Scent Trip: The Patchouli Incidents: Innocent Bystander!

I like patchouli. But less is more. That special essence of patchouli: for some noses it triggers a walk down memory lane -- assuming said person has retained his or her sense of memory. 

For virgin noses, it can be a breath of fresh air, and a potential alternative to expensive commercial fragrances. Used in many designer fragrances, patchouli also remains available as a single note scent.

Many noses may run screaming from the room, especially if the wearer has applied too much of this potentially pungent fragrance.For some noses, it can be a subliminal general attractant.

In my office a customer once begged to borrow a drop or two of patchouli oil; failing that he wanted me to rub my scented forearm on him. I had to pass. "Hey, I'm workin' here.“

Later in a Happy Food supermarket checkout line associate Brad moved merchandise and contemplated molecules. “What is that perfume and who is wearing it?” Mum was the word.


Just the other day, a woman and I passed in the supermarket. We smiled at one another. A look of recognition seemed to come over her face. We continued on our ways.
As I walked down the pet food aisle, I heard a voice behind me. "Excuse me! . . . excuse me!"
I turned around. It was Smiling Lady that I had passed just moments before. She had a really down-to-earth, genuine appearance, and seemed to be truly friendly, unlike the many Stepford Wife types in tennis dresses that usually overran the upscale supermarket.
"I have to ask you, what is that perfume you are wearing?"
"Oh. It's patchouli."
"Yes! I love it. I used to wear it in the sixties. Where do you buy it?"
"Rainbow's Natural Foods. Check them out."
"Cool. Nice chatting with you. Bye!"
"Yeah, nice. Bye now!"

Another memorable Patchouli Incident occurred at Blockbuster Video. Passing a woman on a narrow aisle, I thought that I noticed her staring at me. Generally, when people stare at me in public I tend to feel that there could be negative ramifications. Is my clothing misbehaving? Do I have post it notes stuck to my mid-section? The possibilities are frightening.

The woman approached me. Tall, thin, she had long, thick, naturally silver gray hair, which contrasted nicely with her tan. She wore sandals, tie dye, long, dangling antique earrings, and glowed with health and energy. Her long-maned boyfriend wasn't too shabby either.

"What's that fragrance you're wearing?" She seemed quite enthusiastic and extroverted and up. Sparks of light seem to inhabit her big brown eyes. I wondered, was she on Ginko Biloba or what? Blissed out on one of those weird energizing herbal blends that drive people up the wall, as it increases mental concentration and causes urges to rearrange furniture? Hmm . . . perhaps she was just extremely healthy or coming off a juice fast.
"It's patchouli oil!"
"Of course, that's it!"
"Nice chatting. Have a good day... go scent shopping! Bye now."

Patchouli should perhaps come with a warning label: Use With Caution: May Affect Innocent Bystanders.

Buy some today. But be prudent. Less is more.