Patchouli oil is an essential oil that comes from the patchouli plant, a bushy herb closely related to lavender, mint and sage. Patchouli oil has a distinctive strong and musky odor.
Patchouli grows primarily in Southeast Asia and South America. In East Asia, it is a common ingredient in incense, while in the West it is a key ingredient in many personal fragrances. Patchouli also has uses in alternative medicine. Applying the oil to the skin may help alleviate dryness and irritation, and patchouli has anti-fungal properties that make it a useful treatment for athletes foot and other minor fungal infections.