Jasmine: Product Highlight
Jasmine Sambac (Jasminum sambac) is a species of flowering plant in the Oleaceae family. It is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia and India and is cultivated in these areas as well as other parts of Asia, the Middle East, Madagascar, Northern Africa, and Central America. Jasmine Sambac grows as a vine or small shrub and can reach between one foot and ten feet in height. Jasmine Sambac flowers are around three-quarters of an inch to one and a half inches across with five to nine lobes. They are white in color and grow at the end of branches in clusters of three to twelve. As a night-blooming variety, the flowers open around sundown in the evening and close in the morning. The leaves of the Jasmine Sambac plant are smooth and ovate with a small number of hairs at the base. They grow opposite along the vines, sometimes appearing in clusters of three. Jasmine Sambac plants produce small berry fruits that are less than half an inch in diameter and can range from purple to black in color.
Jasmine Sambac’s name is thought to have evolved from the Medieval Arabic word “zanbaq” which referred to the oil of all jasmine flowers. In late Medieval Latin, the term became “sambacus” and continued to refer to all jasmine varieties. After the medieval period, the word “sambac” was adopted as the label for the J. sambac species in Latin plant taxonomy. In 1753, Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus first described the plant as Nyctanthes sambac in the first edition of his book Systema Naturae in 1753. In 1789, a Scottish botanist named William Aiton reclassified the plant to the genus Jasminum. Aiton is also attributed with coining the common English name of "Arabian Jasmine". This moniker likely comes from the wide cultivation of Jasmine in Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries.
According to early Chinese documentation of the plant, Jasmine Sambac originated in eastern South Asia and Southeast Asia. Through trade along the Silk Road, it was spread along with other species of jasmine into Persia and the middle east where it was cultivated in gardens. In the early seventeenth century, Jasmine Sambac made it to Europe and quickly became a staple of traditional French perfumery. Commercial production of Jasmine Oil began in the Grasse region of France in the middle of the nineteenth century. This area was once considered the largest producer in the world with its production peaking in the 1920s and 1930s. Jasmine Sambac Absolute is still cultivated and processed in the Grasse region but areas such as Egypt, India, and Morocco have taken over the market in more recent years.
Jasmine Sambac has held a symbolic status in many cultures throughout history with many of those traditions continuing today. It is the national flower of the Phillippines and one of three national flowers of Indonesia where it is known as “sampaguita” and “melati putih” respectively. In India and the Philippines, Jasmine is viewed as a symbol of divine hope, fidelity, and love. It is often incorporated into wedding ceremonies and married women in south India will sometimes wear Jasmine flowers on their fingers similar to wedding rings.
Jasmine Sambac has always been viewed as one of the preferred species for oil extraction because of the quality of its fragrance. It has historically been cultivated for oil extraction and continues to be to this day. Traditionally, Jasmine Sambac Absolute was extracted through a lengthy, labor-intensive process. Fresh flower petals were spread evenly over a layer of cold animal fat and left for several hours so that the essential oils of the flowers would be absorbed into the fat. The petals would be periodically swapped out until the fat was fully saturated with the aromatic essence of Jasmine. The result was a fragranced pomade that could be dissolved in alcohol to draw the oils out of the fat. The alcohol would then be evaporated to leave behind the pure Jasmine Absolute.
Jasmine Sambac is harvested during May and June when the flowers begin to bloom. As it is a night-blooming variety of jasmine, it must be harvested at night when the flowers are most fragrant. Jasmine Sambac is carefully harvested by hand so that the blossoms can be removed without damaging the plant. It can take nearly fifty thousand Jasmine flowers to create five milliliters of Jasmine Absolute.
Jasmine Sambac Absolute is extracted from the flowers of the plant using a solvent extraction technique. The flower petals are spread out on trays that are then submerged in a vessel filled with solvents such as hexane or ethanol with hexane being the more common option. The Jasmine flowers are steeped in the solvent for just long enough for the fragrance to be extracted without other nonfragrant molecules migrating into the liquid. After steeping, the petals are removed and the solvent is evaporated. The result is a yellowish-brown waxy substance with an extremely concentrated Jasmine aroma. To create the absolute, grain alcohol is added to the waxy substance. This mixture is heated and then cooled to remove the wax and color. The alcohol is then evaporated from the mixture to leave the pure Jasmine Absolute. The resulting absolute has a medium consistency and intensely rich and sweet floral aroma.
Benefits & Uses
In aromatherapy, Jasmine Absolute has been found to have mood balancing and enhancing effects. It is believed to calm the mind and bring intense emotions back into balance to combat stress and anxiety. Jasmine may also work to encourage positive thoughts and boost mental energy for an uplifted and confident state of mind. This can help to avoid the onset of depression by keeping the mind from slipping into negative and Jasmine Absolute is also known to have aphrodisiac qualities that may help to increase romantic feelings and support healthy intimacy in relationships.
When diluted and used topically, Jasmine Absolute can help support a healthy, glowing complexion. It has been found to help deeply hydrate the skin and balance the skin tone to keep the face moisturized and supple. Jasmine is known to rejuvenate dull skin and diminish the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging to give the skin a youthful glow. It can also help to combat blemishes and soothe irritation in the skin to maintain a smooth and soft appearance. Jasmine’s soothing properties can also help to ease inflammation in injuries and encourage the speedy healing of minor cuts and scrapes. When utilized for haircare, Jasmine Absolute may help to cleanse the scalp and prevent the build-up of products and dry skin. It is known to deeply hydrate the hair, helping to prevent breakage and smooth tangles for soft, silky locks.
Used in perfumery, Jasmine Absolute acts as a middle note that can help add complexity to a fragrance and it has been found to give blends a sense of balance. It can work to elevate lighter aromas such as citrus or other floral notes but it also holds its own with heavy and bold base notes. Jasmine Absolute is favored in quintessentially feminine scent and can act as a great base on which to build a floral bouquet fragrance.
Here are some recipes using Jasmine Absolute that we love...
Love & Light Diffuser Blend
- 4 drops of Jasmine Absolute
- 3 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil
Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line. Add drops of the essential oil blend. This diffuser blend recipe is formulated for a 200ml ultrasonic diffuser. Adjust the amount according to the size and directions of your diffuser.
Night Bloom Roll On Perfume
- 10ml Amber Glass Roll-On Bottle
- 1/3oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 10 drops of Jasmine Absolute
- 5 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Add the essential oils to the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Replace the rollerball and cap, gently shake, and roll across the wrists and neck for an exotic floral aroma.
Flower Fresh Balancing Facial Oil
- 2oz Amber Glass Bottle with Dropper Top
- 1oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 1/2oz of Jojoba Oil
- 1/2oz of Vegetable Glycerin
- 10 drops of Jasmine Absolute
- 10 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Add all ingredients to the bottle and shake vigorously to combine. After cleansing, apply a few drops to the face and gently press into the skin.
Hydrate & Repair Hair Mist
- 4oz Amber Glass Bottle with Spray Top
- 2oz of Distilled Water
- 1oz of Witch Hazel Extract
- 1/2oz of Jojoba Oil
- 30 drops of Jasmine Absolute
- 30 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 15 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Add witch hazel and jojoba oil to the bottle. Add the essential oil blend and fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water, leaving a little space at the top. Spritz on hair daily, focusing on ends and damaged areas.
Romantic Relaxation Foaming Bath Salts
- 1 cup of Course Sea Salt
- ½ cup of Epsom Salt
- 1oz of Unscented Liquid Castile Soap
- 1/2oz of Jojoba Oil
- 15 drops of Jasmine Absolute
- 15 drops of Neroli Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil
Add coarse sea salt and Epsom salt to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the castile soap, jojoba oil, and essential oils to a small bowl and stir together until well combined. Add liquid mixture to salts and stir thoroughly until the mixture is fully incorporated and the salt seems to be evenly coated. Add about ½ cup to a warm bath and stir to dissolve.