Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) technique was employed to extract the essential oil from patchouli (Pogostemon cablin). The optimal conditions for microwave-assisted extraction of patchouli oil were determined by response surface methodology. A Box-Behnken design (BBD) was applied to evaluate the effects of three independent variables (microwave power (A: 400-800 W), plant material to solvent ratio (B: 0.10-0.20 g mL-1) and extraction time (C: 20-60 min)) on the extraction yield of patchouli oil. The correlation analysis of the mathematical-regression model indicated that quadratic polynomial model could be employed to optimize the microwave extraction of patchouli oil. The optimal extraction conditions of patchouli oil was microwave power 634.024 W, plant material to solvent ratio 0.147648 g ml-1 and extraction time 51.6174 min. The maximum patchouli oil yield was 2.80516% under these optimal conditions. Under the extraction condition, the experimental values agreed with the predicted results by analysis of variance. It indicated high fitness of the model used and the success of response surface methodology for optimizing and reflect the expected extraction condition.