Patchouli (whose name comes from a Tamil word, meaning "green leaf") has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes in south-east Asia (antivenom, to treat gastroenteritis, menstrual pains, etc.). Patchouli incense is used in Asian rituals and the scent became popular in Europe in the 19th century. In the 1970's, it became the "smell of hippies". Nowadays, patchouli essence is refined to remove excess components, and it has found its place again in luxury perfumery.
Patchouli essential oil has stimulating and fortifying properties. It is also used as a remedy for venous conditions (varicose veins, etc.) in aromatherapy.