Plant Species with Essential Oil for Perfume Production Part 1

Essential oils for the manufacture of perfumes, confectioners, liquors and beverages are now difficult to obtain. This is because the raw material sources are diminishing in many areas in the country.

Manufacturers and producers are now being encouraged to establish and develop their own plantations for the purpose of generating enough supply of volatile oils and to limit the importation of raw materials for the industry.

Plant Species with Essential Oil

  • Patchouli/Kablin
  • Lemon Grass
  • Aroma
  • Pili
  • Mindanao Cinnamon
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver Grass
  • Lemon Scented Gum, Citron Scented Gum
  • Pandan­ Mabango, Fragrant Screwpine
  • Champaka
  • Ilang-Ilang
  • Cedarwood
  • Nutmeg


Common name: patchouli/kablin
Scientific Name: Pogostemon cablin Benth.


It is an erect aromatic undershrub about 1 to 1.2 m in height, well­branched, pubescent with quadrangular stem. Leaves are simple, opposite, decussate, pale to purplish green when grown in open but bright green under shade. Leaf shape, ovate; petiole 7 to 10 cm long, margin serrated; base cuneate. The flowers are pink­purple, crowded and borne in hairy terminal, axillary spikes 2 to 8 cm l ong and 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter. The calyx is about 6 cm long. The corolla is 8 mm long with obtuse lobes.


Patchouli is propagated vegetatively. Seed beds or polyethylene bags filled with sterilized soil can be used as potting medium. If sterilization is not possible, the potting media should be treated with suitable insecticide or fungicide to prevent the attack of soil microorganisms. Examples are: Carbofuran, at the rate of 26 kg/ha (active ingredient, 3%) or Fensulfothion at the rate of 160 kg/ha (active ingredient, 5%).


Patchouli should be provided with adequate shade during the seedling stage because it droops early but it recovers the following morning. Patchouli requires soil with proper nutrition in order to obtain proper yield and better oil quality. Soil should be supplemented with the right dosage of fertilizers (depending on the soil analysis) and the mineral elements that are needed by the plant. Weeding 6 weeks after planting should be done to ensure good cultivation and better plant growth.

Economic Uses

  • Shampoo – Fresh patchouli leaves when crushed along with gugo and lemon grass serve as shampoo of old folks and even modern ladies.
  • Perfume – Steam distillation of dried patchouli leaves yield an essential oil commonly called as “Oils of Patchouli”. This oil is considered as one of the most important oils of the perfume industry. It blends well with other essential oils like vetiver, sandalwood, paranium and lavender. Because of its unique quality, it is used as fixative in a large number of high grade perfumes.
  • Medicine – Patchouli is locally and internationally known for its medicinal values. In the Philippines, leaves and tops when used in baths, have an anti­-rheumatism action. An infusion of fresh leaves is given internally (1 cupful at a time) to allay painful menstruation and also serves as emmenagogue.
    • In India, the leaves, flowering spikes or dried tops and roots have a diuretic and carminative action. It is used generally, along with Ocinum sanctum seeds, in case of scanty urine and biliousness.
    • In Uruguay, Japan and Arab estates, people believe it possesses prophylactic properties.
  • Insecticide – Crushed leaves and tops are used to repel cockroaches, moths and even leeches (limatik).
  • Tobacco making – In India, patchouli is used as an ingredient in tobacco.


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