Parfum scents have always been regarded as a powerful thing. It can make us feel happy, evoke a memory, even turn us on or off. It is also a personal thing – where one person can bathe in the parfum scent of roses and feel happy, another will find it cloying and too strong. Almost nothing can take us back to a moment in time, faster. It is also something we want in our homes as a part of creating the environment we want to live in. One of the most popular scents, with a long history can be found in patchouli essential oil.
Patchouli has a long history and was cemented as an exotic smell during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the trade route from Asia to Europe, silk fabric was stored with these plants since they stopped moths laying eggs. As the silks reached their destinations, the musky scent of the plants were heavy and evoked an exotic air.
When most people think about this plant today they automatically think of hippies. The hippie movement of the 60’s and 70’s was indeed a main force in bringing this smell to Europe and America, but it was hardly new.
Going back to Asia, the plant on which the flower grows thrives in hot and humid environments, like those found in tropical areas. The burning of incense is popular across Asia and especially in relation to religious ceremony. Naturally this plant is a large part of incense production.
Incense can be too cloying, but when you use Patchouli oil in aromatherapy the scent can be more subtle, but cleansing. Adding oil to a bath, or pot of hot water will imbue the air with the plant’s essence and when inhaled can help you to wind down and de-stress.
Fragrant essential oils can also be used for massage. Beyond the therapeutic benefits of the massage itself, the fragrance can add an additional element of relaxation to the entire experience. What do oils do beyond just therapy and scent?
Rest and relaxation is not all that this plant can do, however! The oils have been used in Asia for many medicinal purposes, including in Japan and China for poisonous snake bites. Like many homeopathic agents, there is a wide swath of other ailments that this oil is applied to like nausea, headaches, strong colds, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In a fun bit of the cyclical nature of history, in the past patchouli, like almost everything in history, as thought to be an aphrodisiac and applied towards frigid issues. The free love movement led by Hippies was also heavily doused in this smell – the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Technology and manufacturing have taken this plant and oil and applied to many different products. These include insecticides, laundry detergents, and even paper towels. The heavy smell you think of can be as light as you need it to be and purchasing essential oils allows you to add it to any handmade candles, soap, or even lip balm.
Smells can help with nausea, stress, and even depression like the smells found in this plant. Take a moment to discover this musky and therapeutic, as well as functional aromatherapy parfum!