July 25, 2010

Jasmine in the News

I was happy to read it’s been proven that inhaling the scent of jasmine is as calming and soothing as taking a valium:
“Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help: in collaboration with Dr. Olga Sergeeva and Prof. Helmut Hass from the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, researchers from Bochum led by Prof. Dr. Hanns Hatt have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol. They soothe, relieve anxiety and promote sleep. The researchers have now been granted a patent for their discovery. “ (full article)
"Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol. (full article)
So all that and beauty too, without a lot of dangerous side effects or addictive qualities, except perhaps a rather nice perfume addiction that may develop in certain susceptible types.

I still have the jasmine sambac concrete from Enfleurage , so I have been using it much more frequently ever since reading about this phenomenon. I notice that in addition to the mentally beneficial effects it also has a beautiful effect on certain perfumes worn over it, especially those that already have a fair amount of floral, wood or musk components.

I know that most perfumes, maybe as many as about 80%, have jasmine in them to begin with so this makes it simple to experiment with layering jasmine as a separate component. I found that wearing a little of the jasmine concrete as a base with Nenufar for example, a blue lotus perfume I have written about before, and also Tallulah B2 from A Wing and A Prayer, lifts and expands these already beautiful compositions up and out into the air around me, and also adds depth, almost like sinking their warmth into the skin.

The intense humidity and heat we have had lately also heightens the effect. Definitely something for the evenings, or on weekends, for relaxation and sleep enhancement. Most jasmine plant scents are stronger at night, so it all fits together.

Above photo, the Jasmine Festival in Grasse . In early August, with jasmine covered floats, girls throw flowers at the spectators, who are also getting a fine spray of jasmine scented water.

A favorite prior post on Jasmine here.

Enfleurage Jasmines - available as both essential oil and sometimes as concrete, available online and at the store.

Septimanie Pavilion des Fleurs, a fine super-realist jasmine perfume, with more thoughts on Jasmine in a prior post here. More thoughts on layering as a trans-seasonal practice and with other types of fragrances here and here.

Photo at right, a jasmine and pearl ornamentation from India, the connection is clear between the head and the nose, with a fascinating article, here.

7 comments:

JADE DRESSLER said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T88fbHOmvRk


Summer breeze, jasmine in my mind. Summers, 1970's vials from the hippy poster shop to jasmine dressed terraces in Milan. I am there. Thank you Lucy!

Lucy said...

Hey Jade,

May we all have more jasmine scented afternoons and evenings...

chayaruchama said...

Snootfuls of jasmine do it for me ;-)

I'm an 'auriculatum' fan-
The filthier, the better.

[They can keep the propfol-
It nearly did me in, twice.]

Sweet dreams !

ScentScelf said...

It's not difficult to embrace this research, is it? :) I loved seeing it, too...but have not processed as deeply as you have the various implications for perfume. Really? 80% of perfumes use jasmine to some extent? I had no idea. (How did I miss that?? Thank goodness I come here!)

You know, I am a huge believer in the impact of seasons on perfume perception (and therefore effect), and not such a big proponent of/experimenter with layering (no particular reason, just because--and maybe because I still feel like I'm learning so much about how individual perfumes behave, I don't have the brain space to venture there). Your previous musings, which you linked to here and I read for the first time, have opened my eyes in a different way. Up until now, I've always been aware of transition scents...scents which, for me, do a good job of expressing/bridging the gap between particular seasons. Maybe now, when this fall starts wending its way in, I'll be ready to think of potential appropriate layerings.

Lucy said...

C/Ida, yes, jasmine is my new sleeping draught, mild but good for the nervous system. I very much look forward to what they come up with when they go to patent this idea...

Lucy said...

SS -- I have read that 80% figure in relation to jasmine a number of times from different sources but they were media sources, so perhaps it's not a statistical solid fact but I get the picture. It is like musk - one of those elements that show up everywhere, even if in tiny amounts, blending and softening and expanding everything else.
Glad to have perhaps piqued your interest as to layering/transitioning scents together over the seasons. I know some frown upon it but I don't think anyone is going to show up at my door to arrest me so what the hell...

ScentScelf said...

Oh, forget the propriety police. I once smelled a FANTASTIC layering of two Malles, Un Fleur de Cassie over Parfum de Therese. Hey, I'm for layering, but even that one sounded sacrilegious, not to mention cringe inducing...but somehow, the person wearing it carried it off.

Besides, you gave me a back door...for one of your combinations, you put one on each arm...given that I've done a "harmonica" of scent (next to each other, riff and huff), methinks I can handle that approach if I'm askeered of the full on layering, LOL.

And yes, I can see how jasmine is like butter in cooking...useful in so many ways, not just a flavor on its own...(I'm struggling to find a better cooking analogy, but think it's best if I just let this one fly...)