Aroma Science

Perfumery & Fragrance in Jasmine Oil

The fragrance that emanates from the bright white jasmine flowers is one of the most popular in the perfume industry.  Guenther says: “Next to the rose, the jasmine supplies the most important and indispensable natural flower oil employed in modern perfumery.” (Guenther, E. (1952) The Essential Oils. London: Macmillan) Jasmine’s use in perfumery has its roots in ancient history, dating as far back as Cleopatra and Louis XVI.  In Hindu cultures, jasmine has long been considered to be the ‘perfume of love.’

Jasmine on its own has a wonderful scent profile. It is described as “intensely floral, very sweet, tenacious, with a deep richness and a somewhat musky and coumarin-like undertone.” However, jasmine shares a commonality with the rose in that both fragrances are so expensive that they tend to be incorporated in blends, so that while they do lend their fragrances to a perfume, not much is necessary and will save on costs. Because of this, both jasmine and rose fragrances have long been associated with expensive perfumes. There is a common phrase in the perfume industry that describes the ubiquity of the scent: ‘there can be no perfume without jasmine.’ This is due to the fact that when a floral note is required for a perfume, eight out of ten times the fragrance added will be that of jasmine. (Arctander, S. (1960) Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Artander)

When jasmine is incorporated in blends, it lends its soft, sensual fragrance to a perfume’s middle note. The list of typical blends for jasmine is long, as the sweet, subtle fragrance of its flowers are well-suited to bring synergy to multiple fragrance blends. While jasmine will harmonize effectively with nearly all oils, typical jasmine blends in the perfume industry include ambrette seed, amyris, bergamot, black pepper, cassie, cedarwood, chamomile (Roman), clary sage, coriander, frankincense, galbanum, geranium, grapefruit, helichrysum, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, melissa, neroli, orange, orange blossom, palmarosa, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, tuberose, vetiver, violet leaf, and ylang ylang. Jasmine “has the ability to round off any rough notes and blends with virtually everything.” (Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils)