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The History & Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

nefertem patchouli skincare

Let's be honest shall we?

There are patchouli lovers and there are patchouli haters. It's rare to find an in-between-er. 

This may be due to its earthy, sometimes musty scent. It may also be due to its over-use as an odor cover-up during the hippie era.

Regardless of your preference, it is a powerful grounding essential oil with a long history of use. It also happens to be delightfully blended in a handful of our natural, holistic skincare products (see article end for links).


Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a member of the Lamiaceae or “mint” family of plants. It is cultivated throughout Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Mauritius and West Africa. It is a shrub that grows to about 4 feet high and can be grown as a houseplant by those with a green-thumb.

patchouli essential oil nefertem

The leaves of the Patchouli plant are hand-picked up to three times per year and harvested primarily for their volatile oil (essential oil). Other uncommon uses are of the leaf as a topical treatment for bacterial infection and scar reduction. This herb is not recommended to be ingested as a drink unless under the direct supervision of a medical professional.

In order to produce the essential oil, the cell walls of the leaf must be busted open. Depending on the distiller’s preference, this can be done in one of many ways including fermentation which is considered to yield the finest quality oil.


Used during trade between Asia, the Middle East and India, patchouli leaves were regularly placed between sheets of luxurious fabric to prevent moths from laying eggs and damaging the cloth. Because of this smell association with silk and other fine fabrics, the scent of patchouli has been considered a desirable, rich scent.

Patchouli has also been historically used as a deodorant and as a treatment for headaches, colds and diarrhea.


Patchouli Essential Oil is used today to aide in spiritual growth, arouse sexuality and as a wrinkle-reducer.

Patchouli essential oil can be used to help ground and center a person's energy. It is thought that through this grounding, rooting force, a person’s sexual energy was restored and activated by drawing energy low into the body. This energetic pull towards the reproductive organs and the Sacral Chakra is also believed to enhance one’s sex drive.

patchouli balances root chakra


Patchouli is reported to have antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal properties. It is said to reduce excessively oily skin (especially of the scalp) and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia, it states that “patchouli’s most valuable therapeutic use is mainly energetic and psychological. Patchouli is good for those who, due to excessive mental activity and nervous strain, feel “out of touch” with their body and their sensuality.”

Nefertem Skincare Infused with Patchouli

Patchouli offers a rich, earthy undertone in the following handcrafted, holistic skincare products:

**Our #1 Best Seller** ConSCENTual™ Soap is a seductive blend of patchouli, grapefruit and lavender essential oils. Men and women both enjoy this scent…especially when in the shower together.

ConSCENTual Aromatherapy Spray is the most addictive thing on our patchouli menu. Just one use of this seductive spray will have you hooked for years! This natural phenomenon tends to cause people to stop, inhale and ask, “My goodness that smells great. What are you wearing?” Then you, of course, say, “Oh just a little something I picked up from Nefertem Naturals.” *wink*


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