1. L’Inspiratrice by Divine: The one that started it all still retains its place as number one in my heart, even after so many others tried to dethrone it. This is the most voluptuous, round rendition of patchouli I’ve ever encountered. Ultra-feminine, its raison d'être is to seduce and to make the wearer feel beautiful. Marvelous and absolutely recommended.
2. Intrigant Patchouli by Parfumerie Generale: Patchouli Masterpiece. This ultra-animalic potion is sexy, savage and utterly devastating. This is patchouli like you’ve never smelled before: it simply has no twin. Dare to brave its pungency at least once.
3. Harem by LR: This copycat managed to creep up to third place on my list, due its marvelous sex-appeal and its beautiful development which takes it from poisonously sweet gourmand to purring powdery comfort.
4. Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka: Another gourmand orchestration around the perfect patchouli note, this Angel inspired gem smells like heaven. A compliment magnet if there ever was one!
5. A Taste of Heaven by By Killian: A beautiful combination of lavender, vanilla sweetness and patchouli with an almost barbaric, animalic twist. Its second-skin drydown is to die for.
6. 1826 by Histoires de Parfums: One of the quietest patchouli scents I’ve ever had the pleasure to smell, 1826 stays close to the skin throughout, but gets progressively warmer to reveal a gently animalic, human scent. Its sweet elements give it a delicious undertone which has me compulsively sniffing my wrist whenever I wear it.
7. Fumerie Turque: Dates and sundried plums, leather, the most glorious sweet tobacco note and slightly urinous honey, all enhanced and infused by gorgeous, gorgeous patchouli. Far more intimidating than its better loved cousin Borneo. I didn’t manage to buy this when it was exported and now I’ll have to trek to Paris for it. Full Bottle Worthy for patch and tobacco lovers. (If you test this, give it a fair chance.. the urinous note can be scary, but it smoothes out down the line.)
8. Patchouly by Etro: A lighter interpretation of true patchouli with a marvelous dusty/powdery aspect. Smells best sprayed on fabric and I especially love it on scarves. Unlike many patch-heavy scents, this will actually perform well in warmer weather.
9. Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens: Probably the most talked-about patchouli scent among fragrance lovers, Borneo 1834 demonstrates the beauty of the patchouli/cacao combination. It is laced with the same sweet tobacco notes that Fumerie Turque uses in abundance.
10. Neonatura Cocoon by Yves Rocher: This recession-friendly gem is utterly comforting and delicious. It combines patchouli with pure chocolate and infuses both with the dark scent of coffee. Yummy!
Which are your own patchouli heroes? Or is patchouli still a villain for you? When commenting you will be automatically entered in a raffle to win a little patchouli sample-pack from me, containing Borneo, Neonatura Cocoon, A Taste of Heaven & Harem.
Images: Superman & Superwoman Flickr by Boss Tweed