patch·​ou·​li | \ pə-ˈchü-lē How to pronounce patchouli (audio) also ˈpa-chə-lē How to pronounce patchouli (audio) \
variants: or less commonly patchouly

Definition of patchouli

: a heavy perfume made from the fragrant essential oil of a southeast Asian mint (Pogostemon cablin) also : the plant itself

Examples of patchouli in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

My picks: Parisian Rhapsody solid perfume by Sabé Masson for $17 or Les Topette’s unisex in-house perfume, Lápiz (pencil in Spanish) for $74 with cedar, patchouli, and citrus notes. Chris Ciolli, Allure, "Barcelona Travel Guide: 11 Beauty Spots to Visit in Spain’s Most Welcoming City," 11 Mar. 2019 Framed with tangy mandarin oil, juniper-berry oil, and sky of the sky accord at the top, followed by lavender, green apple, and violet leaves notes in the middle, the structure ends with an alluring patchouli and ambergris base. Sunhee Grinnell, Vanities, "Scent Memo for Spring: Citrus," 8 May 2018 There's Hermoine, which smells of cedar and thyme; Sabrina, which smells of patchouli and bergamot; and Willow, which smells of palo santo, a wood known for its protective properties. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "11 Halloween Beauty Launches for Spooky Makeup and Skin-Care Products," 9 Oct. 2018 Intoxicating flowers and sharp citrus contribute to the warm feeling Diptyque has channeled into the fragrance, which is composed of orange blossom, angelica root, patchouli, and juniper berry. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Diptyque’s Latest Additions Will Transport You to a Mediterranean Utopia," 9 May 2018 Essential oils are no longer the domain of hippies who like the smell of patchouli. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "6 Times You Should Never Use Essential Oils," 12 Jan. 2017 For skin care: Lavender, carrot seed, rose, rosehip, frankincense, geranium, tea tree, ylang-ylang, and patchouli. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Essential Oils for Beginners: How to Use Them Safely in Your Beauty Routine," 7 May 2018 Other notes include patchouli, which belongs to the mint family, and vanilla, which adds a feminine touch. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Byredo's Bibliothèque Perfume Is Here to Stay," 3 May 2018 Other notes come from orris root blended with patchouli; its inherent headiness is tempered by the freshness of jasmine. Kavita Daswani,, "Designers behind Proenza Schouler find fresh inspiration on a road trip from L.A. to West Texas," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patchouli.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of patchouli

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for patchouli

Tamil paccuḷi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about patchouli

Statistics for patchouli

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for patchouli

The first known use of patchouli was in 1845

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for patchouli



English Language Learners Definition of patchouli

: a perfume that is made from the oil of a southeast Asian plant

More from Merriam-Webster on patchouli

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with patchouli

Comments on patchouli

What made you want to look up patchouli? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!