Patchouli oil is basically an essential oil which is extracted from the leaves of patchouli plant. It is an herb which belongs to the mint family. This herb is broadly cultured in West Africa, West Indies, India and China and it is native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines.
This plant grows to an average height of 3-4 feet and is pruned to 3-4 times over the year for the purpose of harvesting its leaves to produce essential oils. During the process of harvesting, the patchouli leaves are spread in thin layers and kept in a shade. These are turned daily and they dry over a period of few days. Natural fermentation also takes place during this ongoing process.
Proper drying improves the quality as well as the yield of essential oil which is further extracted by means of steam distillation. The leaves that are treated are then processed immediately or they are baled and stored. Patchouli oil is known for their classy fragrance. It will not be wrong to say that patchouli is a perfume all on its own. Its scent is long lasting and very strong. It has been used as fixatives in perfume since long.
Patchouli also blends well with other essential oils like Clary Sage, Rose, Lavender and Frankincense etc. A little experimentation with t patchouli oil can make these oils even more aromatic and likable.
The fragrance of patchouli oils develop with oxidation process and this is why these essential oils improve with age. Thin, freshly distilled oil becomes more and more syrupy as it changes, thereby making it a richer and smoother fragrance.
The color of patchouli oils range from pale yellow to reddish brown. Usually the dark shades of patchouli oil are preferred. However, you must note that the color of the oil has nothing to do with the quality of oil.
Patchouli oil is derived from more than one variety of patchouli plant, however the one that is derived from Pogostemon cablin is considered to be more superior to the rest. You will find a lot of suppliers in the market that are selling Pogostemon cablin. However, do check that you buy fresh, pure and genuine plants.
Patchouli is widely used as a home aromatherapy kit. It is also used to treat a number of medical disorders. It has obtained antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and it helps in regeneration of skin cells.
Patchouli oil is also effective for first aid treatments and is used to treat ailments like insect bites, acne, abrasions, cuts and scrapes etc. You just need to dilute this oil with carrier oil, applied to a cotton ball and dab it directly to the injured skin. You will also find many varieties of Patchouli soaps available in the market. These soaps consist of patchouli oil and have got good cleaning facilities.
Even if you do not like the fragrance of patchouli oil, you have no other option but to acknowledge the various benefits that this oil offers.