I love patchouli. It smells musky, earthy, and dirty, like rich soil. Not everyone loves it. Some folks hate it. I remember burning patchouli incense when I was in high school and my mom complaining that I was "making the house smell like dead things."
Lovely, sweet, amazing-smelling dead things.
One day, when the price of patchouli essential oil comes down a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot), I will make a batch of soap scented with patchouli straight-up. Fortunately, a little patchouli goes a long way, and it's great in blends. And I have found that people who hate patchouli - like my mom, for example - like it in a blend.
I bought a bar of Orange Patchouli soap at a farmer's market a couple of years ago and loved it. A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through my fragrance cabinet and squealed with delight when I found that I had full bottles of both orange and patchouli essential oils. So I made a batch of Orange Patchouli cold-process soap.
For this batch, I used Bramble Berry's 10x Orange and Patchouli essential oils at a 3:1 ratio. I love the 10-fold Orange essential oil because it sticks well in cold-process soap. Citrus essential oils are notoriously fleeting and often fade to almost nothing in soap. The 10-fold Orange is a concentrated essential oil, so it tends to be stronger and better survives the saponification process. This batch of soap smells mostly of orange with a bit of musky earthiness in the background.
Patchouli blends so well with so many other scents. I've tried lavender and patchouli together, too, and that is a wonderful combination. There are so many combos that I think would be fantastic - patchouli and lemongrass, grapefruit, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, or cedarwood ... the list goes on. Experimentation is a huge part of the fun in soapmaking!
How do you feel about patchouli? Love it, hate it? Do you like it by itself, or prefer it in a blend? What are some of your favorite patchouli blends?
Until next time ...