Patchouli perfumes are the hedonistic scent of the season

Patchouli perfumes are the hedonistic scent of the season

Three decadent patchouli scents negate the perfume’s hippie overtones

Long before patchouli was adopted as the signature scent of hippies around the world, the flowering herb, with its warm, woody, musky smell, was a symbol of opulence and prestige – rumor has it that King Tut was buried with gallons of patchouli oil.

Borneo 1834 Eau de Parfum by Serge Lutens. Photograph by Oskar Proctor.

Centuries later, Madonna put her own spin on the fragrance by infusing it into the pressings of her 1989 album. like a prayerwhile in 2005, perfumer extraordinaire Serge Lutens launched the iconic Borneo 1834 fragrance, which blended patchouli with white flowers, cardamom, cocoa and labdanum.

Some very glamorous new fragrances feature this intoxicating plant as a star ingredient. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s latest creation for Dolce & Gabbana, Velvet Black Patchouli, combines its main ingredient with notes of Sicilian blood orange, Venezuelan tonka beans and davana oil for an earthy scent with a hint of candy.

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Black Patchouli Eau de Parfum. Photograph by Oskar Proctor.

To create the fragrance, Flores-Roux looked to patchouli’s past as a high-value perfume traded between Asia and Europe. “Patchouli really symbolizes this rich interchange of cultures,” he says, “because it refers to a time when precious goods arrived from the Orient to the shores of Italy, enveloped in its mysterious fragrance.”

Similarly, Vyrao’s Witchy Woo blends patchouli with notes of orris, cinnamon and rose to create a dark, mysterious scent. The brand, which launched last year, uses aromatherapy principles and energy-charged Herkimer diamonds to create fragrances that attempt to actively alter emotional states, with Witchy Woo designed to evoke courage and creativity. . Meanwhile, Bulgari’s new Splendida Patchouli Tentation combines a trio of patchouli with white peach and velvety musk for a more powdery interpretation of its top note. §

Sarah C. Figueiredo