One Thousand Scents

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Healthy Dose: Farmacia Annunziata Patchouly Indonesiano

You know that smell when you open a bottle of multivitamins? That's the very first thing I smelled when I tried Farmacia Annunziata's Patchouly Indonesiano. Mostly the B vitamins, I think, because the oil-soluble vitamins don't have much of a smell, whereas the Bs not only have a smell in the bottle, they will dye your urine bright yellow and give it a characteristic odour as well. As soon as I thought that, of course, I thought of that Christmas episode of South Park in which Kyle describes his grandmother as smelling of "vitamins and pee", though fortunately Patchouly Indonesiano doesn't smell of urine. Vitamins, though? You betcha. Vitamins and patchouli.

I'm not even sure why I bothered to try this, since i know perfectly well that 1) I don't really like patchouli, at least not that earthy, dirty straight-up head-shop patchouli, and 2) patchouli doesn't like me, either. But I just have to try everything, and since I'd gotten a bunch of free samples with my last order from Luckyscent and this was one of them, I figured I owed it.

The patchouli, and I'll give it credit for this, is enormously complex; there's a wad of anise just after the vitamins, a sharp pine-cleanser aroma coupled with a loamy forest floor (as if you were cleaning some tree stumps), a bit of wet wool, and a deep chocolate warmth, among other things. It's like wine in that regard, full of bits and pieces you wouldn't necessarily expect to find in such a single-minded fragrance. It is, of course, tenacious and aggressive, even down to its texture, which is viscous and grabby. I am surprised that I don't actually hate Patchouly Indonesiano: I don't love it, and I would certainly never own a bottle of it, but its shifting, multicoloured complexity is at least interesting. It makes you think, and I like that in a scent.

What it really boils down to is that if you like patchouli, then you will probably like Patchouly Indonesiano quite a lot, and if you do not like patchouli, then this is the sort of thing you ought to steer well clear of, though you already knew that.


  • I actually quite liked this one, Pyramus, and if it wasn't so darned expensive and there weren't so many fairly affordable and good patchoulis out there, I might buy it. I suspect the Luckyscent sample I inherited was from someone else's "bunch of freebies."

    Now I'll have to fish it out and see if I get that nasty B-vitamin accord.

    I don't consider myself exactly a patch connoisseur, but this one, yes, I'd wear it two or three times a year.

    By Anonymous Joe, at 2:20 AM  

  • Oh, it's not nasty. It's just there, and unexpected, and odd.

    Naturally, I gave my sample to my co-worker who loves all things patchouli, the dirtier the better, and naturally she loved it (she hadn't seen the price tag yet), and I have to admit that it smelled good on her. It really is the damnedest thing.

    By Blogger pyramus, at 2:47 AM  

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