The Jasmine, an ancient flower, is treasured and known throughout history for over 3000 years. It is used today mainly for perfumery. Read on!
JASMINE Absolute and Uses
By Jeanne Rose
Can I say I love the Jasmine as it produces blooms sometimes continually here in San Francisco, the most beautiful and treasured of flowers, so highly sought after for scent, emotional medicine, skincare, and love. Known as the ‘king of flowers”.
Jasmine COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Jasmine is the common name for the fragrant vine with white, highly fragrant flowers, and Jasminum is the genus. We will discuss three Jasmine species: J. grandiflorum, J. officinale, and J. sambac.
Other Names and background ~ Jessamine, Yasmin, Jasmine, and more; my favorite is the Pikake of Hawaii, J. sambac. Pikake means “peacock” and was named by Crown Princess Kaiulani, the last princess of the sovereign Hawaiian monarchy because she loved both peacocks and this jasmine! Jasminum sambac,= Arabian jasmine = Hawaiian jasmine or pikake from the olive family (Oleaceae) and is originally a native of India. Pikake is known outside of Hawaii as Arabian or Indian jasmine. In the Philippines, where it is, the national flower is known as Sampaguita. In China, the flower is processed as the primary component for Jasmine tea.
Family ~ Oleaceae
COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN FOR Jasmine ABSOLUTE ~ India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, and more.
ENDANGERED ~ Some Jasmine varieties, types, and cultivars are rare. The genus itself is not endangered. There are about 200 species of this flower around the world, and it seems wherever it is, it is loved for its strong scent.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF Jasmin PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ An evergreen shrub, vine, or climbing bush that is fragile and grows up to 33 feet high, with dark green leaves and small, white, star-shaped flowers, which grow well on young shoots. A cultivated ornamental, some species are naturalized in South America and invasive in SE USA, including Hawaii and New Zealand.
Jasminum grandiflorum = Spanish Jasmine. It originated in the valleys of the lower Himalayas and was brought to Spain by the Moors. The Jasmine absolute is obtained by extraction and is one of perfumery’s most precious materials. It is produced mainly in Egypt (8000 freshly picked flowers to make 1 g of absolute).4
Jasminum officinale = common Jasmine or Poet’s Jasmine has a rich scent, is native to the Himalayas, probably originated in China, and is a robust and vigorous climber to 10-15 feet.
Jasminum sambac = Arabian jasmine = Hawaiian jasmine or Pikake is a native of India. It is a fragrant-flowered shrub, 2–3 feet wide and up to 6 feet tall, used to make fragrant leis.
Jasmine ~ PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ Extraction is by solvent, enfleurage of the flowers, or CO2 with natural solvents. “1,000 pounds of flowers yield approximately 1 pound of liquid concrète, which yields 0.2% of aromatic molecules.” Picking and extraction is better and more productive in the morning, at 5 am, than 12 hours later at 5 pm. The Jasmines are grown for perfumery and some medicinal uses.
• Two main types of Jasmine are used for oil production – Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum officinale. Jasmine flower oil extracted from these two species is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos.
• Jasmine – there are many species and many kinds of the scent for perfume.
Jasmine grandflorum – concrète and Absolute
Jasmine officinale – concrète and Absolute
Jasmine sambac – absolute and Enfleurage
SCENT DESCRIPTIONS of Jasmine ~
Jasmine is a classic example of a flower that continues to develop and emit its natural odor up to 24-36 hours after it has been picked; therefore, it is supremely suitable for the enfleurage technique of extracting the scent via maceration in warm fat.
Jasminum grandiflorum absolute is floral with subsidiary notes of fruity, green, woody, and back notes of sweet hay, leather, powder, oily, and honey. See the scent snapshot at the end of this article.
Jasminum sambac absolute is very complex because it has dozens of components. It can be described as floral, with a green and woody subsidiary note and spicey and sometimes fruity back note. It is an intensely floral, rich, warm, and diffusive odor. It doesn’t take much to make a lovely positive change in a perfume. Arabian Jasmine is cultivated, solvent-extracted from the flower. The odor-aroma is sweet and tenacious and captures the late evening odors.
I love the smelly Jasmin
It is not all like the Lavender Tasmin.
White and small
Climbs the wall
It can smell up a deep chasm.
History & Interesting Facts ~ Because its scent is more pungent after sunset, Jasmine is called the “queen of the night” in India. “The Hindu god of love, Kama, who, like the Greek Eros and the Roman Cupid, is represented with a bow, had arrows tipped with Jasmine blossoms to pierce the heart with desire.
“The Greek physician Dioscorides reported in the 1st century AD that the Persians used jasmine oil to perfume the air at their banquets. Along with hyacinth and rose, they frequently appeared in Sufi poetry as a symbol of love and spiritual longing. The plant’s name is derived from the Persian Yasmin, a common name for a girl”5.
CHEMISTRY AND COMPONENTS ~ • Jasmine oil is most extracted via solvents and sometimes CO2, as well as a few other ways. “It is a prevalent fragrant oil that contains benzyl acetate, terpinol, jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other compounds”4. It is not steam-distilled except in some instances by private persons experimenting with their stills.
GENERAL PROPERTIES of Jasmine
The general properties of the Jasmine oil and extracts are relaxing and stimulating, antidepressant, slightly astringent, hypnotic, tonic, and the herb used in tea as a scent additive.
Properties of Jasmine are by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application ~.
Inhalation – Antidepressant, nervine, euphoric, aphrodisiac, relaxant, calmative, stimulant, sedative, and a sexual tonic.
Application – Warming. Antiseptic. Antispasmodic. Cicatrizing. Urogenital restorative and decongestant.
Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP) ~
Application – Indispensable in perfumery. Used in skin care for dry, greasy, sensitive, wrinkled, aging, mature, and irritated skin. Massaged into the pelvis area, Jasmine relieves congestion or any menstrual problems. It is thought to balance female hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle. I have used it externally applied on the belly (to have an effect) as a uterine massage oil, and to prevent stretch marks. It is somewhat antiseptic.
Inhalation – Used to relieve labor pains and deter impotence and frigidity.
Emotional Uses (AP or IN) ~
Application – To relieve headaches. Apply a dab around the temples.
Inhalation – To dispel depression, relieve nervous exhaustion and tension, and alleviate stress. It makes one feel happy. Aphrodisiac. It is uplifting yet soothing and overcomes restlessness.
APPLICATIONS IN SKINCARE ~ Jasmine absolute is used for all skin, particularly dry or aging skin. Any blend you make and use on the face with Jasmin will reduce tension and stress in the skin and relax and smooth out wrinkles. Jasmine oil (any kind) can be used with Mandarin oil in a carrier – it is calming and soothing when inhaled and applied externally on the abdomen to prevent stretch marks, as well as in skin care products for smooth skin.
Tropical Skin Blend by Alexandra Avery
1 oz. Kukui nut oil
2 oz. Macadamia nut oil
½ oz. Aloe vera oil
6 drops of Ylang essential oil
4 drops of Jasmine essential oil
5 drops of Sandalwood essential oil
Combine all ingredients and shake well. Store in a glass perfume bottle and use over face and body while skin is still damp from bathing.
BLENDING FOR PURPOSE AND PERFUMERY ~ Jasmine absolute uniquely combines well with all floral items. It works well with woods, citrus, florals, spices, resins, and many exotic or amber-style perfumes. Add it to your synergy, drop by drop, until you achieve the scent you like. Try a Millefeuille Perfume or Huit Fleur of all florals, such as Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Osmanthus, Rose, Rose geranium, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang with the green Violet leaf, and Atlas Cedar and Sandalwood as the base note.
Perfume by W. A. Poucher – 1923
Tuberose extract triple =148 cc
Orange flower extract triple = 50 cc
Cassie absolute = 0.1 cc
Ylang-ylang oil – Manila = 0.4 cc
Rose otto – Bulgarian = 1.5 cc
Jonquille extract triple = 300 cc
Jasmin extract triple = 500 cc
Use Jasmine grandiflorum concrète rather than absolute for solids…that little bit of jasmine wax adds to the scent, smoothes out the edges, and makes it more tenacious. A touch of Ylang and a little Blood Orange are also added. Use Labdanum and Tonka lightly as a base note to give depth and support the scent without intruding on the jasmine.
JASMINE Spring – 2017
Green lemon or Grapefruit 5
Bulgarian rose, 15
JASMINE sweet 5 (or more)
Iris (orris), 5
Violet leaf 5-10
Coffee – 5
75-100 drops of Grape spirits (95%)
[a personalized perfume made for Christine Suppes]
INHALATION AND DIFFUSION ~Are you feeling very stressed and overcome by the events of the day? Take out that bottle of Jasmine absolute, mix 10 drops Jasmine plus 10-20 drops carrier oil, and inhale as it is soothing and relaxing.
RITUAL USE ~ Jasmine oil, either inhaled or applied to the forehead, relieves headache and stress; the oil has a history of positive use in rituals. There are many ways to use the ancient scent.
Jasmine WAX – The floral waxes are a great way to add floral scents to cold-processed soaps, candles, solid perfumes, and more. They are a by-product of the production of absolutes. The petals are put into a vat, and a solvent is added, which extracts the absolute. The solvent is evaporated, and alcohol is added to remove the next phase of the fragrance, a concrète – which has the softer scent of the original plant material. Finally, the alcohol is removed, and the plant waxes that are naturally contained in the petals and still holding some of their scents are left. The waxes fluctuate with every batch.
INGESTION/CULINARY USE OF THE HERB Jasmine. Jasminum is used to scent tea and some other foods. It is generally not used itself as a tea, as it is the most prized scent of the tea.
• Crepe jasmine, Tabernaemontana divaricate is used medicinally because it contains a natural pain-killing chemical. “Chemists have synthesized a pain-relieving extract from the bark of this tropical shrub in the lab, paving the way for new drugs that lack the unwanted side effects of many opiate-based pain meds. A compound from crepe jasmine (above) that shows promise as a pain reliever has been synthesized in the lab, a feat that should kick off hard-core explorations of the compound’s drug potential.”… Despite its name, the plant isn’t closely related to scented jasmine. Instead, it comes from a plant family rich in alkaloids, compounds that are often poisonous but have been commandeered as medicine for treating malaria, cancer, and other maladies.…3 [not a true Jasmine – here is where using a common name can be trouble]
• The nectar of the fragrant flowers of Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is poisonous, although its dried roots are used in medicinal preparations as a sedative. [not a true Jasmine]
HERBAL Jasmine~ There is almost nothing more relaxing than an herbal bath scented with real flowers. Just pick the flowers and strew them in hot water. The heat extracts the fragrance, and the smoothing emollient quality of the petals is released to cleanse and soothe the skin. Mixtures can include Rose petals, whole Jasmine flowers, chopped and muslin-bagged Comfrey and Marshmallow leaves, and/or others from the garden.
HYDROSOL OF Jasmine ~ Jasmine has the potential to improve any skincare product. If carefully, gently, and slowly hydro-distilled on low heat, it will keep some of its floral character plus green leaf volatiles (GLV) and can be added to any cream, lotion, tonic, moisturizer, bath, and more. It is always soothing. It can be used with Seaweed extract and other herbs for an AntiAging elixir. Try it. Read any of my (Jeanne Rose) books for many more uses.
Key Use ~ Perfumery and skincare. Oil of Scent©.
Safety Precautions ~ None known.
This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.
1.McGee, Harold. Nose Dive – A Field Guide to the World’s Smells. Penguin Press. 2020
2.Shaath Ph.D., Nadim A. Healing Civilizations, The search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients. Cameron + Company, Petaluma, CA. 2017
3. Natural pain-killing chemical synthesized Making conolidine in the lab could further drug research, By Rachel Ehrenberg
5. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, p. 84
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. 1960
Copeland, Dawn. Essential Oil Profiles. 2005
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils, published by Krieger
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Piesse, Septimus. The Art of Perfumery. Lindsay & Blakiston. 1st edition. 1867
Poucher, W. A. Perfumes and Cosmetics. 1923
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery Workbook. Available at http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 2000