Featured Scent: What Does Jasmine Smell Like?

Jasmine smells like all of your favorite rom-coms compiled into one never-ending movie of passion and happiness. 

The scent of this admired flower is rich, sweet, fruity, and sensual, and it's often seen as a symbol of seduction, femininity, and love. It's intoxicating floral fragrance can be found in many of our luxury candles here at the Harlem Candle Company.

In this article, we’re excited to talk about what jasmine smells like, where it comes from, and some of the benefits it's aroma can bring you,

What Is Jasmine?

Jasmine (Jasminum), is a genus of shrubs and vines with around 200 species native to warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Surprisingly, Jasmine is actually a member of the olive tree family (Oleaceae). Other notable members of this family include olive and ash. 

Different species of jasmine grow in various shapes and sizes, with either deciduous or evergreen leaves. (Deciduous leaves fall off the plant each autumn and evergreen leaves stay green and intact year round.) 

Jasmine is perhaps best known for it’s famous star-shaped flowers, which are typically around 2.5 cm in diameter with colors that include white, yellow, and, on rare occasions, slightly red. 

Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale), also known as poet's jasmine, is among the most popular and aromatic varieties. Other species frequently used in perfumery and candle fragrances include Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) and Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum). 

Originally traded on the silk road in ancient China, jasmine is universally embraced. It’s beautiful white flowers represent purity and love. Used in everything from perfumery to medicine to  perfumery and tea, it’s no wonder that the Persian translation of jasmine is “god's gift.” 

What Does Jasmine Smell Like? 

The floral scent of jasmine is rich, sweet, fruity, and sensual. Unlike other flowers, Jasmine also has a slight animalistic edge that smells tenacious and musky. 

The combination of feminine sweetness and masculine wildness make the smell of jasmine universally attractive.

  • Floral
  • Rich and intense
  • Sweet, almost honey-like
  • A touch of fruitiness
  • Sensual and exotic
  • Intoxicatingly warm
  • Animalistic

With so many species, the exact smell of jasmine can sometimes vary. Some species smell slightly sweeter, muskier, or even somewhat camphoraceous.

For example, Spanish Jasmine can smell creamy and slightly like white peach. Arabian jasmine tends to be lighter and even fruitier than Spanish jasmine. It’s a sweeter variety that is slightly vanilla scented. 

The heavenly warmth of jasmine creates a mood of pure bliss. The fragrance might welcome day dreams of dancing the night away with your true love under a starry moonlit sky. 

Part of jasmine's raging popularity in the fragrance industry is due how much presence and character it adds as a middle note. 

After the top notes start to fade, a heart of jasmine takes center stage and makes up 40-80% of the entire aroma before smoothly introducing the full-bodied base notes. It's rich sweetness pairs particularly well with frankincense, eucalyptus, lemon, grapefruit, orange, and rose. 

Some notable perfumes that feature the effervescent beauty of jasmine include:

  • Gucci Bloom
  • Aerin Ikat Jasmine
  • Bobby Brown Baby
  • Chanel No. 5

Where Does The Jasmine Scent Come From?

Jasmine owes much of its unique scent to the molecules indole and methyl dihydrojasmonate

Indole is responsible for the animalistic quality of the scent. On its own, indole smells like a mothball. It's a derivative of tryptophan — the stuff that's said to make you sleepy after eating turkey. This amino acid is involved in the release of serotonin.

Methyl dihydrojasmonate gives jasmine it’s warm, floral freshness and adds a layer of lightness to the intense aroma.

The essential oil of jasmine, or jasmine absolute, used to be extracted by pressing the flowers and combining them with fat, then subsequently extracting the oil from the fat. This process is called enfleurage

Nowadays, a different method of extraction is used. Though it’s scent is strong and king-like, the jasmine flower itself is quite delicate. This means that jasmine absolute must be collected through solvent extraction as opposed to steam distillation or the cold press method (which would destroy the flowers). 

In this form of extraction, a solvent gathers the oil from the jasmine petals. This is a chemical-based process, versus the physical processes of steam distillation and cold press. 

Natural jasmine absolute is very expensive to produce. It takes approximately 8000 hand-picked blooms to produce a milliliter of the absolute. Luckily, a little bit goes a long way and it can also be produced synthetically at a cheaper cost. 

Benefits of Jasmine in Aromatherapy

Traditionally, jasmine has been called “the king of essential oils” due to its many health benefits. Its essential oil was and is still used as an antiseptic and an aphrodisiac, for example. 

Several species of jasmine oil have antibacterial properties. A study on Jasminum sambac showed evidence of fighting off bacteria in certain strains of E coli. Jasmine has also been shown to fight off the microbes in candida (a fungus that can cause oral yeast infections). 

Jasmine is also known as “the perfume of love” in Hindu and Muslim cultures. While there isn’t a lot amount of scientific evidence behind jasmine's use as an aphrodisiac, at least one study found that certain odors (such as jasmine) can stimulate feelings of arousal. 

In aromatherapy, the exquisite scent of jasmine is often used to enhance mood, boost energy levels and reduce anxiety. A study on humans and mice found that Jasmine does this by boosting the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA.

You can easily experience the numerous benefits of jasmine by adding a couple of drops of the essential oil to a bubble bath or a diffuser, or by lighting one of our jasmine scented candles in the comfort of your bedroom. 

Our Favorite Jasmine Candles 

A sweet and exotic scent heart note of jasmine can be enjoyed in many of our luxury candles here at the Harlem Candle Company. 

Josephine

A bright citrus opening of vibrant bergamot blends magnificently with an emotional heart of lush Moroccan Rose and Indian Jasmine, while a velvet background of warm liquid amber, sweet Tonka bean and precious sandalwood provides a beautiful finish as exquisite as Josephine herself.

Learn more

Langston

A dramatic heart of heady jasmine and a warm background of resinous sandalwood round out this deeply personal blend that perfectly evokes Langston Hughes, a true Renaissance man.

Learn more

Savoy

The glamour and excitement of nights on that iconic dance floor are beautifully reflected with a luscious overture of blackcurrant, tart mandarin, crisp green apple and juicy pear evolving into a flirtatious floral heart of Lily of the Valley and jasmine petals. Sensual sandalwood and sheer musk bring warmth to perfectly balance this intoxicating blend.

Learn more

Lady Day

Inspired by the white gardenia she always wore in her hair, a luminous opening of Lush Green Leaves, Neroli Blossom and Sparkling Bergamot lead to a velvet heart of Creamy Gardenia, Jasmine Petals and Ylang Ylang. Coffee Flower adds a spicy nuance, and a warm, addictive base of Coconut Milk, Sandalwood and Vetiver provide the perfect finish to this intoxicating blend that is vibrant and full bodied, yet graceful and delicate. Just like Lady Day.

Learn more

Dream

The perfect relaxing fragrance that evokes a feeling of serenity and tranquility, DREAM opens with Provencal Lavender, Pimento Berry, and Bergamot. A lush, emotional heart of Jasmine and Iris is spiked with zesty Wild Ginger and crushed Pine Needles, while a seductive field of liquid Amber, Patchouli, and Sandalwood adds warmth to balance this intoxicating blend.

Learn more

Home 

Refined, elegant and undeniably luxurious, sparkling citrus top notes of Bergamot, Mandarin and Italian Neroli blend seamlessly with a delicate floral heart of Violet, Lilac and Jasmine. Aromatic Green Tea Leaves tantalize and awaken the senses, and a warm, addictive base of Sandalwood, Golden Amber, and Tonka Bean provides a magnificent finish to the perfect scent for warm sunny days and magical nights.

Learn more