Patchouli was the fragrance of our generation. Smelling like the earth, undergrowth, youth, and freedom, it connected us to the imaginary world born of 19th-century Romanticism, when the word “patchouli” first appeared. In a commentary on Baudelaire, André Guyaux noted that the poet “didn’t need to go looking far for a little jar of heliotrope or tuberose, a bag of peau d’Espagne or a cashmere shawl redolent of patchouli cast on a sofa” to find himself spirited away. We, too, wanted an earthly paradise that wasn’t artificial.
— Perfumer Jean Claude Ellena, from his book Atlas of Perfumed Botany. Read more in A Master Perfumer's Reflections on Patchouli and Vetiver at MIT Press Reader.