In this paper, the patchouli oil complex microcapsules were prepared by complex coacervation method, with chitosan (CTS), quaternary ammonium salt of chitosan (HACC) and gum arabic (GA) as the wall materials, patchouli oil as the core materials. The surface morphology of microcapsules was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).The in vitro release property of patchouli oil from microcapsules was measured by UV–visible spectrophotometer. The results showed that the shapes of microcapsules were spherical, and the diameters of microcapsules were mostly 3-9 μm. The entrapment efficiency and drug loading of microcapsules were 60.6%and 20.2% respectively. The release effect of microcapsules could be influenced by the temperature of the release medium.