Sunday, February 20, 2011

A patchouli problem!

PatchouliIf you were alive during the sixties, you most likely know the scent of patchouli, even if you don't know that's what it's called. You probably even have an opinion on it, whether positive or negative. Patchouli was a very popular scent among the counterculture, featured in both perfume oils and incense, often burned to disguise other burning odors.

But did you know patchouli is a plant? The familiar fragrance is derived from a distillation of the leaves of the patchouli plant into an essential oil, which is often used today in modern perfumery. The scent is rich and earthy, combining a floral sweetness - even though it is made from leaves - with a musky scent reminiscent of fresh-turned soil. Some people loathe the scent and say it smells like dirt, while others adore its vivid and powerful fragrance.

patchouli 2 bottleFlash back to 20 years ago: (just like those books that jump around in time)

I was on a business trip to the Boston area and I was looking for a gift for my wife Margaret. Walking down the street I walked into a “Custom Mixed Oils” Perfume shop. It was an interesting place. It smelled so good. Ultimately I walked out of the shop with a couple of bottles of interesting smelling oil for Margaret. One of them was patchouli oil.

As it turned out I liked the patchouli oil so much that I ended up wearing it as a cologne instead of Margaret. On and off I would order Oils by mail from the “Custom Mixed Oils Shop “ in Boston always including patchouli. Over the years I found other sources of patchouli oil here and there. Sometimes it was not as good, sometimes it was better.

imageWhen we came back from Europe in 2001 while I stumbled upon one of the best smelling patchouli oils I have ever run across. Not only did I like it but it seemed that everyone liked it. I would be walking down the street in a strange city and people would stop me and ask me what was I wearing that smelled so good. Standing in the check out lines in grocery store clerks would ask me. Strange looking leather clad men of questionable sexual orientation would ask me. People at work would ask me.Men or women it didn’t seem to make a difference. In fact it seem like a month wouldn’t go by that someone would comment of that wonderful smell!

So where did I find this wonderful variety of patchouli oil  might you ask.  Hang on to your seats because your not going to believe this. I found it at the “Como Zoo” gift shop. Hard to believe I know, but for the last 10 years I would visit the Como Zoo gift shop from time to time to resupply my personal stash of patchouli oil.

One of the ladies at the office where I work asked me one day what that wonderful smell was and where I got it. I told here the Como Zoo”. She didn’t believe me. So I brought here a bottle one day. After that now she sneaks to the Como Zoo to resupply her stash!

smell cartoonThe smell is so noticeable that it has become my signature. If people at work smell patchouli  they assume I’m around somewhere. A while ago Margaret handled the bottle of patchouli oil sitting on the bathroom counter and got some on her hands. She whipped it on her throat and thought nothing more off it. Later at work when she suggested to a co-worker that they could use my office for a meeting because I was not there the coworker replied “ Yes he is! I just smelled him go by!

DSC00390x“Queue the spooky music that portrays impending feelings of Doom”

A few days ago my stash of patchouli oil had run low so it was off to Como Zoo to resupply. To my horror when I got there this time ready to take  home several bottles as I usually do THERE WAS NONE! It was gone. Where’s my patchouli oil! I need my patchouli oil!

I sought out the clerk in charge and asked “What happened to the patchouli oil?” she blithely replied “Oh were not stocking that anymore.” I was devastated! What will I do without my special brand of patchouli oil? Will I still be me if I don’t smell like me?

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin