Patchouli is inextricably linked to the flower children of the 60s, for whom it was the perfume of choice. The musky, earthy, sweetish smell is one of those scents that is either loved or hated. In its native India the herb is a first aid remedy for snake bites and the stings of various poisonous insects. It is also used in moths balls and sachets that can be placed in laundry cupboards to ward off insects and moths. Its peculiar smell is also used in various aphrodisiac formulas for massage and bath oils and perfumes, but it only works on people who LIKE the scent. Its fixative qualities may be useful in any natural perfume blend, however, it must be used sparingly so as not to overpower other, more subtle fragrances.
In Ayurvedic medicine Patchouli is used for various skin conditions, such as acne, eczema and cracked skin. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-fungal properties also make it useful in the treatment of athletes foot. Traditionally it has also been used in hair-care products, to alleviate dandruff and to help maintain the natural hair colour and prevent greying. Patchouli is also said to be relaxing for the nervous system and can soothe headaches and depression.
Patchouli features prominently in various love philtres and amulets to attract love. However, as noted above, this magic only works on people who like the smell.