ALL ABOUT JASMINE ABSOLUTE
- Jasmine Absolute is the oil obtained from flower petals through a process of solvent extraction
- Day blooming Royal Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) and night blooming Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac) are the two main species used to make Jasmine Absolute; while both possess an intense floral character, the night blooming variety produces a muskier, more masculine scent.
- While rooted in traditional French production techniques, most Jasmine Absolute now comes from Egypt, India, and Morocco.
- Jasmine Absolute is a middle note celebrated for its ability to elevate and round out other essences and it is used so extensively in perfumery that it is referred to as perfumery's King.
- Used in aromatherapy, Jasmine Absolute is known to impart a relaxed, sensual mood and is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
- Cosmetically, Jasmine Absolute is widely used in skin rejuvenating formulations for a fresh, energized look.
WHAT IS JASMINE ABSOLUTE
Jasmine Absolute refers to the intensely fragrant oil derived from the petals of flowers in the Jasminum genus. Distinguishing an Absolute from an Essential Oil is the process of extraction. While steam distillation or cold pressing are the typical methods of Essential Oil extraction, Jasmine flowers have a delicate constitution and do not stand up to such stressors; rather their oil is extracted with the use of food grade chemical solvents. Thus, Jasmine oil is not actually an essential oil, even though it is often referred to as such. Rather, when people talk about Jasmine Essential Oil benefits or Jasmine Essential Oil uses, what they are really referring to is Jasmine Absolute Oil.
A member of the Olive (Oleaceae) family, Jasmine encompasses about 200 species of shrubs and vines. Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum sambac are the principal species used to produce oil. Jasmine Absolute was traditionally extracted through a method of effleurage, in which fresh petals were spread over a layer of cold fat and left for many hours until their oil had been absorbed. Petals would have to be periodically changed to saturate the fat with their aromatic essence. This resulted in a fragrant pomade, which could then be dissolved by alcohol. During this process, the oil would be drawn out of the fat and into the alcohol. The alcohol would then be evaporated, leaving behind the pure Absolute. As this is a long and labor-intensive process, chemical solvent extraction is now the preferred methodology. Jasmine Absolute is a thin liquid with a light reddish-brown color, but its unassuming appearance belies one of the most spellbinding histories and celebrated roles in the whole of perfumery.
HISTORY OF JASMINE ABSOLUTE
Known for its sultry, calming scent that has been extensively described by such terms as warm, heavy, fruity, intensely floral, animalic, and even hypnotic, it is no wonder that Jasmine Absolute is the most widely used ingredient in perfumery and has long been called its King.
Jasmine certainly has a kingly history of use, encompassing festivals, rituals, and religious ceremonies spanning multiple parts of the world and reaching back to antiquity. Native to the Arabian Peninsula, tropical Africa, and Asia, Jasmine traveled the Silk Road in trade to establish its reputation as a unique and exquisite beauty. Various species of Jasmine still occupy a rich symbolism in many cultures and are often used for personal adornment. Long believed to be an aphrodisiac, there are accordingly many romantic associations with Jasmine flowers. They are symbols of love and fidelity in the Philippines and of divine hope in India, where they are often used in marriage ceremonies. It is also common for married women in India, particularly in the South, to wear the flowers on their fingers like wedding rings. Jasmine flowers are also frequently used in weddings in Indonesia, and as beauty accents in women's hair. Men too have been known to wear small bouquets of the blossoms behind their ears in Morocco and Tunisia to enjoy their beguiling scent.
It was not until the early seventeenth century that Jasmine made its way to Europe, but this was an auspicious arrival, as it later became nearly synonymous with traditional French perfumery. Production of Jasmine oil began around the mid-19th Century in the region of Grasse, which was once believed to be the world's largest producer. While this region still produces Jasmine Absolute, the magnitude of production has greatly declined since its peak in the 1920s and 30s. Since then, production has greatly expanded and is now dominated by Egypt, India, and Morocco, followed by France and China. Egypt alone is believed to produce between 3500 and 4000 kg of Jasmine Absolute from approximately 15 tonnes of flowers per year!
Demand for Jasmine Absolute is unlikely to lag, as this essence is known to blend well with just about every other oil in use. This versatility makes is what makes it the most widely used essence in modern perfumery. Falling under the narcotic category of fragrant materials due to its potent and almost hypnotic scent, Jasmine Absolute has a particularly sensual synergy with other highly prized, luxurious oils such as Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang. Beyond its regal scent, there are many reasons to love Jasmine Absolute in aromatherapy and cosmetic applications.
JASMINE ABSOLUTE BENEFITS & COMPOSITION
The many benefits of Jasmine have been known for generations and are well documented in traditional medicine, where all parts of the plant have found application. Some of the traditionally reputed benefits of Jasmine in folk medicine include thermogenic, antiseptic, emollient, aphrodisiac, relaxant, and tonic properties as well as extensive use in supporting reproductive health. While there is some scientific support from contemporary studies on the antiseptic value of Jasmine oil, the main benefit of this absolute now lies in its olfactory appeal.
Recently, Jasmine Absolute is known for its aromatherapeutic application as a dually arousing and calming scent, as well as a mood enhancer. In one formal study, inhaling Jasmine oil increased behavioral arousal and resulted in test subjects reporting more positive, energetic, and romantic feelings, while in another study, the scent of Jasmine oil helped to manage symptoms of anxiety, enacting a calming influence on mood. True to its fragrant versatility, context matters for leveraging the power of Jasmine! This is not surprising, considering the intricate synergy of the composition of Jasmine Absolute, which contains among many constituents, high concentrations of Indole, Linalool, Methyl Jasmonate, Benzyl Alcohol, E-E-Alpha-Farnesene, Phytol, Methyl Anthranilate, Benzyl Acetate, and Benzyl Benzoate.
INDOLE is known to:
- Strike a balance between the characteristic Jasmine aroma and the smell of putrefaction
- Play a supporting role in gastrointestinal health
LINALOOL is known to:
- Underscore Jasmine's aroma with a sweet, fresh, woody, and floral influence
- Act as a natural insect repellent
- Possess natural purifying qualities
METHYL JASMONATE is known to:
- Possess a sweet, floral, and herbaceous aroma
- Play a role in the stress response of plants
- Help enhance memory in animal models
BENZYL ALCOHOL is known to:
- Possess a sweet aroma
- Add solvent and preservative properties to cosmetics
- Be an antioxidant
E-E-ALPHA-FARNESENE is known to:
- Possess a fresh, green apple-like aroma
- Impart a calming character to an aroma
- Be used as a fragrance and flavoring agent
PHYTOL is known to:
- Possess a grassy aroma
- Play a supporting role in the synthesis of Vitamins E and K
- Be an antioxidant
METHYL ANTHRANILATE is known to:
- Possess a strong, harsh fruity character
- Provide 'grape' flavoring in candy and beverages
- Help protect agricultural crops as a bird repellent
- Be a common ingredient in sunscreens
BENZYL ACETATE is known to:
- Contribute to the signature Jasmine aroma with a fresh fruity accent
- Add berry nuances to flavor applications
- Be used as a solvent in cosmetics
BENZYL BENZOATE is known to:
- Possess a faint, sweet balsamic character
- Be an insect repellent and miticide
- Be used in medications for scabies, lice
Used cosmetically, Jasmine Absolute is known for its rich hydrating properties, and its ability to help balance skin tone for a glowing complexion. It makes a wonderful addition to rejuvenating formulations for a vibrant, energetic look.
CULTIVATING & EXTRACTING QUALITY JASMINE ABSOLUTE
Jasmine is a warm weather loving plant that thrives in tropical and warmer-temperate climates. Harvest of Jasminum sambac takes place in May and June when the fragrant white flowers begin to bloom, while Jasminum grandifolium flowers later and is harvested between August and November. Jasminum grandifolium blooms at early dawn, which means harvest takes place in the early hours of the morning while its scent is at its peak. Because the flowers are so delicate, harvest must be finished before the daily sun's intensity peaks and burns them. Jasminum sambac is a night blooming variety and must be harvested in the dark while the scent is still strong. Precision and care are required when harvesting Jasmine, as the blossoms must be manually detached from the plant without damaging it. Jasmine blossoms continue to emit scent after they are picked, and the character of the scent continues to develop and mature as long as the blossoms have not wilted, so it is especially important to maintain the integrity of the flowers during harvest. This requires meticulous manual labor – it is estimated that it takes about 8,000 hand-picked blossoms just to produce 1 ml of Jasmine Absolute!
Once harvested, oil is extracted from flowers using a volatile solvent technique. In this technique, flower petals are placed on trays and immersed in a drum of solvent, such as hexane or ethanol. Hexane is the most common solvent used in this method of extraction. The petals are mixed with the solvent and their fragrance is transferred. If the mixture steeps for too long, non-fragrant molecules in the flowers could migrate to the solvent and disturb the signature scent of the Jasmine, so it is critical to get the balance right. Once saturated, the solvent is evaporated, yielding a fragrant, yellowish-brown waxy concrete, which can either be used to make solid perfumes or undergo further processing to yield an Absolute.
To produce the Absolute, grain alcohol is added to the concrete and the mixture is heated and then cooled to remove the color and wax. Once the wax has been separated, the alcohol is evaporated, leaving the pure Jasmine Absolute. Before they are ready for consumer use, Absolutes are typically diluted with carrier oils, as they are extremely concentrated aromatic essences.
USES OF JASMINE ABSOLUTE
Jasmine Absolute is a common ingredient in teas, sweets, desserts, and alcoholic beverages, but its most widespread application is in perfumery, where it can be found in all manners of fragrances from the most high-end to the most commonplace. Used in perfumery, Jasmine Absolute is a middle note that adds a beautifully complex fragrance to a blend and that is often added that is often added to elevate the fragrant character of other notes and accords. One of the most famous Jasmine forward perfumes is the 1921 classic, Chanel No. 5, which is noted for its complexity and widely considered one of the first truly abstract fragrances. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of this stunning floral essence.
For the hobbyist perfumer, Jasmine Absolute makes a great heart around which to build a floral bouquet. Pairing the King with its Queen, Rose Absolute – in a homage to the heart notes of Chanel No. 5 – offers up an intensely rich and quintessentially feminine scent that will inspire beauty and romance in every sniff. While the aroma of Jasmine can work in a subtle way to balance blends and elevate lighter elements such as fruity, citrus and aldehydic notes, its inherent audacity does not shy away from other strong personalities and bold base notes. You can use it to make a sensual statement with other such unabashed scents as Patchouli, Frankincense, Vetiver, Helichrysum, Sandalwood, and Ylang-Ylang.
Jasmine Absolute makes a great addition to soaps and candles in which a strong anchoring scent is an asset. It can also be added to shampoos, conditioners, and bath products for a luxuriously calming custom spa experience. To reveal the romantic allure of an aromatic bath, try blending a few drops of Jasmine Absolute with equal amounts of Rose, Lavender, Geranium, or a combination of all three. Mix with Epsom salts or with a tablespoon of carrier oil and dissolve in the bath. Top off the blend with a handful of dried flowers for an extra special touch. After a bath, a drop of Jasmine oil can be added to lotions or creams in the amount of a single use to extend the experience. Before going to bed, a nourishing skincare blend can be made with 2 drops of Jasmine Absolute, 2 drops of Patchouli, 6 drops of Palmarosa, and 20 ml of carrier oil. Apply nightly to pamper mature skin and help maintain an energized feeling.
Added to a diffuser, the essence of Jasmine imparts a rich, enticing fragrant character to stir up the hedonistic energies in a room. You can enjoy its passionate personality either on its own or you can combine it with sprightly citrus oils to boost positive and energetic feelings. Diffusing with other fragrant florals such as Rose or Ylang-Ylang will help you tune into your romantic side, while an evening diffusion with Lavender, Chamomile, or Frankincense will help impart a sense of calm to encourage relaxation and a good night's sleep.
For a soothing aromatherapy massage, try blending 3 drops of Jasmine Absolute with 3 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil and 4 drops of Petitgrain Essential Oil in 30 ml of sweet almond oil. This blend can be massaged into the back, neck, and shoulders to invoke a sense of calm and relaxation. For a more romantic experience, try a couple's massage with a blend of 5 drops each of Jasmine Absolute, Cedarwood Essential Oil, and Rosewood Essential Oil in 15 ml of carrier oil. Take turns treating each other to the opulent sensations and let the sensual sillage carry you away!
A GUIDE TO JASMINE ABSOLUTE OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS
|JASMINE ABSOLUTE VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||SCENT DESCRIPTION AND REPUTED BENEFITS OF OIL|
|Royal Jasmine / Spanish Jasmine / Catalan Jasmine
|India||Smooth, intense floral; sweet and lingering
|India||Intense, floral, musky, masculine
If your interest in Absolutes has been piqued by the King of perfumery, check out our article on its Queen, Rose Absolute, for more history, benefits, and uses. For a better understanding of all things Absolute and the essential facts on a variety of Essential Oils for romance and other applications, be sure to browse our product pages and explore our scintillating selection of scents!
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR JASMINE ABSOLUTE
Jasmine Absolute is highly concentrated and must be appropriately diluted with a carrier oil prior to topical use. Avoid use near the eyes, inner nose or any sensitive skin areas. It is recommended to consult a physician prior to using Jasmine Absolute oil if pregnant or nursing, if taking any prescription drugs, if undergoing major surgery, or if at increased risk of stroke, heart attack, atherosclerosis or severe allergic reactions. Those with a pre-existing medical condition are also advised to consult with a medical practitioner prior to use. New Directions Aromatics does not recommend ingestion of this product or any other essential oils.
Possible side effects from use of Jasmine Absolute include headaches or nausea from inhalation and irritation or allergic reaction from topical use. To reduce the risk of adverse reaction, a skin patch test should be performed before prior to using the oil and the recommended concentrations for topical products and aromatherapeutic blends should not be exceeded. To perform the skin test, mix 1 drop of Jasmine Absolute with 4 drops of carrier oil and apply a dime-sized amount of the blend to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a medical healthcare professional for appropriate remedial action.
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