Jasmine, also called Jessamine, is one of the species of flowered vines and shrubs of the oleaceae, the olive family. The plant grows in the tropics and temperate regions of the world. Most are cultivated and grown as ornamental plants. True jasmine’s do not have tendrils on their climbing branches. Jasmine flowers can be white, yellow and in rare occasions pink. They may have simple green leaves or more leaflets and bear a blackberry fruit.
Jasmine's are mostly used as freshly cut flowers and are worn in the hair. They are a favorite house plant and are also used to make tea. A major jasmine called common Jasmine or poet's Jasmine produces white fragrant flowers which are used in perfumery as they provide attar. In the fragrance world, Jasmine is called the flower of flowers and is a very important Ingredient in the industry.
History of Jasmine
From Persians and Arabs is where the name Jasmine came from. Arabian Jasmine is said to be the first plant to be allowed and known by this name. Among botanists, it is widely believed that the Jasmine flower originates from Persia the Iran of today. It is said to have been brought to Egypt across the Red Sea in the early 1000 BC and later to Turkey and Greece.
Growing in the tropical and subtropical climates, varieties of Jasmine flowers are native to Asia. It is even believed that the Jasmine flower hailed from the Himalayas West of China. During the Sang dynasty in China, the emperors are said to have enjoyed the fragrance of the Jasmine flower from 969-1270 AD.
In the 1400s kings of Persia Nepal and Afghanistan ordered the Jasmine flower to be planted around their palace as they were mooning over them. The Jasmine flowers were first introduced to Spain in 1600 then to other countries in Europe including France and Italy. It spread from Asia in the 1700s. Some species are native to all continents except Antarctica in North America.
Jasmine’s cultivation and harvesting
Jasmine grows in a wide range of soils with a pH of 6.7 to 7.5. It needs well-drained rich loamy soil that is ideal for cultivation. Those well up to 1200 meters and with well-distributed annual rainfall. Jasmine's are propagated by cutting layering, suckers budding grafting, and tissue culturing.
Jasmine’s give great yields from their third years and then after 12 to 15 years then they start declining. The harvesting stage depends on the purpose of the flowers. Fresh and open jasmine flower buds are picked in the early morning. As for extraction of concentrate only fully opened fresh flowers are picked. Damage during harvest and transit affects Jasmine's flowers shelf life and concentrates recovery.
Types of Jasmine
Jasmine can be classified based on location. The Common Jasmine is the most known variety known as Jasminum officinale.a
- Arabian Jasmine; A grows in Bhutan, in a small region in the eastern Himalayas in and it’s popular in India and Southeast Asia
- White Jasmine; it’s a gorgeous flower also called pink Jasmine. It is grows in Myanmar and China.
- Jasminum Grandiflorum: It just means cloud known by its various names such as Royal, Spanish and Catalan Jasmine. It grows in the Arabian Peninsula, North-East Africa and Sichuan region of China.
- Winter Jasmine; It grows in China and has been successfully cultivated in in France and the United States. It is a deciduous shrub.
- Jasminum Azorium; None too as the lemon fragrance Jasmine native to the Portuguese islands Madeira.
- Wild Jasmine; It grows in the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe.
- Star Jasmine; also known as winter, downy or Indian Jasmine.
- Jasmine Humble; Italian or yellow Jasmine native to Himalayas Tajikistan Pakistan Burma Nepal and SW China
These are just major Jasmine’s there are many others.
- Jasmine’s are mainly cultivated for flowers; it adds aesthetic value to gardens teased as house flowers and fresh-cut flowers. Women wear them in hair in South in South East Asia
- Jasmine tea; It’s made by infusion of the aroma from Jasmine flowers with green tea leaves said to help detoxify the justice system; it adds flavor to otherwise bland tea leaves.
- Health benefits Jasmine flowers have been used in Ayurveda and alternative lifestyle systems and alternative medicine therapy for many years
- Some Jasmine serve as national flowers for their nations; the national flower for Pakistan is Jasmine officiale, in Indonesian it is Jasmine Sambac and the same flower is the national flower for the Philippine.
- Many species are used to extract the absolute that is used in the production of incense and perfumes. like essential oils, absolutes are concentrated highly aromatic oily mixture is needed from plants. As mentioned in the introduction, jasmine is very essential in the perfume industry. In fragrance two mains types of Jasmine are used:
- Grandiflorum; Most used because it is multifaceted and dynamic
- Sambac; known as Arabian or common Jasmine. It is a richer space and has a musky smell it also has a mystery in its smell
- A story of a Tuscan and gardener who planted a Jasmine plant given to him by Persian traders. Then it has it that he refused to let others cut flowers from his plant. When it bloomed he presented it to his beloved who became so enamored by the fragrant that she agreed to marry him. As a result, Tuscan Tradition was started and just been became a part of the bridal bouquet
- Jasmine called the queen of the night gives off his scent at nightespecially during a full moon
- Jasmine can't self-pollinate despite having both types of sexual reproductive organs because stamens and pistols don’t develop at the same time.
- Jasmine is used in China as a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. Jasmine also symbolizes deep affection elegance and happiness' pure and purity in religion'
The love and use of Jasmine transcend time as it goes back to the old world. Its contribution to the fragrance world is formidable because of its ability to induce calmness and reduce stressful feelings while being mysterious sexy and exotic at the same time.