The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Santa Maria Novella Patchouli


WHAT I SMELL:   Patchouli’s opening is warm, with musty and thickened earthy patchouli that increasingly radiates off of the skin at every breath you take in.  There’s also a medicinal quality that is a cross between herbaceous and mentholated.  In a short time, Patchouli becomes woody, rather dry and it feels like the perfume was dug out from the bottom of a forest.  This is not a pretty patchouli, nor one of sweet youth, but a patchouli that reins from ancient times and one that has been fermenting in a cask until ready to be released after years of careful curation.  As the perfume develops in slow, deliberate and small nuances, it quietly settles in a woody, musky and dried, yet creamy crush of patchouli.  Patchouli would be perfect for those cool and rainy contemplative days when you don’t want to be troubled by current events.

From the Santa Maria Novella website:

The Patchouli perfume from the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella is a bouquet of oriental woody notes, which evoke the homonymous plant’s homeland: Malaysia and India. In the regions of origin, the unmistakable smell of patchouli pervades public and domestic environments, as traditional medicine believes that it acts on the physical balance and has a positive effect on the psyche.

Olfactory Notes:  Woody notes

Top: floral note

Heart: rosewood

Base: patchouli, sandalwood, oak moss

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An abandoned Italian villa with remnants of ancient memories still lingering in the air.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE PATCHOULI:  ancient, earthy, serious

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PATCHOULI:  Take One Thing Off, Perfume Smellin’ Things

BOTTOM LINE:  Patchouli is beautiful without being loud, funky or sweet in any way.  Although not an everyday perfume, it’s one that you’ll go back to again and again when the mood is just right.  For those of you who love patchouli, this is one for your collection.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $125 for 100 ml eau de cologne

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

4 thoughts on “Santa Maria Novella Patchouli

  1. SMN Patchouli is probably not for me but I still have fond memories of visiting their decadent boutique / pharmacy in Florence. A wonderful experience to see all the cosmetics and perfumes from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I ordered the SMN Patchouli blind almost 20 years ago (I have no idea what possessed me – I had never heard of it or the company), and have worn it every day since. I cannot imagine being without it. It’s very dry and works well if everything tends to go sweet on your skin (like mine). As an extra bonus, I have not had a moth in my closet in decades – this fragrance was formulated by SNM in the mid-19th century when paisley shawls from India became popular and were wrapped in patchouli leaves to keep the bugs out. Maybe not the most elegant provenance, but hey… SMN ran with the trend in a lovely and enduring way. I happen to be male, and this has floral notes, so might be great on a female. I’ve never actually smelled it on anyone else.


    • Wow David. I love your commitment! The nice thing about this perfume unlike others is that you know it will never go away and be discontinued. As for the moths…hmmmmm, I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense. I might have to put a couple of sachets in my closet. Thanks for stopping by and for smelling so fantastic.


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