Jasmine – The Masculine Essential Oil
It's a Huge FamilyThere are over 200 species of this fragrant flower, native to China, India and Western Asia. Jasmine has been employed widely around the world for centuries and has found its way into culinary and medicinal uses as well as perfumery. Perhaps it is the incredibly complicated chemical makeup (with over 100 constituents) that makes this diverse plant worthy of study for possible additional uses. Among (many) other things, jasmine is a source of farnesol, benzyl alcohol and jasmonate.
The Sambac variety (INCI: jasmin sambac), native to China and India, is popularly used for tea as well as to produce essential oil. But it is the Grandiflorum variety (INCI: jasminum garndiflorum), native to India, that many refer to as 'true jasmine'. A member of the Oleaceae genus (and a member of the same family as olive), Jasmine Grandiflorum has several common names, among these, Royal Jasmine.
One by Night, One By DayJasmine Grandiflorum blooms in the early dawn (contrary to the Jasmine Sambac where the flowers do not open until the temperature drops in the evenings). In both cases, the flowers are used to make an absolute (they are not steam-distilled to produce essential oil, but paired with oil or solvent-extracted).
UsesJasmine is great for dry as well as oily skin, helping to balance sebum production and 'normalize' the skin. It is ideal for sensitive as well as mature skin. Aromatherapists claim the essential oil calms and relaxes both mind and body and will instill feelings of optimism. Jasmine has also been heralded as an aphrodisiac throughout history.
The ScentJasmine has a very strong sweet, heady and floral quality that can overpower everything in a blend if not modestly dosed. I am quite enamored with it when paired with citrus-like and 'green' scents (such as lemongrass and lime), but have found that jasmine has a tendency to 'evolve' over time, changing the scent of a mix, which makes it a bit challenging to work with.
The Man and the ScentDespite being a 'masculine' flower, jasmine doesn't necessarily appeal to all men – my husband in particular. It took years of trial and error until I was able to pinpoint the cause of his occasional 'what are you wearing? That really doesn't smell very good at all!' As it happens, he just doesn't like jasmine in any way, shape or form. It was a sad day when I finally realized I was going to have to drop it completely from my own personal use blends. I even tried for the longest time to disguise it in different mixes, but it never failed – his nose could unfailingly detect even the teensiest amount, and I would get 'the comment' every time. Sigh. I do keep jasmine in stock and will use it in mixes for others (if the scent appeals to them of course). So much for the masculine flower!
WarningsJasmine is not recommended for use on skin with psoriasis or eczema. It is also not recommended for use during pregnancy or if you are trying to conceive.
How do you feel about the scent of jasmine? Are you a fan or does it leave you cold?