Typically, jasmine is used as the middle note of a perfume composition. By itself, jasmine emits a strong tea-like aroma with undertones of fruity and herbaceous goodness. The flower’s indoles, on the other hand, impart a characteristic, almost narcotic scent. They combine to produce a distinctly jasmine fragrance that’s fruity, powdery, and rich all at the same time. It isn’t an elegant scent by any stretch of the imagination; it’s way more animalistic, but still very much intoxicating.
Novice perfumers are often surprised to find how little jasmine is required to produce that unmistakable floral note in any composition. Add just a hint of jasmine, and any perfume instantly becomes a floral hallmark of luxury and temptation. But the scent isn’t just limited to florals, of course. Jasmine offers so many olfactory facets that you can play with it every which way. Pair jasmine with citrus, fruits, and other florals (rose especially!); or earthier scents (sandalwood is our personal favorite) for a more pronounced effect. This delicate floral note is highly versatile and blends with just about anything.
Today, the most common species used in perfumery are jasmine sambac and jasmine grandiflorum, with the latter being the more widespread of the two. Jasmine grandiflorum plantations have sprung up all over the world, but most notably in India, Morocco, Italy, Egypt, Calabria and, of course, France. Jasmine sambac, on the other hand, remains native to Asia. Compared to its more mainstream cousin, it’s a bit muskier, with the occasional hint of orange blossom.