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Among the world’s most popular perfume ingredients, patchouli has an intriguingly sweet scent with strong notes of wood and spice. Behind its remarkable fragrance lies a wide range of uses, beginning with its ability to repel insects. If you like spending time outdoors and want an alternative to commercial bug spray, create a blend with patchouli. The mosquitoes will leave you alone, even though you smell delightful. A little patchouli goes a long way, but don’t worry about your bottle going bad—this is one essential oil that usually improves as it ages.
Generally regarded as safe
INHALATION: Mixed into 1 cup of water on its own or with a complementary essential oil, a few drops of patchouli make a delightful linen spray or natural perfume. If adding it to a diffuser, use the number of drops recommended by the diffuser’s manufacturer.
TOPICAL: Try adding 3 or 4 drops of patchouli essential oil to 1 teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil for a relaxing massage blend.
BATH: Patchouli essential oil can take basic blends such as lavender and rosemary to the next level. If you’re feeling creative, make tiny batches of bath and body products to see what appeals to you.
Patchouli is good for relieving stress, either on its own or with complementary essential oils such as peppermint. Some recipes call for using the oils undiluted; but if you have sensitive skin, use a carrier oil to prevent irritation. For acne-prone and combination skin, patchouli offers soothing relief. Try blending 6 to 7 drops with 1⁄2 cup of witch hazel or micellar water and apply it liberally once or twice daily. Dry and wrinkled skin benefit from patchouli, too; add 1 drop to your daily dose of facial moisturizer, blend it in with your finger, and apply as usual.
IDEAL FOR TREATING