Jasmine, jasminum officinale, jasminum grandifolia, Oleaceae, Linnaeus
His name in Arabic means yas: despair and min which means lie. A symbol of friendliness, gentleness and beauty, white jasmine has the power to promote prophetic dreams. The delicacy of its flowers and especially for its fragrance which cannot be confused with any other, and which diffuses at night. In India, the god Kama (god of love) attached jasmine flowers to his arrows.
Its first use was to flavor tea.
A bit of botany
All jasmines are native to India, the southwestern foothills of the Himalayas. There are more than 200 varieties of jasmine in India. In Grasse, for perfumery, jasminium grandiflorum is grafted onto the more resistant jasminium officinale. The flowers of the grandiflorum are purple outside their heart. It is the petals of the blooming flower that diffuse the perfume in the air, jasmine is a night perfume.
Officinal: Originally from Kashmir, it was the first jasmine to arrive in the Mediterranean. Very popular in North Africa, southern Spain, Sicily. It is this jasmine that produces the essential oil.
Grandiflorum: Native to the southwestern regions of the Himalayas. Its smell is very sweet and very fleeting. Its culture is more fragile but it is the favorite of perfumers, once grafted on the officinal
The sambac: Originally from southern India, its fragrance is close to orange blossom
Jasminum odorantissimum: Also called daffodil jasmine because of its fragrance reminiscent of daffodil narcissus.
A good picker can pick up to 500 grams of jasmine flowers in a day, in 8 hours of work jasmine flowers bloom from August to October, To maintain their fragrant properties, the flowers must be harvested at dawn and processed before daylight. They do not support distillation or heat. Jasmine is harvested from mid-July to mid-October, when the flowers release all the intensity of their fragrance.
It takes seven million flowers to obtain 1 kg of flowers and 700 kg of flowers to obtain 1 kg of absolute, which explains its price. It is the petals of the blooming flower that release the fragrance into the air at night.
Jasmine is the flower of enfleurage. We can say that the people of Grasse set up this technique for jasmine and some other flowers with white petals such as orange blossom, tuberose, narcissus. Currently jasmine is extracted using a volatile solvent. Jasmine has never been distilled. Its flowers do not support the heat. During Antiquity, the Egyptians put it to macerate in a vegetable oil to perfume themselves.
That which comes from Egypt is deep, sensual, sunny and fruity, that of India is fruity and honeyed, that of Grasse is green, quite animal, floral, well balanced.
Based on research by Tachka Sofer
The mythology of plants A. Gubernatis ed. horticultural society
Natural and cultural history of perfume plants by Fr. Aubaille-Sallenave, ed. Ibis press
The essential oils of G.Roullier, ed. Dangles The perfumes of E. de Feydaux, ed. R.Laffont