Patchouli Fragrances, What Does Patchouli Smell Like

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Patchouli is a scent that’s as enchanting as it is enigmatic. You’ve probably caught a sniff of it in a bustling market or a cozy spa, and it’s left you intrigued. It’s a scent that’s been loved and cherished for centuries, and it’s time you get to know it better.

During my time as a beauty advisor in a beauty store and perfumery, I came across lots of amazing patchouli fragrances that I wanted to share with you today. Check out the complete list of my patchouli perfume recommendations, or just try out one of my top 3. Thank me later! 🙂

Top 3 Best Patchouli Fragrances

What Does Patchouli Smell Like?

Patchouli[1] (or Pogostemon cablin as is its scientific name) is a bush with leaves that look like mint and lovely flowers that look like lavender (sorry to plant experts).

The scent of patchouli is often described as a combination of sweet, spicy, musky, and woody notes. On one side, it has an earthy and grounding feel to it, while on the other, it can come off as herbal or minty.

Patchouli has been used in many pharmaceutical products and the making of incense. That is why you may have connected its distinctive smell with medicine or religion.

Patchouli is a very long-lasting and powerful scent. That means it can create vivid impressions, either bad or good. Good-quality patchouli in the right dosage smells like a luxurious experience inside a damp forest.

20 Best Patchouli Fragrances

20 Patchouli Fragrances, What Does Patchouli Smell Like

Tom Ford Rose Prick Eau de Parfum

A warm and floral scent built around a wild bouquet of rose breeds, inspired by Tom Ford’s private rose garden. Rose Prick comes in a dusky pink matte bottle of the standard shape of a chess piece of the line and handles the rose note in a “juicy, flowery, and full-bodied” way.

Style: Floral.

– Top: Sichuan pepper, turmeric.
– Middle: May rose, Turkish rose, Bulgarian rose.
– Base: patchouli, tonka bean.


Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

A sparkling fragrance that recalls a daring young Coco Chanel. This irresistibly sexy fragrance is a modern composition with a strong yet surprisingly fresh character. 

Style: Fresh, Floral.

– Top: orange.
– Middle: Grasse jasmine, May rose.
– Base: patchouli, vetiver.


Gucci Guilty Intense

A rich eau de parfum that combines superior floral notes with enhanced natural fragrances. This scent fuses together the men’s and women’s perfumes to embody a declaration of self-expression and fearlessness, conjured up by the statement #ForeverGuilty.

Style: Floral.

– Top: mandora, pink pepper.
– Middle: lilac, geranium oil.
– Base: patchouli, amber.


Givenchy L’Interdit Eau de Parfum Rouge

A spicy next chapter of L’Interdit, Givenchy’s iconic forbidden fragrance. In tribute to Givenchy’s iconic red color, the feminine perfume bottle is adorned in lacquered red. At the neck of the bottle, the 4G logo adds the perfect couture touch.

Style: Floral.

– Top: Sicilian blood orange, spicy red accord
– Middle: Tunisian orange blossom, Indian sambac jasmine
– Base: Indonesian patchouli heart, New Caledonian sandalwood


Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

This opulent, sensual, and ultrafeminine perfume is a floral explosion anchored by the warm scent of patchouli to create a rich yet perfectly balanced. Presented in a luxurious diamond grenade-shaped bottle, the fragrance contrasts the rough exterior in a glamorous homage to the transformational power of beauty, positivity, and creativity.

Style: Classic floral

– Top: cattleya orchid, freesia, centifolia rose
– Middle: sambac jasmine, osmanthus
– Base: patchouli, vanilla


Le Labo Patchouli 24 Eau de Parfum

A dry, woody scent that is crisp, green, and surprising. It is a scent filled with danger for those who like to walk a tight rope.

Style: Woody

Notes: Leather, patchouli, birch, tar, vanilla.


Thierry Mugler Angel

 A sophisticated and ethereal eau de parfum that evokes childhood memories of sweetness.

Style: Fruity, floral.

  • Top notes: Cotton Candy, Coconut, Cassis, Melon, Jasmine, Bergamot, Pineapple and Mandarin Orange;
  • Middle notes: Honey, Red Berries, Blackberry, Plum, Apricot, Peach, Jasmine, Orchid, Nutmeg, Caraway, Rose and Lily-of-the-Valley;
  • Base notes: Patchouli, Chocolate, Caramel, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk and Sandalwood. 

Estée Lauder Radiant Mirage Eau de Parfum

A white floral, woody scent that takes you to enchanted, undiscovered places no fragrance has ever taken you before. Envision a timeless road taking you into a new realm of the senses. The more you try to describe it, the more it escapes definition. Creating a mirage, ever-present, yet always an adventure just beyond reach.

Style: Floral, woody.

Notes: jasmine sambac, sandalwood, patchouli.


Henry Rose Dark Is Night Eau de Parfum

A woody fragrance from Henry Rose with notes of green grass, vetiver and vanilla bean. The woodiness of patchouli blends with the richness of vanilla bean for a decadent finish.

Style: Woody.

– Top: green grass
– Middle: vetiver, freesia
– Base: patchouli, vanilla bean


Gucci The Alchemist’s Garden A Gloaming Night Eau de Parfum

A woody eau de parfum inspired by the art of alchemy, with its scent built around an ingredient linked to the distinctive codes of Gucci.

Style: Woody.

– Top: cinnamon
– Middle: vetiver
– Base: patchouli


Diptyque Eau Capitale Eau de Parfum

A lively chypre fragrance that perfectly epitomizes Paris, the city with a thousand faces. To design Eau Capitale, Diptyque and Pierre Marie drew their inspiration from Parisian architecture and the distinct style of Art Nouveau.

Style: Chypre.

– Top: rose
– Middle: bergamot
– Base: patchouli


Le Labo Baie 19 Eau de Parfum

A crisp, wet eau de parfum that captures that magical feeling during heavy rain after a long dry spell, and it’s one of the most beautiful olfactive phenomena in nature.

Style: Fresh, woody.

Notes: dry juniper berry, patchouli, green leaves, ambroxan, musk.


Bon Parfumeur 501 Praline, Licorice & Patchouli Eau de Parfum

A delicious gourmand fragrance filled with sweet aromas. An addictive hazelnut opens the fragrance and sets the tone. 

Style: Warm, spicy.

– Top: bergamot, hazelnut, yuzu.
– Middle: iris praline, licorice.
– Base: cashmere wood, amber, musk, patchouli.


Ellis Brooklyn Myth Eau de Parfum

A warm and spicy eau de parfum that is a sophisticated fragrance for the senses and worthy of the myths it will create. Born from the idea of a game of telephone—how stories can change and morph as they are told and retold—MYTH is inspired by the idea of the urban myth.

Style: Warm and spicy.

– Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, cassis
– Middle: tiger orchid, pink lotus, jasmine petals
– Base: patchouli, liquid musks, white cedarwood


Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum

An exotic fragrance for the strong, sensual Jimmy Choo woman.  It is a sensual fruity chypre, and the packaging is wrapped in a snakeskin print, which is an iconic signature of the brand.

Style: Fruity, floral.

– Top: pear, sweet Italian orange.
– Middle: tiger orchid.
– Base: Indonesian patchouli, caramel.


Chloé Rose Naturelle Intense Eau de Parfum

A floral fragrance that’s formulated with 100% natural origin fragrance, alcohol, and water. This refillable perfume is vegan and does not contain artificial colorants. Rose Naturelle Intense is a woody rose eau de parfum with an organic rose at its heart.

Style: Floral.

– Top: bergamot essence, neroli essence.
– Middle: organic rose essence, oak wood essence.
– Base: cedar essence, sandalwood essence.


Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning Eau de Toilette

Lazy Sunday Morning Eau de Toilette captures the feeling of silky skin, crumbled linens, and the reassuring scent of clean laundry. The silhouette of each Replica bottle is inspired by classic apothecary jars, allowing the collection to be instantly identifiable.

Style: Clean, fresh, floral.

– Top: aldehydes, pear accord, lily of the valley accord
– Middle: iris accord, rose absolute, orange flower accord
– Base: white musk accord, Indonesian patchouli oil, ambrette seeds, absolute


Tiffany & Co. Rose Gold Intense Eau De Parfum

An Eau de parfum that celebrates Tiffany’s expertise in precious metals, evoking the sleek and contemporary spirit of rose gold. This fragrance is a sensual sensory experience that is long-lasting and memorable when worn.

Style: Floral.

– Top: pink pepper extract
– Middle: orange flower accord
– Base: patchouli fraction


Reiss Sienna Heat Eau De Parfum

Sienna Heat features enduring notes of amber-amaretto and tonka bean, along with clover, fig, Jacintha, rhubarb, and Italian bergamot.

Style: Warm, spicy.

– Top: bergamot, orange, jacintha, rhubarb, blackcurrant.
– Middle: jasmine, rose, pink pepper, clove, fig, juniper berry, cinnamon.
– Base: cedarwood, amber, gaia wood, tonka bean, vanilla, patchouli.


Floral Street Wild Vanilla Orchid Eau de Parfum

A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis, and citrus is cloaked in a bunch of just-plucked jasmines. Offsetting the sweetness, bamboo, and sandalwood fold underneath.

Style: Earthy, woody.

– Top: cassis, lemon
– Middle: vanilla blossom, bamboo, jasmine
– Base: vanilla beans, sandalwood, patchouli fraction, red orchid

Let’s talk about patchouli’s scent profile first. Unlike other fragrant extracts, patchouli has a complex and rich aroma. It’s a blend of sweet, spicy, woody, and earthy notes, all packed into one unique scent. The aroma projects a vibe of exoticness and sophistication, taking you on a mysterious olfactory journey.

Moreover, patchouli has an equally uncommon feature – its scent improves with age, much like a fine wine. An aged patchouli fragrance reveals a smoother and more harmonious blend of notes, leading to a more desirable scent.

Versatility of Patchouli Fragrances

Covering the second factor, we have the versatility of patchouli fragrances. Patchouli’s versatile scent profile adapts well to a wide range of perfume compositions.

It can stand out as a dominant note in richer, oriental perfumes or blend seamlessly into a more subtle floral blend. Patchouli’s range of applications looks like this:

  • Feminine fragrances: Adds depth and character
  • Masculine fragrances: Provides a unique twist
  • General use: Enhances richer, oriental perfumes; Blends with subtle, floral compositions

Final Thoughts On Patchouli Fragrances

So, you’ve ventured through the aromatic world of patchouli fragrances. You’ve learned that understanding your own preferences and identifying your preferred scent profile is key. Remember, whether you’re drawn to woody, sweet, or earthy notes, there’s a patchouli out there for you.

Don’t forget about the age of your fragrance—like a fine wine, it’s likely to improve over time. And there’s no rush in finding your perfect scent. Take your time to test out samples at different times and in different settings. It’s all part of the journey!

When choosing your patchouli, consider your personality, the season, and the setting. There’s a fragrance to match every mood and occasion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some similar scents include the following notes:

  • Vetiver has a sharp and fresh aroma that is grassy and root-like, with earthy undertones that make it comparable to patchouli.
  • Sandalwood has a warm, creamy, and woody aroma that is often described as exotic, similar to patchouli’s balsamic notes.
  • Cedarwood has a woody and smoky scent that is grounding and soothing, much like patchouli.
  • Frankincense has a sweet, resinous aroma with hints of spice and earthiness, making it a complementary scent to patchouli.

Here are the scents that go well with patchouli:

  • The Similar scents – sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood, and frankincense increase the earthy, woody tones of patchouli.
  • The Citrusy scents – bergamot, lemon, and grapefruit can break the monotony with a bright, acidic, and refreshing note.
  • The Floral scents – lavender, rose, and jasmine can create a more seducing and romantic feel to patchouli.
  • The Spicy scents – clove, cinnamon, and ginger can make patchouli more oriental and exotic.
  • The Natural scents – peppermint, eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, and basil can enhance patchouli’s herbal, fresh, and incense-y tones.

Both men and women find patchouli perfumes to be a good choice. This means it is a unisex scent. It leads to being slightly more masculine, though – but still, it’s unisex.

Patchouli is a unisex fragrance with a masculine leaning. Women who appreciate oud and deeper woody notes and have strong personalities will find pleasure in wearing this.

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[1] Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Uma Rani Sinniah, Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin Benth.): Botany, agrotechnology and biotechnological aspects. Industrial Crops and Products, Volume 87, 2016, Pages 161-176, ISSN 0926-6690.

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