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In Process : Jasmine 26 October 2018

Heady, decadent, playful, mysterious – Jasmine is all that and much more. Known as the “King of Oils” because of its slightly more masculine quality among floral oils, Jasmine originates in the east and its oils have been used for centuries.

Recently, our founder, Manan Gandhi, visited the Jasmine fields in South India just in time for harvesting. Here’s a quick look at his Field Notes.

Broadly speaking, we use two variants of Jasmine in perfumery; the Jasmin Grandiflorum and the Jasmin Sambac.

Available in India and Egypt, the Jasmin Grandiflorum is slightly distinctive because of the slight pink shade in the petal.

In India, it grows around Coimbatore and its peak season is August to December. Usually picked when they have fully bloomed on the plant, the flowers are collected bright and early in the morning and then shifted to local collection points close to the field.

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After this, they are transported immediately to the factory for processing as they need to processed within a few hours of their picking.

The flowers are then loaded into large extractors from where we derive a solid “concrete” which will eventually be used for fragrances. Further processed to the “Absolute” which is a liquid that is used in fragrances.

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The Jasmin Sambac, on the other hand, is mainly used for decoration. Available only in India, it’s known as “Malli Poo” in South India where it mostly grows around Madurai.

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The flowers here are picked when they are closed buds as compared to the Jasmin Grandiflorum as these flowers will fall off the plant once they have fully bloomed. Once again, they are collected early in the morning and transported to local flower markets – like a mini flower stock exchange! – where they’re auctioned. Prices tend to be highest in the mornings and on festival days.

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Factories purchase flowers from the auctions and transport them to their spaces for quick processing. Buds are laid out for “blooming” so once they open up, they can be processed. Once again, a “concrete” is extracted at first, and then the”absolute” for fragrances.