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!!
The good news is that supply and demand are increasing with availability of sufficient stock; in fact demand is marginally higherthan last year. Currently, the market is stable with few stocks available at origin and the next big quantities will be available with the new crop in June 2018. This year prices showed a suddenrise and in the coming months stability in prices is anticipated. There was a bumper crop in 2016 leading to a crop surplus that continued to exist before the start of the 2017 season. Growing conditions are favourable and it is expected to be a good crop.
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