For thousands of years, jasmine has been considered as the symbol of sensuality and femininity in the Far East. It is one of the most highly-appreciated plants in the perfume industry. Jasmine is mentioned in many stories. In Egypt, Cleopatra is said to have met Marc Anthony on a boat whose sails were soaked with jasmine essence the better to seduce him. According to an Indian legend, the god of love, Kâma, shot his victims with arrows dipped in jasmine.
Origin: jasmine is native to India and Egypt but it is also cultivated in China and Morocco as well as in France in Grasse.
Plant: There are more than 400 species of jasmine in the world but only two are essentially used in perfumery: jasmine sambac and jasmine grandiflorum. The plant has a life span of 15 years and is cultivated in May / June for jasmine sambac and in August / November for jasmine grandiflorum.
Production: jasmine essence is extracted using volatile solvents. Once the solvent has evaporated, there remains an earthy material called concrete.