A walk down the lanes on Madurai in Tamil Nadu will not only surprise you pleasantly but also, leave a notable impression of its aromas in your memories forever. The sacred ‘satwik’ flower that has a unique link with Madurai dating back to 300 B.C., or even earlier; continues to spread its fragrance is known as Jasmine.
Whether it is the mythological story of the Ayodhya King Parthan who became Malleeswaran after worshipping Lord Shiva in a forest full of jasmine creepers or King Pari of Sangam period who could not bear to see the delicate jasmine creeper lying on the forest floor and gifted his royal chariot to the plant to enable it to twine itself around it. Or, as it finds mention in the Vedas, the ancient and medieval literature in various Indian languages, the epic Mahabharata and Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra, the malli mania of the royals, the rulers and the commoners, the botanists and horticulturalists, the growers, buyers and sellers. Though historically they were all centuries apart, their love for the ‘plant of love’ was common.
Jasmine, the name of a fun-loving fragrance, provides a unique and enthusiastic aroma. The fragrance of jasmine is joined with our culture in the forms of spirituality, tradition and also medicine. Jasminum sambac fragrance has rejuvenating, boosting and energizing properties, which makes it a natural mind-blowing fragrance, while Jasminum grandiflorum is one of the most prominent scents and it has highly unique and incredibly intense aroma.
Jasmine Sambac is a native in India and is commercially cultivated for both domestic and industrial uses, such as the perfume industry, cosmetics industry, aromatherapy, etc. It is majorly grown in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra in India.
It is also interesting to note that it takes 8,000 carefully hand- picked blossoms to produce 1 gram (about 1 ml.) of Jasmine Absolute. Its fragrance lasts for 36 hours as it is grown on laterite and reddish soils. Its petals are thicker and help the flower to retain moisture and delay withering. It blooms only after 6 p.m. and stays fresh longer and leaves no odour once it withers. It is greenish white in colour when it is manually plucked from the plant early morning. After a few hours it turns milky white and then a shiny creamy white during the evening.
It has been known as ‘the king of oils’ for it is the most masculine of all floral oils. Jasmine concrete and absolute are used in high-grade perfumes, and come next to ‘the queen of oils-rose’ in order of importance.