Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) is perhaps one of the foremost original, luxurious, staple ingredients used in history and still in today’s fragrance markets.
So much so that the centre of the world perfumery industry, Grasse, France, adopted the Jasmine flower as their own symbol of the town and every August hold a ‘Jasmine Festival’ during which locals and visitors scatter jasmine water and flowers over celebrating crowds and the town comes alive with music and other events.
It is not only used in fine fragrance but also in aromatherapy for treating muscular complaints and skin related issues – especially for those prone to suffering with sensitive skin allergies. It is also known to be effective as an ingredient for relieving stress like symptoms.
Jasmine originates from India but is also cultivated in a number of other countries across southern Europe and North Africa, including that of Egypt.
The flower picking season starts around June in Egypt and can last several months. The petals are only hand collected before sunrise to ensure the sunlight does not dry the oil contained within the petals once they are picked.
It can take around 1 metric ton (MT) of flowers to product around 2 kilo of oil! That’s a lot of flowers!!
Active plantation drives have contributed largely to the increased volumes of flowers produced over the last few years. Egyptian quality jasmine is much appreciated by perfume connoisseurs for its floral notes, and is a preferred ingredient among perfumers. Out of Egypt’s current production of 6 to 7 MT of jasmine concrete, one of the leading names contributes the lion’s share of almost 4 MT. Currently, the jasmine season has just concluded and production is pegged at 7 MT. Demand has already escalated; and there were apprehensions of a price rise. However, carryover stocks will help arrest any price hikes and keep prices at par with the previous year. On the flipside, the increased prices of both jasmine concrete and absolute have prompted some producers to accept inferior quality of flowers in order to keep production costs at a minimum and offer oil at lower prices. This could have a negative effect on the market.
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