You are here

Pachchai ilai

He-Man during the transformation sequence in the intro to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. (Source: Wikia)

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a herb of the mint family which was traditionally found and used in the tropical regions of Asia. The name has its origins in Tamil and is an anglicised blend of pachchai (பச்சை) meaning green and ilai (இலை) meaning leaf. The herb is renowned for its strong, heady scent.

Patchouli is a staple of the perfume industry where it is extracted for its essential oils whose primary components are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol. Besides its extensive use in agarbaththis and other incense products, it is used in everything from high end fragrances to laundry detergents and air fresheners.

In the He-man universe, Stinkor is an anthropomorphic skunk and minion of Skeletor who has control over his stink glands. When the toy company, Mattel, released a Stinkor action figure, they chose to scent it with a strong patchouli-based stench. Apparently, figures manufactured in 1985 continue to stink even today.

The herb also finds use as an insect repellent. It is said that Chinese silk traders packed the cloth with dried patchouli leaves in order to keep out moths. Some consider the herb to also be a powerful aphrodisiac.

Vertical Tabs