Sunday, May 11, 2008

Patchouli love

Back when I was making lots and lots of soap, one of my favorite soaps to make was a lavender/patchouli scent blend that practically made me weak in the knees.

There's just something about the scent of patchouli. I can't really say that it smells good. Because you know what smells good? Cinnamon rolls. Coffee. Nutmeg. Vanilla. All those things smell very good, but patchouli smells like none of them.

The smell of patchouli is a balm to my sense more because of what the fragrance evokes, rather than the actual scent. Patchouli, as seen above, is an herb. I suppose some people can actually grow it, but since I have a canny knack of killing God's flora, I just. Stay. Away. I get my patchouli fixes from fragrance oils and linen sprays and the like, rather than from the dried leaves of the actual plant. I am a murderess when it comes to green and growing things. ANYWAY -- I am coming to the point, so please wake back up -- patchouli is an herb that actually smells like dirt.

Dirt. Yep, dirt.

But it isn't just plain old dirt, the kind your family tracks in on the carpets and grinds into the fabric of their clothes. Patchouli smells like the dirt in a beautiful forest on a day when there is a light rain falling. Not a chilly rain or the kind of warmish rain that presages tornadoes; no, just a light, cool rain. The rain falls on the green, living leaves above and the dead, damp leaves underfoot and it smells, all at the same time, clean and musty and woodsy and airy and earthy.

It is, as I said, very evocative. Pungent, yet elusive. Fresh, yet fusty. And the reason I know this is because I am sitting here at the computer gustily inhaling the scent from my new patchouli candle and potpourri I got for Mother's Day from my family.

What a lovely day it's been, with the three of them. And patchouli.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

The things I learn on this blog...I have no idea what this is, but I am willing to learn. Bring that candle with you tomorrow so I can experience this great scent...or tell me where to go to get one. A candle that smells like dirt...Mark will think I have flipped out for sure.