Jasmine essential oil is a perfect oil to highlight in February when we have Valentine’s day – a romantic day for lovers! It is known for its heady, aphrodisiac aroma and is found extensively in the cosmetic and perfumery world.
Jasmine is one of my favourite oils, whenever I smell its rich, floral, sultry scent, it takes me back to my garden when I lived in Hong Kong and warm tropical evenings.
‘The Queen of the Night’, Jasmine symbolises sensuality, sensitivity and communion with our higher self/spirituality. In folklore books, I’ve seen it represented as both a female and male deity, showing the intertwining of both male and female energies. Across South East Asia, Jasmine flowers are given as garlands and offerings at both Hindu and Buddhist shrines.
Jasmine – Latin name Jasminum officinale –is native to China and Northern India and is cultivated in the Mediterranean, especially Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Turkey.
Jasmine flowers offer their scent more strongly after dark, to attract moths, their nighttime pollinators. The flowers are also harvested at night time, to optimise the yield of the essential oil. The essential oil is extracted from fresh petals by steam distillation or solvent extraction to create an absolute. Its predominant chemical contents are benzyl acetate, linalool, benzyl alcohol, indole, benzyl benzoate, cis-jasmone, Geraniol.
Indole is particularly interesting, often called a faecal note, this aromatic chemical is found in both excrement and certain flowers, particularly Jasmine. In high concentrations, this earthy, putrid, stinky scent, dilutes down to something pleasant and intoxicating. However, the sense of smell is a wonderful thing and whenever I teach a perfumery class, I always get a small percentage of students who cannot bear the scent of Jasmine and I’ve heard ‘smells like poo’, ‘rotting flesh’, etc. While most people love it and wax lyrical on its beauty and sensuous scent.
It is one of the most difficult and expensive oils to extract with a very low yield from its petals, plus it has to be harvested after dark!
Jasmine Essential Oil Properties
Jasmine essential oil is uplifting, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic, and a tonic for the uterus.
Jasmine is used to uplift the mind and bring a sense of optimism. It is also a known aphrodisiac, helping us explore our sensuality and sex drive. Traditionally used during labour as a uterine tonic and to slow and deepen the breath.
On the skin it is an effective moisturiser, hydrating the skin while having a general stimulant and antiseptic action. It is good for all skin types, but especially so for dry, mature and irritated skin.
In perfumery, it is a middle note and a has a rich, warm, floral aroma with an earthy undertone. It is very popular in commercial perfumes for both men and women, including Chanel no.5, Opium, Acqua Di Palma Colonia Pura.
Treat your loved one this Valentine’s Day, to one of these beautiful, sensuous, blissful products…
Please note: As with all essential oils – always dilute first before applying to the skin and consult a qualified aromatherapist if you are uncertain of how to use or dosage. If you have a specific allergy or contra-indications avoid use.