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In an early classification of odors done by Rimmel, the odor of patchouli was classified in the camphor group.2 In the 1950s, Cerbelaud described the odor of patchouli as “heavy, vibrant with musty, herbaceous and camphoraceous notes, warm and lasting.”3
Today, the odor description and classification have changed. Now, various types of processed patchouli oils are available, and patchouli is listed by suppliers among woody materials. Both researchers and perfumers concur, considering patchouli to be in the woody family of odors.
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