Jasmine Perfume has been around probably since the first cave girl snapped a sprig from the vine and tucked it behind her ear. Jasmine is not some peripheral note in perfume that’s optional. It tends to be a building block to a lesser or greater degree in many perfumes.
Why? It gets along with the other notes in perfumes. It doesn’t really fight them; it blends in with them, enhances or softens them. There are very few notes that aren’t improved by the addition of jasmine. As a note, it’s not short-lived, it has a good stretch of time where it will last, but it doesn’t force itself on the composition, it doesn’t need to dominate. It can be amped up or amped down, depending on what the perfume is meant to become – whether a jasmine perfume or just a perfume that has jasmine as a minor note.
To create the natural absolute, according to “Essence and Alchemy” by Mandy Aftel –
“Flowers are placed on racks in a hermetically sealed container. A liquid solvent, usually hexane, is circulated over the flowers to dissolve the essential oils. This produces a solid waxy paste called a “concrete”. The concrete is then repeatedly treated with pure alcohol (ethanol) which dissolves the wax and yields the highly aromatic liquid known as an absolute. This method is also used for extracting resins and balsams and for rendering the animal essences, such as civet, musk ambergris and castoreum”
To straighten out the indolic aspect of jasmine perfume, it usually is believed that indoles are what create that slightly or more than slightly fecal aspect of jasmine. Indole smells not of poop, but of something musty and decaying. When you join an indole with humidity or musk and warm it up, then you get that rounded poopy smell. Jasmine is also referred to as skanky and, Lord, it can be, but the animalic piece of it is from a chemical that you can also find in horses. So you get that leathery animalic smell as well. Ah, jasmine, it looks so innocent!
Grasse jasmine is the historical gold standard of jasmine perfume. It is a little sweeter than the jasmines that come from Egypt and the orient. A lot of French perfume lines would put Grasse jasmine in their perfumes, but it is expensive, and now only a few use it just in their extraits and not at all in edp and edt versions.
This section has some great jasmine perfume sample sets, as well as jasmine perfumes where it is featured as the main note. If you wat to read a more in-depth discussion about jasmine perfume and what are the best jasmine perfumes, hop on over to Perfume Posse for that.