Perfume Directory

by Santa Maria Novella


Patchouli information

GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 63 votes)

People and companies

HouseSanta Maria Novella

About Patchouli

Patchouli is a shared / unisex perfume by Santa Maria Novella.

Patchouli fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Patchouli

I've been long aware of Santa Maria Novella, a hallmark of luxury Italian fragrance products, but somehow never got around to purchasing. My partner had, and loved, Melograno - but it never worked for me. During a weekend fall trip to Portland - cool, gorgeous, damp - I came across a wonderful store of luxury home goods that sold the SMN colognes. I was immediately drawn to the Patchouli, sprayed it, and it was instant love. I had smelled it years earlier, but the combination of the weather and location seemed perfect. And it is. I love patchouli - as an 80s alternative kid I wore the oil - and this is the holy grail of patchouli. Of course it is a finely blended cologne, but this is really the ONE. If you like patchouli, you will like this. If it isn't your thing - you will probably hate it. While very strong - I find all SMN colognes very potent - it mellows in a lovely way. I spray both on my skin and on clothing - it lingers wonderfully. I recently visited the Melrose Place store to try some other things and fell for Vetiver and am now enjoying that. Their Vetiver has a similar, old world charm, nothing modern here, just classical, beautifully done, quality perfumes. In today's world of dreadful department store releases and niche fragrances out-doing each other with strength and strangeness, I find myself increasingly drawn to these classics.
22nd November, 2019 (last edited: 27th November, 2019)
I smell turpentine with a herbaceous accord just behind it. There is an almost jamminess in the opening of SMN Patchouli, sort of like the jamminess of a bottle of jalapeño jam, only with patchouli. There is almost a sweetness to the turpentine vibe in the opening, but it only last for a short moment. I don't smell dirt as some have mentioned, but I do pick up the mustiness mentioned by others. I can see myself wearing this fragrance's right up my alley...very green! I've only got the dabber sample, so I can't speak for the performance when sprayed, but the longevity and sillage aren't super impressive from the dabbed on sample. I do appreciate what I am smelling however. Now, 3 hours later, I still love the very faint smell I'm picking up on my wrist. The turps smell is there, but has settled down and I'm getting a very enjoyable greenness. There is also the smell of unearthed roots. I still don't smell, "dirt" per se. The turps note is still there and I do smell a rooty, earthiness. The longer I wear this, the more I, "dig" it. :-)

The fragrances I've tried so far from Santa Maria Novella have all felt like they are from the past approximately, 1900 to 1910 or so. But, they have all been very accessible for me. They are excellent fragrances that I've absolutely loved so far! All very wearable for me, and very well blended and presented. Thumbs way up!

27th February, 2018
I thought Etro's Patchouly was the most straight-ahead patchouli on earth until I smelled this. Side by side, the Etro emerges as slightly floral and herbal, whereas SMN Patchouli is just raw earth.

Patchouli is a Holy Grail for patchouli lovers everywhere. Raw and direct, it smells at first like fresh, loamy soil and rising damp. Later, it dries out a bit and takes on the gold-brown richness of an autumnal landscape, as if a tincture of crisp fallen maple leaves has been drip-fed into the brew.

But whereas it gains in richness, it does not end up mired in an oriental base of sweet amber or vanilla, as so many patchouli fragrances do – this one is raw-edged, honest, pure, and totally to the point. It makes no apologies for being patchouli.

Patchouli also has a green, leafy bitterness to it and a slightly antiseptic undercurrent, but far from being off-putting, these elements cut through the brown gloom and pushes air into the room. The aroma is a thick one, but it wears surprisingly sheerly on the skin.

I think it’s an incredibly sexy, earthy fragrance, because it makes a feature out of its own severity. Think of every stern schoolmistress you ever feared and ended up crushing on, and that’s Santa Maria Novella Patchouli.
21st May, 2016
Contrary to what most people say, I do think it's a complex fragrance, not just a high-quality patchouli oil. It is a stunning high-quality patchouli, but there is also a definite rose note to me, and a powdery musky base that runs through most SMN perfumes. It falls flat on me in cold weather but blossoms in heat, always garnering compliments. It has the "ancient medicine" unsexy quality that I like so much in SMN fragrances.

Another thing-- it smells much better to me when splashed on like aftershave. When sprayed, it is overly swampy and cold.
25th February, 2015
About as pure a Patchouli scent as you're likely to find, outside of a pure and raw Patchouli oil. That's what you'll be reminded of at first, and what you'll get hit with on first smell. A sharp, almost a cleaning product smell that's pungent and off-putting for many. Once it settles down though, maybe after only 15 minutes, you're treated to a wonderfully dry and woody scent, that smells both natural and pleasing and surprisingly soft considering the harsh opening (it is patchouli after all). What development there is after that is mostly linear, towards an ever softer scent. Persistent and lasts forever, but not quite as brutally direct as Lorenzo Villoressi Patchouli, it's only serious competitor among higher-end, straightforward Patchouli fragrances.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves Patchouli.
28th January, 2015 (last edited: 30th January, 2015)
Genre: Woods

Santa Maria Novella Patchouli takes no prisoners. It's a dark, sharp, and smoky patchouli that opens with a reedy herbaceous edge. If patchouli puts you in mind of a head shop, you probably won't like this one - it's not making any concessions to polite society. This is real "hippie" patchouli, though made tart by a crisp citrus note. The quality is high, the scent is extraordinarily potent, and it seems to project for miles.

A note that's harsh and marginally bitter eventually makes its way into the heart of Santa Maria Novella's Patchouli. It's hard to place at first, reminding of hospital disinfectant, or maybe even creosote. The note may sound revolting, but it actually benefits the composition by cutting the trippy-hippie vibe set up by the patchouli. As this note comes into sharper focus I recognize it as a very dry cedar, which grows more and more dominant as the scent dries down.

Unlike many other niche patchouli scents, Santa Maria Novella's is not softened or sweetened by large doses of amber. It stands apart in its raw, direct character. It may not please everybody, but I think it will appeal to patchouli purists.
23rd June, 2014

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Santa Maria Novella perfume oil lamp

US • Current Price: USD 250.00.

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