consult a trusted medical professional before trying new products for health benefits.

Patchouli scent

Which Products Contain Patchouli?

If you already enjoy the smell of this essential oil or want to try it, you can sample a wide variety of products. The plant is most coveted for its scent, so many fragrance options feature the oil as part of a scent profile.


The oil derived from the flowers is often paired with other essential oils to create the base scent of candles. The vibrancy of the plant lends itself well to products intended to awaken or elevate mental activity. In most cases, you won't find it in a pure form but rather mixed with other complementary aromas. Patchouli blends well with vanilla, bergamot, and cedarwood, so search for candles that have a combination that is appealing to you.

Hero Patchouli and Amber scented candle


As with candles, the oil of the plant is often included in perfumes and colognes to add a richer, more complex note to a scent. The same scent combinations that work for candles also apply to perfumes. Look for citrus and certain woody aromas to pair it with. Most high-quality perfume counters offer samples, so see which brands have the concentration of the essential oil that works for you.


Patchouli is most commonly sold as an essential oil, so it is easily used in soap making. As with most products, you can find a combination of scents of which it is only a more or less potent component. If you are uncertain about your preference for this particular plant, consider trying it in soap form. Given the relatively mild concentration of scent in soaps, you can determine if you like the smell before purchasing other products.

Where Can I Purchase Patchouli Products?

Depending on how you plan to use the scent, you can find products in several places. When choosing a candle or perfume, seek out a thoughtful brand that incorporates it carefully into the products. For culinary use, look for a specialty foods store that might stock it fresh. It is slightly harder to find in this form, but many gourmet grocery stores can help you out. The same goes for teas; it is a common component of tea blends and can also be found in a pure form if you want a highly concentrated flavor.

Try Out Patchouli

Now that you know more about patchouli and its unique properties, give it a try. You might be surprised to discover this wonderfully distinct scent is one of your favorites. Check out the wide range of bold candles at Nomad Noé and learn about the exciting stories that inspired them.,it%20as%20musty%20or%20herbal.

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