Patchouli forms the base notes of over a thousand perfumes.
It is a herb from a species in the mint family known as Pogostemon cablin, from Asia. As for the name, patchouli is derived from two words, “patchai” and “ellai”, which mean “green” and “leaf” respectively.
Due to its aromatic properties, patchouli has been a prized possession since ancient times. Over recent years, using patchouli in perfume-making has been a common practice.
Perfumes containing patchouli oil have been regarded as hippy because of its popularity in the ’60s. However, that is no longer the case as perfumers have developed alluring scents using its notes, making it one of the priceless ingredients in perfumery.
Patchouli has an earthy, spicy, sweet, and musky scent that gives an oriental and woody air to any aroma. Its scent is long-lasting so it mostly serves as the base note in fragrances.
If you love the way patchouli notes hit you, then you are in luck as I will let you in on the 5 best perfumes with patchouli.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Patchouli Perfumes
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the patchouli perfumes that most people buy).
Top 5 Best Patchouli Perfumes 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Byredo Bal d’Afrique
Top on my list of best-selling patchouli scents is the Bal d’Afrique eau de parfum from Byredo.
Since its launch in 2009, it has graced the air around men and women, setting them in the most desirable light as they step out. Little wonder then that this perfume has been around and popular for a long time.
Bal d’Afrique has a fresh, sweet, and clean scent that is both captivating and sophisticated, and makes you look more tasteful.
Its top notes are of bergamot, orange blossom, lemon, neroli, African marigold, and buchu while its mid notes are of violet, cyclamen, and jasmine.
Its base notes are of black amber, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood, musk and, of course, patchouli.
Byredo Bal d’Afrique is one luxurious, expertly-mixed fragrance that will readily please anyone you come in contact with.
- Perfect for all occasions
- Fit for use by both men and women
- Not overpowering
- Still has an old school vibe to it with a modern twist which is not an issue unless you want to go all modern.
2. Terra Nova Patchouli Perfume Essence
Next on my list is this Terra Nova eau de parfum.
It may not be suitable for everyone because most people prefer to go for white patchouli.
If you are in that category, then this patchouli perfume is not for you.
Terra Nova Patchouli Perfume Essence has more of a menthol smell and isn’t the traditional fragrance you are used to.
It is a beautiful variant of the traditional patchouli and is loved by some people.
Included in this mix are violet notes that are sensual and relaxing.
It is free from alcohol and has a long-lasting scent that sits on you all day long.
Whether you’re a man or woman, you are free to enjoy the heavenly fragrance of this bottle as it will suit you perfectly.
- Unisex scent
- Free from alcohol
- Has a relaxing effect
- Perfume isn’t loved by all particularly those who prefer white patchouli
3. Reminiscence Patchouli
Launched in 1970, this scent has been a prized possession for many because of its great fragrance and general performance.
Reminiscence Patchouli Eau De Parfum is an oriental woody fragrance that is formed by a blend of patchouli, cedar, white musk, Tolu balsam, French labdanum, and tonka bean.
When first applied, it comes off as chaotic and the scents are everywhere but it eventually dies down and the notes perfectly come together, giving you a remarkable scent. It might also even remind you of Tom Ford White Patchouli.
This patchouli fragrance is perfect for use by both men and women and is endearing because its chaotic nature brings up pleasant aromas every now and then as you wear it.
Reminiscence is one eau de parfum that is not marked by top notes, mid notes, nor base notes but is just a mixture of continuously varying earthy notes.
- Good for use by men and women
- Suitable for use if you have sensitive skin
- Produces varying scents at different points
- You may not like it if you prefer linear fragrances
4. Indigo Wild Zum Mist Patchouli
This scent by Indigo is the type of patchouli scent most people prefer rather than the 60’s smell that characterizes most patchouli fragrances.
This is one of the reasons why among patchouli scents, Indigo is one of the most popular.
It is of 100% patchouli essential oil and does not have the usual notes found in modern fragrances.
Made without alcohol, it is long-lasting and good for those who have sensitive skin.
- Made of 100% pure patchouli essential oil
- Can be used at all times and everywhere
- Can be used on sensitive skin
- No alcohol
- The packaging is a turn off for some
5. Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne
I will call it a wrap with this Jo Malone cologne.
Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia has very subtle hints of patchouli so if you are not sure about where you stand with the scent of patchouli, you can start from here.
Its top notes are of English pear and musk melons while its mid notes are of English roses and freesia.
Its base notes are rhubarb, musk, amber, and patchouli.
This Jo Malone cologne is a romantic fragrance that is subtle and not overpowering but this doesn’t mean it is weak.
It is good for formal occasions as it lets you make a statement without choking the person close to you.
It is also fit for dinner outings as your date will probably be leaning in to get more of you.
- Long-lasting fragrance
- Good for both formal and casual outings
- Romantic scent and not overpowering
- Overpriced for some
If you ever wanted to try out a perfume with patchouli but are not sure based on the stereotypes about the fragrance, there is no better way to test the waters than with the best products.
They have different concentrations of patchouli that agree with you no matter your level of tolerance for the scent.
These fragrances are also pocket-friendly, smell great, and have a good performance—features which you must look out for in every perfume you purchase. So, take another look at the list and take your pick of the best patchouli fragrance for yourself or your loved ones from this selection and your nose will thank you.
Do take note though that this doesn’t mean there are no other patchouli fragrances out there that are worth a shot. Other worthy picks are Tom Ford White Patchouli and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.
A word of advice—whatever your pick is, test it first on your skin and see if the fragrance smells the way it should. Some patchouli colognes might not agree with your skin chemistry and they could end up smelling wrong, so to make sure you’re getting one that you’ll be able to use for a long time, test it first.