In my early days of dabbling in essential oil, I have to admit that I wasn't a very big fan of Patchouli. I think some of my more free-spirited friends in college wore way too much of it. While I liked the idea of the lifestyle patchouli invoked, I couldn’t abide by the way that lifestyle seemed to smell. Until recently, whenever I smelled Patchouli it would bring up memories of late-night coffeehouse conversations and hula-hooping at outdoor music festivals.
Today though I have a very different relationship with Patchouli, a more mature one you might say. It started a few years ago when I was doing massage at a spa where we used an aromatherapy blend that was for relaxation, and I loved the smell of it. I looked into what oils were in the blend and was surprised that Patchouli was one of them. Since then I have noticed that I’m often drawn to aromatherapy blends and perfumes that contain Patchouli.
I was surprised to learn that Patchouli is actually part of the mint family. The essential oil is made by steam distilling the leaves of the plant. The flowers when in bloom are a beautiful lavender color that somewhat reminds me of lilacs (as far as their look, not smell!) It is high in sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenols, which give it its skin healing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It should come to you as no surprise that I've come to the conclusion that the hippies were on to something with their use of patchouli. We've come a long way in realizing that the best things need no perfecting. So put away that incense. Put away the strong knock-offs and get yourself some true patchouli oil. You will be so glad you did.
The gifts of the earth. So many good things are wild and free.