Where it’s from
A bushy herb in the mint family with small, pale pink flowers, patchouli is native to tropical Asia.
Where it’s found
This powerful fragrance is found in everything from everyday laundry detergents and air fresheners to fancy soaps and perfumes. As a base note in Atelier Cologne’s Mistral Patchouli, it’s a musky counterpoint to zesty top notes and a floral heart.
What it’s good for
Patchouli is believed to have insect repellant properties, specifically against termites and moths. It’s also used as an antidote to snake bites and to combat skin disorders, like acne and eczema. As aromatherapy, patchouli is thought to relieve depression and anxiety—and some claim the earthy scent has aphrodisiac properties.
Need to know
If you don’t want to smell like a flower child, steer clear of synthetic patchouli and cheap blends.