Patchouli’s scent has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, and is said to attract the opposite sex. It’s slightly musty, pungent smell is unmistakable and pervasive, and it was often used as a fixative for other scents, or to mask more objectionable scents.
Most people, however, are not aware of the other uses of patchouli. The furry-leafed shrub grows to about four feet in its native Malaysia, but can be grown as a houseplant throughout the world if you avoid the cold. Over the centuries, patchouli has had numerous medicinal uses.