Jasmine - Jasminum Grandiflorum - Floral
Blending Note: Middle
Main Benefits: Mood Elevating
Origin: China, India
Other producers are: Mediterranean, France, Egypt, Morocco, Persia, Syria
Allergy Warning: Sinus
Short History of Jasmine
The Arabic name for jasmine is ysmyn, while the Persian is jasemin and the Chinese is yeh-lsi-ming. In India there are many ancient portrayals of lovers bathed in moonlight and surrounded by jasmine. In Hindu folklore the god of love, kama, anointed the tips of his arrows of desire with jasmine oil before piercing hearts. In the first century AD the Greek physician Ddoiscorides reported that the men and woman of Persia perfumed their bodies with jasmine oil before making love. Jasmine, along with hyacinth and rose, was frequently alluded to in Sufi poetry as a metaphor for love and spiritual longing. Under Christianity, its allure became that of divine hope and it was dedicated you the Virgin Mary, the star shaped flowers symbolizing heavenly felicity.
Jasmine is a semi-evergreen shrub, which can grow up to 10 meters in height. In a cool climate it will shed its leaves once a year. It produces abundant clusters of white, star-shaped flowers whose fragrance intensifies at dusk. The most popular species used in aromatherapy and perfumery are Spanish jasmine, originally from the Himalayas, and common jasmine. To the French perfumer, jasmine is known simply as la fleur (the flower) and is an ingredient of almost every fine perfume. Indeed, jasmine) is found in 83 per cent of women`s fragrances and in about 33 per cent of men`s fragrances. In India the plant is called `moonlight of the morning the fragrances has all but gone, so the flowers are always gathered at dawn. As the blooms are highly susceptible to fermentation, they are rushed to the distilleries for immediate processing.
Effleurage, the traditional method of extraction, is labour-intensive process whereby the scent of the flowers is absorbed by cold purified fat and then washed out with alcohol to produce an absolute ex pomade. Almost all the jasmine `oil` available today is extracted with the aid of volatile solvents such as hexane and petroleum ether. The resulting product, called and absolute, is not a pure essential oil as it contains additional constituents and minute traces of the solvent used in the extraction process.
The amount of solvent remaining in the absolute is negligible, and almost certainly harmless to health. Some aromatherapists argue that the use of petrochemical solvents runs counter to the philosophy of aromatherapy, which prides itself on being entirely `natural`. However, there is no denying that the fragrance of solvent-extracted absolute is truly superb, being almost identical to that of the living plant and it therefore has remarkable mood-enhancing potential. Jasmine absolute is a reddish brown, viscous liquid with a rich, warm, floral scent and a musky undertone. The effect of its aroma is generally perceived as warming and intoxicating.
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