Jasmine belongs to the large olive family (Oleaceae), which consists of woody shrubs and climbers. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World, but has been widely cultivated elsewhere. Jasmines can be grown in cold climates, but usually require frost protection or greenhouse cultivation to flourish. We buy our jasmine absolute from Egypt and India.
The star-shaped flowers are white to pale yellow and extremely fragrant. They open to release their scent at night. Several unrelated plants are also referred to as 'jasmines'.
Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese traditional medicine feature the use of jasmine blossoms and oil. In India, the oil was considered luxurious and an indication of wealth; and the flowers are widely grown in home gardens as well as for commercial production. Jasmine flowers are also important in Hindu ceremonies and are mentioned in religious texts.
Both men and women have long used jasmine oil in India as an aphrodisiac, hair and beauty tonic and as a sensual perfume.
Jasmine was brought to Europe in the 16th century and became a staple ingredient in the growing perfume industry. In Grasse, France, every August jasmine festival is held there. Revellers scatter jasmine water and flowers over celebrating crowds, and the town comes alive with music, events and visitors from all over the world.
The jasmine flowers are processed through solvent extraction to produce a concrete, from which the absolute is made. It can take thousands of jasmine flowers just to produce 1 kilo of absolute, a thick, dark-orange liquid, which has an intensely floral, rich aroma.
Jasmine is often used in cosmetics for its fragrance, but it is also valued in aromatherapy for sensitive skins, muscular complaints, depression and other stress-related conditions.
Jasmine is one of our favourite materials and we use jasmine absolute in many of our best-selling products, including Sex Bomb and Vanilla Fountain bath ballistics. Jasmine and Henna Fluff-eaze will scent your hair with it for days!
It is part of the rich, sensual aroma of our Flying Fox shower gel.