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Tuesday Spotlight: Patchouli



Here at The Smiling Goat Soap Co., we have a sense of humor. It’s often twisted and inappropriate but a sense of humor it is indeed. At 8 o’clock last night, Eric reminded me it was 4/20. Honestly, I don’t think I knew anything about the significance of 4/20 until I started teaching at a juvenile treatment facility in the late 1990’s. The Bibbed Wonder is always surprised by my lack of worldly knowledge and says my naivety is cute and refreshing. After almost 20 years of marriage, the fact that he finds anything about me cute and refreshing is surprising.

We have often discussed how attitudes and social norms have changed significantly in our lifetime and can only imagine what our grandparent’s generation must think. For example, our elderly neighbors, who are like family to us, when they “go to town” they get cleaned up and dress as if they are going out for an evening together. They dress to impress and take pride in their appearance and vehicle. Next, we compare our generation, we dress in decent clothes, at least put minimal effort into our hair and make-up and consider it a win if the car isn’t filled with Barbies and French fries. Lastly, there are those young whipper snappers of the mid-twenties or younger. Seriously, they don’t even take the time to put on daytime clothes. They run around town in their PJ’s, looking like they could use a bar of high-quality goat’s milk soap. It’s so interesting to observe the difference in attitudes of the various generations.

When I was a kid, we knew the crowd that was all good with the 4/20 movement and for the most part, we avoided them. Tattoos, earrings, odd hair and marijuana were things to avoid not embrace. Now, marijuana is considered therapeutic, tattoos have become an art form, piercings are a social statement, and odd colored, styled hair is self-expression. Eric’s grandfather, Baldy (it runs in the family), had a quote that my bibbed wearing gem often uses, “Back in my day, people ate in their houses and went outside to “use the restroom.” Today, people “use the restroom” in their houses and go out to eat! What is this world coming to?” I’ve cleaned up said quote for my more delicate readers.

Whether you embrace the 4/20 movement from back in the day or are new to the benefits of therapeutic marijuana, or are just a nostalgic, hippie want to be; this Tuesday Spotlight is for you!

The patchouli plant belongs to a family of other well-known aromatic plants, including lavender, mint, and sage. Patchouli oil was traditionally used in Asian folk medicine to treat hair problems like dandruff and oily scalp, as well as skin irritations like dryness, acne, and eczema. Patchouli oil has a strong, slightly sweet, intoxicating scent. It's described as having a dark, musky-earthy aroma profile, reminiscent of wet soil. Due to its intense scent, even when diluted, a little patchouli oil goes a long way. Over a year ago, I spilled patchouli oil on a sweatshirt. This sweatshirt has been laundered at least two dozen times and it still makes my closet smell like patchouli.

I have always wondered why those of the hippy mindset love patchouli and the answer is very simple: the story goes that patchouli oil is used to mask the scent that marijuana gives off... however, others have suggested that marijuana and patchouli don't smell all that different and hippies simply wanted their bodies to smell like their bedrooms. Whatever the reason, patchouli has a mass of devoted followers.

Aside from the dark, rich, earthy smell, patchouli oil has a wide variance of benefits both for the skin and the spirit. Patchouli is good for dry skin and is said to benefit people with eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis and is a natural skin healer as well as helping improve marks left by acne and scar tissue. It has been used to treat athlete's foot, jock itch, and skin allergies. In India, patchouli oil is reputed to be an antidote for snake and insect bites. Patchouli soap can help to regulate oily skin and dry scalp disorders such as dandruff and seborrhea.

Spiritually, patchouli essential oil stimulates the conscious mind and stabilizes the etheric mind. The oil also clears environmental energies and neutralizes disharmonic frequencies, making it useful for purification and space clearing rituals, such as meditation, yoga practices, and smudging. Every Fall and Spring, after I have completed my deep cleaning of washing down walls, having carpets cleaned, and washing windows, I take an hour and smudge the entire house with white sage, patchouli, lavender, and a simple prayer. The Bibbed Wonder thinks I’m insane, Jordan thinks it’s fun, and I feel better knowing I have taken as many precautions as possible to bring positive energy into my home. There are moments when I fit into the category of nostalgic hippie want to be.

One last benefit of patchouli oil is its reputation for repelling insects. Both historically and in the modern day, patchouli essential oil can act as a strong and effective insect repellent. It has been used since ancient times to keep mosquitoes, bed bugs, ants, flies, moths, and fleas away and provides a natural way to eradicate pests. Patchouli essential oil is also safe for use on and around pets.

Patchouli oil combined with the benefits of goat’s milk soap are a healthy, natural alternative to all the processed chemical laden mass-produced products on the market today. Whether it is the smell of earthy nostalgia or the many natural benefits of the oil itself, I recommend our patchouli goat’s milk soap. As always, stay safe, stay smart, wash your hands, and do whatever you need to do to keep that free love, calm vibe going.

*Please remember, I am a soap maker not a doctor or miracle worker. I don’t make medical claims, I make superior quality, small batch, natural goat’s milk products. If you benefit from my products, it makes what I do worthwhile and it makes my day. If you love my products, I would love to hear from you. Please take care.

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