As most of you probably know by now, patchouli is my favorite smell. I have tried and owned countless patchouli-heavy fragrances, so I do have some background in this subgenre of perfume. Though Patchouli Leaves isn't the worst patchouli fragrance I've ever tried (that award goes to Parfums de Nicolai's awful Patchouli Homme), I have no hesitation in saying that it's the most overrated.
I hate this fragrance. Though I do smell patchouli in Patchouli Leaves, it takes a back seat to a sickening dose of amber and vanilla. I can't even tell if it uses high quality patchouli oil because the patchouli is drowned in so much amber and vanilla. The sweetness is unrelenting and truly stomach-wrenching from start to finish, flattening all of the patchouli's inherent earthiness and complexity. In other words, it defeats the whole point of a patchouli scent.
I probably wouldn't have such an extreme negative opinion of this if only it didn't have the word "Patchouli" in its name. Actually, this isn't a bad oriental amber fragrance, if you like that kind of thing. I can't stand amber-driven fragrances for the most part, so this one's a first class loser in my book.
If you love sweet patchouli-tinged oriental perfumes, then by all means give Patchouli Leaves a sniff. It certainly has a lot of fans. Just don't tell me this wimpy thing is a hardcore patchouli fragrance, because it's not.
MY RATING: 5/10
Fragrance House: Montale