Patchouli is a gorgeous fragrance noted used in a lot of oriental and floral fragrances. If you want to know a little more about Patchouli or if you are looking for your next Patchouli-based fragrance, then look no further.
What Is The Note Of Patchouli And How Does It Smell
Patchouli is an aromatic plant in the mint family that grows predominantly in India and South East Asia. The leaves are used to create essential oils, which can then be used in a wide variety of products including soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and scented candles.
It has a wonderful earthy, woody smell that is the perfect base note for a lot of oriental perfumes. It can be very dominant and is quite often used in musk to create an authentic autumnal feeling. However, it does also have the ability to be used in a subtle support in order to intensify other fragrance notes such as florals and fruits. It rounds-out a scent nicely and provides an extra layer, which is just one of the reasons it is so popular.
Its easy to see why patchouli is such a popular note. It smells amazing and its extremely versatile as well. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best patchouli fragrances for women, in no particular order!
1. Thierry Mugler Angel
Angel has a huge amount of fragrance notes that almost seem to contradict each other on paper. In reality, they balance perfectly and create an oriental, sweet, woody fragrance – no wonder it’s an award winner!
Top notes are Cotton Candy, Coconut, Cassis, Jasmine, Melon, Bergamot, Mandarin Orange and Pineapple; middle notes are Honey, Red Berries, Blackberry, Plum, Jasmine, Apricot, Peach, Orchid, Nutmeg, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley and Caraway. The base notes are Patchouli, Chocolate, Caramel, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk and Sandalwood.
The opening is sweet and fruity combining the orange, pineapple and melon. The coconut adds a sweet richness, which works wonderfully with the floral jasmine, both of which add a nice exotic edge. The cotton candy is an unusual note but balanced with the citrus notes and the slight spice of the bergamot, it adds a different type of sweetness that rings of nostalgia.
The middle notes also carry sweetness through the heart of the fragrance but the smooth honey is most noticeable. There is a beautiful blend of berries, adding a depth and richness that is carried throughout by the plum. There are also hints of floral, which is a lovely distraction from the fruits.
The dry-down is unexpected from such a sweet, fruity fragrance as the patchouli and sandalwood provide a nice, earthy and grounded scent. The patchouli takes over the fruity sweetness and brings a Christmas-like feel making it a fantastic day-to-day fragrance for the autumn and winter. It can also be used during the summer and in the evenings.
2. Clinique Aromatics In White
Launched in 2014, Aromatics In White is a beautiful, oriental fragrance for women blending spices, green and earthy notes.
The top notes are Labdanum, Sichuan Pepper and Violet Leaf. The middle notes are rose, patchouli and orange blossom; the base notes are musk, amber, benzoin and vanilla.
The opening of this Clinique fragrance is quite unique. The Labdanum in itself has a rich complexity and sweet fruitiness contrasted against its darker, woody side. Paired with pepper and violet leaf, the pepper adds a sexy spice while the violet leaf is fresh and green like cut grass or cucumber.
In the heart of the fragrance, the Patchouli is balanced gorgeously with the floral notes to provide an earthy, calming base without being too overpowering. There are other strong, complex scents mixed in, and although Patchouli can be strong by itself, here it acts as a support, simply amplifying the other notes by acting as a subtle contrast.
The dry down sees most of this spicy, earthy, floral scent lingering but with added musk, which really rounds it out. To top it off, the warmth of the amber and sweetness of the vanilla create a wonderful scent that was made for autumn.
This fragrance can be worn during the day or a night out on the town as the peppery tones and spice give it an air of mystery and sensuality that will turn heads.
3. Tom Ford White Patchouli
White Patchouli was launched in 2008 and it’s a beautiful autumnal fragrance, which balances floral and woody notes.
The top notes are white flowers, coriander, peony and bergamot. The middle notes are Ambrette (musk), rose and jasmine and the base notes are patchouli, incense and woody notes.
As the fragrance opens, the floral notes are most prominent, which gives it an initial sweetness and lightness making it feel very feminine. The coriander adds a sweet, slightly spicy sexiness, which balances beautifully with the florals. The coriander also has a woody and peppery feel to it, which adds depth and makes it darker and richer.
The floral notes continue throughout the heart of the fragrance heightened by the rose and jasmine. The jasmine also adds an additional sweetness and a slight edge.
As the scent develops, the woody and aromatic base notes of the patchouli create an earthy feel. When the musk is combined, we get an earthy, oriental, mildly exotic scent that feels just like walking through a forest in the autumn.
The patchouli adds depth and an earthiness that we want in a patchouli-based fragrance. However, it doesn’t completely smother the florals so it retains the sweet freshness. It is a wonderful balance of light femininity with a touch of darkness making it a great scent for everyone.
It is best used for everyday use but can also be worn out in the evenings due to the sexy edge.
4. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
Launched in 2014, Black Opium is another wonderful fragrance to have on your dressing table. It is unique and classy with a richness that makes it great for evening wear and to see you through the winter.
The top notes are pink pepper, orange blossom and pear. The middle notes are coffee and jasmine. The base notes are vanilla, patchouli, cedar and musk.
Black Opium opens with a fruitiness, which is highlighted by the pink pepper. This quickly transforms into a darker, richer scent led by the coffee to awaken the senses.
The heart of the fragrance is rich and sweet with the bitterness of the coffee being balanced with the sweet floral notes of jasmine, which is intoxicating.
The base notes beautifully support the coffee by adding even more depth by creating an earthy and slightly spicy undertone. The patchouli adds a woody and earthy feel, which balances with the bittersweet coffee, jasmine and fruits. The vanilla is also used wonderfully here by adding an extra sweetness to ensure the deep coffee and patchouli notes are not overpowering.
Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic use of coffee adds a unique richness and depth making it sexy and alluring. The cedar adds a wonderful spice, which is leveled by the patchouli to create an all-around complex but enchanting scent to add a dash of mystery to that date night you have planned.
5. Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia
This fragrance is beautifully sweet, bitter and fresh all at the same time. It may not have a great deal of fragrance notes, however, the complexity of the pear, freesia and patchouli is enough that it doesn’t need anything else.
The opening is dominated by the pear – to be able to create this scent, the creators had to use ripe pears to ensure the sweetness came through as well as the crispness. It works wonderfully as the creators did not have to add another fragrance note in there to balance it out and make it artificially sweet. In doing so, we get an almost honey type of sweetness rather than sickly sweet.
As the fragrance develops, the floral notes become a bit more apparent without being overpowering. They add a nice dash of femininity and give the fragrance a bit more warmth and sweetness. It is almost like adding a dash of spring to the warm, autumnal feeling we have had until now.
The dry-down is heavy on the patchouli; it comes through perfectly supported by the warmth of the amber, which highlights the autumnal feeling. The rhubarb adds a touch of sour to the fragrance rounding it out beautifully.
This is a good all-round fragrance as the sweet freshness of the florals and pear make it gorgeous for the spring and summer. It is also the embodiment of autumn so let’s hope it is on your dresser ready for September!
6. Prada Prada
Prada is a beautiful oriental fragrance that radiates sophistication and is perfect for an evening out. The balance of the patchouli and amber creates a warm, earthy scent that is a perfect fit for those long, cold winter months.
Top notes are fruity notes, green notes, bergamot and tarragon; middle notes are rose, honey, jasmine, ylang-ylang and carnation; base notes are moss, patchouli, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and benzoin.
Prada opens with a powerful, strong scent initially with the fruity notes being most apparent but with a slight edge. The amber quickly calms the fragrance down and adds warmth and a slight sweetness, which takes the edge off. This means you can just sink into the elegance of this fragrance.
The floral notes come to the surface in the heart of this scent. The exotic jasmine and sweet honey notes add a lightness that feels feminine, which lingers for a while.
During the dry-down, the woody, earthy notes round out the fragrance by transforming it into a richer scent. The patchouli and musk add depth and although the floral notes are retained in the fragrance, the patchouli and musk become much more prominent.
The delicate balance of fruits, florals and patchouli makes this a great year-round perfume. The lightness of the florals and fruits keep it great for summer whereas the warmth of the amber and earthiness of the patchouli will last through the winter months as well.
7. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
This fragrance is perfect if you love oriental, patchouli-based perfumes but with a touch of femininity and fruity complexity.
Top notes are orange, mandarin orange, bergamot and orange blossom; middle notes are Turkish rose, jasmine, mimosa and ylang-ylang; base notes are patchouli, white musk, vanilla, vetiver, tonka bean and opoponax.
The opening of this fragrance is fruity and sweet with the fresh crispness of the various orange notes. The bergamot adds a slight citrusy scent but also adds some spice, which gives the perfume great depth even in the initial moments of spraying it.
The heart of the scent is also sweet and floral but the bergamot complements the jasmine and highlights the jasmine’s sweetness and spiciness.
The dry-down is dominated by the patchouli scent, which adds an earthy feel and in combination with the musk, it feels very natural and warm. The sweetness of the vanilla and bergamot ensures that feminine feel lingers throughout the dry-down and for hours later.
The citrus and fruity notes make this a more feminine perfume – usually the patchouli gives fragrances a dash of dark masculinity but here it is more subtle. The patchouli gives it a nice oriental and woody fragrance and supports the citrus and floral to create an all-around sensual fragrance.
This means it’s a great day-to-day, light scent, which can easily be turned into your signature fragrance! It is the perfect, captivating spring and summer fragrance – it is feminine, sensual and free.
8. Jimmy Choo Jimmy Choo
This fragrance by Jimmy Choo is another beautiful oriental fragrance with patchouli at the heart. It combines florals, fruits and sweetness to create a layered and complex scent.
The top notes are pear, mandarin orange and green notes; middle note is orchid; base notes are toffee and patchouli.
The fragrance opens with fruits, citrus and green notes that combine gorgeously. The pear is juicy; the mandarin orange is sweet but adds a nice citrus crispness. The green notes calm the fragrance down, injecting a cooler, fresher feel and stopping it from becoming too sweet.
The orchid is at the heart of the fragrance; it adds a feminine flair to the citrus, fruits and green notes, which make it feel like summer has come early! The orchid has such a potent but not overpowering floral scent that overtakes the senses but still allows the other notes to be noticeable.
As we go into the dry-down, the patchouli is what stays with us. It is wonderfully earthy and woody but the toffee adds a rich sweetness, which is unlike the fruity sweetness we had earlier. This is richer and more sensual, which keeps the scent feminine but adds a mysterious sexiness to it.
This is the perfect day-to-day fragrance but it is also a great partner for an evening out. The fruity sweetness makes this a great fragrance for warm weather but the earthy notes also mean it is lovely in the autumn.
9. Byredo Bibliotheque
Launched in 2017, this is a wonderful fragrance designed for both men and women. Byredo wanted to re-create the smell and feel of being in a library, sitting in an armchair surrounded by old, musty books… and it does exactly that!
Top notes are plum and peach; middle notes are violet and peony; base notes are leather, vanilla, patchouli and musk.
The plum makes this a strong opening; it is rich and full-bodied, while still being sweet and fruity. This is paired with the peach, which adds a beautiful lightness. Even in the opening, the leather note is noticeable, which gives the fragrance a warmth and familiarity.
The heart of the fragrance has strong floral notes, which adds a well-rounded sweetness and lightness to the leathery scent. The peony gives it a freshness, which is lovely in combination with the leather and other base notes.
The dry-down is where the scent of old libraries comes into play. The base notes create a smoky feel, which makes you feel like you’re sitting in front of a roaring fire. The musk is reminiscent of old books so I would say Byredo was successful in re-creating the feeling of sitting in a library.
The fragrance is surprisingly floral in the opening, however, ultimately the base notes are more dominating in the dry-down. It is strong, rich and full-bodied making it a lovely companion to see you through the cold, winter months and it’s perfect for the evenings.
10.Ralph Lauren Notorious
Launched in 2008, Notorious is a wonderfully complex, dark, oriental fragrance. It is rich and sexy and the dark notes inject a dash of masculinity, which is captivating.
The top notes are black currant, pink pepper and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, peony and white chocolate; base notes are patchouli, vanilla, musk and orris root.
The opening is a wonderful combination of rich and sweet notes. The blackcurrant is tangy and fruity giving the fragrance an almost masculine feel. This is highlighted by the spiciness of the pepper and bergamot, however, these notes also inject a sweetness, which lifts the masculine feel.
We are further pulled away from a masculine feel by the creamy white chocolate and floral notes. The peony is fresh and light giving us the feeling of coming up for air. The white chocolate is a fantastic fragrance note to use here – it is creamy and sensual and really gives it a dash of femininity.
The base notes then begin to come through but they are not overpowering, they add an earthy, woody feel, which overall is calming. The earthy Patchouli and musk linger in the dry-down for hours combined with the dark fruits and creamy, sweet chocolate.
Overall, this fragrance is sensual, dark and alluring – it is beautiful and fantastic for an evening out and even to wear day-to-day if you want to inject some mystery into your life.
11. Chanel Coco Noir
Coco Noir was created in 2012 and is a gorgeous fragrance with a sexy, exotic feel to it as it combines fruity, floral and woody notes. It has an earthy feel and warmth typical of a lovely oriental perfume.
The top notes are grapefruit, bergamot and orange. The middle notes are rose, geranium, jasmine and peach. The base notes are patchouli, sandalwood, white musk, Tonka bean and vanilla.
The opening of this fragrance is fruity and there is a heavy focus on the citrus notes. The grapefruit provides a refreshing, crisp edge, which is softened and sweetened by the bergamot.
As the scent develops, the floral notes become more apparent; this takes the edge off the crisp citrus and adds lightness, which is associated with a more feminine fragrance. The jasmine is particularly prominent here and is carried throughout the heart adding a mysterious, exotic spin. All the while, the fruitiness of the peach hovers in the background.
During the dry-down, the base notes become more apparent; the musk and patchouli in combination with the sandalwood create a beautiful, earthy and warm feeling, which lingers for hours.
This fragrance is gorgeously light, which makes it perfect to wear all year round. However, the warmth of the base notes makes it a wonderful winter fragrance and the patchouli in particular is perfectly matched to autumn.
12. Kiehl’s Original Musk
Kiehls Original Musk was launched in 2004 and it is a lovely floral, woody fragrance for both men and women.
The top notes are orange blossom, and bergamot. The middle notes are Ylang-Ylang, Lily, Neroli and Rose and the base notes are musk, tonka bean and patchouli.
The opening of this fragrance is a simple blend of spicy sweetness from the bergamot but with a lovely citrusy, fruity feel from the orange blossom. Considering this is a musk-based fragrance, it is surprising to have such a potent fruity opening but it adds a lovely unexpected, complexity to the fragrance.
As it develops, the middle notes are more discernible with the floral notes coming through acting as a lovely support for the bergamot. It has a wonderfully unique development – the florals are unexpected and it takes time for the earthy patchouli note to be more dominant but it provides a warmth very early on that is unmistakable.
This fragrance boldly balances the delicate mix of floral notes, sweetness and a strong but warm musk, making this irresistible and intoxicating.
It is no wonder it is a unisex fragrance, the patchouli and musk give it a rich, masculine feel while the florals keep it light with a feminine edge. It is great as a day-to-day fragrance and due to the intricate mix of sweetness and earthiness, it can be worn comfortably all year round.
13. Estee Lauder Modern Muse
Estée Lauder created this beautiful, woody fragrance in 2013 – it is the embodiment of an independent woman.
The top note is mandarin orange; middle notes are jasmine sambac, Chinese jasmine, lily, honeysuckle, flower petals and tuberose; base notes are musk, woody notes, patchouli, patchouli leaf, amber and Madagascar vanilla.
The mandarin orange opens this fragrance giving us a hit of light fruitiness. The jasmine follows very quickly giving the fragrance a feminine sweetness. The sweetness of the honeysuckle and the freshness of the other floral notes give warmth, which reminds us of summer.
The floral notes, particularly the jasmine, last for the duration and linger for hours after the initial spray.
The base notes are woody and sleek and act as a wonderful support to the light notes. The patchouli and musk don’t overpower the florals; instead they provide a strong, durable foundation for a long-lasting unique scent. The amber carries the warmth of the floral and fruit notes throughout the development of the scent. The patchouli and musk provide a natural, earthy feel meaning this fragrance can be used in the autumn as well as the spring and summer.
Overall, this is fruity, powdery and woody – it’s a great scent for all year round and is perfect if you’re looking for your next signature scent. It’s feminine, sleek and strong without being overpowering.