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The World Makes Scents

The World Makes Scents – Patchouli

Another small box with 3 handmade incense cones, gifted to me by Raksmey and David – the people behind The World Makes Scents. A box like this costs $3.95 – currently €4.37 in their Etsy shop. There are also packs with 12 and 24 pieces. The price per cone is €1.46 – €1.28, depending on the pack size.

Ingredients: Patchouli, Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), Makko, Guar gum.

Patchouli provides an authentic, “unadorned” patchouli scent. The cones contain no benzoin resin, no vanilla (or vanillin), storax, or any other ingredient that would add sweetness, as is typical in commercial incense sticks. Further, their aroma is actually based on the herb and not on its essential oil or other extracts. A part of me misses the sweetness, but the purist in me appreciates the unadulterated nature of this scent.
It is aromatic-herbaceous tart, rather dark and earthy, thus fresh and green. The scent has something untamed. It is a fragrance to imagine an ancient, dark forest, through which mystical mists waft; filled with fascinating and likewise eerie sounds, while tiny bare feet of unseen creatures scurry over soft pillows of moss.

I’d never smelled mullein before, but felt like detecting it as a rather peculiar soft note. I asked David about the exact species (Verbascum thapsus), as the sometimes man-high plants also grow here, and I wanted to ensure it was the same species.
I collected some of their fluffy leaves to get to know the pure scent and found that the mentioned scent really does come from the mullein. Additionally, I have since noticed that the fresh-green character of this mild herb emphasizes the green aspect of the patchouli. I think it makes the patchouli scent fresher and more vibrant.
David told me that they added mullein to the recipe to tone down a smell that some of their customers referred to as the “cigarette smell of patchouli.” It seems to work. The aftersmell has a faint ashy note for me but mainly smells of the soft, someway balsamic-green mullein scent, which also lasts very long.

I would very much like The World Makes Scents to also create a sweet patchouli version, but I wouldn’t want to miss this Patchouli because it is appealingly different, and I have grown very fond of it.

1 thought on “The World Makes Scents – Patchouli

  1. Thank you for such a lovely review. I appreciate your honesty. I think some may be surprised at the true scent of patchouli leaves when burned compared to the oils. Some say it smells like a cigarette but others love the trull experience of patchouli leaf. I was just considering a patchouli and sandalwood with a sweet scented resin like benzoin. Thank you again!

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