How does Jasmine smell?
“White flower, fruity peach, and banana, animalic, black tea”.
One of the most important raw materials in perfumery; one of the most expensive too. Luckily, I don’t have to use a lot of it in a perfume composition, especially when working on a consumer fragrance with a very tight budget. In fact, jasmine absolute is rarely used in a large quantity in a fragrance; its trace is impactful enough. I usually use just a hint in my formulation to help elevate the fragrance, giving it an excellent opening, strengthen the character, and provides complexity.
My first memory with this flower was in the classroom. I have smelled the real flower before back in my hometown, but I thought this absolute was smelling different. The jasmine I knew was just typical fresh and green floral notes with a slightly fruity undertone. That morning, I discovered the animalic part of jasmine. Animalic, that’s the keyword.
The animalic facet in jasmine absolute is given by indol. I hope I can describe animalic to you by this: it smells a little bit like a horse and honey. Thanks to the honey-like sweetness, animalic raw materials are useful in perfume formulations to gives naturality and depth to the white floral composition. We just need to find the right balance when using it. Otherwise, it can be overpowering and ruin the whole creation.
But indol alone cannot describe the grand smell of jasmine absolute.
The second interesting character of jasmine absolute is milky—a creamy fresh white milk with peach skin notes. In perfumery, we call it lactonic. This lactonic character is given by jasmones family. This creamy facet-that I love most about jasmine-contributes to making it smelling opulent, intense, and rich. Jasmone does not present in a significant amount in the natural flower. Still, it is essential to give this opulent facet in the natural jasmine flower.
As I mentioned above, the milky facet of jasmine comes with a touch of a fruity peach-skin scent, thanks to benzyl acetate. Benzyl acetate presents in a significant amount in the natural jasmine flower. It is essential in reconstructing the jasmine scent. However, this material is very volatile, and the smell is quite thin. Hence, it cannot give the character and complexity of the real jasmine flower.
My personal experience with Jasmine
I got the chance to work with two types of jasmine absolute, one is from Egypt, and the other is from India. I found that jasmine absolute Egypt has a more significant fruity peach/banana effect (benzyl acetate-like) and dominant animalic notes. In contrast, jasmine absolute India has a fresher fruity-green note on top, and methyl anthranilate reminds me of orange blossom. The later is more expensive, but it is not necessarily better than the other. In my personal opinion, both are important and can be used depending on which profile we are working with.
Furthermore, this is one of the most interesting facets I found out later on about jasmine absolute: black tea. I find it in both types of jasmine absolutes; however, it smells bolder in the one from Egypt. This black tea facet also reminds me of the tobacco scent; it smells green and has salty and smoky notes.
Jasmine in Perfumery
Jasmine is vital in perfumery, indeed. Chanel and Dior have their own jasmine field where they grow, extracted, and use them for their perfume creations. One of the most important perfumes containing gorgeous jasmine absolute is Chanel No.5, which has been a massive hit since its first launch in 1920 until today.
These days, jasmine is present in almost every perfume creations, from fine fragrance to consumer fragrance. As I have mentioned before, price constraint was one of the limitations in using jasmine absolute in consumer fragrance creation. The other limitation is performance. Sometimes using natural raw material in a high amount (hence high price) might not be efficient in terms of performance and cost. Perfumers often create their own jasmine accord and incorporate it into their creations, and adjust some facets according to their imaginations. Hence, if someone asked, how does jasmine smell to a perfumer? The answer might be different depends on which jasmine accord the perfumer used.
For perfumes that use jasmine as one of the ingredients you can check Splendiris, Parfums Dusita