From luxury high end perfumes to more budget-conscious options, to fragrances used to scent boutique hotels or personal care products, Jasmine essential oil seems to be prevalent in most scented products. But why is this seductive, exotic floral scent so often used by Master Perfumers? Our team explains.
The Exotic Intoxicating Character Of Jasmine
The scent of jasmine has probably been described in world literature with more superlatives than any other single essence. Its exotic and intoxicating character has a rich and colorful history in several ancient cultures dating back to the emperors of China’s Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279 A.D.) There, it served as a symbol of the sweetness of women; in India, divine hope, and in that country’s mythology, the love god, Karma, tips his arrows with jasmine blossoms to pierce the heart of a loved one. In both Hindu and Moslem rituals, jasmine is revered as the “perfume of love”.
In the 1600s, the Moors of Northern Africa.brought jasmine to Spain. The fragrance spread quickly across Europe to Italy and France where it was revered for its redolent ornamental flowers.
The moniker of this evergreen climbing shrub that belongs to the olive family derives from the Persian word ‘yasmin,’ meaning gift from God, and it is also known as Queen of the Night because it only releases its seductive and sultry fragrance once the heat of the day is gone and the sun has set.
It is believed that Arabian jasmine was first brought to the Philippines from central Asia in the 1700s where the unique flower that blooms at night and has a bud that is more fragrant than its flower, captivated the national imagination and relegated its status to become the national symbol of the Philippines in 1934, representing purity, simplicity, humility and strength.
Jasmine is native to the temperate regions of the Caucasus, northern Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Himalayas, northern India and western China, and there are more than 200 species of this plant that can reach thirty feet in height, bearing tiny, white star-like flowers and small, dark green leaves.
Today, most jasmine utilized by perfumers is commercially cultivated in Egypt and India, while smaller quantities are still produced in Morocco, Algeria, France and Italy. (Grasse, France was at one time the matrix of jasmine production, but it cannot by itself sustain the current-day demand for the essential oil.)
The Unique Qualities of Jasmine
There is no other fragrance in the world that is more exotic and compelling than jasmine. Within the mind’s eye, it creates a kaleidoscope of images of sultry, tropical nights by a leafy lagoon, and soft, summer breezes brimming with coconut and orange blossom.
Jasmine has been at the heart of the perfume industry and many of the formulations created by our perfumers at Alpha Aromatics for the last seven decades. Hence, the expression, “no perfume without jasmine” has developed down through the passage of time.
In addition to its evocative and haunting nature, jasmine has a one-of-a-kind capability when fused into a scent as a heart note. As such, it affects the entire fragrance, rendering the final composition richer, deeper and as inscrutable as the Egyptian Sphinx.
The properties and uses of jasmine and rose do somewhat overlap, but jasmine is an oil better suited to both sexes, whereas rose is distinctly feminine with a particular affinity to the womb. Jasmine appeals to both men and women, with about 83% of women’s fragrances and 33% of men’s perfumes containing elements of this prized essential oil.
Ancient cultures cherished jasmine as an an aphrodisiac, and its powers in that department remain unaltered to this day. Its beautiful aroma is a distraction from barriers that prevent intimacy arising from psychological roots and it often allows romance to bloom even among troubled psyches. According to Susanne Fischer-Rizzi: “The fragrance of jasmine diminishes fear, it is helpful in enhancing self confidence and defeating pessimism. No other oil is quite as capable of changing our mood so intensely. It offers little choice other than optimism.”
Why Is Jasmine Such An Expensive Ingredient?
For many perfumers, jasmine is considered to be the most exotic and wonderful of all scents. It is very expensive for a number of reasons. The flowers are extremely delicate and are only hand-picked at night to preserve their fragile scent.
An experienced picker can harvest more than 10,000 blossoms in one night! The flowers are then placed in special baskets and processed as soon as possible to maintain freshness. Everything is done in darkness in order to save the nectar from the pollinating bees of daylight hours.
The labor-intensive task of oil extraction is extremely costly. Some 8,000 fresh flowers will only yield a gram of this sweet-smelling absolute. About 7.5 million flowers are required to produce only one kilogram of the essential perfume oil.
Another factor concerning the high price of jasmine concerns the fact that it is very difficult to capture this potent, blossomy note in a perfume. Several species of the jasmine shrub are used in perfumery. The most popular are Royal Jasmine, also known as Catalonian or Spanish Jasmine and Jasmine absolute.
These essential flowers and plant oils represent the most expensive ingredients and every costly designer perfume on the market contains some of them. As a rule of thumb, the higher the concentration of essential perfume oils, the larger the price tag on the perfume bottle.
Some Classic Jasmine Perfumes
There are a few iconic fragrances featuring jasmine that have endured the test of time and are worthy of note. Joy By Jean Patou was developed for Parisian couturier, Jean Patou by perfumer Henri Alméras in 1929.
Despite its very hefty price tag during the terrible years of the Great Depression of the 1930s, it became an instant hit. Although it is no longer produced, this scent, which contains a luxurious blend of jasmine and roses, is still considered to be one of the greatest ever created within the floral genre.
Its cost is $450 per ounce, a price justified by the fact that it takes about 28 dozen roses and 10,000 jasmine flowers to create just 30 ml (about 6.09 teaspoons) of this exquisite designer perfume.
Another classic fragrance containing jasmine is Chanel No 5, which was reputedly worn to bed every night by sex goddess, Marilyn Monroe. A bottle of this iconic perfume costs about $260 for 1 ounce. More than 1,000 jasmine blossoms are needed to produce a single ounce of this elegant, classy perfume, whose origins date back to 1920.
As the story goes, when Coco Chanel met French-Russian perfumer, Ernest Beaux, and challenged him to create a scent that would make its wearer “smell like a woman, and not like a rose,” Beaux presented her with a numbered series of perfume samples. She selected the fifth one, declaring, “I show my collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year, so let’s leave the number it bears, and this number five will bring it good luck.”
Alpha Aromatics And Jasmine-Infused Scents
Our skilled perfumers at Alpha Aromatics, under the helm of modern day Merlin the magician, aka chemist and Vice President, Roger Howell, understand the power of fragrance and have been creating fine perfumes since the 1940s.
Both a leader and pioneer within the perfume industry, our fine compositions are used for superior quality perfumes, personal care products, candles and diffusers, fragrances for home products and their odor neutralizers for those that use the services of private label manufacturers, custom packaging companies and toll blending (the specialty service of custom mixing a company’s unique formula into a final product).
We know and respect the mysterious and delicate nature of perfume. Down through the ages scent remains to this day as the only accessory we wear that is always present, and yet completely invisible with a language all its own. Below are some of our favored scents that live through the power of jasmine as an essential middle note.
Wild Thyme and Watercress
Sultry and tropical, this scent opens with a top note of green, sparkling lemon and mild, spicy bergamot. A fragrant floral heart note soon follows featuring delicate white bud tea leaf, seductive and sweet, rich jasmine petal, intoxicating gardenia, aromatic violet and herbaceous thyme. A woodsy clean, sweet white musk base note completes the fragrance.
Sea Jasmine Hibiscus
A top note tinged with fresh, dewy and green melon, uplifting citrus and crisp, ozonic ocean air opens this sea-inspired fragrance that melds into a heart note accentuated by sweet, waxy, delicate and feminine lily of the valley, haunting jasmine, light somewhat musky hibiscus, clean, sharp rosemary, powdery sugary violet, and sticky green fig-leaf. The fragrance finishes with a base note nuanced by sensual, passionate musk, rich, honey-like amber and sun-dried driftwood.
Aloe Blossom and Clover
This scent evokes shimmering soft summer nights and redolent breezes. It is light, refreshing, clean and green with top notes brimming with bright citrus and herbs. A green floral heart note featuring seductive and sweetly rich night-blooming jasmine, fresh, sweet and slightly pungent coriander, after-the-rain dewy aloe and fresh, green clover. The fragrance finishes with a slightly woody, musky base note.
White Peach & Jasmine
Exotic and lush as a tropical island paradise, this fragrance delightfully assails the nostrils with an opening note brimming with tangy and woody-nuanced raspberry, warm, delicate, spicy and aromatic white peach, crisp apple, fruity, fresh and green pear, and strong, pungent and sweet, orange zest. These elements soon evanesce into a heart note of romantic rose, bright and tropical lily and exhilarating, unforgettable jasmine. A base note of sensual, earthy white musk and alluring spices complete this scent.
Blue Lotus and Moss
Mysterious and compelling, this woodsy, floral scent opens with top notes that whisper of clean, fresh air listlessly floating over a leafy lagoon. Heart notes of haunting, aromatic night blooming jasmine, sweet, intoxicating Egyptian blue lotus and deep, dark green moss captures the essence of the forest primeval. The fragrance finishes with a warm and sensual ambery-musky, cedar base-note.
Iced Pineapple Jasmine
A summer fragrance kissed by the tropical sun, the opening notes consists of buttery, fresh honey dew, fruity and waxy pineapple and slightly sweet and dense pear. These aspects soon fade into a middle note of sugary, rich jasmine petal, which seamlessly blend into a base note of spicy, elegant vanilla and rich and creamy black coconut.
Conjuring a kaleidoscope in the mind’s eye of serene emerald lagoons and lacy palm fronds dancing in the shadows of a tropical night, this alluring fragrance shimmers with an opening note of fresh, natural dew that soon surrenders to a bouquet of heart notes consisting of deeply intoxicating and floral jasmine, soft and delicate lily-of-the-valley, sensual star anise and smooth and velvety shea flower. A warm, slightly powdery and woody sandalwood and rich, elegant vanilla musky base complete the fragrance.
Acai Berry and Muguet
Muguet symbolizes springtime and prosperity for future harvests, as it is a French synonym for May’s flower, lily-of-the-valley. A top note of sharp blood orange, fresh and succulent pineapple and uniquely juicy and luscious acai berry soon fades into a middle note marked by sensual and intoxicating jasmine, romantic rose, smooth and buttery gardenia and waxy, floral lily–of-the-valley. A subtle green, warm, woody, sensual base note of white musk completes the fragrance.
Jasmine is a fragrance like no other that lifts the human spirit and inspires the imagination. Call our team today and let us develop a unique jasmine-inspired fragrance for your commercial enterprise.
Final thought about jasmine: The Queen of the Night can connect us to the feminine source of life…. Her night-blooming pearls can lead us once again to the fragrant dawn that we yearn for.~ Peter Holmes
Photo Credits: Pixabay