I’ve been stalking these mean streets long enough to have known the time when hippies doused themselves with rancid patch oils. Back then in Montreal, there weren’t enough punk rockers for us to be scary. Hippies used to spit on us.
So patchouli and I didn’t get off on quite the right footing. Its going bourgeois with Opium in late 70s only added constant olfactory assault to threats of injury by stoners.
Now patchouli’s cleaned up its act. It’s fractioned and dissected to remove the musty-camphory notes, until it smells like chocolate. And there’s way too much of it around.
But I’ve been smelling it in 9 out of 10 new perfumes. Especially in combination with berries – Melisand61 came up with the term “fruitchouli” to designate the combo in her comment to the post on YSL Parisienne. We have Angel’s enduring popularity to thank for fruitchouli.
And then there’s the increasingly popular rose + patchouli combo. If I smell another patchrose I think I’ll start spontaneously oozing oakmoss from stigmata – because that’s it, isn’t it? Bereft of oakmoss, perfumers have been looking for another way to ground their fragrances, give them a little darkness and earthiness. And that’s patch, which for the younger generations doesn’t have that musty old hippie association, except as a Woodstock-revival fantasy.
I wish patchouli were on the endangered species list like Mysore sandalwood – but then, that would mean facing lots of synthetic patch, and I’d be probably be moving to Halifax.