Jasmine Perfume Note and Material

It seems fitting to start my reflections by devoting some attention to jasmine, which is not only my favorite fragrance note, but also the most widely used perfume ingredient, be it natural or synthetic.  While the rose is “the queen of flowers,” jasmine is indisputably the king.
jasmine
The original habitat of jasmine is considered to be India, which alone possesses about 42 species with various olfactory characteristics. In India, Ghazimpur has traditionally been the center of jasmine cultivation, while in Europe, it was Grasse, France. The jasmine was first cultivated in in Provence in 1548, being a gift of the Arab trade network (Morris 1984, 104). Today, jasmin de Grasse is the most expensive jasmine available, and the only widely available perfume using it is Chanel No 5 extrait de parfum. It is sweeter and fruitier than the more commonly available jasmines from Italy, India, Morocco and Egypt (responsible for 80% of jasmine production).


Jasminum grandiflorum is the most widely used jasmine in perfumery. Its scent is opulent and rich, with a sweet fruity note reminiscent of apricots and bananas. Underpinned by indoles, molecules that smell of ink and moth balls, the aroma is inexpectedly sensual.

Jasminum sambac is a nightblooming jasmine. It is heavier on indoles than Jasminim G., and its scent is darker, greener and more animalic. The flowers of this jasmine are used to flavor Chinese tea.

Unlike rose, jasmine is too delicate to withstand steam distillation, therefore, the process to extract the oil traditionally followed a complicated enfleurage method, which required flowers to be hand picked and layered over a glass frame coated with a mixture of animal fats. After the fats would become enriched with the jasmine oils, the flowers are removed and the essential oils is separated from the fat through a process not unlike a solvent extraction, using ethyl alcohol. Today, jasmine absolute is extracted exclusively via solvents.  The perfumer’s palette also includes numerous synthetic jasmine substitutes. While they cannot rival natural jasmine’s beauty and complexity, they are widely used. Not only are the jasmine synthetics more affordable, they also allow for effects prized in today’s perfumery: radiance, freshness and lack of strong animalic notes. One example of a light and luminous jasmine material is hedione.

Jasmine soliflores: Serge Lutens A La Nuit, The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Jasmin, Norma Kamali Jazmin, Molinard Jasmin, Chantecaille Le Jasmin, Montale Jasmin Full, Miller Harris Jasmine Vert.

Perfume Reviews by Note : Jasmine

Enjoyed this? Get blog posts via email:

Or, stay updated via:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

18 Comments

  • Tania: Mmm, jasmine tea. My favorite cuppa. Do you know how they make it? The process is crazy. They do it at night when the flower blooms, and in the scenting rooms they set up trays with layers of tea leaves, jasmine, tea leaves, jasmine, etc. When one set of blossoms has released all its fragrance, they replace the flowers with fresh ones. Chinese tea brands love to brag about how many times the tea has been scented. I’ve had tea that claimed to be scented seven or eight times! (It was terrifically good, so it’s possible.) So incidentally, if you see actual jasmine blossoms in your tea, it’s low-grade. Real jasmine tea should have all of the fragrance of the flower, but the flower itself should be nowhere in sight. June 3, 2005 at 5:33pm Reply

  • julien: ohhh…do you know MONTALE????;)
    Marvellous!
    I love their jasmin full,reminds me a jasmine tea,very sweet and “glittering”…
    Also love from them Sweet Oriental dream… June 27, 2005 at 8:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love Montale shop! The customer service is terrific, and the location is great. I have not tried Sweet Oriental Dream recently, but I recall it being quite an olfactory dessert. June 27, 2005 at 9:07pm Reply

  • julien: Yes!!!:)
    It is a fragance represented like a loukoum,made of honey and almonds,with a kind of roses liquory.
    Very gourmand.
    Many people don’t know a thing about MONTALE,i am so happy to see that you know them.
    Such a pleasure to talk with you about perfumes.
    Thank you dear!
    kiss.
    J. June 28, 2005 at 6:09am Reply

  • Victoria: You are welcome, Julien! It is my pleasure as well. I love hearing impressions about fragrances, especially when they are grounded in an emotional response. It makes the scent all that much more interesting. June 28, 2005 at 9:51am Reply

  • gora: why is it that even the most fragrant jasmines smell so much stronger when the sun goes down… or in the night? August 1, 2006 at 9:39pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: They tend to be pollinated by the nocturnal insects, which is why they release the scent in the evening in order to attract them. August 1, 2006 at 9:51pm Reply

  • fieldsofflowers: Just a side note on the “jasmine” scent (as someone who has grown multiple varieties for years). Because the “true” jasmine scent is so hard to extract from the flower most “jasmine” scents wind up being dark and animalisitc. Jasmine blossoms themselves are not very dark or animalistic at all. They actually posess a rather light, clean fragrance mingled with their richness and sweetness and sensuality. Tuberose, for example is a much “heavier” scent straight from the flower than is jasmine (grandiflorum, sambac or others).

    So, perfumes that are “animalisitic” and “heavy” jasmines are actually much further from the flower. When someone says that a “clean” jasmine scent does not posess a “true” jasmine quality I believe it is because they are not acquanted with the flower itself. Because a “true” jasmine scent would probably be MUCH cleaner and lighter and fresher than most animalisitc jasmines and jasmine blends. I have found, so far that finding “true” jasmine scent captured in a perfume is near impossible. So far, I haven’t found one. One of the better ones though is Keiko Mecheri’s Jasmine. It is a sight “cleaner” than most jasmines and posesses qualities much closer to the actual flower than many. Although it too, is NOT “true” jasmine. (just the closest I’ve found).

    If one has not smelt jasmine flowers straight off the vine/ plant, one of the best “replicas” you are bound to find is in jasmine tea. Smell a bag or freshly brewed cup and imagine THAT jasmine scent, minus the black tea and you will come up with a vague but best source I can think of (besides the plant) to give you insight as to what TRUE jasmine blossoms smell like. August 5, 2006 at 5:41pm Reply

  • Ines: Hi everyone,

    I was just browsing in the blog and I came across this post. Just what I was looking for. I am endlessly seeking a jasmine scent – which is just like in a good cup of jasmine tea- clean, fresh, feminine and uplifting.

    I used to use Marc Jacobs Blush but it is now discontinued, it was one of the best. I know this is a relatively old post but somehow someone may hear my shout and want to help me! 🙂

    Thanks very much! March 24, 2011 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: Ines, I also loved Blush. I would recommend trying Christian Dior J'Adore L'Eau Florale and A Scent by Issey Miyake Florale (a flanker to the original A Scent.) Both have a nice jasmine-honeysuckle note. March 24, 2011 at 5:43pm Reply

  • Ines: Thank you very much Victoria! I have not tried A Scent by IM- I will give it a try. J’Adore feels sometimes heady and I just cant be comfy with it. Have a nice week! March 26, 2011 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Ines: I mean, weekend- sorry! March 26, 2011 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: Ines, it is very different from the original J'Adore, much lighter and fresher, so if you see it at Sephora, do give it a try.
    Have a great weekend! March 26, 2011 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Tish: Hi there,

    Maybe you perfume lovers can help me. I am going to Grasse for the first time next month and want to buy some Jasmine perfume without breaking the bank. Any ideas of where I might visit for something fragrant, regional and beautiful, but still inexpensive. Maybe a manufacturer or outlet or local shop? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks! April 21, 2011 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Andreas Moen: Hi there..

    I read your thread. Did you get any advices? I am going to grasse in august, and I am really thinking about those things you did before you let. Did you get any experiences when you were there? Experiences worth sharing?

    Thank you very much for your help! June 20, 2011 at 6:54am Reply

  • Aramis: Hi

    I cant undrestand what is difference between : Sambac Jasmin , Grandiflorum and Grasse on appearance? Search it on The web and the Images are the same!!! 🙁

    Thank you for your answer 🙂 June 25, 2012 at 7:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Jasmine sambac has smaller petals and more of them. The jasmine grandiflorum is what I use in the photo here. It has 5 five petals.The jasmine grown in Grasse is of that variety. June 26, 2012 at 5:14am Reply

      • Aramis: Thanks Victoria 🙂 July 6, 2012 at 1:30pm Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2016 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.