The symbol of beauty, desire and seduction, jasmine has always been associated with love. The history of jasmine is a plural love story, shaped over time by romantic characters. Love passion in Nepal, where the Yâsaman (Yasmine), from its Persian name, embodied the sentimental tumult. Love conquerors in India, when Kâma, god of love, shot arrows adorned with jasmine flowers at his victims. Love seduction in Egypt, where Cleopatra would have gone to meet Mark Antony in a boat with sails coated with jasmine. Love promise also, for the Tunisians who like to braid the flower and offer it as a token of love.
Queen of Perfumery
Named the Flower of Grasse, this queen of perfumery who shares her throne with the Rose Centifolia nevertheless comes from Spain. Jasminum grandiflorum has only been cultivated in Grasse since the 16th century. It is always harvested by hand and especially at dawn, from mid-July to mid-October. A well-trained picker can collect up to 4 kg of flowers per day, or about 40,000 flowers! Very fragile, jasmine requires the greatest care from its picking to its transformation. Its pristine white petals fade after just a few hours. Developed in Grasse, the cold enfleurage technique was the only one that, until the 1960s, captured its precious fragrances. Today, this technique has been replaced by extraction with volatile solvents, which allows an equally optimal extraction. Sensual and heady, jasmine offers the perfumer an exceptional olfactory richness, forming the heart of many prestigious perfumes.
Jasmine at M.Micallef
M. Micallef is fortunate to use its own jasmine flowers, cultivated in its Terre de Jasmin estate—a short walk from the factory workshop—by perfume flower grower Pierre Chiarla. “Jasmine is naturally the first flower I wanted to grow; our Estate was named in its honor. Jasmine sits at the heart of several of our finest compositions: the unisex Spiritual (Secrets Of Love Collection) and Gaïac, as well as the feminine 20 years, Watch, Glamor and Sensual” confides Martine Micallef who, every summer morning when she is in Grasse, enjoys participating in the soothing—almost spiritual—ritual of picking.