On a very gray rainy day I took the old Acacia street near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and I landed in a paradise of floral scents. It was the secret "Hinoki room" of the Japanese company Takasago. The real jasmine was in bloom for their Jasmine week, a presentation about the history of this very beloved flower. One of the most powerful small flower, able to transform a purist ikebana into the opulent essence of baroque, the jasmine was the star of the day embalming the air from the entrance. Takasago presented several expensive natural extracts (absolute and CO2) for Grandiflorum jasmine and the outstanding Sambac jasmine. The different types of jasmine extracts and notes were explained and discussed, including the very expensive natural benzyl acetate. Yes, this "nail polish banana" molecule, an essential component in many flowers, exists now as a natural ingredient which can be used in 100 % organic natural perfumes. So, next time you'll smell something strong, fruity and nail polish, think twice before saying "it's chemical, so it's dangerous".
The Moroccan jasmine mesmerizes with its powerful top, rich in benzyl acetate + green benzoates, and the deep animalic facet, close to the expensive French jasmine (several drops are used in a very small number of perfume extracts in Paris). The rich Egyptian jasmine is one of the most harmonious, with a specific spicy note, while the beautiful Indian absolute is hypnotic through a rich lactonic bouquet, surrounded by balsamic notes and an important indolic aspect. Every absolute represents a stage of the Grandiflorum jasmine flower capturing its essence until the evening. For some Asian extracts, the flowers are picked up in the morning and extracted during the evening, this "trick" being responsible for their sensual opulence. After they were picked up, the flowers continue to produce odorant molecules.
The Sambac jasmine has a very different story. It is one of the most impressive floral absolutes, with an outstanding power and richness of contrasts. It is at the same time very green hyacinth (phenylacetic aldehyde), very animalic indolic and very orange flower (methyl anthranilate) with a sublime mellow honeyed facet recalling genêt and jonquille absolutes. I included it in an rich accord with the honeyed Firmenich natural "Rose distillation" and the sweet pea accord from l'Heure Bleue. Jasmin Sambac is a flower in high demand today, more and more perfumes are featuring this exceptional note, sold for more than 2000 EUR / kg. It is a pity that many popular brands cannot afford a drop of jasmine floral absolute in their perfume when the huge budget goes to advertising. With very few exceptions, more famous brand is, less interesting are their perfumes.
During the Takasago presentation, several major creations developed around the jasmine note were analyzed, including the marvelous JOY (Jean Patou) and the recent original launches from Paris with a jasmine absolute note.
One of the most special moments at Takasago was the discovery of a classic jasmine base built many years ago by Pierre Bourdon, a composition with an outstanding naturalness where the green explosion with fruity undertones suddenly embraces the sensual floral depth. This very special base with a very pure structure captures the essence of the jasmine absolute featuring 2 ingredients present in the flower, which are not usually available on shelves, and with a very original accent on top, a green note brought by the violet leaves absolute, for a sparkling impressive effect.
Takasago has recently recreated several unusual flowers inspired by the scents of Asia, like the blooming field of magnolias in China where the hundreds of trees were a true olfactory shock for the perfumer Jean Jacques. One of these Asian flowers, among a selection of very specific olfactory notes not really known in western countries, was the star jasmine. The interpretation of this special jasmine, known by Japanese perfumers but less by Europeans, featured the lightness of the angelic flower without its animalic "Indian" elements, surrounded by a cocktail of watery fruits (melon, guava, peach-nectarine) underlined by a special musk.
Because hypnotic white flowers are my specialty I could talk for hours about their ingredients and their role in the structure of scent. There are some molecules in the jasmine with a profound biological effect but not a strong smell. They are not often used by modern perfumers and the disappearance of natural jasmine from formulae, because of cost limits, explains why many modern creations lack an erogenic effect.
Did you enjoy my article? Sign up for updates about new fragrances, reviews of artistic perfumes and exceptional vintage masterpieces. I would be very happy if you would consider joining 1000 Fragrances, throughRSS feed,GoogleFriend connect, Facebook (more personal), or any other way that appeals to you.
Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art