111 Year Old Patchouli Oil
A trip to the History of Pharmacy Research Center is always eventful and educational, but today was extra special, because I stumbled upon my absolute favorite essential oil that happens to get better with age. Patchouli. I have found five year patchouli oil available for $33.00 per half ounce, but never have I stumbled upon anything like this. Since the bottle hasn’t been opened in 111 years, the cork was a little stubborn. I thought I was going to leave without being able to experience the scent of a 111 year aged patchouli, when John took some small finger cork screw out of his pocket and patiently worked on it (and not an ounce of cork fell into the oil!). We put our noses to the jar and wow, divine. Smooth and earthy, strong yet subtle. I put a little bit on my skin, and, as patchouli does, it developed a special scent based on my own body chemistry.
This 111 year aged Patchouli, rich in Patchouli, smells like Patchouli, but 5th avenue style. Think rich and expensive, instead of local head shop patchouli. More on the earthy and woody side, less on the dirty hippy side (although there is nothing wrong with a dirty hippy!). Many luxe brands develop perfumes using patchouli as a note, but this little one ounce gem is far better than any I have ever smelled.
A Little History
During the 18th and 19th century, silk traders from China traveling to the Middle East packed their silk cloth with dried patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying their eggs on the cloth. It has also been proven to effectively prevent female moths from adhering to males, and vice versa. Many historians speculate that this association with opulent Eastern goods is why patchouli was considered by Europeans of that era to be a luxurious scent. It is said that patchouli was used in the linen chests of Queen Victoria in this way.[citation]