25 Best Patchouli Perfumes for Every Scent Preference

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patchouli perfumes

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In a world where vanilla perfumes, rose fragrances, and the likes of Santal 33 reign supreme, patchouli perfumes are severely slept on, if you ask me. And I’ll be honest: they weren’t really my thing either (I pretty much always want to smell sweet and edible), until I realized that patchouli, which generally smells earthy and musky, doesn’t have to exist on its own as a one-note scent. Once I realized that some of the best perfumes contain patchouli, I learned that patchouli perfumes aren’t just woodsy and heavy—they can also be sweet, floral, and fresh, too. Now, I’ll wax poetic about the versatile powers of patchouli until the end of time.

So if you’re new to patchouli, or you’re in the meh camp like I used to be, it’s time you step into 2022 and add a patchouli fragrance to your collection, whether you want a floral springtime scent, a sweet Valentine’s Day perfume for date night, or a spicy winter fragrance. I’ve personally sniffed dozens of patchouli perfumes, and these ones are a few of the best:

Our top picks for the best patchouli perfumes of 2022:

  • Best Patchouli Perfume at Ulta

    Pacifica Himalayan Patchouli Berry Perfume

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  • Best Patchouli Perfume at Sephora

    Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb

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  • Best Sweet Patchouli Perfume

    Mugler Angel Eau De Parfum

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  • Best Summer Patchouli Perfume

    Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne

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  • Best Patchouli Perfume for Work

    Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum

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There are a lot of patchouli perfumes out there, so for the full breakdown of my favorites, keep scrolling, then keep reading about what exactly patchouli is, how it smells, and which other scents it pairs best with.

Best Patchouli Perfume at Ulta

Pacifica Himalayan Patchouli Berry Perfume

If you want all the rich-smelling vibes without shelling out a ton of cash, you need to try Pacifica’s patchouli fragrance. Even though it costs less than $30, you’d never know it was such an affordable and cheap perfume. The scent is layered with a mix of geranium, grapefruit, and sugar that give it a crisp complexity you’d expect to find in more high-end perfumes. Luckily, it’s available at a few retailers, but if you find yourself perusing the Ulta site at 2 a.m., this one’s my favorite.

THE REVIEWS: “It’s not overpowering, but I feel like I’m wearing a little something to make my day,” writes one tester. “Great for office or church so no one gets offended by strong perfumes.”

Best Patchouli Perfume at Sephora

Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb

Although patchouli is often found in musky, woody, and spicy fragrances, my favorite is when it’s paired with florals to give the whole scent a bright yet grounded finish. This cult-favorite perfume is heavy on the jasmine when you first spray it, but slowly mellows into a spicy finish after a few hours on your skin, making it perfect for a night out.

THE REVIEWS: “Flowerbomb has an unexpected but explosive floral scent that literally blows you away with every spray,” writes one review. “It’s long-lasting, and it lingers.”

Best Sweet Patchouli Perfume

Mugler Angel Eau De Parfum

If you’re a fragrance fiend, you already know that Angel has been an industry favorite for years, and for good reason: The gourmand perfume (gourmand = insider speak for sweet, edible-smelling scents) is about as decadent as they come, with notes of bergamot, praline, red fruits, and patchouli. If you’re headed on a hot date and want to smell like a snack, try this ASAP.

THE REVIEWS: “I’ve been wearing this perfume for 15 years now; the spicy honey and chocolate notes are incredibly distinctive and smell amazing with my chemistry.”

Best Summer Patchouli Perfume

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne

When I’m meeting my friends at the farmer’s market on a Sunday morning (as we all do every single weekend, right?), I legit always spray on this perfume before leaving. Despite its base of patchouli, the scent doesn’t feel heavy—instead, the formula’s pear and freesia keep it smelling light and airy, while the patchouli adds a hint of musk to keep it from screaming “SUMMER!” so you can continue wearing it long into fall.

THE REVIEWS: “I think this fragrance is one of the most underrated fragrances I’ve ever come across,” one reviewer writes. “It’s an absolute hidden gem. It’s fresh, sensual, and not offensive at all. If I had to pick one word to perfectly describe this scent, it would be sophisticated.”

Best Patchouli Perfume for Work

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum

If there’s one truly iconic perfume that embodies old-school sophistication, I would say it’s Chanel No. 5. The only potential downside? It’s heavy on the powder-y vibes. So if you want a scent that still commands a room but feels a bit more modern, try Coco Mademoiselle. It’s slightly sweeter (thanks to the addition of orange citrus), but will still make you feel v profesh and empowered during your next work presentation.

THE REVIEWS: “This fragrance is absolutely divine,” writes one tester. “When I wear it, my children say I smell rich. That’s almost all I need in life.”

Best Natural Patchouli Perfume

The 7 Virtues Patchouli Citrus Eau de Parfum

Sometimes, you just want a super-light, easy-to-wear perfume that doesn’t require a special occasion or season—and also won’t give your work BFF a headache. This floral, citrus-spiked fragrance from The 7 Virtues is light and unintrusive, even to the most sensitive noses (thanks to its balanced rose, geranium, sandalwood, and amber). And if you love natural perfumes, you’ll be happy to know this vegan and cruelty-free formula is also free of phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde releasers.

THE REVIEWS: “I just need a tiny dab on my wrist, let it settle, and then I catch a sweet then subtle hint of an earthy scent,” writes one reviewer.

Best Patchouli Perfume for Date Night

Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau De Parfum

Hi, I get it: Not everyone wants their perfume to make them smell like they were just rolling around in a field of flowers. So hear me out when I say this peony-spiked scent will get a gold star from even the staunchest of floral perfume haters. It leans warm and spicy (thanks to notes of rhubarb, patchouli, and musk), so the peony notes feel smokey and sweet, instead of powdery and stuffy.

THE REVIEWS: “The fragrance is not overly complicated but not simplistic either,” writes one tester in a review. “It highlights the true beauty of roses without getting it lost among other scents. I feel calm, motivated, empowered, and limitless when I wear it.”

Best Cannabis and Patchouli Perfume

19-69 Purple Haze Eau De Parfum

Because cannabis and patchouli are on the same scent spectrum (both are strong, musky, and herbaceous), it’s unsurprising that combining the two would create such a powerhouse perfume like one from 19-69. It smells earthy and strong, like walking through a cloud of incense, but still has a bit of spiciness, thanks to its added violet leaf and black pepper.

THE REVIEWS: “I’ve been getting compliments every time I wear it,” writes one reviewer. “It’s a scent you’ll have to get used to, but once you do, it smells so good.”

Best Vanilla and Patchouli Perfume

Henry Rose Dark is Night Eau De Parfum

You wouldn’t think vanilla and patchouli would go together so well, but in this fragrance from Michelle Pfeiffer, the combo creates a beautifully rich, warm scent that smells both decadent and grounded, thanks to its added vetiver and green grass (!). It’s smooth and intoxicating—like the perfume equivalent to jazz—giving it an earthy depth that truly isn’t overwhelming.

THE REVIEWS: “Dark is Night is very rich and decadent,” writes one tester. “It’s perfect if you like something sweet, sexy, fun, and warm. This fragrance carries an ‘anything can happen tonight’ kind of vibe.”

Best Light Patchouli Perfume

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum

Just because you like patchouli doesn’t mean you always want to smell like you’ve got straight patchouli oil on all day long. That’s where La Vie Est Belle comes in—it’s a sweet floral scent (hi to the iris, vanilla, and warm sugar) with just a whisper of patchouli. It’s basically the La Croix of patchouli perfumes.

THE REVIEWS: “It’s a soft fragrance I can wear without worrying about overtaking a room,” writes one tester in a review. “I always get compliments on the fragrance.”

Best Floral Patchouli Perfume

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau De Parfum

Love floral perfumes? Same, but I especially love one that’s got a bit of ~spice~ to take the edge off any overpowering powder vibes. And for this one, Gucci added a bit of warm brown sugar and patchouli to the otherwise jasmine and gardenia base to create the perfect mingling of woodsy and fresh.

THE REVIEWS: “I get so many questions on this perfume when I wear it!” writes one reviewer. “Smells so clean and not irritating like other floral fragrances.”

Best Every Day Patchouli Perfume

Juicy Couture Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

If you’ve ever wanted to know what I smelled like throughout high school (wow, strange, but okay), then spritz on this Juicy Couture perfume. Even if you haven’t tried this O.G. in a decade, believe me when I say that, unlike some 2000s icons, this one never lost its magic. It’s mixed with patchouli and passionfruit—a dynamic duo that’s fresh and vibrantp—that’ll give you first-week-of-school excitement, without the anxiety flashbacks.

THE REVIEWS: “I remember everyone using this perfume years ago, but I never actually smelled it,” writes one reviewer. “I usually do one spray, and that will last about half a day, so two sprays for a whole day is pretty good!”

Most Romantic Patchouli Perfume

Savoir Faire Soul Cafe Eau De Parfum

No joke: Each time I spritz on this perfume, I can feel the room (and my mood) warm up a few degrees. It’s got a bunch of heavy notes—coffee, black pepper, tobacco, and firewood—that make it smell like a romantic cabin getaway in the woods. But even though my weekends spent around a bonfire are, uh, nonexistent, I do mist this on whenever I need a boost of confidence approaching someone at a bar, and it works every. damn. time.

MY REVIEW: “There comes a time when I want to smell practically edible—perhaps Valentine’s Day—and this is the perfume I reach for. I wore this on a date once, and the first thing out of their mouth was that I smelled amazing. Win for me.”

Best Inexpensive Patchouli Perfume

Zara Fleur De Patchouli

I get major compliments every time I wear this, and I’m always delighted to tell people that it’s less than $40 from Zara. We all know perfumes can get v expensive, but this peony and patchouli combo smells just as layered and complex as high-end, ultra-luxe fragrances. A big complaint with inexpensive perfumes is longevity, but when I spritz this on my pulse points (wrists, neck, ankles), I still get whiffs of it all day.

MY REVIEW: I love all of the Zara perfumes because they’re inexpensive but smell like you spent a lot on them. When I was first getting into patchouli perfumes, I turned to this because of the price, but I still swear by it today for its light and airy floral scent.

Best Classic Patchouli Perfume

Jimmy Choo Jimmy Choo Eau De Parfum

If you’re looking for low-key scent, lemme present to you this Jimmy Choo fragrance, which is basically the white T-shirt of perfumes. Pear, orchid, and patchouli keep the scent completely balanced: It’s a lil floral, a lil fruity, and a lil woodsy, so it never smells too loud or intense when you walk into a room—or when you leave it. It’s simple and timeless, the way a chill patchouli perfume should be.

THE REVIEWS: “This is a patchouli lover’s dream,” writes one tester in a review. “It’s a strong, long-lasting scent. It’s mature, without being ‘old.’”

Best Winter Patchouli Perfume

Jazmin Saraï Led IV.

All of perfumer Jazmin Sarai’s fragrances are developed with music in mind (each scent is inspired by a song), and this one is giving ‘70s hard rock, leather jackets, and smokey rooms. You can really smell the patchouli and musk on first spritz, before the grapefruit and bergamot slowly slide in and settle down, making the final scent feel smoother and less intense, like the final slow-track on an album.

THE REVIEWS: “This scent is sweet and spicy all at the same time,” one reviewer writes. “Not too aggressive but assertive.”

Best Neroli and Patchouli Perfume

Beatus Alhambra Eau De Parfum

You know those fragrances that are just so intoxicating you have to walk up to someone and ask what they’re wearing? That’s what happens every time I wear this. The scent itself is a musky, ~sexy~ scent that lingers everywhere you go. Yes, neroli and patchouli are both potent notes on their own, but when paired with the citrusy orange blossom and fruity raspberry in this scent, the combination turns almost tropical, like a candlelit dinner on a yacht in the Bahamas (which, tbh, will be the closest I ever get to that).

MY REVIEW: This perfume is so unique in my collection of dozens of perfumes. It’s woodsy, but it’s hard to grab what all the notes are because it also smells sweet and fresh at the same time.

Most Versatile Patchouli Perfume

Nick Ricardo Collection Mention

If I’m spending beaucoup bucks on a perfume, I want to be able to wear it all the damn time, not just for special occasions. Thankfully, this patchouli fragrance is light and breezy from bergamot and rose, but has a little sweetness from vanilla and pineapple. So you get a light daytime fragrance that can easily transition from cocktail hour to a nightcap. Pro tip: To make your perfume last longer, spray a little bit on your clothes too.

THE REVIEWS: “I just purchased a full bottle of mention after falling in love with it through the discovery pack,” one tester writes in a review. “The smell is so addictive to me, like a skin scent but better.”

Best Patchouli Perfume For A Night Out

Tom Ford Noir De Noir

Not all florals are reserved for prim and proper daytime functions. In fact, this floral and vanilla perfume is deep and sensual, thanks to the earthiness that comes from its patchouli and oud, so it feels warm and inviting for a night out. It’s perfect for nights when you’re heading to the dance floor, or hopefully chatting up the cute bartender for some ~secret recipe~ cocktails.

THE REVIEWS: “It’s alluring, flirty, and the right amount of sweet while still being sexy and mature,” writes one tester. “The rose is pretty prominent, but I also get dark chocolate and red wine vibes.”

Longest-Lasting Patchouli Perfume

Dedcool Fragrance 04

So you’ve got an outrageously long, busy day ahead of you that you’re lowkey dreading. Pls reach for this perfume. It’s rich in the best way (think: heavy notes of sandalwood and incense), so one spritz on your wrists and neck will last from your morning meetings to your post-work happy hour to your Uber home.

THE REVIEWS: “It is dark and sexy, understated but bold,” writes one reviewer. “I’ve always loved patchouli, and in this, it is perfect.”

Best Woodsy Patchouli Perfume

Amber Kiso Eau De Parfum

When I want my perfume to stand out among all the other fresh and floral scents in the room, I reach for this one from D.S. & Durga. It’s confidently musky from its cedar, leather, and incense, but stays light and palatable with notes of iris and asahi zuru maple, making it feel like you’re glamping in Joshua Tree with a v strong wifi connection—not actually in the Great OutdoorsTM.

MY REVIEW: This perfume is strong, y’all, but it smells like nothing else I’ve ever tried. If you want people to ask what perfume you’re wearing, this extra woodsy one will do it.

Best Rose and Patchouli Perfume

Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Parfum Spray

Hi, want to smell like you’ve got an offshore Swiss bank account? Wear this rose-based perfume. Seriously. Unlike other rose perfumes that can smell stuffy and old, this one uses amber, cinnamon, raspberry, patchouli, and sandalwood to smell like ~new money~—aka decadent, over-the-top, and not-at-all grounded. It’s expensive, but the spicy-floral scent lingers all day, and it doesn’t smell overpowering (if you’re new to patchouli). Worth it, IMO.

THE REVIEWS: “My signature scent that truly does captivate all those around you with its sophistication and wonder,” writes one reviewer. “If you could put class in a bottle, this would be it.”

Most Patchouli-Smelling Perfume

Diptyque Tempo Eau de Parfum

If you think every other patchouli fragrance on this list is child’s play, you’ll be happy to know that this fragrance was developed as an ode to patchouli, so it’s the first note you pick up on. The woody, musky fragrance only has only a couple of notes (patchouli, maté, clary sage, and violet), so it’s not exactly like dabbing pure patchouli oil on your wrists, but pretty damn close.

THE REVIEWS: “It’s a really sophisticated and unusual scent,” one tester writes. “It’s woody, smokey, and reminds me of incense and churches.”

Best Outdoorsy Patchouli Perfume

The Nue Co. Forest Lungs

Want to smell like you just spent the afternoon in the mountains, when you actually just sat on the couch since noon? Meet Forest Lungs. I kid you not, this perfume somehow bottled the very essence of sitting in a forest with its mix of pine, cedar, and vetiver. Also, very cool thing: This scent also contains some ~patented~ relaxation ingredients that are said to give you the same calming effect you get when you’re outside.

THE REVIEWS: “It settled into a beautiful fragrance,” one review writes. “Woodsy and musky and earthy and smoky in the best way. I also like the aromatherapy aspect as well.”

Best Warm Patchouli Perfume

Maya Njie Nordic Cedar

When you just want a comforting scent that feels like home, opt for a formula with warm notes, like this one from Maya Njie that uses cardamom, cedarwood, patchouli, and musk for a woodsy and cozy finish. Whether you’re sitting around a fire with a cup of tea or reminiscing over better days at home, a spritz of this fragrance feels like a warm hug from a loved one.

THE REVIEWS: “I am really fussy when it comes to perfumes, but this scent is truly divine,” writes one reviewer. “if you are looking for a good unisex perfume, that has a musky and woody smell to it, then try this.”

What does patchouli scent smell like?

Patchouli will smell a little bit different depending on the other notes you pair it with, but at its core, patchouli smells earthy, spicy, herbaceous, and musky. The patchouli scent comes from the leaves of patchouli plants native to Southeast Asia, and, for a little fragrance history lesson, it got super popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s counterculture movement.

Most people find the scent relatively calming and soothing, which is why you’ll often find it in woodsy fragrances (nature = relaxing), but it’s also commonly added to floral, sweet, or warm perfumes to give them more depth and musk.

Patchouli on its own can be strong and earthy (think: the Janis Joplin crowd at Woodstock), but not all patchouli-based perfumes will give off ‘70s hippie vibes. In fact, when paired with lighter, fresher scents (see my favorites above), patchouli can come across as softer and more subtle, making it the perfect spring or summer scent, especially for anyone who doesn’t usually like earthy scents.

What scents pair well with patchouli?

The magic of patchouli is that it pairs well with pretty much every other scent family. Citrus notes like orange and bergamot, or florals like geranium and peony, will often smell more complex and “grown-up” when paired with patchouli. Meanwhile, sweet, musky, woodsy, and earthy fragrances (like those with vanilla, sandalwood, leather, and vetiver) get a little deeper when you add patchouli.

If you like a strong scent, look for a patchouli perfume that has other rich and heavy notes (think: tobacco, cannabis, cedar, incense). But don’t worry: you can also get a light, fresh patchouli fragrance if it has notes like geranium, rose, or grapefruit. Like I said—patchouli pairs well with everything. Just know that because it is a strong scent, it can smell overpowering quite quickly if you pair it with other strong notes (like oud and evergreen).

Beth Gillette is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan with four years of experience researching, writing, and editing perfume stories. She’s an authority in all fragrance categories but is an expert when it comes to patchouli perfumes, thanks to years of sniffing hundreds of scents. She regularly tests and analyzes perfumes to assess new formulas and brands.

Beth Gillette is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers skincare, makeup, hair, nails, and more across digital and print.

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